New roadmap out of Covid restrictions

There’s a lot of information this evening, from numerous sources,   about the government’s new graduated roadmap towards greater normality.  But we thought a summary might be useful .

The full detailed text of the government announcement is available online.

Separately, a stage-by-stage summary in diagram form has also been issued :

The COVID-19 Roadmap for England: Step 1
The COVID-19 Roadmap for England: Step 1
The COVID-19 Roadmap for England: Step 2
The COVID-19 Roadmap for England: Step 3
The COVID-19 Roadmap for England: Step 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calling all Ruskin Park fans

Friends of Ruskin Park (FofRP) have released information about a series of events  –  The Open Arms  –  that Lambeth are proposing to host in Ruskin Park across the summer. The events, and supporting installations, would mainly happen around the Bandstand.

Sounds fun, maybe – but as the FofRP comment, “This is too much time for one organisation to be effectively taking over the popular bandstand area. It is more like a concession, not an event.”

The proposal  – ‘pop-up’ or concession?

Lambeth’s proposal explains that  “The Open Arms is a performance-led pop-up occupying Ruskin Park Bandstand (ideally) for summer 2021. As a recipient of the Arts Council England’s ‘Culture Recovery Grant’, they will be looking to bring to life an activation that celebrates and supports the rich pool of talent living within the borough. They will provide a stage for local performance in the midst of rapid venue closures. Alongside a Food and beverage offer.”

Full details of the proposal are in a PDF accessed via the FoRP website

FofRP initial comments

The Friends of Ruskin Park committee has already raised some initial points with Event Lambeth.

They are not opposed in principle to appropriate new ventures for entertainment and refreshments that benefit Ruskin Park and local people.

However, they have several concerns:

  • that this is too much time for one organisation to be effectively taking over the popular bandstand area. It is more like a concession, not an event.
  • about the installation of two semi-permanent pavilions and toilet structures in the area surrounding the bandstand and their impact on the landscape.
  • about the size of the event levy and what would actually be spent on Ruskin Park.
  • about risks of noise and size of audience.
  • about the overall balance of these facilities, as proposed, with the calm and natural character of the park.
  • that this is an untested format so there should be monitoring and revision stages during the 5 month contract.
  • that the business model of the organiser should be transparent and the assets of the public park are properly valued in any such transaction.

Feedback and deadline

Anyone  –  and particularly, perhaps, those of us who  live nearby and use Ruskin Park  –   may lodge comments with Lambeth.

Please visit The Friend’s excellent web page for further information and advice on opportunities for public comments to Lambeth by the consultation deadline of 10th March.

 

What’s happening in Station Square?

If you’ve been out and about in the centre of Herne Hill, you can’t have failed to notice the unexpected works going on in and around the new-ish shop premises on Station Square. This started yesterday with no warning to the shop and flat tenants.

Station Square, 16 February 2021

It’s all connected with the installation of the electricity substation, which threatens to be a massively heavy piece of equipment. Under the planning application that was agreed last year, it will be inserted into the shop unit next door to Lark.

Home for an electricity substation

Full background  –  and lots of other local stuff  –   in the next issue of Herne Hill magazine, out in the next couple of weeks. Anyone joining the Society now will get it delivered with no fuss when printed.

 

Home

It’s all happening at Windsor Walk

The construction works on Windsor Walk, running north of Denmark Hill station (see our post of June 2020) are in full swing.

There’s big activity both sides of this narrow street.

Updating The Maudsley

On the north, the rebuild of Douglas Bennet House  –  a major upgrade by the Maudsley Hospital, part of the South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust  –  shows infrastructure works progressing fast, within the challenges of a tightly constrained site.  Ready-mix concrete for pouring the supporting structures has to be airlifted into the site from Windsor Walk.

Preparing for the air lift

Scheduled to open in 2023, the new facility will house inpatient services previously delivered in outdated facilities at the now redundant Lambeth Hospital.

That site, on Landor Road, Stockwell, will be redeveloped for housing  –  tower blocks, inevitably, to the distress of local residents.   See also the report in Brixton Buzz.

We can see an architects’ design of the new hospital building on Windsor Walk.

Denmark Hill Station

Across the street, meanwhile, the expansion of Denmark Hill Station is also a very active site.

The £7.5m upgrade  of this busy station will open up a much-needed new entrance/exit that will greatly ease the overcrowding that has caused concern in the past, as traffic at the station has grown exponentially. Indeed, passenger numbers at the station have tripled in the last fifteen years, with the expansion of King’s and the Maudsley and the introduction of London Overground.

It is due to be finished in July/August this year.

Not The Great Escape: Digging deep – major tunnelling project south of Ruskin Park

This is a National Grid project, stretching over several years and representing an investment of over £1 billion.

Phase 1 was a seven-year, £1 billion programme, to build 32km of tunnels and two new substations across North London.

Now Phase 2, “London Power Tunnels 2” relates to south London and will see the replacement of existing electricity cables in South London which are coming towards the end of their useful life, the majority of which are buried beneath the road network.

