Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Be streetwise - back the plan!

The Ladywell Streetscape Action Plan aims to revive the High Street and act as a catalyst for further improvements to the neighbourhood. It aims to promote the interests of pedestrians and cyclists as well as drivers, create a commercial area that caters for the needs of business owners, shoppers, children and those with disabilities, and improve the environmental quality and economic viability of the area. The plan, which has the overwhelming backing of local residents, councillors and shop owners, is now under discussion by the council for inclusion in its transport plans for next year. Your support can help make it happen. See a copy of the Ladywell Report. Click here Be patient the link is a bit slow!

Sign the petition online at http://lewisham-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal/petitions/mr_r_p_sheppard_1 or in one of your local shops!!

It's important. The council will take its final decision at the end of September.

Here are 10 reasons why you should support LVIG’s streetscape action plan:

It aims to make the street an attractive and safe place for people of all ages and abilities.
It will help improve the quality of the street, boosting trade and encouraging investment in local businesses
It caters for the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers and users of public transport
It will create wider pavements and parking/loading bays for shop deliveries and shoppers
Wider pavements will offer more seating for local people
It will reduce traffic speeds by narrowing the road and creating a raised “table” at the main junction
Reduced traffic speeds will cut noise and improve safety and air quality
It will introduce more trees and better street signage and furniture
It will improve the strategic Waterlink Way cycle route by providing a proper connection
across Ladywell Rd
Above all it will encourage local residents to walk to the shops and local schools rather than drive, generating health and environmental benefits for the whole community. TonyM

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Our say! Is it?

Ladywell had its say – but in a rather unsatisfactory way!
The Ladywell Assembly spent over an hour discussing council spending and the services that might have to be cut. As we know Lewisham believes it will have to reduce its spending by around £60m over three years. The cuts will have to be made across a range of services – sport and leisure services, libraries, social care, highways, parks . . . you name it. But in the absence of clear guidance by councillors and officers it was difficult for residents to assess the potential impact of the cuts they might consider. The assembly was given the task of looking at three areas – town centres and businesses (budget £15m); activities for young people (budget £6m); and sport and leisure (budget £6m). We were asked to think about whether people should pay more for sports and leisure centres; whether the number of youth clubs available in the borough should be cut; and whether private business could be asked to sponsor facilities or services. Where do you begin? Do we suggest getting rid of the Business Advisory Service and Town Centre Managers because Lewisham can no longer afford them even though they might arguably contribute to reviving the local economy? Do we shut down youth centres and let the kids roam the streets potentially causing even more costly social problems? Do we close swimming pools because frankly they are expensive to run or do we suggest charging a market price that is likely to deter most users? Some or all of these things might happen. It will be difficult for Lewisham to cut £60m without losing services that lots of people depend on. But without more information on the potential savings and consequences of any proposals I for one thought it a big ask of residents. I’m all for consultation but its incumbent on council officers to make clear what the options are (with details of potential savings) and what the fallout will be. It is difficult to make an informed decision without these. If you were at the assembly let me know what you thought? Tony Major

Friday, 3 September 2010

School plans approved

Lewisham’s planning committee has given the go-ahead for the rebuilding of Gordonbrock School and the redevelopment of Prendergast School’s Adelaide Ave site. Work on rebuilding the 109-year-old Gordonbrock primary will now start early next year with the school decanting to another site, Greenvale, in January.
The Gordonbrock application had been hotly contested by the Brockley Society which argued the old buildings should be refurbished as they add character to the area. But the society,which successfully delayed building work earlier this year after being granted a court injunction, has now made clear it will not make a further attempt to derail the plans.
Two of Gordonbrock’s four Edwardian buildings will now be demolished and replaced with something a little more modern. The new buildings should have bigger classrooms, better facilities and indoor toilets. But after representations by BrocSoc, efforts will be made to preserve “interesting parts” of the old buildings.
The Prendergast plans will include redevelopment of the Adelaide Ave site, refurbishment work at the Hilly Fields site and a two-storey temporary building for classrooms while the work goes on.
Worth a look: http://www.appliedworks.co.uk/blog/rebuilding-gordonbrock-school/
Tony Major

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Is it a Tesco, a Co-op - or just rumour?

Rumours are rife that a supermarket chain is looking to set up shop in Ladywell’s high street. It seems the renewed bout of speculation has been triggered by the application for an extension of planning permission on the site at the corner of Malyons Rd-Ladywell Rd. People have “been told” or “have heard” that a franchised Costcutter or Tesco Express . . . perhaps a Co-op outlet is planned. At the moment LVIG has no idea what is going on although we are seeking clarification from people in the corridors of power. What we do know is that the owners of the site are seeking a renewal of planning permission for the construction of a four storey block plus basement that would include nine flats plus a maisonette and a ground floor retail unit (see illustration).
But the owner of the site may have problems. The Ladywell Society tells me that under new London planning laws any new residential block of 10 or more units must include affordable housing. It is not clear that the proposed development does. The society also points out that the proposed building is higher than any other in Ladywell Rd and is to be built up to the pavement rather than in line with adjacent buildings – the cottages and the Tavern. It has objected to the application. No date has yet been set for a committee hearing on the planning application.
But what if a supermarket chain did move into the high street? Would you be opposed to it because it could threaten independent retailers and may lead to more empty shops? Or would you welcome it as a sign of Ladywell’s revival? Tell LVIG what you think. Add a comment Tony Major

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Progress in the park

Work on the Parklands project which will bring about major improvements to the middle and southern parts of Ladywell Fields (from the end of Malyons Rd right down to Catford), has started. The £1.2m project, funded by LDA/Thames Gateway, will involve river renaturalisation, landscaping works and extensive tree planting and will provide new riverside features, play facilities, an event space, some new pathways and bridges, refurbished tennis courts and better signage. See the up to date master plan on the council's website and pictures of the work so far at the Ladywell Fields User Group Facebook page

Construction of the new adventure playground is also progressing. This should be fully up and running by the autumn. Robert Sheppard