Present: Anne Orange (Chair), Geraldine Evans (note taker), Helen O'Brien, Paul Tobin, Joe Ward, Cllr Robert McConnell, Cllr Tony Grayling, Cllr A'Court, Jeremy Galloway, Richard Moore, Rod Brown, John MacDonald, Bernie Bullbrook, Ann Ridley, Jane Pickard, Cllr John Whelan, James Slattery-Kavanagh
1. Allotments on East Place.
Cllr A'Court spoke on the issue of the road proposal from Windsor Grove to East Place. He pointed out that the road would cut across a designated conservation area, and although Jeremy Galloway suggested that the project might generate employment in the area, general consensus was against the road proposal. Points made against the road were:
- The designated conservation status of the land – Cllr Tony Grayling
- Sufficient existing access to the area – James Slattery-Kavanagh
- The lack of information available to make informed decisions – Jeremy Galloway
- The Planning Inspectors order for green use of the land, and requirement that the Council monitors land use – Richard Moore
Cllr A'Court distributed a list of objection suggestions, along with a copy of Policy 62 itself, UDP objection forms, and freepost envelopes, to be sent by Feb 24. He mentioned the probability that the land value would increase dramatically should it be redesignated for development. The land was apparently bought privately on spec at low cost due to its lack of use. John MacDonald suggested proactively marketing the allotments to regenerate interest. Cllr Tony Grayling agreed that objections should be raised to the UDP. Jeremy Galloway said residents should 'use it or lose it', and suggested developing Norwood Park instead. Jane Pickard said the Board was in favour of keeping the area green and restoring it. Anne Orange thought maybe a grant could be obtained to enable Norwood residents to buy the land should the owner not get development permission. John MacDonald pointed out that there had been no public consultation on the matter.
Cllr John Whelan congratulated NAG on its successful discussion of a local issue.
2. Amendment to Minutes of NAG Meeting on 8 January 2002
James Slattery-Kavanagh wished to strike the phrase 'the readership [of Norwood Eye] was much smaller than that reached by the Virtual Norwood website' from item 16 of last meetings minutes, as he felt this detracted from his point that Norwood Eye might not be the most effective way of keeping Norwood residents informed. He also pointed out that 'Town Talk' made no mention of NAG, and its pre-meeting contributions. John MacDonald questioned who monitored the Town Talk site while the Town Centre Manager was absent.
It was agreed that the value of the Town Talk site be re-evaluated in 2-3 months time.
With this amendment, the minutes of the last meeting were accepted.
3. Waylett's Place Car Park
Rod Brown provided copies of his email dated 5 Feb to Leo Ward at Parking Services, and the subsequent reply dated 6 Feb. The original email asked why the car park was closed, and how long it would be closed. The reply stated that the reason for closure was the anticipated refurbishment of the car park, and the introduction of a pay and display facility, and was unable to give a time for re-opening.
Anne Orange questioned the safety of the car park due to the poor visibility of the site, the illegal businesses being run on the site, and the abandoned cars. Cllr Tony Grayling suggested that money generated from parking fees be used to maintain the car park. Bernie Bullbrook questioned how vigorously parking fees would be collected. Richard Moore thought it was taking the Council a long time to decide on charges, and suggested private investment by the Snooker club. Cllr Robert McConnell said the problem had spread to the B&Q car park, had been a running sore for years, and that he was looking forward to the redevelopment of the entire site. John MacDonald questioned why the car park had been closed at all: it is up to the Council to remove abandoned cars anyway, the Snooker club is losing money because it's patrons cannot park due to surrounding double yellow lines, and that the Council should respect what the community wants. Richard Moore suggested simply removing the padlock.
Cllr Tony Grayling is to follow up the issue with the Council.
4. Planning Sub-Committee Meeting at St. Luke's
100% against Waste Transfer Station.
Partially against Big Yellow Box proposal.
