CANADA WATER CONSULTATIVE FORUM
MONDAY, 10 TH JANUARY, 2005 @ 7.00pm
Apologies: Jackie Rose
MINUTES OF MEETING
CANADA WATER CONSULTATIVE FORUM
PA welcomed Forum members, the audience and invited guests. PA was delighted to advise that Cllr Lisa Rajan had safely delivered a baby son and both were doing well. CLR would be on maternity leave for the next six months.
The Minutes of the previous meeting were proposed and agreed.
Proposed: CDH Seconded: GG
Housing Association/RSL Representation
The Forum agreed to co-opt a Housing Association representative. However, they insisted that the suggested representative live in the Canada Water area and have a good knowledge of current issues of concern. They decided not to contact the Borough-wide umbrella Forum and asked that a formal request be made to the Redriff TA (who represent approx. 5 RSL’s) to appoint a representative.
Action: PA to write to Redriff TA .
Nigel Robinson had provided an update and he hoped to attend the next Forum. To date he had not been appraised of developments on St Paul’s Field but hoped to be in a position to report at the next meeting (14/3). Action: NR to attend 14/3 Forum meeting.
1. Environmental Impact
Following signature of final contracts, British Land would outline their plans to limit environmental damage (including the removal of spoil) at the next Forum meeting ( 14/3/05 ).
Action :B/L to report at the next Forum (14/3).
RW advised that on finalisation of contracts, a programme of consultation with local groups will be arranged. It was hoped that contracts would be finalised shortly. Action - B/L would report at the next Forum.
Evaluation of the Forum’s role
The previous Forum ( 15/11/04 ) agreed the formation of a working group to evaluate the Forum’s role following agreement of the LBS/British Land joint venture. Dr Bob Muid agreed to take on this task and will hopefully advise on any progress at the 14 th March meeting. Confirmation still awaited that contracts have been finalised. The co-option of a Housing Association/RSL representative will require an amendment to the Constitution.
Action :BM to report at the next Forum 14/3.
PA was still seeking volunteers to take ownership of each of the following papers: Built Environment, Community & Leisure, Green Issues, Social Inclusion and Youth.
Action: PA to continue seeking volunteers to take ownership.
Revision of S106 guidelines
SP to arrange for a Policy Planning Officer to brief Forum on new LBS S106 guidelines at next Forum (14/3). If a representative is not available;
Action: AF to provide brief update for next meeting 14/3.
No news to report.
See item 4.
Bob Muid has updated acccordingly.
PA welcomed Val Shawcross and Chris Mascord (LBS) and invited them to speak on all the transport problems facing the Canada Water area. CWCF had asked VS to lobby TfL to undertake a strategic review of the Bermondsey and Rotherhithe areas to highlight the problems caused by having only 2 major roads and exit/egress points. In addition, Salter Road has one of the poorest transport ratios in London and engaging TfL has proved difficult because certain roads ‘are not their responsibility’. VS met recently with DB and Chris Mascord (LBS) regarding the need for a study. Although everyone was aware of the problems, it seems the task is ‘too big for LBS and too small for TfL’. However, she hoped that following recent changes to the funding criteria (it was previously known as the Borough Spending Plan) LBS could re-bid. VS promised to support a revised bid by LBS under the new Local Implementation Scheme and she would also be seeking the Mayor’s support. The bid should be multi-modal looking at all forms of access, including pedestrian. It may even be possible to fund with S106 planning gain given the level of development. Andrew Boag (TfL) is prepared to meet with the CWCF and he has confirmed that TfL are receiving complaints regarding the new 381 bus contractors. VS confirmed that the ELL is now the responsibility of TfL and the proposed extension will go ahead. Rotherhithe and Wapping underground stations will not be closed and she advised that there will be 8 trains per hour once fully operational in 2010. PA asked that the cohesive study also took into account the impact of congestion charging, 24/7 bus lanes, the East London Line (ELL) extension from Dalston to West Croydon and the impact of the development of Canada Water and other sites would have on the already over-crowded Jubilee Line.
