Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

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JGD
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Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by JGD » 13 Mar 2019 23:11

From a SydSoc post on SE26.life

https://se26.life/t/bell-green-masterpl ... embly/1299
Subjects covered included the future of the gas holders, air quality, improved pedestrian access, greening of the site, future housing developments and the Bakerloo Line. A number of councillors attended together with local residents.
It was acknowledged that SydSoc had not succeeded in reaching any substantial numbers of near neighbours to Bell Green. The meeting had approximately a handful of such neighbours and three ward councillors present.

Discourse Architecture and SydSoc sought to include the single issue pre-condition that a postponement on the demolition of the gas-holders remain in the plan that is to be proposed to LB Lewisham. This proposed postponement is not a view held by any of the immediate neighbours of the site nor SGN nor LB Lewisham.

SydSoc expressed resistance to any question of removing this single issue precondition and was not receptive to accepting that the matter of the demolition of the gas-holders is a matter now decided not least because the demolition is underway.

Additionally such a single-issue matter presented as a pre-condition imposed by an unrepresentative group like SydSoc is not conformant with the guidance published by LB Lewisham on how this form of consultation should be conducted.

Cllr Alan Hall declined to engage in answering questions from the floor about why this organising body thought it had any authority to convene such a meeting whilst acknowledging that it had failed to reach out to the immediate neighbours who had an entitlement to be consulted.

Immediate neighbours are requested to attend this Bellingham Assembly meeting and express their views about why our local voice should be taken back.

It is to be looked forward to receiving a regular invitation to this Bellingham Assembly meeting with an appropriate agenda attached - including whether the assembly is prepared to receive any representation form SydSoc. It must be remembered that SydSoc conducts no meaningful consultation in the environs of Bell Green, has no substantive membership there and has no accountability to nearby residents.

RJM
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by RJM » 14 Mar 2019 09:26

Thanks for this.

I wish SydSoc would post on this forum as well as SE26.life. If it had been posted here, I'd have seen it ahead of time and might have been able to go - I was even at home that evening! As a resident of Perry Vale ward within about 5 minutes of Bell Green, I've got an interest in what is being proposed and would like to see the site better managed, with much better pedestrian access. I can't make the Bellingham meeting, otherwise I'd cross the boundary :wink: and go to that instead.

JGD
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by JGD » 14 Mar 2019 10:25

RJM wrote:
14 Mar 2019 09:26
I can't make the Bellingham meeting, otherwise I'd cross the boundary and go to that instead.
Happy to receive any points you might want to have presented on your behalf at the meeting. There is a growing body of people who are increasingly unhappy about SydSoc's failure on this point of communication. Attendance at the meeting in the Railway Tavern had a remarkably similar make-up to the closed-door by-invite-only meeting held by SydSoc and Discourse in January. Size wise the audience had a very small number of additional attendees and, as has been said before, this fact was acknowledged at the meeting as being a significant failure.

Annabelle Mac made the point at the meeting that SydSoc did not have funding available to run a meaningful and effective communications campaign that would reach across all residents who may have a valid interest.

SydSoc did appear however to have funds available to have a very glossy A4 pamphlet/leaflet published on the subject matter for distribution at the meeting. Perhaps it begs this question - was it only for the benefit and members of SydSoc? It certainly did not reach many people outside that membership.

RJM
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by RJM » 14 Mar 2019 11:18

Happy to receive any points you might want to have presented on your behalf at the meeting.
Thanks! I will try to come up with something coherent.

TredownMan
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by TredownMan » 14 Mar 2019 11:21

So what you're saying is that, even at this incredibly early stage in thinking, a future of Bell Green without the gasholders is non-negotiable?

The other question I have is how the masterplan relates to the fact that this is private land, and what discussions are taking place with the sites' owners.

JGD
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by JGD » 14 Mar 2019 11:57

A small matter I know.... But on another site SydSoc is making this statement under their name.
The presentation will be shown again at the next Bellingham Assembly on March 27 with an opportunity for further discussion plus Q&As.

The Assemby [sic] takes place at 7pm at Bellingham Gateway Youth & Community Centre, 185 Brookhowse Road SE6 6TT. All welcome!
Very generous of SydSoc to issue an invite on an "all welcome" basis. Not that it is their meeting to have entitlement to issue invitations. It would be reasonable for SydSoc to withdraw this mis-placed invitation and let the Assembly invitations be made by more appropriate persons with valid links to it. Nothing to stop SydSoc advertising it - they have failed miserably on every other effort.

