CANADA WATER CONSULTATIVE FORUM
MONDAY, 15 TH NOVEMBER, 2004 @ 7.00pm
MINUTES OF MEETING (28)
CANADA WATER CONSULTATIVE FORUM
Date: 15 th November, 2004
PA welcomed Forum members, the audience and invited guests. The incoming Chair outlined a slight change of format which she hoped would simplify the dissemination of information via Forum representatives to their respective groups. Agreed.
The Minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.
Housing Association/RSL Representation
PR advised that LBS Housing Area department have a Borough wide Forum which Housing Association's attend. This Forum can approve a representative for the Canada Water area. It was understood that LBS Housing were prepared to organise. CDM felt that insufficient information was passed to H/A residents and suggested Redriff TA and similar be formally part of the network.
The Forum agreed to approach Housing Association/RSL Reps and ask them to nominate someone to attend the Forum. Liaise with PR.
Items of correspondence :
PA advised that copies of the letters sent on behalf of the Forum relating to the Draft Licensing Policy, Draft Road Safety Plan and Primary Review Provision can be obtained from JR if required.
The Forum would invite Nigel Robinson, LBS to the next Forum to provide an update on the project.
PR advised that Phase I of a scoping exercise had outlined ambitious plans for St Paul’s Field which would be conisdered in line with development of Canada Water. The debate on youth facilities was presently on going. JH commented that the Forum has been discussing youth provision for some years without success (not even on a temporary basis). JH commented that Dulwich had been given provision and questioned whether this demonstrated an ‘equality of service’. PR advised that a youth worker (Michael Whelan) had been recruited for the Rotherhithe area and part of his remit would be to develop a Youth Forum for Rotherhithe (in conjunction with Southwark Youth Council). The Odessa Street youth facility was receiving attention. Bermondsey Community Council had agreed funding for a skateboard park (£125,000) and it would be sited close to the Rotherhithe boundary providing a resource for both areas. If well used a further budget may be ring-fenced. JH asked why the Drop-in idea identified had not been acted upon. CDH said that RCC would outline monies that had been allocated for youth provision and JG advised that Time & Talents has a trainee youth worker ( Kieren Macintosh) on a 5 year post. The possibility of detached youth work on Monday evenings is being investigated in conjunction with Bede and Salmon. Detached work undertaken by Bede was proving successful. SC was concerned that a skateboard park may not be what young people wanted and he felt monies should not on a ‘white elephant’. He felt that a multi-purpose facility was required and BD strongly resisted the idea that youth on the Canada Estate wanted a skateboard park. John felt that elderly and less able people were continually overlooked and they also needed facilities. PR stressed that the masterplan would look at drop-kerbs, etc and agreed that all future building should have good accessibility. BD was concerned that drug taking was taking place throughout the Estate and JG advised that the RYF would look at what is required and what could work. Bob Muid suggested funding should be set aside for the Estate or a capital project.
PA was delighted to report that the Fishing Club was up and running. Discussion was ongoing concerning the water level and PA felt it extremely important that water levels were kept at an appropriate level.
SP advised that LBS were currently preparing a report for the Executive in mid-December 2005 detailing terms of the joint venture proposal with British Land. It was hoped that the document would be finalised shortly and as such, the report was confidential until approved. The agreement would need to be robust in order to cover the period required to deliver Canada Water. Once approved, the masterplan will be unveiled which will incorporate the 2002 exhibition plan and additional comments. The revised plan will be submitted to the Executive, move to Planning once accepted and eventually be given planning consent where formal planning procedures will adhere . SP summarised by saying that agreement has not been finally reached, there were some issues to iron out and internal feedback was being taken. Financial and Legal questions were not yet complete and once the open report was available it would be circulated. JHs asked whether the Forum was specifically mentioned in the formal document? AF confirmed that the Forum was recognised by LBS and the Master Developer. JHs enquired what ‘recognised’ meant and AF advised that the Forum was recognised under the terms of consultation. JHs asked whether LBS envisaged the structure changing and what scope there was? SP confirmed that the CWCF was one of the bodies the Master Developer partner would consult with. PA asked when the Statement of Community Involvement would be published? AF advised that the Statement of Community Involvement would be attached to planning guidance. PR referred to the document circulated in 2003 regarding consultation expected of B/L covering the period of masterplan and suggested it might be appropriate to re-look at the document.
The Forum agreed that the Consultation document may need to change and adapt to prevailing circumstances. PR would be asked to co-ordinate.
