Friday, 28 January 2011

Community - Police Consultative Group for Lambeth

Community - Police Consultative Group (CPCG)for Lambeth

Public Meeting Tuesday 1 February 2011

6.00 pm at Stockwell Resource Centre
Studley Road, SW4 (behind Stockwell Tube station)

On the agenda:

Trident report
Report from Chief Superintendent Nick Ephgrave
Policing Protest
Brixton Ice-Rink Proposal

Tel 020 7733 0978

Next meeting Tuesday 1 March 2011, Lambeth Town Hall, 6.00 pm

What's the Future for Health and Social Care?

Lambeth LINk Public Meeting, jointly organised by Age Uk Lambeth and others:

Monday 31 January 2011, 5.30 pm - 8.30 pm
5.30 - 6.00 pm: Registration and refreshments

Karibu Education Centre (opposite Brixton Police Station)
7 Gresham Rd


Cllr Jim Dickson: Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing
"Spending Cuts: Lambeth Council's Budget Proposals for 2011/12 and Beyond"

Caroline Hewitt: Chair of NHS Lambeth
"Changes in the NHS"

Followed by Question and Answer Session

For further information contact the Lambeth LINk Team on 020 7274 8522.


Saturday, 15 January 2011

KOV's submission - Vauxhall Island Site/Kylun application

20 August 2010
Dear Mr Smith


We wish to submit the following observations on the above application and to urge that it be refused for the reasons stated below.

1. The KOV Forum was established in 2000/2001 by local representative groups and individuals, including residents’ and tenants’ associations, community organisations and local businesses, at the instigation of Lambeth Council to strengthen community involvement in Council programmes, policies and plans. The area represented by the Forum is the whole of Prince’s and Oval wards and a small corner of Bishops ward south of Lambeth Road.

2. During discussions at numerous Forum meetings it has been evident that there is widespread and general concern regarding the new high-rise developments that are proliferating at or close to Vauxhall Cross; also about the concentration and very high densities of these developments. We understand that this approach to the development of this area has been promoted and encouraged by the Government and the Mayor’s London Plan and the identification of Vauxhall/Nine Elms as an Opportunity Area. But we feel developments completed and currently proposed have been allowed to happen in too piecemeal a way, with highly damaging effects on the character and amenity of the area. Concern has always been that no plans have been put in place to ensure the development of a sustainable community.

3. Vauxhall Cross offered real opportunity to provide attractive new buildings and street patterns that would link the near hinterland (east of the railway viaduct) with the Thames. Those opportunities were lost completely with the approval of the St George Wharf development. Not only have the assurances given by the developers at the time, in the face of public concern, proved meaningless; the incremental planning permissions since then have made them even less relevant. Local residents argued that the scale and character of that development would in effect create a bulky and ugly ‘wall’ between the river and the Vauxhall Cross area and an oppressive and dominating environment. That is exactly what has happened.

4. The St George Wharf development is relevant to the above current application because the land plot concerned is the only small area of open space left near the transport interchange and major road network dominating the area between the riverside developments and the railway viaduct. Air quality is already very poor (see the statistics in the Mayor for London’s Vauxhall & Nine Elms Opportunity Area report). It will only deteriorate further.

5. Both British Rail and TFL state that transport links are at capacity and do not foresee any way to improve them. Permission for so many homes, especially with limited parking, on the island site will put more pressure on the transport system, further reducing the quality of life for residents and office workers alike.

6. Very tall buildings, approved and proposed, are generally more suited to office accommodation than to housing, yet the proportion of housing being provided is large. There is a mismatch between the type of residential accommodation that can be provided in very tall buildings and the housing needs of significant sections of the local population. High-rise flats do not provide suitable accommodation for families. In this case there is far too little amenity public space to prevent the area feeling overcrowded and oppressive, for daytime office workers as well as for local residents.

