Monday, 29 March 2010

Forum's June 2010 meeting

The Forum's AGM will be on Tuesday 8 June, 6.30 for 7.00 pm. Venue to be confirmed nearer the time. All welcome. Please put date in your diaries!

Next Forum meeting 13 April 2010

The next KOV Forum meeting will be on 13 April 2010, 6.30 for 7.00 pm at:

The Spring Community Centre
100 Vauxhall Walk
SE11 5EL

Items to be covered include:

* Vauxhall Island Site - an outline of proposals. Views wanted about key issues locally

* Octave Tower - application rejected

* Beautifying the Beaufoy - Project Dirt's proposals

* Status Dogs - Lambeth Council's proposals for action

* Planning Department' consultation database

Everyone welcome!

KOV's submission on Vauxall Planning Framework

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.

Cycle stands at Kennington Cross

Good news!

The six bicycle stands requested by KOV for Kennington Cross have been fitted today and are available now, outside the Dog House pub.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

VNEB Opportunity Area Planning Framework

from Viva Vauxhall:

This has crept up on us a bit with all the furore over the Octave Tower, but it's still not too late to object! (Deadline 29 March).

If the GLA's VNEB (Vauxhall, New Elms, Battersea) Opportunity Area Framework is adopted, this will open the floodgates not just for a few tall buildings, but effectively a new town on the edge of Central London with the highest population density in the UK.

There will be an anticipated 16.000 additional dwellings and approx. 20.000 office workers coming into the area over the next 15 years with no extra public funds for infrastructure such as transport, schools, green spaces etc. other than what can be generated from planning gain - some of which the Mayor will want for Cross Rail (this will not even service this area).

Local Council Planning Laws appear to either being watered down or superseded by the new GLA Framework, which doesn't even meet the Mayor's own Plan Objectives!

There is a frightening lack of absence of any coherent strategy, seemingly allowing a complete 'free for all' for developers!

Object to the Framework by Monday, 5pm, by e-mailing with "VNEB OAPF" in the subject line.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Octave tower comes crashing down...

By Pete Morris of Viva Vauxhall

The planning application for the 149m Octave tower on the Bondway storage site was rejected last night. In a stunning victory for local campaigners, the planning committee slammed the bulk and height of the tower, the negative impact on the Vauxhall Conservation Area, loss of amenity for residents and loss of local employment space.

There was an impressive turnout of objectors, including Viva Vauxhalls¹s Jimmy and Andrea as well as contributions from Cllr Sawdon, Kennington Association, Waterloo Community Development Group and the Friends of Vauxhall Park.

Councillors accused the developer - which has already announced it¹s intention to appeal - of giving ³two fingers² to residents and the planning committee in its macho response, and its refusal to tone down the scheme after an earlier critical meeting.

The decision appears to mark a fight-back against the drift towards a Å’high-rise¹ Vauxhall, and the planning committee said that it was concerned that developers did not appear to be taking into account the social impact of their schemes.

The application will now be heard later in the year at a full public planning inquiry.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Octave Building, Planning Committee 24 March 2010

Andrea from Viva Vauxhall has rung Democratic Services to request to speak at the planning meeting for the Octave on 24 March, and was told that everybody who requested to speak at the meeting will be allowed to do so.

They also said that the position on the agenda depended on how many people had requested to speak, so the more people do, the further The Octave moves up the agenda.

This is the number to ring if you wish to speak: 020 7926 2183; quick and easy, no fuss (only an out-of office reply to my e-mail so far).

You don't have to say much, just one sentence will do - and you can still make a real difference!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

From Viva Vauxhall:

As you may have heard there is a planned proposal to build a 150m high tower in Vauxhall (Bondway Commercial site next to the bus station).

Letters have gone out to those who objected to the original planned proposal giving notice that the date for the planning decision by the Lambeth Planning Application Committee has now been set for 24 March.

The recommendation for this application is to 'Minded to Grant Permission'.

The proposed Octave Tower is yet another major high rise development to be granted planning permission before the end of the consultation period for the VNEB Opportunity Area Framework, which proposes clusters of tall buildings (benchmark 150 m) of the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea area.

One has to suspect that despite the limited public consultation regarding the Octave Tower this is yet another foregone conclusion.

However, the Planning Application Committee meeting is open for anyone to attend. Objectors who wish to speak at the meeting can request to do so by contacting or 020 7926 2183 (Town Hall, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RW).

Speakers get three minutes to speak, if anyone feels that way inclined; it is also possible to propose a representative to speak on behalf of a group, who may get more time allocated to them.

But it's the people in the public gallery that can make a real difference by making their feelings known.

There is also still time to sign Viva Vauxhall's petition against the Octave Tower.