The Board wrote objecting to the Waste Transfer Station, but this was either not received or not accepted by the Planning Dept.
5. Security Cameras
James Slattery-Kavanagh asked John MacDonald if the security camera under the railway bridge at West Norwood station is working. It is not.
Cllr Tony Grayling said work to replace the broken camera had been ordered, but that Chris de Souza had said that work was being delayed because the equipment needs to be specially built, and also, the work needs to be done in liaison with Crystal Palace CCB. Cllr Grayling sent a letter dated 6 Feb asking when the work might be completed, but had not received an answer to date. Paul Tobin commented that bureaucracy would be this slow every time, and questioned why spares could not be obtained for repairs, rather that waiting to completely rebuild the camera. Anne Orange agreed to write a letter to Chris de Souza enquiring about the timing of repairs in other areas, if all other cameras are working, questioning the effectiveness of the cameras, and how they are monitored.
Jeremy Galloway mentioned that two banks had been robbed in West Norwood in the last week, and had there been any feedback from CCTV in the area? He suggested promoting working cameras as a deterrent, co-ordinating with the Control Room at Shakespeare Road. John MacDonald said the Community Officer did not know that the camera was not working, and advised that the bureaucratic process was just beginning regarding the camera on Auckland Hill that has not been working for 4 months. Although Cllr Grayling noted that the Council would be spending £1,000,000 on new CCTV equipment across the borough in the next year, John MacDonald and Richard Moore both asked if a maintenance budget was in place.
Cllr Robert McConnell said he had sent a complaint to Mr de Souza, and had received a reply from Ching Wah. He thought the implication was that the Council was waiting for money from Arriva before they would pay for repairs, but his perception was that the situation was very closed to outsiders, and that any definite information would not be easily obtained. Apparently Knight's Hill beat officers are aware of the problems with the camera, and consider the area a local 'hot spot'. James Slattery-Kavanagh thought the area was being badly let down, and Jeremy Galloway asked if the camera in question had ever worked properly.
Jane Pickard suggested some moderation in action and reaction to broken down cameras.
6. St. Luke's Gardens
Anne Orange reported that Greenwich University students were to be briefed on 14 Feb, and were drawing up initial plans for the gardens. Jim of the Gardens Committee is to organise the next meeting with the students in late Feb. Student plans are to be drawn up and presented to the Gardens Committee between 20 and 23 March. Any plans or ideas presented may be used or rejected, subject to further consultation.
Jeremy Galloway enquired about the future of the railings around the garden, as the Greenwich tutor had roughly estimated the cost of replacing them (including design, manufacture, transportation, erection and painting) at about £1,000,000. Rod Brown asked if the chain link fence could be replaced, and Bernie Bullbrook suggested that using the remaining existing railings as templates for replacements might help reduce the cost.
Anne Orange suggested that any ideas wait until initial plans had been submitted.
Richard Moore said that a new local paper – Lambeth Local – was coming out, that the editor was keen on community issues and is keen to build a good press relation with NAG.
7. Treasurer's Report
The NAG Treasurer was not in attendance at this meeting, and his report has been deferred.
8. Unitary Development Plan
UDP objections have a deadline of 25 February 2002.
Jane Pickard reported that although the Board, via the Forum, was trying to get their objections to the Council, objections were also needed from individuals. She advised members to get a copy of the UDP and ensure that a separate form is filled in for each comment submitted.
