CANADA WATER CONSULTATIVE FORUM
25 th November, 2002 , @ 7.00pm
COULD MEETINGS START AT 6.45 SO THAT WE CAN GET GOING EARLIER??
Apologies: Jackie Rose
MINUTES OF MEETING
CANADA WATER CONSULTATIVE FORUM
DB warmly welcomed everyone and in view of the number of new faces, he outlined the Forum's role and stressed it's aim was a dispute resolving committee.
2. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING (28/10)
In accordance with regular procedure, the Minutes had been circulated 7 days prior to the meeting and they were adopted.
Questions are being prepared by the panel/chair. DB updated the background to the panel which comprised of 3 council officers, 3 representing the community and an independent chair (Mick Timpson). 12 original submissions had been ‘long listed' to 8 and the review on 9-10 December would ‘shortlist' down to 3. DB stressed that the community's elected representatives on the panel would ensure it was handled fairly and each of the developers would be asked the same set of questions. AM asked whether it would be an open meeting and it was generally felt that there was no reason why it should not be. No models or detailed plans would be available at this stage, merely ‘vision' boards providing an overall view from each developer. A member of the audience asked whether there was a scoring critera and SP confirmed that there was. This scoring matrix would be agreed prior to receipt of the submissions to ensure fairness. The set questions would be finalised very shortly. Financial information would remain privileged.
DB asked for alternate panelist from the community for the 9 th and 10 th December (all day) meetings to short-list developers. Dr Bob Muid was appointed to accompany PA and BH.
Proposed: JH Seconded: GG Agreed
AF was due to present an update and in his absence DB outlined the background. The site owners' (Ampurius) representative Eve Fawcett was unable to attend the meeting but she hoped to be available to answers questions and deliver a presentation at the next Forum meeting (13/1).
An appeal has been .lodged by the owners Ampurius regarding the extension of opening hours (until 11.00m as opposed to 8.00pm ) to allow potential retailers to operate outside original hours laid down by LBS. This application is opposed by LBS and the community. The development will include health club, coffee shop, restaurant and a beauty salon. If the units were able to obtain extended hours they could then go ahead and request liquour license etc.
Ampurius have also submitted an additional application to build a 5 storey block with a ground floor nursery on the site of the small garden and footpath at Albatross Way . JH most unhappy that Ampurius had given their assurances at an earlier meeting that plans for this additional block would be dropped and they now appear to have reneged. Members of the audience expressed concern and disappointment at the possibility of losing more green space and felt the garden should be preserved. Concern was also expressed at the possible loss of the footpath which provided a safe route for local school children away from busy roads. DB confirmed that the Canada Water Campaign vigorously oppose the application and would submit a formal objection. CLR offered to monitor the planning application and keep the Forum/community advised. DB asked that those members of the audience who had expressed opposition to the plans write to Donald Hanciles at Southwark Property, c/o Chiltern, SE17.
Draft Southwark Plan:
Simon Bevan, Acting Manager, LBS Policy & Planning outlined the purpose of the draft Southwark Plan; every local authority had one and it would usually be reviewed every 5 years. LBS has been preparing the new draft for approximately 2 years and they have consulted over 2,000 including those of the Mayor and government. The aim of the plan was to be more concise and it is significantly slimmer to make easier reading and contains 45 different policies as to what can/can not be done, a proposed map of where special policies apply.
Canada Water is identified as an ‘action area' which means something will happen and LBS want some control through the planning process. The main effect of declaring it an action area (as are Bankside, Old Kent Road , Bermondsey, Peckham, etc). The Mayor of London has identified 2 ‘areas of opportunity' and these are London Bridge and the Elephant & Castle. The Plan will give LBS more power to control development, transport and to ensure that the document relates to the community wider consultation will continue.
Many of those present were not happy about the cut off date for consultation, particularly in view of the fact hard copies had not been placed in the public domain earlier. Only those with email had so far had the opportunity to review the plan.
It was therefore resolved that the consultation period would be extended from 20 th December to 10 th January, 2003 .
Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG):
SB advised that the SPG was more complicated and discussion would continue into February 2003. He stressed that objections to the draft Plan and the SPG must be given in writing and the council will consequently be compelled to respond and enter into discussion. The document is still open to consultation before final decisions are made. If there are outstanding objections at the end of the consultation period that can't be satisfied, then the matter will be referred to a public enquiry and it will be necessary to place alternative ideas in front of the government inspectorate.
