A number of excellent detailed responses have already been made by several local organisations. Maureen Johnston MBE, as Chair of KOV Forum, has submitted this summary of points made by local people at our two public meetings:
Vauxhall & Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area Framework Consultation March 2010
Kennington, Oval & Vauxhall (KOV) Forum is a non political umbrella group bringing together local organisations, businesses and residents in the North Lambeth area (between Lambeth Road, Kennington Park Road, Camberwell New Road, Harleyford Road and the river Thames.
The Forum hosted two public consultation meetings in January and February 2010 which were attended by approximately 200 people. Outlined below are the main areas of concern and support identified by community organisations, residents and businesses at the meetings, in response to the presentation by planners from the Greater London Authority.
• Tall buildings would cast Vauxhall Park and existing homes into shade, particularly if located as proposed.
• Lack of blue collar jobs and training opportunities for local people.
• Much too dense – Not enough open space. Overcrowding when fully developed.
• The number of planning applications already granted without the appropriate infrastructure in place i.e. transport, health care, recreational facilities and education and utility services.
• No plans to tackle the current high level of air pollution around Vauxhall Cross, which will only increase.
• Extension of Northern Line will not serve those currently using it and will only add to existing overcrowding. It is already difficult to get on trains at Oval and Kennington.
• No apparent attempt to integrate the area with land to the East especially Vauxhall Park. All connections are to the river and towards Westminster instead of towards conservation areas such as the Duchy Estate. No tie in with the congestion boundary along Kennington Lane which needs regeneration.
• Concerns that there will be traffic restrictions because of the location of the American Embassy and heavy handed policing.
• Concerns that access to the river will be denied, especially around the American Embassy.
• Lack of basic green recreational space – gardens on roof tops will not help a family with small children.
• No planning for extending the cultural activities of the Southbank down to Vauxhall and no cultural hub
• Real need for a swimming pool in the area
• Concentration on workforce at the expense of the family
• Not enough affordable housing proposed in good locations.
• No regard for biodiversity and ecology
• Green corridor, in principle, but it must be public space rather than private gardens, and of sufficient size for recreational purposes.
• Renewed look at the Vauxhall gyratory system, which is currently unfriendly to pedestrians, residents and cyclists alike.
• Redevelopment of Vauxhall Station.
• Renewed look at the bus station.
• Redevelopment of Covent Garden Market.