It involves building a new network of cable tunnels, 32.5km in length, between Wimbledon (via Lambeth and Old Kent Road) and Crayford. The local stretch of this long tunnel runs deep under Coldharbour Lane. The Bengeworth Road tunnelling project is designed to connect the substations and other installations on the Bengeworth Road site to this main cross-London tunnel. The operations on the Bengeworth Road site are the responsibility of UK Power Networks, who are infrastructure operators: they own and maintain electricity cables and lines across London, the South East and East of England.

To upgrade the connections between the UK Power Networks installations at Bengeworth and the main National Grid, their contractors need to tunnel down to build a shaft at Bengeworth Road to connect to the main tunnel under Coldharbour Lane. Tunnelling works are due to start in the second half of 2021, and once complete (likely in 2022), a new substation and headhouse (to access the shaft for maintenance purposes) will be installed on the site in 2023 and 2024.

Bengeworth Road is the access route to (and also the name of) a large industrial site occupied by UK Power Networks. It is squeezed between the side of King’s College Hospital , the residential streets east of Cambria Road, and Southwell Street. It borders on the railway line, which separates it from Ruskin Park. See map below.

The residents’ concerns about the impact of this major project include the impact of noise and disruption during the tunnelling and the building of new, taller infrastructures that might permanently dominate their sightlines and deprive them of light. Meetings have been held with residents and attended by our MP Helen Hayes and representatives of Lambeth Council. Consultations are ongoing.
It seems clear that the project cannot be stopped, so the issues are about mitigation.

Planning Permission in the usual way is not required because the project is classified as a Permitted Development – a legal category which seems to have some ambiguous rules and different interpretations. But there may still be ways to challenge certain aspects of the plans, and local planning experts are examining these at the moment. The Loughborough Junction Action Group and the Herne Hill Society are involved in the consultations and the campaign.

All the documents relating to the formal application for Permitted Development can be found on Lambeth’s planning website by keying in reference 20/04417/LDCP or clicking here.

Rescuing orphaned bikes

We’ve just heard from one of our Councillors, Becca Thackray, about a new initiative to collect, reclaim or recycle (ha ha) abandoned bikes.

Next week a team will be going out to tag abandoned bikes in the borough. Residents are given two weeks to move the bikes and if they have not been moved, they are collected by the Street Care team. The bikes will then be offered to upCYCLE, who will use them to teach young residents bike maintenance skills. Those that are beyond saving will be taken for recycling.

Not abandoned?

 

If we are aware of any abandoned bikes in our ward, we are asked to let the team know by emailing cycling@lambeth.gov.uk with the location and a description by 5pm 2 February and the bikes will be added to the list.

The bikes that have been reported to date can be found on this map.

 

 

New Lives for Fallen Branches

Yes, Brockwell Park is bigger and offers perhaps more scenic variety, but Ruskin Park is closer. Those of us who live in this quarter of Herne Hill are doubly blessed.

But Ruskin Park has one (so far) unique detail. The massive fallen branch of the Turkey Oak which looms at the bottom corner of the park near Finsen Road has been granted a new life by the Friends of Ruskin Park, who engaged the artist Morganico to work on it, producing a wealth of carved three-dimensional designs – a whale, squirrel, acorns, oak leaves and even a seat and a recess for your coffee cup (though of course we are not supposed to sit down anywhere in public parks at the moment). Children love it, everyone stops to admire it.

Carved oak branch: detail

You can read a full article about this project, which also features the artist, in the next issue of Herne Hill magazine hopefully out next month. Covid permitting, those joining the Herne Hill Society now (a mere £10) will be sure of getting a copy delivered to them.

Meanwhile the Brockwell Park urban forest are not far behind.

They too have a great and ancient oak tree, albeit of a different species, which has also lost a significant branch. There are now plans to make that branch, too, come alive with carvings by the same artist – all subject to a host of necessary permissions and approvals of course. Undoubtedly some money is needed.

Brockwell’s Oak and fallen branch

When complete, this new carved bench will be dedicated to all those we have lost during the pandemic & work towards improving mental health for the local community and all visitors to the park.

There is now a funding campaign to help this project along, which can be seen at  GoFundMe.

 

The Nottingham Knockers scam

Who are they?

Nottingham Knockers (that’s where it started, apparently, but it’s a generic name) are usually young men who go door to door, selling household products. They are dropped off early in the morning in a particular location by a large van and are then transported around that area throughout the day until approx 2100hrs.

They will offer to show you ID which will likely be ‘Hawkers Work Creation’ and say they have just been released from prison. This company does not actually exist and is purely a laminated piece of card with their picture on. They will be carrying a large holdall style bag which contains various household items at high prices and will try and hard sell to make more money. They will also tell you about how they are trying to make a better life.

Police all across the country regularly receive calls from the public, who state that upon declining the products, they have been subjected to verbal abuse and threats to cause criminal damage from the sellers. Police have carried out stop checks and the people involved have been identified.

Police advice

If you do experience any verbal abuse and feel intimidated, please call 101 and tell the police what was said, and a description of the person.