Chris Mascord of LBS Transport was looking for funding a number of small schemes and hoped that a tangible bid via the Borough Spending Plan could be put forward, ie improved lighting, regenerate the area. Consultation would take place during March/April. The new, much larger Local Implementation Plan involves all the Boroughs and takes place over 5 years. CM was not aware of the proposals for the individual sites (Site D, E, Downtown, etc) of sight of the plans for Canada Water itself. LBS had received £25,000 from RCC which must be used by August 2005 and he had considered short term schemes to improve traffic problems, ie changes to bus routes, etc but this would not take place without local consultation. Consideration was being given to reducing the southbound carriage of Lower Road to 2 lanes instead of one, implementing changes to current parking outside the shops and rationalising lanes between 4-7. In addition, TfL .intend to crate a ‘shielded’ lane to prevent queuing and narrow existing islands to create more road width. This will crate 2 lanes to funnel out from Rotherhithe Tunnel.
PA expressed concern that LBS Transport had not been invited to comment on the cumulative effect of current planning applications. BL was also concerned to hear that the RCC money may be used to look at ‘short term’ fixes. She was very clearly of the view that the funding was solely for a study of the one-way road system. CDH confirmed that the money was to be used for a study of the Surrey Quays/Lower Road one-way system and the width of the bus lanes. He said that the money could not be spent on other issues and clarification must be sought that the study concentrated on bus circulation. BL asked that the RCC provide clarification. She felt that the issues discussed previously required that further additional funding be allocated to look at the broader picture. Derek Partridge referred to the well-known weakness of the Crystal Bridge and BL suggested that the ELL project consider extending the tunnel to a) strengthen the bridge, b) reduce noise and air pollution and c) improve residents’ quality of life. VS was of the view that a wide ranging study was required. Data indications on population growth show that London will continue to grow and this was one of the reasons behind the decision to proceed with the ELL extension. Suggestions for small local ‘fixes’ might be able to make some improvements now. BL said that additional trains and traffic will impact badly on residents living above ELL. MW asked who is doing the study? When and where will consultants be starting? Most agreed this initial study was just a foundation for a much larger analysis. GG advised that it was his understanding that the RCC funding of £25,000 was to fund the one way system but this MUST feed into the bigger survey to prevent duplication and it MUST include references to the ELL extension and TfL road network.
PA stressed that any proposed transport survey must also be aware of current planning applications, together with the cumulative effect of the future development of Canada Water (40 hectares). CDH agreed and confirmed that LBS Transport/Traffic departments would need to be included and suggested that they contact Planning/Regeneration. PA suggested any study should look at all applications, the current situation and the one way system.
JHs felt that without details of British Land ’s proposal, the study would be operating ‘blind’. Ruth Waistell advised that consultants (Arup) have been appointed to look at transport impact and they would look at the existing position. She also referred to discussions that have taken place with transport and local people.
JH felt it important that applications were not looked at in isolation and that there was adequate provision to serve local needs; she stressed that Jubilee Line trains are already arriving full and the much wider implications (ie Canary Wharf, North Greenwich, etc) must also be looked at. Problems at Tower Bridge , Blackwall Tunnel etc constantly cause bottle-necks at Rotherhithe roundabout and Jamaica Road . The 24/7 bus lanes result in wasted hours of empty road space and queues of traffic. The 381 service is very poor with buses arriving in pairs and never on time. JH asked whether LBS had made the decision to close down the peninsula for 12 hours for the Nike Run in November if these roads were not the responsibility of TfL. VS understood that Environment & Leisure had authorised the closure. Although police and emergency services, etc had been consulted, VS had received 200 complaints. GG agreed with JH on the issue of the Nike Run and also complained of the impact of the 24/7 closure on local people.