SB has a mailing list of 3,000+ and copies of the documents are in the process of being distributed and should arrive later this week. He invited anyone present to give address details to JR for inclusion on the list.
Those who had already had an opportunity to review the SPG asked the following;
SB confirmed that the Plan appeared to suggest ‘high density' for this area;
SB said he understood that ‘metropolitan land' gave identical protection and it may even be higher levels of protection (possibly equivalent to green belt) but he would check/revert;
SB said other London Boroughs had been consulted and no doubt they would study the plan in depth and object where necessary;
SB said to object/negotiate with issues that the community disagreed with.
Simon Hughes MP (Draft Southwark Plan/SPG)
Following discussions on the Southwark Plan/SPG said that he will be monitoring the situation to prevent the area from becoming less locally owned. He had reviewed the Mayor's London Plan and had submitted a collective response and suggested that those with objections make them known as the plan is now on deposit. He said council officers only propose and councillors dispose.
SHMP said he shared the views of those around the table. He felt there was a case for large scale development at London Bridge (and he supported London Bridge Tower ), but this was not the case with Canada Water. He hoped local people were not worried about the change of name to metropolitan land as it was his understanding that there would be no loss of open space and it would be protected. He had spoken to Cllr Richard Thomas on this issue but he would also ask a House of Commons researcher to look at the 1906 Open Spaces Act.
It was SHMP's view that local planning issues be left to elected councillors to resolve but if the matter was taken to a public enquiry, he would intervene and speak at that stage. As MP for the area and Redriff President he was most unhappy that the Downtown Centre had been knocked down and users evicted in dubious circumstances. He wanted to ensure that any development on this site includes provision for training, athletics, gym, etc and the community should not be expected to pay. Complaints about graffiti, young people hanging round would be improved if they were given adequate facilities and more opportunities. He felt the devolution of power to community councils next year will mean that the bulk of decisions on local issues will be decided and influenced by local people. He hoped it would mean less frustration, more participation and he was happy to fix a time in the New Year when he could go through these issues. His role was to support local councillors and the community
DB gladly accepted SHMP's offer of an open meeting next year and stressed that the Forum was politically agnostic and free of party politics. He welcomed support from SH as our Member of Parliament.
BH welcomed the extension to the draft Southwark Plan and advised that a meeting with Nicky Gavron will take place shortly (Emma (Willowbrook) and BH can provide details). BH disagreed with SHMP's understanding of community councils and said applications for Bankside, London Bridge , Bermondsey, Elephant & Castle were major applications and would be dealt with at Borough level not community.
It was not possible to put forward formal objections from the Forum due to the late availability of the draft plan and SPG. SB stressed that LBS wanted to hear objections and discuss/resolve them. BH's primary concern was area being designated as high density as it was not in accordance with the London Plan.
CFC was concerned to note that residential parking appeared to suggest that 100 flats would be allocated 40 spaces and that developments in the controlled parking zone would be car free – was this correct? SB said this is clearly stated for the central zone and under this plan all residential development has no parking. He would check the issue and revert to the Forum with clarification on this point.
There was lengthy debate regarding the delayed availability of the plans but it was understood the council executive had voted to adopt the documents as a ‘material consideration' and this was confirmed by SB. Many members of the Forum and floor were most unhappy with this situation and would seek to ask the Executive to change this decision.
GG asked if the council were still working on the old UDP and SB confirmed that the new plan would not replace the new draft until formally adopted (probably 18-24 months from now). The council had resolved in October to agree the plan as a material consideration and it would be taken into account when planning applications were considered. He further advised that an amendment this should be the case was defeated. It is now officially on first deposit and does not carry much weight at present, however, through the consultation process, its ‘weight' will continue to grow.
DB encapsulated by saying that the Forum was a body elected by 10 community representatives and had produced papers on transport, open space etc and he asked if these could be included as a material consideration? SB said it would need to take the form of an objection. CJF confirmed that the document had NOT been accepted and councillors are aware of the issues surrounding it. The following resolution was passed: The following resolutions were passed in relation to the draft Southwark Plan and the Supplementary Planning Guidelines (SPG):
1) To object to the designation of an ‘action area' in the southwark Plan as it is not in accordance with the designation terms given in the London Plan.