8.1 MDO 49/50 – Brooks Laundry and Canterbury Grove
Cllr McConnell urged members to submit forms requesting the area in question be increased to include the full stretch from York Hill to Canterbury Grove, including Brooks, as the existing proposal is not viable in terms of space and traffic. Jeremy Galloway agreed with this, and thought that the shop frontages should be maintained, as in the Clapham High Street regeneration, and include well-monitored car parking. It was suggested that the Norwood Forum should actively embrace people not in the area, as the development would draw people to Norwood. Also, the existing B&Q should go – it is a sub-standard 'super's store, and it's function is already well covered by other existing traders in the area – and local need was more for a supermarket. Rod Brown backed these suggestions and commented that West Norwood would continue to go downhill without development. Jane Pickard thought there should also be an increase in parking in West Norwood. Richard Moore generally supported major development and noted that it will attract Section 106 funds, but that this money should come with assurance that it will only be used in the area concerned. Jeremy Galloway pointed out that the Sainsbury's development in Camberwell included key worker accommodation and leisure facilities, and thought any West Norwood development should also include accommodation. Bernie Bullbrook questioned what the plans were for the other side of the road, and Jeremy Galloway responded that with the current mix of residences, small businesses and studios it was not big enough for development.
8.2 MDO 51 – Tram Depot
The proposal is to use the site for social housing, but it is currently in use as a storage centre. Rod Brown proposed that either this site, or the site (Knolly's Road) specified in MDO 58 be used as parkland, as there is a shortage of green space in this area. Geraldine Evans agreed with this suggestion.
Richard Moore suggested that concerned members should look at other Town Centre Manager's Reports, and that it was nonsense for the planners to say that they have had no feedback. He thought that the UDP was overlooking some key issues, for example there is no mention of the South London Theatre.
Cllr Robert McConnell proposed a presumption against any further A3 development in the area, specifically against any further takeaway licences being issued for the area.
Cllr Tony Grayling thought the UDP lacks direction and vision, and should be more like the Stockwell master plan, which is less fragmentary than the UDP. Anne Orange and Jeremy Galloway suggested that responsibility for tone of the UDP should rest with the Town Centre Manager. James Slattery-Kavanagh pointed to MDO76 as an example of how out of date the information in the report is.
Anne Orange explained that the UDP objection forms can be used to object to any further A3 (Takeaway) development, and also to flag the fact that a more unified plan is required.
8.3 MDO 52
Anne Orange confirmed that it is too late to challenge this proposal.
8.4 MDO 53 – Big Yellow Box Company
Jeremy Galloway said that B1 and B2 planning cannot now be changed to B8, but thought the site must include leisure facilities. He asked if Brooks Laundry might use the site, but after some discussion, Cllr McConnell said that Brooks would have to apply themselves.
8.5 MDO 62 – Norwood Hall
Jane Pickard strongly opposed the UDP on this issue, and thought the Hall should be developed as a community hall, or converted to affordable housing. Jeremy Galloway suggested converting the Green by the Hall to playing fields.
8.6 MDO 54 – Waste Transfer Station
NAG unanimously opposes this point.
8.7 MDO 57 – Arena Park Road Pedestrian Link
Jane Pickard thought there should be limited parking planned for the area, and Richard Moore referred to Policy 12 on page 37 and said the Tulse Hill must be recommended as a Strategic Transport Hub.
8.8 MDO 59 – Norwood Park School, Gypsy Road
Cllr Robert McConnell pointed out that although the school building is to be retained, it must be clarified that it is to be retained for use as a school.
Jeremy Galloway asked all Councillors present to complain to the Council about the drafting of the UDP document.
Cllr Tony Grayling pointed out that page 107 proposes a list of sites that might be promoted as new public sites, and that St. Luke's Gardens is on this list. Jane Pickard referred also to page 108 and noted that there is no mention of Norwood Park or Knight's Hill Park.
9. Any Other Business
James Slattery-Kavanagh wished to make three points:
1. Referring to the robberies at Abbey National and the resulting upgraded security of banks and building societies in West Norwood in general, he said that the police were not going to give any special attention to Crystal Palace or Gipsy Hill.
2. He pointed out that the one-way system in Gipsy Hill is due to run clockwise.
3. He is well informed about Golden Jubilee street parties, and is willing to assist anyone wishing to have one.
Richard Moore commented that the time limit for Community Chest money is short.