DB advised that VS/TfL/LBS and B/L had been given a raft of information and he felt that the whole question of traffic integration should be looked at. The community is ‘marooned daily’ as a result of traffic jams and the Nike Run demonstrated how fragile the whole road system is. He felt it would be in the interest of future developments to consider the problems now. He asked when narrower bus lanes might be implemented and CM advised that funding should be available post-April CM hoped consultation would take place Feb/March and possibly implemented April/early May. CDH asked whether adjustment could be made to the times of operation as 24/7 was not considered necessary. KW said it was essential that the 225 bus service continue along Rotherhithe Street particularly given the recent focus of attacks along the route (thefts and a flasher) and the badly lit walkways. She further commented that parking on both sides of the road caused problems and should perhaps be confined to one side to allow smoother access. KW was very impressed with the new style buses; PA agreed and said it was essential that good quality buses and a reliable service were provided on the 381 route as it serviced Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals. PA stressed it was particularly important that access platforms function 100% as wheelchair/buggy/impaired mobility users rely heavily on the 381service.
CM confirmed that London Buses would consult within the next few weeks and they would also look at access problems including elderly, less able, etc. CDH asked whether a bid had been submitted to improve the corner near Surrey Docks Farm ? CM advised that the funding had been refused but they had secured £150,000 which would be used for design and consultancy for this site. CM also hoped that ‘under spend’ from another section could be used but he was presently awaiting clarification on this issue. He was also awaiting a figure for the amount available for next year (05/06). SC referred to the rise in resident numbers in the past years and along with it the increased congestion at the peninsula bottle-necks and the Surrey Quays one way system. He felt the whole system just could not cope with a further 75% increase in residents. PA felt it was vital that traffic studies were fed into planning applications. John Taylor referred to the Southwark Plan which designates the area as a transport accessibility centre which will in turn increase the designation. Many felt transport accessibility was far from good.
BH felt it served little purpose talking about individual small schemes but rather concentrate on building the infrastructure as developments go on. The 381 bus service doesn’t work well partly because of traffic congestion/bottle-necks. The area is growing very quickly along with others nearby (Bermondsey Spa, Greenwich , Deptford, Lewisham, Canary Wharf ) and on surrounding tube routes. He referred to 3 or 4 tower blocks planned for Canary Wharf and made a plea for TfL, LBS and the London Assembly to look at the wider context, particularly as Govt. policy required that it be ‘joined up’. Finally, he said that money did not belong to TfL or the Council but it was the people’s money and it should be spent on tackling the poor infrastructure. Continuing this theme, MW referred to North Greenwich and the Olympic bid and the impact on the Jubilee Line which cannot cope now. She said anyone with impaired mobility would find it almost impossible to use because of the rush hour crushes. JHs said that with only 2 roads on and off the peninsula a ‘Limehouse Link’ approach was called for. JH said that although there had been an increase in numbers on the peninsula, and several developments are already proposed, the infrastructure did not have adequate education, transport and medical facilities to cope with existing levels. B/L expressed concern that Canada Water could become a ‘white elephant’ because of the transport difficulties and poor accessibility and a broad study was therefore crucial to the success of CW.
JS asked for an estimate and date on when the extra carriage and additional signalling would be implemented? VS believed that both schemes had been given the go-ahead but she would write to the CWCF to confirm.
GG asked that the 24/7 bus lane be looked at? VS suggested that LBS write but CM advised that they have in fact already written 6 times without success. GG (and many present agreed) that funeral corteges should be allowed to use bus lanes.
BD felt that many problems existed around the Rotherhithe Tunnel/Surrey Quays one way system and that physical barriers should be put in, in separating traffic so that it funnels in, a yellow box and re-phasing of lights.
In summary, VS said that a multi-modal study was required for now and the future. She understood the CWCF’s concern but felt that ‘vision development’ was necessary and LBS should draw up the terms of reference and submit a bid. She felt TfL should fund the study.
She agreed to take back strong complaints regarding the 381 as an urgent matter. VS also suggested that an engineer from ELL project be invited to answer questions of a technical nature (ie building over the SQ tunnel and the crystal bridge).
