Present: Gerald Slaughter (Chair), James Slattery-Kavanagh, Geraldine Evans, Pat Fisher, Simon Berlyn, Graham Fearon-Wilson, Bernie Bulbrook, John Macdonald, Richard Moore, Helen O'Brien, Susie Rowe and Nathalie Carroll (Croydon Advertiser)
Michael Grimwood, Jane Pickard, Anne Orange, Rod Brown, Jeremy Baker and Robert McConnell.
2. Minutes and Matters Arising from the February Meeting
1. Geraldine Evans noted that apologies from herself, Robert McConnell and Jeremy Baker had not been included.
Simon Berlyn suggested that Minutes and Matters Arising would be better dealt with as separate items.
3. Pat Fisher noted that the next meeting of the St Luke's Gardens Steering Group was 12th March, not 2nd. Rather than there being no plans for further consultation, she had said that further public consultation would be carried out when the Group was ready. SB noted that the original Gateway Scheme work was no longer valid as regards future consultation.
3. St Luke's Gardens
SB reported that the Steering Group was making tentative enquiries with the Heritage Lottery Fund regarding funding for a feasibility study concerning the Group's raw proposals. The Group had met Ian Boulton (Lambeth Council) regarding potential funding sources. He hoped to report more clearly following the 12th March Steering Group Meeting.
Gerry Slaughter asked that the Group look into the question of the ownership of the ground. SB replied that Rev Luke Wickings was seeking clarification and that the ownership of the ground did not affect the proposals noting that whilst Lambeth Council still had some tenure it would probably approve what the local community wanted. The Diocese would still need to approve the scheme.
GS noted that the railings were removed as part of the war effort between 1939 and 1940. He asked whether any reparation had been made by the Government and that under a Government Scheme another church in similar circumstances had recently had its railings replaced. This seemed to be dependent on who owned the ground.
GE relayed Cllr Baker's question about when he would see the planning application. SB replied that devising, designing and gaining approval for the plans would probably take a year before the application would be submitted.
4. School Playing Fields – St Julians Farm Road
GE noted that the developers did not yet own the site and that no planning application had yet been submitted. There was a proposal to build on half the site and include a bowling green on the other half.
GFW was under the impression that no trees had been cut down and that some had Tree Preservation Orders. He was concerned that the density of the proposed development would cause traffic problems in already busy local streets.
GS mentioned that two Neighbourhood Watch Schemes had asked if the building would be similar to that at St Peter's Close. GE noted that it would be high density, that locals didn't want public access to the area, didn't want housing backing on to their housing and wanted to keep the playing fields. GS asked if the Council could not buy the ground in trust for local schools. GE replied that there was no money for this and the Council specifically wanted housing there. GS asked if all interested parties had been advised of the availability of the land, for an expression of interest by schools and suggested that schools should apply to use the land and pay rent. Schools already had to transport children to other sites. JS-K felt that schools should have an influence on the site. PF thought that if there was a long enough lease the Sports Council might be able to fund the playing fields. SB felt that the Council should say no to development of the site.
5. NAG Gardens Competition 2003
JS-K proposed that a competition be held this year reverting to the old categories and stated that he was willing to sponsor a prize. He felt that with production of new posters and fliers together with advertising in newspapers and garden centres the competition could be a success. RM suggested publicity should go out in April with the competition being held at the end of July. Suggestions included encouraging all levels (GF-W), competition on a Ward basis (JMcD) and including an Allotment category (RM).
Susie Rowe kindly suggested that Competition posters could be inserted into local copies of the Croydon Advertiser.
6. Any Other Business
6.1 RM noted that Trinity Baptist Church had submitted proposals to 'cater for' up to 1,800 users. However GE confirmed that the development plans had stalled with a maximum of 900 users recommended by Lambeth Council. RM noted that the church had submitted its plans to the police for comment regarding 'designing out crime'.
6.2 RM reminded the Group that the plans for a nursery in Knights Hill Recreation Ground had not addressed the problem of 'designing out crime' and BB confirmed that no contact had been made by Platform (the architects) with crime prevention officers. SB noted that the Planning SubGroup were almost unanimous in their opposition to the development. They raised issues regarding a vagueness on the number of users, the possibility and extent of future expansion, hiving off public space for private use, lack of consultation with Tivoli Road Residents, heavy peak time traffic and disruption by service vehicles. There would be a conflict of interest between Nursery and Park users. He felt that the Council should defend public open space and provide facilities for the whole community. JMcD felt that it was dangerous to allow residents to be Keyholders to the gates. Would the Keyholders be vetted and what would happen when those Keyholders moved on. He re-iterated that the drainage issue had not been dealt with adequately and that the drainage should be improved before any building works commenced. He also re-iterated his concerns about funding for maintenance of the site after Surestart withdraws its funding. PF noted that no funding had been allocated for restoration of the park. Knights United's bid concerned the building only. She also noted that the Lease was to be held by the Group's Management Committee. Knights United had posted a notice in the West Norwood Library asking for Committee Members and PF felt that such Committee Members were not best placed to be leaseholders for the building. RM asked GE to bring updated plans to NAG's next meeting.
JMcD felt that expansion of the Norwood Park site currently used would be cheaper. HO'B noted that this would mean the closure of the one o'clock club. One o'clock clubs are currently under threat with the council wanting them to be financed and run by local management committees (?Surestart?). She was disappointed that the Breakfast Club and After School Club element had disappeared from Knights United's proposals.
GF-W suggested that the Friends of Knights Hill Recreation Ground are invited to NAG's next meeting and that NAG discuss what its members want in the park.
6.3 RM brought along information regarding amenity groups (Civic Societies). This can be accessed at and will be discussed at the next meeting.
6.4 It was suggested that as Council planning meetings are held on a Tuesday, this clashes with NAG's meetings. Would NAG consider changing its meeting day?