CANADA WATER CONSULTATIVE FORUM
12 th JANUARY, 2004 @ 7.00pm
Apologies: Jackie Rose
MINUTES OF MEETING
CANADA WATER CONSULTATIVE FORUM
DB welcomed Forum members, the audience and invited guests. He presented apologies for JH who was unfortunately in hospital at the present time and it was agreed that flowers and a get well message be sent on behalf of the Forum.
The Minutes of the previous meeting were adopted.
PR advised that negotiations were ongoing and it was anticipated that more detail would be available for the next Forum meeting (16/2).
DB provided brief details of Prof. Clarke's background and work experience, mostly recently having been involved as visiting professor with The Jill Dando Trust. Ideas on how crime (and the fear of crime) could be ‘designed out' of Canada Water's development were discussed via a Q&A session. Prof. Clarke had not had the opportunity to study the site(s) in detail and stressed that his suggestions were made without detailed knowledge of the area and it's problems. A summary of the content of his presentation is shown below and a full transcript can be obtained on request:
A sub-committee be formed to draft a topic paper to look at Designing out Crime:.
Steve Cornish, David Meagher, Steve Mumford, John Hellings & Cllr Lisa Rajan agreed to participate.
JS outlined her role and gave a very detailed explanation of the UDP and the SPG. The UDP sets the criteria for all planning decisions from an extension to a major development such as the Elephant & Castle. Following lengthy consultation during the past year, the objections (and statements of support) have been noted and the next draft will go to Planning Committee shortly. If accepted, it will be passed to full Council by 31/3 and will continue to gain more ‘weight as it moves
forward'. The 1995 UDP will be used until March and officers will be mindful of changes within the new UDP. There will be an opportunity for more consultation in April/May but only concerning the amendments. JS advised that ¼ of comments received on the plan came from this area (particularly density, height of buildings, open space, accessibility and the definition of an ‘action area'). Anyone who feels their views have not been taken into account will have a further opportunity to raise issues via an independent inspector.
JS advised that changes to the planning system are in compliance with both the old and new regime. Discussions with Govt. for London and the GLA mean that SPG is not necessary. In total there were 28 supplementary guidelines (29 when Dulwich is included) and 2,000 comments were received during the consultation. These have not been taken forward because changes in planning legislation mean there is little point in undertaking the work. The team have reviewed the comments and included these in the new UDP. It was decided to keep the information simple to ensure the public receive a clearer understanding. Development of Canada Water may need an Area Action Plan (AAP) which does have more legal status than SPG and will contain a framework. The new system will be adopted June/July.
Details of the objections made to the UDP/SPG and Shopping Centres' planning application are available from JS. The map contains a number of grey areas presently under discussion at Exec. Member level. To summarise, the Southwark Plan is a smaller document detailing the future shape. The AAP will take forward SPG ideas for Canada Water. JS confirmed that the original document contained 48 items and the new draft has 63. A Q&A session followed:
BH was extremely concerned that after 4 years an SPG was needed to guide the Canada Water area as a whole and it may not be ready in time to evaluate and judge present applications. BH felt that without public involvement, the council and community vision for the area may not meet. The sites are under pressure from developers and the planning system is failing local people.
JS agreed that something needs to be in place quickly and advised that additional information regarding Canada Water had been included to hopefully make planning decisions easier. The SPG does not have as much importance as the UDP and there will be a chance to comment in April/May.
BH intended no criticism of the officers but was concerned about the status of current planning applications (ie Fisher, Mellish Fields, Industrial sites, etc) – one plan for the area could have prevented the present difficulties at Downtown. BH felt a mechanism was needed to issues such as height, density, quality and safe to cover all the areas and others such as the leisure park and the industrial site. JS felt that it was feasible to look at widening the area.
Whilst DB understood that the document comes into force in March, how much of the detail was taken in consideration by the plan? It was suggested that BH be given site of the details.
Concern was also expressed as to how the community can have an input.
JHs asked whether there would be a public enquiry?
JS felt there probably would be following adoption of the Plan and confirmed that a) there will be a public examination of the AAP and b) the Inspectorate will be asked to take a view and that his report will be binding.
John Taylor asked whether the SPG could be formally adopted as a yardstick?
JS suggested forwarding the Plan to Forum and all those interested (via JR) to see whether it meets needs and whether there are any small amendments. JS agreed to attend the May Forum to discuss and provide update.
An update had been received from Peter Boxell (ELL Project Manager) which contained encouraging signs that it may be possible to cost effectively implement safety issues required to keep the station open. However, it is still far from certain. The Forum, Southwark Council (both the Lib-Dem and Labour groups), Simon Hughes MP and GLA Member Val Shawcross are all committed to fighting closure.
Southwark Youth council had suggested a presentation from the young people involved with last year's Canada Water consultation at their next meeting on Friday, February 13 th Invited guests will include Members of the Forum and local councillors with responsibility for the Canada Water area. DB agreed that those members of the audience who also expressed a wish to attend, could do so and should contact Jackie Rose. Formal letters of invitation will be sent shortly.
There was insufficient time to provide an update and this item will be carried over to the next Forum meeting (16/2).
AC advised that current applications are being dealt with under 1995 Plan which does cause frustration. However, regard will be given to the revised UDP due in shortly.
Sites A & B: No activity at present and nothing to report
Site C: An spplication had been submitted to connect the 2 Decathlon units. Whilst AC appreciated the benefits, he felt the application was similar to one received two years ago which had been refused. At the time it was considered important to retain the present vista of the Dock – no appeal was lodge. 2 nd application is more sophisticated design but similar principles and he is likely to recommend refusal. This is a probably a decision which can be taken by officers rather than community council. John Taylor (Redriff TA) asked whether it had been a planning condition to allow the gap between the two sheds? AC was not sure but felt it probably was intentionally left and filling it in now would require planning consent. PA had been party to the debate at the time concerning a zebra crossing, traffic island and understood that the public piazza, trees and shrubs were all part of the perception of an ‘open space'.
Site D: Owners visited LBS recently with revised proposals. Permission has been granted for 250 residential units in six ‘pavilion' blocks. Although still at an early stage the developers are considering a 25 storey proposal. AC advised that this would not receive officers' support as 320 units would be above density levels. He felt the scheme could be improved and was not specially coherent. The revised scheme did not impact on the garden and Wimpey appeared to accept that they will not get permission to develop that particular site.
AC expected the area would be viewed as an open space and that the footpath be maintained. The outstanding application to build a health centre and flats on the site had been with planning for some time; it had been signalled that the site did not have development potential and it was anticipated that the application would be brought forward for refusal shortly given that interest appeared to have waned. BH asked whether this site would be determined by officers or at Community Council? AC confirmed that the representations received would indicate refusal and his office does have the power to decide. However, overall Sites D and E are well above his authority and would be determined by the planning committee.
Site E: The application was scheduled for December but was withdrawn following late representations from Harmsworth Quays to plans to construct such a large residential development immediately adjacent to the printing works. Owners had provided a noise report based on an assumption of what residents would experience (ie traffic leaving/entering HQ). It was suggested
that the plant at roof level was noisier than traffic at lower levels and this should be taken into account. The application has been withdrawn and will be considered in more detail. Owners had been advised to contact HQ to discuss solutions in conjunction with Environmental Health centred on technical issues.
LH asked whether granting the application would indicate that the Masterplan boundary was excluded? AC pointed out that granting application does not mean it would necessarily be implemented although he suspects development would be affected by the MDP in the knowledge that planning permission had been granted. .The 1995 plan does not state that the site should be residential or retail but AC felt it would be open to mainly residential providing technical issues could be addressed. NA advised that Owners had recently met Environmental Officers who had provided the specifications that needed to be addressed. PA suggested a report on noise from the Mulberry Estate should also be obtained.
General: Procedures by which Community Council will be consulted are in the process of being reviewed and will be dealt with differently in future. Both major and minor applications are aired at meetings and it is intended that planning officers will be present to answer questions.
Downtown : AC was well are of the planning application but advised that his team had not as yet been asked for a view and he understood that discussions were going on in advance.
Mobile Phone Masts : An application for Quebec Way was refused by the Planning Committee some time ago but has been allowed on appeal. Whilst AC understood issues mainly centred on residents' health, Govt. guidelines are not clear on this issue. Research suggests there are no risks whilst public perception is that there is a very real threat (even if no specific evidence) and in turn causing stress/anxiety which does impact on health. Govt. expect local authorities to consult on these issues but inevitably masts are not wanted. Govt. maintains that local authorities cannot refuse applications on health grounds. The mast may even be temporary and they have now applied to upgrade a mast on the other side of the road. CLR had suggested that the possibility of ‘mast sharing' but has yet to receive a response. AC advised that there is an 8 week consultation period (it used to be 4) and Govt. insist that schools are consulted (nb. the mast is adjacent to Alfred Salter School ).
Steve Cornish commented that many local people were unhappy about the mast erected at Docklands Settlement, Salter Road which seemed to have ‘appeared overnight'. He estimated it to be approx. 50' in height, very close to housing and not far from a school. AC believed that Docklands Settlement and nearby residents had been contacted and that no objections were received. The mast was Tmobile and AC was requested to revert with how the decision was made. AC stressed that masts do not always require planning permission, ie those ground based up to 15 metres would be exempt. LBS can comment on aesthetics but not the actual principle as only masts over 15metres require full planning permission.
Shopping Centres: Phase A This application was in abeyance. Tesco had submitted an application to extend the store which went to Community Council in December and was deferred. Exec. Members' concern is how the application would relate to the Masterplan of the area – there were issues on consultation and designing out crime. AC felt that Shopping Centres (representing Tesco and Slough Estates) had pre-empted the Masterplan proposal and their application had received a hostile response. He anticipated that the application would be formally withdrawn. AC asked for an indication on who may wish to be consulted on this issue and interested parties were identified.
Downtown Defence Corps' AGM will be held at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Bryan Road , SE16 on
Tuesday, 20 th January, 2004 at 8.00 – 9.30 . All welcome.