Action :CWCF would formally write to Val Shawcross as follows:
a) Request that an ELL Engineer attend a future Forum meeting to explain the plans for the ELL extension with a particular focus on the impact of the increased train frequency on residents adjacent to the open cast line from Canada Water to Surrey Quays and beyond and the Crystal Bridge structure.
b) Advise TfL of the on going concerns expressed by the Forum and the community regarding the current 381 bus service.
c) Request an estimate and date on when the extra Jubilee Line carriage and additional signalling would be implemented as it was understood both schemes had been given the go-ahead.
In addition, also write to LBS Chris Mascord requesting:
a) The submission of the LBS bid to TfL to fund further comprehensive studies.
b) Quick fixes’ that are in the pipeline, namely modifications for Seven Islands junction, bus lanes narrowing and hours of operation, tunnel roundabout adjustments, etc.
c) The terms of reference, desired outcome and time-scale of the traffic study agreed by Rotherhithe Community Council.
(see action points for summary of matters requiring attention)
PA welcomed Bill Legassick (BLg) advised that LBS had modelled congestion in Lower Road, Bermondsey and Elephant & Castle in March using new traffic data to see whether roads in the whole of Southwark will meet 2010 air quality objectives. Implementation of an Action Plan is going ahead working with traffic and other agencies. The majority of funding for the 83 measures is received from the Local Implementation Plan (LIP). BLg said his department was happy to work with developers and other consultants, including traffic/transport to solve problems.
BLg had kindly provided copies of the Environmental Code of Construction Practice which are also available on the LBS website. The publication was a tri-party agreement between developers, residents and the council which agrees issues such as contractor routes, timings, etc (particularly where a proposed development is close to schools). LBS try to encourage use of appropriate vehicles (preferably U03) and discourage lorries from moving all day. There are a number of measures to reduce pollution which include covering vehicles to prevent spoil coming off, regular wheel washing and cleaning/sweeping of roads. PA referred to the high level of asthma and respiratory diseases and asked how the GLA monitors London ?
VS advised that the GLA collects information from Air Quality sources and TfL is required to carry out health impact assessments on any major proposal. VS commented that this factor had been one of the rationales for introducing the congestion charge. BLg advised that plans will be introduced to ensure that London is a ‘low emission zone’ with far more stringent controls. Exact details of this ‘zone’ are not yet known but it is anticipated that there will be a higher standard within the congestion zone (possibly slightly lower as it radiates outwards). Vehicles travelling into the zone (particularly heavy goods vehicles, buses, taxis, etc) will eventually have to be compliant. The process is already underway with a programme of investment to clean up London ’s buses. The Mayor recently announced that taxis must be cleaned up by 2006. Many expressed surprise that this could be achieved/enforced.
A returned to the question of the high levels of asthma and other respiratory diseases as said it clearly indicated that a broader transport study was necessary which looked at the extensive data. JHs had taken responsibility for re-visiting the Health Topic paper and referred to the higher than average number of reported cases of asthma and poor air quality in the area of Rotherhithe , Lower Road and Surrey Quays. The PCT felt that development of Canada Water would exacerbate the problem. It was also predicted that the Borough would fail standards set for 2005 and 2010. BLg confirmed that the 2005 air quality target had failed and would not pass 2010 either. JHs then summarised by saying that the population was set to increase by 75% with more shoppers, white vans, cars, etc. and existing targets were already being failed. JHs said health was a major for the community and he would fight tooth and nail to ensure that the master-developer does not make the situation worse. JH was keen to see a report on the effects Lewisham’s incinerator.
BLg provided the CWCF with copies of the Bankside Residents Forum ‘Rough Guide to Building Works’ a publication funded by Southwark Council. BD referred to the experience of Canada Water Estate during Jubilee Line construction. He felt that LBS failed to discuss issues of noise, spoil removal, codes of practice and as a consequence no boundaries were set. BD said that 30 tonne lorries were making at least 15 journeys a day (they had wanted 30) and traffic congestion, noise and pollution caused extreme difficulties for residents. PA stressed that the CWCF wanted to ensure that lessons were learned from the London Underground mistakes. The Forum were endeavouring to engage with developers (Wimpey and Downtown) before problems occurred and would ensure that codes of practice were enforced.