Specifically, there is a deficiency of open and green space in line with Lambeth’s own policy and taken with other developments such as Bondway, the building on the island site would reduce the effective space to half the recommended area of 1.6 hectares per thousand of the population.

The application statements refer to ‘a new landscaped public square’ – a totally fanciful description given the modest space available – and ‘cultural uses, improved public realm and community benefits’ – all big words for what we regard as token gestures.

7. There is also a deficiency of playspace. Development for families should include a MINIMUM of 10 square meters of DEDICATED children’s playspace per child, preferably indoors. This is the equivalent of a small children’s playground. Presumably there will be children in the development.

8. The applicants admit (in their Design and Access statement) that they ‘recognise that these provisions [of amenity space attached to the development] will not satisfy Lambeth Borough Council’s requirements for providing public amenity space. Kylun have entered into S106 discussions . . .’ It is our view, however, that no S106 payments for (as is being proposed) public amenity space improvements elsewhere will alter the fact that there would be inadequate public amenity space on and around the island site. The proposed development does not add any adequate open space. It would reduce existing open space.

To sum up, our main reasons for opposing this application are:
(i) It is clear from KOV Forum meetings that there is widespread public concern about the concentration and very high densities of high-rise developments at and near Vauxhall Cross.

(ii) Recent, planned and proposed new development in this area has largely resulted in a lost opportunity to upgrade an area that cried out for sensitive re-use of redundant and neglected industrial land and a riverfront with great potential.

(iii) The combination of excessive densities and over-development of land, with virtually no open ground space between buildings is creating a hostile environment.
(iv) There is a mismatch between need and supply of family housing.

(v) The planning application for the island site describes in misleading terms its proposals for an extremely small amount of ground-level public amenity space. In context that small area would be dominated by the two tower blocks, with no sense of the open space residents and office workers should reasonably expect when they approach or leave their building.

(vi) The development would put further pressure on transport links already at capacity.

(vii) The amount of amenity space proposed in relation to this development does not meet the Council’s planning requirement and is acknowledged by the applicant.
If the proposed development provides too little amenity space on a small land plot surrounded and enclosed by high and bulky buildings, the railway viaduct and a major road network and junction, it is surely per se an unacceptable development.

Yours sincerely
Maureen Johnston MBE
Chair of Kennington, Oval and Vauxhall Forum

Vauxhall Island site/Kylun Planning delay

Message received from Lambeth Planning:

Planning Application 10/02060/FUL
Plot Bounded By Parry Street And Bondway And 7 To 93 Wandsworth Road

'Lambeth Planning Officers had been intending to refer the application to a Planning Applications Committee on 25th January, but a number of outstanding issues has meant that this will not be possible.

'Pending resolution of those issues, the application will be reported to Committee at a later date - probably in either February or March.'

Lead officer: David Smith, Planning Officer, (Majors Team), Development Control, Planning Division - Housing, Regeneration & Environment, London Borough of Lambeth, phone: 020 7926 1256, fax: 020 7926 1171 Email:

Friday, 14 January 2011

Airplane noise

Have your say in the Future Airspace review

Below are some of the actions you can take to influence future airspace arrangements. It is necessary to understand that the adverse noise environment made by Heathrow arrivals is a result of concentrating these flights along a narrow corridor – and that there is no reason why this cannot change.
Why airplane noise has become so bad: The reason aircraft noise has become so bad is because there has been a significant and adverse increase over the past 10/15 years in the number of airplanes flying over central/south London. This is a direct result of a deliberate policy to concentrate the arrivals airplanes bound for Heathrow over narrow corridors. Arrivals are now beginning their alignment with the runways 30 miles away from Heathrow in Hackney and the East End, and overflying central/south London including Greenwich, Southwark, Westminster, Pimlico, Vauxhall, Kennington, Clapham and Chelsea. It is this concentration, and the resulting numbers of flights over a restricted area, which has caused the airplanes to become such a noise problem. The situation is described on the HACAN website at
In Vauxhall, for instance, 40 planes an hour have been recorded in one fixed spot. This concentration is not necessary: flights used to be more dispersed 20 years ago and can be so again – reducing the noise for everyone so that it is below the annoyance threshold. With dispersion or route alternations for flight arrivals everyone would get periods of respite and the burden of noise could be spread sufficiently thinly as to no longer cause annoyance. A more equitable and just arrangement for arrivals is both viable and possible.
The Civil Aviation Authority (The CAA) is currently drafting airspace policy for the next 20 years. You can have your say. You can view the consultation documents on the HACAN website. Most importantly, they acknowledge for the first time that noise may be an issue outside the vicinity of Heathrow on the arrivals flight path. You can influence the outcome of the new policy.
You can influence the outcome of the new policy:
1. Write to the CAA, telling them the area you live in and describing how the noise of airplanes affects you. Ask for a more equitable and just arrangement for arrivals at Heathrow and City airports in Future Airspace arrangements. Write to: or send your letter to Policy Coordinator, Directorate of Airspace Policy, CAA House, 45-59 Kingsway, London WC2B 6TE
2. Become a member of HACAN (if you are not already a member), which is dedicated to reducing the impact of the noise from Heathrow and City airplanes. By becoming a member of HACAN you strengthen its hand (it’s only £13.00 p.a.). The more members it has who do not live in the vicinity of Heathrow but are nonetheless adversely affected by the noise of arriving aircraft, the more weight HACAN’s arguments will bear with politicians and policy makers. Visit HACAN’s website at, and the membership tab is on the left hand side of the home page.
• To date HACAN has commissioned the Vauxhall video mentioned above. It has also commissioned a photograph to show the number of airplanes flying over a single location in Vauxhall. The photograph is shown below.
• In addition, HACAN has commissioned a report from the Aviation Environment Federation to look at the concentration of arrivals and recommend viable changes or alternatives. This report can be seen
3. Write to your MP: not just to complain but also to ask what he/she is doing about the getting the noise burden more equally shared over London. You can find your MP’s email address at
4. To get sufficient momentum, anybody who is directly affected or has experienced the noise while in your area, should take action. So please pass this email on to any neighbours, friends or relatives.

You can find more information on the HACAN website at

Monday, 10 January 2011

Open Space and Vauxhall developments

Comments from the Chair of Friends of Spring Gardens:

"Although Spring Gardens is being invested in, it is in practice too far from the new developments in Vauxhall for any of the activities described above."

Just to set the record straight, Spring Gardens is struggling to gain investment of any sort and heavily dependant on 106 monies to advance it's Framework Plan
which only moves slowly and with very small amounts of finance directed to us by Lambeth Council.

Our park is quite literally a one and a half minute walk from Vauxhall Park and in the shadow of some of the tallest buildings in The Vauxhall / Nine Elms proposals
and what Ghislaine (see earlier post from the Oval Partnership) hasn't stated is that these proposals go all the way up to Lambeth Bridge, with Vauxhall City Farm acting as the boundary, which places Spring Gardens slap in the middle of developments between Vauxhall and Lambeth Bridges.

I agree whole heartedly that we all need to fight for more parks and public open spaces in these plans, and our Framework Plan has taken this into account since it's inception five years ago.
We have proposed that the Albert Embankment be reduced to a two lane road (in parts it is eight lanes wide !!) and that the land gained should be incorporated into Spring Gardens on the river side of the park. This would significantly increase our open green space on the embankment side of the Vauxhall Cross Gyratory System.

Indeed the Vauxhall Cross Gyratory System needs to be looked at seriously in these plans and abolished if possible to be replaced by a pedestrian/cycle friendly system that will 'green' the area
and make all our parks more accessible and if possible linked up with 'green' corridors that will encourage better use of parks and less traffic.