And a correction .

Assuming they have the title of the building correct where the meeting is to be held, its accurate address is this:

Bellingham Gateway Youth & Community Centre, 185 Brookhowse Road SE6 3TT (please note the postcode correction).

SydSoc is at even greater risk of further demonstrating their over-reach in that they hold to a misplaced belief and/or entitlement to insist that the gas-holders are retained on a patch on which they have zero membership and zero consultation and zero accountability. it would seem that this over-reach stretches to them also feeling that they some putative ownership entitlements in the Bellingham Ward Assembly itself and are thereby empowered to issue invitations thereto.

It is my recall that SydSoc and Discourse received an invite to the Assembly to make a presentation - and NOT to flood the meeting with their members and/or supporters of their not-to-be-negotiated single-issue proposal. Given what we saw of the presentation at the Railway Tavern in March 2019, a ten to fifteen minute slot for the presentation should be adequate. Debate and Q&A time - well that might be for Ward residents to determine what is appropriate.

Near neighbours to the gas-holders in SE6 and the remainder of the retail site in SE23, locations all in Bellingham Ward, must take back their community voice.

stone-penge
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by stone-penge » 15 Mar 2019 12:29

Discourse Architecture and SydSoc sought to include the single issue pre-condition that a postponement on the demolition of the gas-holders remain in the plan that is to be proposed to LB Lewisham.

Hi JGD, I was at the meeting too, but must of missed this , a pre condition of what exactly?
Cheers

JGD
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by JGD » 15 Mar 2019 13:25

In the published literature and throughout the presentation references were made to the fact that Discourse and SydSoc held to the their insistence that the gas-holders should not be demolished.

Despite the fact that they have exhausted every possible avenue to retain them and that the demolition works were underway.

I was the speaker who requested that both parties move on from this position. The decision point about their demolition is now behind us.

broken_shaman
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by broken_shaman » 15 Mar 2019 20:37

Can't see any reason why they shouldn't ask SGN to postpone, if the frames, or a portion of them could be used to add character and heritage to the area they are hoping to regenerate. Must be better than saying nothing as they are melted down for scrap and then coming up with an idea for them. Particularly as there is something currently being formulated. What difference would it make in the long term? May as well give them a chance to come up with a plan. The area as it is is fairly grim, so I welcome some positive action and any attempt to involve the community. Scrapping the gas holders isn't going to improve the area much, even if you hate the things. Polishing a turd, is the expression that comes to mind.

stone-penge
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by stone-penge » 16 Mar 2019 09:54

JGD wrote:
15 Mar 2019 13:25
In the published literature and throughout the presentation references were made to the fact that Discourse and SydSoc held to the their insistence that the gas-holders should not be demolished.

Despite the fact that they have exhausted every possible avenue to retain them and that the demolition works were underway.

I was the speaker who requested that both parties move on from this position. The decision point about their demolition is now behind us.
Ok , but thats no precondition as I see it (a pre condition to what?) rather a desire that there might be some way to retain the gas holder structure , which I assume you are against, fair enough, and whilst you may feel that element is a waste of time given the decisions already taken on those structures that issue is hopefully just a small part of the masterplan exercise they are undertaking.

I note you talk of "guidance published by LB Lewisham on how this form of consultation should be conducted" Obviously you know and must be comforted by the fact that this is not an official LBL exercise has no legal standing that I can see.

JGD
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by JGD » 16 Mar 2019 13:35

stone-penge wrote:
16 Mar 2019 09:54

Ok , but thats no precondition as I see it (a pre condition to what?) rather a desire that there might be some way to retain the gas holder structure , which I assume you are against, fair enough, and whilst you may feel that element is a waste of time given the decisions already taken on those structures that issue is hopefully just a small part of the masterplan exercise they are undertaking.

