WELLS WAY TRIANGLE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
6th December 2010
Jenny Bentall opened the meeting and explained the agenda and introduced special guests – Toby – The new owner of 149 Southampton Way and Cllr John Friary
The meeting benefited from a great turnout.
SOUTHWARK COUNCIL PLANS
Tom Tibbets introduced the council plans for Southampton Way. Feedback from the engineer for the project identified a budget of £275,000 for road danger reduction on Southampton Way and adjoining junctions. They want to improve cycle safety and road safety more generally through building “speed tables”. One of these is proposed for near Oliver Goldsmiths school another for the near Havil Street and another near Parkhouse St.
Other improvements include replacement road humps near the architectural rescue and footway reconstruction and, possibly, pothole repair.
There is only a small possibility of funds being used for other things.
Comments on Council Proposals
Comments from those present at the meeting included:
- Concern that potholes are a key problem on Southampton Way.
- Questions about the need for “speed tables” and why they are better than conventional speed bumps.
- Tom gave a description of the various type of speed restricting street furniture and their differences
Improving Southampton Way
Comments on Southampton Way, not mentioned elsewhere in the discussion focussed on:
- The general state of Southampton Way and the need for this to be improved..
- Complaints about the narrowness of the road near the bus stops was mentioned.
Safety and traffic management
Points raised under this category included
- A need for a traffic mirrors at certain junctions on Southampton Way
- The sequencing of the traffic lights between Wells Way and Southampton Way where children cross is inadequate and dangerous.
- There was concern about the construction barriers and hoardings around the Bricklayers Arms building site at the junction between Wells Way and Southampton Way.
Cyclists and pedestrians
Points raised here included
- More cycle stands are required all over Southampton Way.
- A general feeling that Southampton way is not especially safe for cyclists.
- Southwark has one of the highest mortality rates for cyclists.
- We must improve the junction at Commercial Way which is currently dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.
- The need to encourage children to cycle to school.
It was suggested that since 1997 the council have committed to improving cycling with every refurbishment. They have consistently failed to do this, even for their own developments.
Parking and street scenery
Comments made were
- Parking issues relating to fines, even just for a five minute stop
There will be a further consultation about a controlled parking zone. A consultation document setting out proposals will be distributed to residents shortly.
Shops and amenities
There is a proposal for 10 new shop fronts. The proposal is to renovate the parade of shop fronts so that there is a unified theme in terms of materials and facia on which the business unit name and number can be written.
Comments and feedback included
- The need for more variety, a chemist, a bookshop for example.
- There was concern that no additional fast food outlets are allowed to set up.
- Bellenden Way shops were told that they had to have comparable signage. Tom T confirmed that this is the proposal for Southampton Way.
- The example of Brick Lane was also raised. Architects could create a framework within which the shopkeepers choose the design of their own shop fronts.
- The difficulty of new businesses coming into an area that looks run-down. Making the frontages more inviting is an important step to bringing new businesses into an area.
- Concerns about plans for excessive uniformity. A range of shops with character and unique frontages would be preferable.
- A suggestion that the Victorian heritage of the area could be restored. This would allow for individual character while ensuring a consistent theme for the area.
- Concern that aluminium shutters appearing on all the shops at night could make the street feel dangerous. This is an opportunity to remove these where they already exist.
- Confusion about who is making the application for whom? We cannot force shopkeepers to change their shop fronts.
- Support in principle for the “facelift” on Southampton Way
Cllr Friary commented that individuality should still be part of the plan. However he was alarmed that shop keepers appeared not to have heard about the plans and promised to look into this.
Unused spaces and gardening
Tessa introduced an item about guerrilla gardening. This is a good way to meet new people and she is interested in identifying unkempt parts of the triangle for greening and looking for a committed group of people to help out with this, who may need to operate sometimes under cover of darkness.
There is a “secret garden” space already behind the KFC near Camberwell Green. Comments included
- The need for more trees, more bins, large pots, plants near the school.
- If residents identified places where trees should go the council should (or may) plant them.
Other Ideas & Concerns
Other points mentioned included
- The abolition of the warm front grant from next year was raised. People on benefits should apply for these before they are abolished.
- Concern about the lack of lighting in Burgess Park.
149 SOUTHAMPTON WAY
Toby introduced himself as the new owner of 149 Southampton Way. The building has been derelict since 1986, possibly longer. Toby plans to move into the property when refurbishment is finished. He is a structural engineer by profession.
The plans for 149 are for a place that does good simple food and where people can relax. He envisages a café bar with space for live performances and artistic displays. However commercial reality has to be a concern.
There is a website dedicated to the site http://www.149southamptonway.com/ with plans and a questionnaire. Plans will be submitted to the council planning department soon and Toby would appreciate support. However he is also open to other constructive feedback about his proposals. He would prefer to hear any points of criticism before the plans are submitted to the council so that he can work through these with neighbours.
Under current plans the reconstruction would be finished by the end of 2011.
There was universal support for the description of the what Toby planned to do.
Cllr Friary commented that positive support for a planning application is taken into account by the planning department, as well as opposition, and that support from a residents group can also be taken into account.
Donnachadh gave an update on Burgess Park. The planning application is in for public consultation. Go to the Council website and the plans are all there. Consultation will close on the 7th January and final plans will be decided in February.
- Four or five woodlands have been saved however the “lines of sight” demolition of entrances and straightening of the roads are still in.
- The plans for the 60,000 capacity area have been scrapped. However there are still plans for a 100,000 capacity area.
Friends of Burgess Park http://www.friendsofburgesspark.org.uk/ are still lobbying for, amongst other things, an improvement to the Southampton Way entrance, which is an eye saw. The Burgess Park Facebook site is also available to keep people updated http://www.facebook.com/burgesspark .
LAST WORDS – Cllr John Friary
John Friary assured that proposals for Southampton Way would be consulted on.
John committed to take away the concerns raised at the meeting, especially those concerning the Southampton Way development.
He updated on Camberwell Leisure Centre, This should open in February.
There is the possibility of a new library and community space in Camberwell though nothing concrete.
Cllr Friary also committed to ensure that the appropriate people from the council would be asked to come to future meetings.
Camberwell Green Christmas fair will be happening on Saturday 11th December.
The Wiki site was highlighted and a commitment to put the minutes up onto the site so that residents can view the committee and community meeting minutes.