Action : Environment
The Forum should write formally to LBS/British Land outlining the community’s concerns in relation to the environmental impact caused by the future development of sites.
Action: Health/Poor Air Quality:
The Forum would write formally to Southwark Council/TfL/Mayor concerning the impact on health and the failures to meet 2003 or 2005 standards. It was felt the current traffic configuration and 24/7 bus lanes exacerbated the problem.
SP advised that the Report on B/L went to Executive late 2004 and is currently held in a ‘calling in period’. SP did not envisage any problems and hoped that confirmation of the final agreement would be soon. RW advised that they hoped to sign the Agreement shortly and B/L would then take a more active role.
Mulberry: The application was due to go before Committee on 13/1 and officers’ report recommends refusal. A Motion by the CWCF to nominate a speaker to uphold the officers’ refusal was agreed. BH would therefore represent Canada Water Campaign, Alfred Salter, Wolfe Crescent and CWCF in objecting to this proposal. The Appeal is scheduled for February 15 th (Bankside House, Sumner Street , SE1).
Proposed: Janet Hodge Seconded: Jeremy Simons Agreed
Site D: LBs are looking at enforcement in respect of (Pauline’s Garden).
Site E: An Appeal began sitting in November but was adjourned until April (Bankside House)
Downtown: The consultation period had ended and comment had been fed back to Barratts. Barratts are now amending the scheme by reducing the height. SC asked whether this was common practice and SP said it was. SP said that once proposals had been received, the application was then processed through planning process and no additional consultation would be held. BH asked that the revised proposal be placed in the public domain in keeping with current planning policy and Govt. planning. BH also stressed that the Freedom of Information Act also required that this information be available. SP was unable to speak for the Planning Department and had not personally had sight of the revised plans but offered to pass on the Forum’s request. JH asked why Barratts did not voluntarily advise the community of the amendments; NA felt the consultation was complete and further public discussion was not a requirement. He also said that Barratts had nothing to hide. CDH advised that Barratts had produced a document containing amendments to their planning application. Just prior to Christmas, Members were invited to a briefing (at short notice) but no one could attend due to Members/officers’ heavy schedule. Since then, CDH had not seen details of any amendments or heard any further news. CDH will notify the CWCF if the situation changes.
SQ Leisure Park : A representative of Leisure Centre had been invited but was unavailable. The planning application is available at Chiltern but to date, the plans have not been seen.
Gareth Osborn reported that costings were currently being obtained and he hoped to report at the next Forum. Action GO.
A number of topic papers required re-visiting and PA asked that volunteers come forward to take ownership. It was understood that the LBS topic paper on the UDP was available but to date no one had seen details.
Youth: PA referred to a constructive meeting with the new Rotherhithe Youth Worker (Michael Whelan) at the Watersports Centre in mid-December. He is hoping to set up a Rotherhithe Forum working close with youth looking at what’s available currently, what needs to be done, etc. T&T also have a trainee youth worker (Kieren McIntosh) who is setting up a programme of outreach in partnership with Bede and Salmon. PA suggested that the timing and minutes of the meetings could be used by B/L to facilitate consultation.
Health: John Hellings will ask the PCT to update their Health paper. Action JHs.
Education: PA was keen for the March Forum to concentrate on Education. It was hoped that a speaker from LBS would attend to discuss the primary education consultation currently underway. It was hoped that this would provide considerable material to inform the Canada Water topic paper.
Lewis White (LBS Cleaner Greener Safer Project) was holding a meeting with various agencies and local T&RA reps surrounding Canada Water , Albion Channel and Surrey Water.
PA was delighted to report that Rotherhithe Angling Club was officially up and running. SC had provided information and advised that according to John Cordner (LBS co-ordinator) 40 members ‘of all ages’ had signed up.
Action PA to research Education speaker.
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