I note you talk of "guidance published by LB Lewisham on how this form of consultation should be conducted" Obviously you know and must be comforted by the fact that this is not an official LBL exercise has no legal standing that I can see.
Firstly, The matter of Cllr Alan Hall who chaired the meeting making a proposal (do Chairs make proposals, normally it is the role of Chair to receive a proposal) that the meeting endorse the addition of the SydSoc and Discourse "Master Plan" to LB Lewisham's local plan is where I perceive the problem to lie. First of all I don't recall the proposal getting a seconder nor do I recall a vote on the floor. This did not happen not least as the Chair and SydSoc had to acknowledge that they had not reached any significant numbers of immediate or near neighbours to the site from and particularly from SE6 or Perry Vale. It was from this point it was deemed that this significant omission had to be corrected and thus the invitation to make the presentation at the Bellingham Assembly. It was unclear at this stage how Perry Vale residents were to be addressed. An issue that remains unclear today.

Secondly, it is evident that SydSoc have used the same method for a second time to extend their invitation on an "all welcome" basis. How is it to be anticipated that this method will reach any of the potential attendees that it failed to reach the first time round ? Additionally, Bellingham ward attendees made Cllr Hall and Cllr Paschoud aware that invitations to the Bellingham Ward Assembly and the associated agendas were no longer being delivered to ward constituents - this they promised to address.

Thirdly, LB Lewisham have published a news item that reports that Mayor Damien Egan has congratulated the parties that a Community Led Master Plan being led by SydSoc was underway and he welcomed that output.

So is the term pre-condition right ? Probably yes. SydSoc see the retention of the gas-holders as being the key focal point, if not the sole driver, for their involvement and getting it into the local plan, even though they may be demolished before the "Master Plan" is complete and submitted to the authority. A relevant test would be to have an open vote on who wants to retain them and who does not. Will Discourse and SydSoc be so enthusiastic if the vote delivers an endorsement of the decision to demolish the gas-holders ? But it will be viewed by SydSoc as a hugely significant step if they can get the retention of the gas-holders articulated as an item for inclusion in the local plan.

It is extremely disappointing that Mayor Damian Egan believes it to be the case that this is a community led consultation. The make-up of the meeting itself revealed that there is no valid claim to be made that it is community led and is in fact a single issue exercise being conducted by and for SydSoc who have zero representation, zero consultation and zero accountability in the vicinity of the gas holders. Perhaps it is the case that the mayor should receive a more factually accurate report on the details of what is and what is not happening.

I have spoken to SGN after the meeting. In return they presented their official position.

They confirmed that a meeting with SydSoc and Cllrs had taken place on site. They confirmed that they believed that this was a genuinely representative body for local residents They confirmed several additional points including the fact that they advised attendees that inter alia retention of the gas-holders was not feasible for a multitude of reasons including costs and the complexity and price of a maintenance regime for them.

They expressed deep concern to be advised that the attendees were NOT representative of local residents nor of local residents' opinion as no consultation had been undertaken to establish what those opinions might be.

SGN confirmed that the demolition in the full is underway and that they have no plans to hand to consider a "hold" or postponement of that work. Dismantling work on the ribs will commence within a matter of a few weeks.

stone-penge
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by stone-penge » 16 Mar 2019 13:47

SGN confirmed that the demolition in the full is underway and that they have no plans to hand to consider a "hold" or postponement of that work. Dismantling work on the ribs will commence within a matter of a few weeks.

Great news for you then!
What do you think of the other suggestions put forward at the public meeting?

JGD
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by JGD » 16 Mar 2019 14:01

broken_shaman wrote:
15 Mar 2019 20:37
Polishing a turd, is the expression that comes to mind.

and in another post

What do you think of the other suggestions put forward at the public meeting?
Not entirely clear to which turd you refer.

All proper consideration should be given to the proposals that had merit. Pedestrian access improvements to the whole area, traffic flow improvements and ALL of the environmental and pollution matters and specifically Haseltine School are well founded.

Whilst the proposal to add housing had merit, the proposed location was very weak. If the bridge is to be widened, even in the future as part of the Lower Sydenham station relocation, that proposed siting of the housing would impeded traffic improvement measures.

It will be interesting to see how views develop as part of the fuller consultation.

inoculand
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Re: Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

Post by inoculand » 19 Mar 2019 06:02

Is there anything going to be built on its place or is it going to be turned into a park/green? They will never widen the bridge that would be a major undertaking. For what is of building housing, I have seen things being build in very awkward sites before so that should not be any stop as such.

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