Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Council must think again on Traveller Site

The Ladywell Village Improvement Group is opposed to the Council's plans for a traveller site at the end of Church Grove. It believes this constrained site with inadequate access arrangements is unsuitable for the proposed development and urges the Council to look again at alternatives in the Borough that will better enable it to deliver its statutory obligations.

LVIG is appalled at the way Church Grove residents have been treated, having been told in the last year first that they could set up a community garden on the site, then that the site would instead be put to educational use. News that the site had once again been identified for a Traveller Site came as a complete shock.

Whilst there were seven sites on the shortlist put to Mayor and Cabinet, the somewhat arbitrary selection criteria were skewed to favour a Council-owned site with existing planning permission even though recent history suggests there is little or no urgency. Furthermore the Council has conveniently ignored the access shortcomings and other suitability issues in national guidance and the fact that 5 units will go no significant way to meet the Council’s own assessed demand for a minimum of 17 units by 2012. Inexplicably consultation is only taking place in relation to one site, the smallest of the seven: if in reality this has already been chosen why insult residents with this charade of consultation?

LVIG, which campaigns for improvements to the neighbourhood and strives to encourage more investment in a poorly-managed conservation area, believes the proposals for the site will not boost the area’s regeneration or promote the profile of a neglected part of the borough. The fact that this will be a Council-managed site gives no reassurance that it will be well-run and any sort of asset to the area.

The Council has behaved in a high-handed manner and all recent evidence suggests it is set on ignoring local concerns. The Council's apparent determination to push through this proposal highlights a lack of a strategic vision for the neighbourhood and LVIG invites the Council to embark on a broad, more meaningful consultation with residents about the future of the Ladywell area.

The LVIG Committee

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Minicabs return to Ladywell

Minicabs are coming back to Ladywell. The once famous blue and yellow Fenerbahce launderette, which graced Ladywell Road for several years until recent owners painted it black, is about to be turned into a minicab office. The last minicab business in the village, on Algernon Rd, shut up shop years ago. Anyone know how long ago? Meanwhile, work is progressing on the fried chicken takeaway in the old off-licence. It can't be long now!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Ladywell Christmas Market called off this year

LVIG has reluctantly taken the decision not to hold its Christmas Market this year.  It was due to take place Saturday 10 December and would have been the fourth Ladywell Christmas Market.

Due to the continued works at our current venue, the forecourt of Ladywell Station, and the most recent advice from Southeastern Rail that they cannot guarantee the works will be finished in time, the decision has been made to cancel the event.  Until very recently both we and Southeastern Rail remained hopeful that the works would be finished in time.

The decision to call off the Market was a tough one and was made in the interest of the Market.  At this late stage we could have soldiered on and put on a market somewhere - but to do so would run the risk of it being a sorry one in an unsuitable venue and we don't want that!  Ladywell is 'on the up' and as such deserves the best market we can give it!

Next year the Market will be back bigger and better than before!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Traveller Site Consultation Launched - Have your say!

Photo - the previous LB Lewisham Traveller Site on Thurston Road
The Council has announced details of the consultation on the proposed Travellers' Site in Church Grove - see  See also for a different perspective.  There will be four drop-in sessions and a public meeting; you can also submit comments on line or by post.  The deadline for all contributions is 18 December.

Drop-in sessions - all at St Mary's Centre on Ladywell Road.Saturday 12 November, 10.00am - 12.00noon
Friday 18 November, 7.00-9.00pm
Thursday 24 November, 3.00-5.00pm; and
Wednesday 30 November, 3.00-5.00pm

Public meetingTuesday 6 December, 7.30-9.00pm, also at St Mary's Centre.

On-line via the link above

By post to Freepost RSGJ-CYZS-JUYA, Travellers site consultation, Communications, London Borough of Lewisham, Town Hall, Catford SE6 4RU

Following the consultation period a report will be presented to the Mayor and Cabinet in January 2012.