BD asked that B/L take the wishes of local people into account and PR confirmed that LBS would look at feedback from the exhibition and look at conducting more local consultation. It was envisaged that B/L would release funds for wider consultation once contracts had been agreed and signed. BD said that the infrastructure was very poor and the resulting problems should be taken into consideration, transport links being particularly bad. He felt the river should be used to take away the spoil as local roads cannot cope with present demands. He was extremely concerned that environmental damage would be caused and SP advised that the Executive will be keen to ensure that local people’s concerns are heard. BD referred to the Judicial Enquiry which he instigated as a result of the Jubilee Line’s impact on Canada Water and hoped that problems wouldn’t reach this level. BD asked that B/L keep the community (including Rotherhithe Housing Forum) well informed and also suggested that George Wimpey and other potential developers advise on their plans and what steps they are taking to protect /enhance the environment.
It was advised that meetings with the Rotherhithe Housing Forum were envisaged probably early in the New Year. JHs referred to the number of local building projects about to commence, ie Elephant & Castle, Bermondsey Sq, Bermondsey Spa etc and possibly ten years for Canada Water and asked how the area would cope? SP advised that the ‘implementation plan’ required B/L to detail how this problem would be tackled. PA asked that the public be included in the debate and it was agreed that concerns on the environmental impact be made known when B/L attend the next Forum meeting ( 10/1/05).
PA gave a brief outline of the Forum’s role during the past 4 years and referred in particular to the success of the Quality Panel. The Forum Topic Papers had contributed to the Master Developer Brief and had provided a platform for consultation on a variety of issues concerning the community, ie Mellish & St Paul’s Fields, youth resources, lack of police, possible closure of Rotherhithe Underground etc. However, following the success of Rotherhithe Community Council, it was felt that the CWCF should now concentrate on planning issues surrounding development of the Canada Water area. It was suggested that a working group be formed 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 report his findings.
Proposed: JH Seconded: CDH Agreed
PA felt the topic papers should be re-visited as they will be required to inform the Masterplan process. The following members agreed to assist the review: Housing (GG), Health (JHs), Enterprise (BH), Education & Lifelong Learning (PA), Transport (JS/BL).
PA therefore sought volunteers to take ownership of each of the following papers: Built Environment, Community & Leisure, Green Issues, Social Inclusion and Youth. Please contact JR if interested.
The issue of S106 was raised and how officers could ensure agreements and appropriate sums for the community were an integral part of any planning reports to put before the Committee and were also successfully delivered. It was felt that agreements were not strenuously enforced and the community often failed to benefit from large sums of money that were never released. It was understood that the Ex. Member for Regen. was looking at the problem and what the implication of an Act coming into force in 2005 will have. CDH will endeavour to seek clarification and also investigate whether a ‘list’ of Borough wide projects is available. AF also confirmed that this question was under review. BD asked what S106 monies were paid to Southwark by London Underground and how was it spent? CDH advised that in some cases S106 monies are not spent on their original purpose for a variety of reasons, ie situation no longer applies. He said it was very complicated and agreed with BD that monies could/should be better used.
CDH & AF to feed back and report on LBS S106 guidelines at the next meeting.
PA suggested using a new format (circulated with the agenda papers) to provide information on the current status of the various planning applications. It was agreed this format was helpful and should be continued on a regular basis. JR would check planning applications and maintain a file.
Site E: BH was nominated to attend the forthcoming Appeal and represent the Forum’s view
Derek Partridge would speak on behalf of the Surrey Docks Ward Councillors.
Downtown: PA asked whether the Forum wished to formally comment on the CWC objections circulated? Some members of the Forum felt that the density should be lower than 200-300 rooms per hectare and the very poor PTAL index was a key factor in the site’s unsuitability. GG felt that decision on ‘suburban’ will decide planning. SC advised that objections (or support) must be submitted before 19/11 and that the re-classification had resulted in a drop from 298 to 281 flats. Barratts had assured the community that CD’s would be available but to date these had not been resolved. NA advised that this was over and above statutory consultation but would endeavour to obtain copies. SC felt that the exhibition had not been advertised widely enough and NA disagreed.
It was agreed that the CWCF would write formally endorsing the CWC objections:
For: 5 Against: 3 Carried
TC gave an outline of the UDP process. A review of the existing UDP had been taking place over the past 3 years. In May of this year, the 2 nd draft was placed on deposit. 2,500 comments and pre-enquiry changes were now in the public domain. In summary, concerns included:
General changes included:
More detail provided on retail policies
Metropolitan land adjustments
‘Fairly severe’ objections had been received from the GLA and GOL who felt that LBS policy was too loose. Consultation on pre-enquiry changes will last until 10 th December and a report given to Members in January 2005.
TC also explained that Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) supports policies contained in plan. The Canada Water SPG should guide planning applications and the Masterplan process next year. A report will be made to Community council in February and SPG adopted in March 2005. BH welcomed the SPG and said had it been in place 18 months earlier, planning applications on various sites could have been measured better. BH was keen that everyone agree a vision for the area. He felt heights and densities were too high but there may be exceptions if design was particularly good. BH suggested forming a design panel where council and community could look at applications and issues on design. SP advised that detailed design guidance would be available on each individual site in the masterplan. BD expressed concern regarding the lack of reference to the area’s past heritage and felt more needed to be done to reflect the history. CDH agreed and suggesting possibly re-instating some old names. CDM suggested building something that reflects the heritage and PA was keen that all views fed in, particularly that of tourism which could promote the area. CDM proposed a Museum for the area. In addition, he felt an overall plan for the Surrey Docks area was needed which would require proper consultation including ideas from those living in the area. SC said he had talked at length with developers (Downtown) regarding design but felt his suggestions went unheard. Comments on the SPG should also be submitted by 10 th December.
Mr Jassby, partner in the Woodland Views Ltd development scheme firstly thanked the Forum and outlined the background. The site had been purchased two and a half years ago and was now owned by a private parternship. The group believed in the future of Rotherhithe and had endeavoured to clean up the derelict and neglected site. It comprised dated industrial buildings housing a bakery and Boots distribution operation. Boots’ lease expires in 5 years and they have not expressed an interest in extending and the bakery’s lease has 10 years to run. The group had commissioned a study by Arup on employment trends and a traffic study had also been undertaken. They had lobbied Southwark Council in 2002 for the site to be included in the Canada Water regeneration area and received encouragement from council officers that they should go ahead. 2 weeks following this conversation they were advised that the site was re-designated as an education site. Mr Jassby expressed surprise that council land was not utilised. Dialogue had ceased for some time but discussions have recently taken place and KMPG have been commissioned to report on future education needs. W/V had expended a considerable sum producing Education report which they offered to Simon Hughes MP for his current study of education provision. Mr Jassby was happy to agree an alternative education site.
Employment and traffic studies have also been undertaken and copies will be provided on request. Mr Jassby stressed that residential housing would include 3.5% affordable and employment. It will be within the suggested density limitation and within the boundary set by the SPG. He was keen to discuss the proposals with any groups and said the development would be sustainable and create new jobs. He also said that according to his information (June 2003 study) industrial requirement was going down and the trend was for increased social sciences, health care and incubator businesses. A lengthy Q&A session followed:
SC suggested opening the debate to a wider public. As Chair of the Friends of Russia Dock Woodland Group he would strongly oppose any infringement or expansion into woodland. He stressed RDW was a woodland and not a park and was designed to create a habitat for wildlife (green corridor). SC said neighbours from the Downtown area worked at Quebec Way and should be consulted about potential job losses. He was concerned that the Group could price the present tenants out with high rents but Woodland Views said rents were not due for review until 2009. SC further commented that severe transport problems would only be made worse by high density development but W/V said Boots leaving could improve the situation (ie loss of haulage vehicles, etc). PA questioned whether LBS looked at the cumulative effect of developers’ proposals and SP confirmed that a transport planning officer attends discussions on applications. PA also asked whether B/L plan to re-organise traffic routes and SP agreed that a number of issues would need to be addressed. Landowners and developers would need to work closely but it was also envisaged that people would move away from cars and use improved public transport, underground, car-share, etc.
LH was most concerned that the W/V drawings did not accurately reflect the exact road layout and existing land uses, eg access through Harmsworth Quays. She asked that the correct configuration be clearly shown in revised proposals. She also stressed that HQ intended to remain in the area and therefore an access through the print site would not happen. W/V undertook to investigate.
The issue of poor transport links and the low PTAL index was discussed at length; the only area to score highly was Canada Water itself whilst the peninsula rated ‘blue’ (the lowest indicator and comparable to country provision) Many were concerned that without improvement to the infrastructure, sink estates and no-go areas would be created. The Jubilee Line cannot cope with current passenger levels and trains run at less frequency than other lines – where will improvement come from? SP advised that Transport Impact Assessments would be submitted for Canada Water and TfL/London Plan would need to address issues raised. AF advised that TfL are chasing for a high level study and suggested waiting for the outcome of the study. CDH pointed out that the London Plan wants to increase dwellings in the Borough so the Mayor, GLA and Tfl should be asked to solve the problems we are faced with. The 381 service was very poor and the Forum agreed that Mayor Ken Livingstone be asked to hold a session of Mayor’s Questions in this location (and that he travel to Rotherhithe via the 381).
John Nosworthy expressed concern regarding employment as he felt Southwark Council did not have a policy for creating investment in the area. It was costly to bring business to the Borough and LBS did not appear to use its purchasing policy to encourage investment or purchase locally. The Southwark Chamber of Commerce is staffed by a part-timer and he felt a change in attitude was needed throughout. BH agreed that the procurement policy could do more to support small local business.
Bob Muid asked for reports to be posted on the Canada Water website which was agreed.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Canada Water Campaign
This page last modified January 5, 2009 by Bob Muid (CWC Webmaster)