Thank you Ghislaine for bringing this issue to the attention of KOV members I support you 100% but please press for improvements for all our parks which
are affected by the Vauxhall/Nine Elms proposal.

Octave Tower, Bondway

Message from the Vauxhall Society:

Please email the Secretary of State for Communities, Mr Eric Pickles, asking him to rule against the building of the 42-storey Octave Tower in Bondway, Vauxhall Cross.

If, that is, you support the decision of the committee of The Vauxhall Society to oppose the Octave. Our reasons (set out in full on the website, and below) are that the structure is so high and so wide that it will throw into shadow the surrounding streets and Vauxhall Park; the Octave will also worsen the district’s existing traffic congestion, poor air quality and overloading of public transport.

Now really is the time for you, your friends and neighbours to act. See below for email addresses and suggestions for what you might include in your message.

Ross Davies

How to reach Mr Pickles

The email address of the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government is:

It would be polite, and effective, to copy in Mr Pickles’ Director-General, Housing and Planning, who is Richard McCarthy:

The same goes for the Minister’s two ‘Special Advisers’, Giles Kenningham and Sheridan Westlake:

….but it doesn’t stop there...

The Vauxhall Society is apolitical, and we urge you to email any councillor or MP that you think Mr Pickles might listen to.

Assuming that Labour is against Octave Tower because Lambeth Borough Council opposed it, one councillor politician the Minister might take notice of (and so is worth your while emailing), is John Whelan, Leader of the Conservative Group on Lambeth Borough Council:
Since Mr Pickles is a Conservative member of a Coalition government, you might also copy in Cllr Ashley Lumsden, leader of Lambeth Lib Dems:

What to say in your email
It is not the business of The Vauxhall Society to tell anybody what to say, not even our members, but the points below may inspire you.

The committee of this apolitical society decided unanimously earlier this year to oppose the Octave Tower.

The thing to get over to the Minister and his team is that bad headlines are ahead in the national media for him and the Coalition if he says ‘Yes’ to the Octave Tower.


• Because there was unprecedented all-party opposition in Lambeth to this monstrous project- one community group after another lined up to oppose the scheme
• The decision landed in Mr Pickles’ lap only because a developer and his battery of expensive lawyers chose to go over the heads of the council and people of Lambeth
• By saying ‘Yes’ Mr Pickles follows in the footsteps of John, now Lord, Prescott and Ken Livingstone, in nodding through another skyscraper Lambeth did not want, The St George Tower – now under construction
• Lots of media people live in or have lived in Lambeth, and newspapers - among them the Evening Standard, The Independent and i group - are following the Octave story.
• A ‘Yes’ decision would be a gift to headline writers, who will interpret it as a pointer to the Coalition behaving much the same as New Labour, and the headlines will have fun with Mr Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ meaning big buildings whether people want them or not
• The phones will be ringing asking local celebrities what they make of a ‘Yes’ decision – would Mr Pickles risk a ‘Woolas Moment’ with Vauxhall’s Joanna Lumley if she hears he’s agreed to a cut in sunshine for one of the poorest wards in Vauxhall because of Octave’s shading of Vauxhall Park?
• Vauxhall Park won a Green Flag Award for excellence for the fourth time in 2010; Mr Pickles’ department sponsors the Green Flag award

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Open Space and Vauxhall developments

A message from The Oval Partnership:

The Oval Partnership is concerned that there is a real lack of additional open green space for all the proposed developments in Vauxhall. The proposed density of building and population is not balanced by an appropriate supply of green open space. As the proposals for Vauxhall/Nine Elms are still in the development stage, everyone concerned needs to ask their local councillors to press Lambeth to make provision for some proper green space.

The problem and green spaces promised so far: The greenery proposed to date is decorative and aptly called 'parsley' by ecologists. For instance, the linear 'park' in Nine Elms turns out to be no more than front gardens for the new buildings, and the Sainsbury's site's proposed open spaces are small and paved. The Bondway, Vauxhall Cross and Wyvil Road developments are not offering new green open space of any substance at all.

Why we need green open spaces neighbouring onto the new developments: Green open spaces need to be close to the new developments, so that new residents can use them for (for instance) walking the dog, family picnics and sending children put to play football or family cricket. It is London's parks and green spaces that make this such a great city to live in, and without adequate provision of green open space Vauxhall will risk looking like Canary Wharf rather than a place designed for living.
Although Spring Gardens is being invested in, it is in practice too far from the new developments in Vauxhall for any of the activities described above. Spring Gardens will not be the park of choice. It is quite far to walk if you have any encumbrance or not much time. Instead, the park that will be used for family picnics, walking the dog and sending children out to play football, will be the one closest to the Vauxhall developments - Vauxhall Park. The same applies to lunch hours and office workers - of which there will also be a considerable increase in Vauxhall. This means that we are looking at standing room only on sunny weekends and busy lunch hours in the summer in Vauxhall Park.

The overall lack of additional green open space to counterbalance the proposed increase in density of building and population will have a negative impact on the Vauxhall area and its vicinity. The purpose of allowing new development is to produce a general improvement of the area. Without adequate green open space the hoped for improvements will not be forthcoming.

What you can do: Please can you contact your local councillors and ask them to lobby for additional and substantial green open space.

Ghislaine Stewart, Chair, The Oval Partnership

Monday, 3 January 2011

Volunteers and Volunteering in Lambeth

Help Wanted?

If you are working on a project or campaign and need an extra hand or two, why not appeal to your fellow active citizens. Remember, active citizens registered with LVAC’s ACH come from a range of backgrounds and most have attended training giving them skills to improve their community.

Email with details of what you are working on, the type of person you need, and we will spread the word via our ebulletins.


Fill the Gap
If want to play an active role within your local community but are not quite sure what you can do with your new skills, then look no further than Fill the Gap!

We will link you into organisations that are looking for trustees just like you to help grow their organisation. If you care about organisations working in Lambeth achieving their aims and have a few hours to spare each month, help us to Fill the Gap – It’s another great way to be an active citizen!

This service is FREE to join!!!

Individuals that join get:
• Information and news on Active Citizens opportunities in Lambeth
• Access to FREE Training
• Use of the Active Citizens Hub Desk

Organisation who sign up:
• An up-to-date network of Active Citizens looking for roles!
• Information and news updates!
• Access to FREE training for staff and Volunteers!

For further information and to see the roles in more detail contact / 020 7737 9467

Active Citizens' Hub Desk - FREE and open for you to use

Active Citizens Hub Desk –IT’S FREE!!!!!!!Do you want to influence positive change in Lambeth that you know will benefit your community? Are you facing a few stumbling blocks?

• No access to a computer and / or the internet?
• No landline or mobile phone to make calls from?
• No one to ask advice about who to contact and how best to contact them?

No more excuses!!!

The Active Citizens Hub Desk is now ready and open for you to use. If you are an active citizen registered with Lambeth Voluntary Action Council, you can use this desk to:

* Browse the internet to research new laws and information relating to your area of interest
* Access a computer / printer to type up meeting notes
* Use the telephone or email

To find out more, or to book a session, please contact / 020 7737 9467

Lambeth LINk Public Meeting 12 January

“Giving Us a Voice”
(Voicing the effects of the Health and Social Care cuts)

Wednesday 12 January 2011, 11.30 to 2.30 pm at
Karibu Education Centre
7 Gresham Rd
SW9 7PH (opposite Brixton Police Station).

Lambeth LINk Public Meeting, jointly organised with others.

Speakers: Nick Clarke, London Development Officer, Disability Law Service
Sabina Laher, Lambeth Mencap and speakers from Lambeth Save Our Service and Vital Link

For more information contact the Lambeth LINk Team on 020 7274 8522 E