Proposed: BH Seconded: CJH Unanimous
2) Any proposal which reduces the protection that our open spaces currently have is to be rejected:
Proposed: JH Seconded: BH Unanimous
3) The Forum resolved to ask the Executive to reverse the decision to take SPG into account as a material consideration
Proposed: JH Seconded: BH Unanimous
PR outlined her role in the development process and ensure consultation takes place. Southwark Council had received two proposals following advertisements and these are now being considered by the Downtown Advisory Panel. The panel is comprised of 8 local people. Feedback from the panel, council officers and the public will enable developers to revise their plans again. Letters will be sent to residents within a 500metre radius of the development inviting them to a public exhibition (probably January/February 2003).
GG asked whether just two development proposals were sufficient for comparison and SP advised that the process relies on feedback. Kath Whitlam said that the panel were surprised that only two proposals had been submitted. The panel were meeting the next day and they would advise the developers that high rise would not be acceptable. There was, however, scope for a suitable design to have lower levels at the front and perhaps rising towards the centre which would allow Redriff School to be overlooked. It was hoped that a design with ‘passive surveillance' could help to reduce vandalism. The community felt that a maximum of 200 units should be built on the site and the health centre expanded to serve the needs of the community. The Downtown Advisory Panel and members of the Forum did not consider the Ampurius design of 15 storeys providing 700+ residential units and a proposed reduction in parking facilities for the health centre suitable. It was stressed that any developer will need to maximize the number of units offered (within the current planning framework) to offset the extremely high purchase price of the land. It was recognised that a shift in council policy on this issue is required. The community throughout the peninsula were keen to retain the grass verges, variety of trees and landscaped feel of the area and although the developers were prepared to make comprises, if they did not make significant changes, they would be rejected. If the panel were to reject the plans, this would be reported to any future potential developers and the Executive. PR was keen to discuss the timing of any exhibition in agreement with the panel. The Downtown committee were duly to meet the following evening.
Residents from the Downtown area were concerned that only 2 developers had expressed interest. It may be that some may have been frightened off by a potentially lengthy consultation process. Some asked whether it was in the public interest to have so little response and whether the tender process was finished. SP confirmed that any proposal received would be taken into account and PR confirmed that the Council had a statutory duty to consider any proposal received but was committed to the current process.
CLR was able to confirm that the grass verges would be taken OUT of the proposed development area. This was greatly welcomed by those present.
AM provided an update on events. A planning application was submitted on 31/10 and the documentation is available in the public domain through LBS at Chiltern, Albion Street Library and Time & Talents Centre. Shopping Centres were presently waiting to hear from LBS as to how to progress the consultation phase. A member of the audience asked whether wider consultation would be unnecessary if the plans were found to be acceptable? AM pointed out that the plans are running in parallel with the Quality Panel's short-listing of other interested developers. Their plans are in the hands of council officers but unfortunately Shopping Centres were not short listed. It was agreed that Shopping Centres' plan would be included. AM confirmed that Shopping Centres would be happy to be included in the public exhibition and would co-operate accordingly. The following resolution was passed:
Shopping Centres' plans should go on display and be included in any public exhibition and consultation for future development of Canada Water.
Proposed: BH Seconded: ????? Unanimous
PR advised that following discussion, the PCT had expressed a willingness to become involved with providing a health topic paper. Sue Perkins of the PCT was present and confirmed that they would be happy to meet to discuss the paper as soon as possible. PR advised that the PCT would meet with the Downtown Panel next week. DB thanked both SP and PR and offered the assistance of the Forum, if required, to produce a paper which would look at the issues facing the community.
Along with many present, JH stressed that this needs to be kick-started and it must involve local youth from the Canada Water area. SP agreed to draft something in conjunction with the Youth Service and Connexions and debate its contents. GG wanted to ensure that youth is consulted as the paper never seems to move ahead and suggested advertising locally.
It was agreed that SP/PR would approach the youth service and draft would be circulated prior to the next Forum.
It was agreed to ask Barry Albin-Dyer to take on the vacant role of local business representative given his extensive local business background rather than in the capacity of a co-opted member.
Proposed: ??? Seconded: BH Unanimous
PR confirmed that LBS were endeavouring to organise an event possibly late January and PB had kindly offered use of Surrey Quays Shopping Centre . PR was currently working with the Events Team to organise something but due to ill health an event had been delayed. It was suggested liaising with the Police for utilising the Karot bus and BH was keen to see ‘youth pods' built at a cost of £5,000 each (discussed at earlier meetings). DB said that skateboard and BMX facilities were another suggestion at relatively low cost. PR was able to confirm that the police would be able to support the general idea.
GG had raised this item after hearing concerns from local residents as to what local people wanted from the development. He believed they wanted a leisure centre, library equipped and built to the standard of Peckham Pulse and a one-stop civic centre but its needs to be clear to developers. Seven Islands had structural problems (again) and was badly sited. A member of the floor suggested that the land be used as a temporary ‘park and ride' (charging high fees) to obtain funds to pay for community benefit. He also suggested that many of the young professionals living in the area would not want to use community leisure facilities and would be prepared to pay.
BH felt that a ‘wish list' was a very important issue that had not been discussed in sufficient detail. A list of the community's aspirations was needed and it was not too late to start. SP hoped that a new library with the same specifications as Peckham would be built. He was aware of the problems with Seven Islands and LBS Leisure were currently looking at this issue and preparing a strategy. Finances will be prioritised and it may mean a decision taken on whether to build a library or a school, having to be made. Planning gain will come from S106 monies and will have no impact on council finances. Sport England were still in discussions with councillors regarding a Centre of Excellence at Mellish Fields. The issue of upgrading St Paul 's playing grounds would be done in conjunction with local consultation. CLR was able to report that improvements presently underway to St Paul 's consist of taking out hedging and lowering the banking to ensure clear visibility. Taller trees will be planted to reduce the effect of floodlighting and landscaping will be planted underneath which hopefully will reduce crime and vandalism.
PR confirmed that Mori are on standby to produce a survey once shortlisting is completed and developers' submissions available prior to final selection. DB hoped that Beatrice Leung would be able to assist as she had been involved with an earlier and very successful poll. All agreed it was essential that community aspirations are noted in detail. The following resolution was passed:
The community should give consideration to the aspirations they have for the area and that these should be included in a future Mori poll.
Proposed: ????? Seconded: ????? Agreed
A proposed formal code of conduct had been circulated and it was adopted unanimously.
Proposed: PA Seconded: GG Unanimous
Adam Faulkner was due to brief the Forum on this issue but had been taken unwell. PR believed that further letters advising where consultation would be held had now been circulated. Those who had not received notice should contact JR. Kath Whittam outlined areas effected by the extra control. BH expressed disappointment at the consultation process used for the exercise and commented that the researcher had not been well briefed. Most of the community had not seen a report and the issue was of major concern to local residents. Many roads are unadopted and therefore not subject to Southwark's control. Consequently, it is not possible to protect the private closes and commuter car parking will cause severe difficulties. BH also pointed out that there is very little room for fire engines or ambulances at the best of times and cars left there all day can only make matters worse. CLR commented that consultation should have taken place in October and she suggested that tenants attend the exhibitions being held at Albion Street Library on 7 th and 10 th December to make their concerns known. GG advised that a paper is being sent to council tenants on this issue. A member of the audience asked why there were so many unadopted roads and SP advised that the situation was inherited from the LDCC handover. The roads are now owned by ‘collectives' within the closes and their only solution may be clamping but this too would have a negative impact by increasing the number of parked vehicles. Reference was made by Brian an Janet Hodge to the residential density designation of Downtown as "Suburban Class 2/3" in line with the rest of the peninsula. The housing densities proposed by Ampurius were totally in excess of these
Petition to increase police numbers:
CLR reported on a cross-party drive to increase policing in the borough from 800 to 1,000. Petition forms were available and she asked that attendees take copies away and obtain as many signatures as possible within their respective communities. Petitions must be in by 9/12 and address details are on the form.
Canada Water Consultative Forum, representing landowners, elected London Borough of Southwark councilors for Surrey Docks Ward and Rotherhithe and community representatives from Tenants and Residents' Associations, Private Sector Residents' Associations, the voluntary sector in Rotherhithe and Bermondsey, local business and youth representation resolved:
To confirm support for the petition as attached and to express community concern that rapid measures be taken to implement improved policing in the Canada Water area and the London Borough of Southwark in general.
Proposed: ?? Seconded: CJH Abstention: BH
Crime Prevention meeting:
Jeremy Pender advised that a Crime Prevention meeting would be held on 10 th December at Rotherhithe Police Station.
FUTURE PROGRAMME OF DATES: