Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bellfield Close - the Movie

video

In a filmed report on the campaign by the Ramblers Association (with the support of Mayor Boris Johnson) to get Inner London Boroughs to produce a definitive map of all foot and cycle paths in their area, the BBC showed the rights of way between Old Dover and Charlton Roads, as an example of the consequences of the lack of such a map. Transport for London is willing to contribute to the cost of producing definitive maps.


Although the Council has repeatedly confirmed that rights of way exist on these paths, the comment of the Council on the report was that it was impossible to prove that a right of way existed on the route. Proof of the existence of such rights of way is indeed impossible without a definitive footpath map – which unlike every other borough in England and Wales outside Inner London, Greenwich has failed to produce. So the Thames Path and the Green Chain Walk are also unprotected in Greenwich.


The creation of a map would not in itself make the paths a right of way. Those who want them would have to make a case, and it would be possible for what the Council has described as the ‘illegally obstructed’ foot and cycle paths to be diverted to an alternative route quite separate from the estates, provided it was convenient and safe - for example for pupils of Invicta Primary school walking and cycling to school in accordance with Council policy; at present they are encouraged by the Council to go round the Standard Gyratory – where someone was tragically killed only last week. One possible route that has been proposed is a path cantilevered over the top of the A102M embankment. These foot and cycle rights of way have been described as 'a pivotal link' between several routes, which link the Olympic venues in Greenwich Park, Woolwich and the Dome/O2/North Greenwich Arena (as it is variously known).


London 2012 is promoting walking and cycling as key parts of its sustainable transport strategy. Encouraging and enabling spectators and workforce to walk or cycle to certain events for some or all of their trip will help to reduce the carbon impact of transport provision; provide a healthy journey option; create an additional sustainability experience for Games visitors; and assist in reducing demand for public transport in peak periods. The Olympic Delivery Authority is making investment in walking and cycling infrastructure to promote these transport modes for the Games.


What better candidate than filling the missing gap in the network between Old Dover and Charlton roads? The provision of an alternative to using the Standard gyratory would be a worthy legacy, and compensation for the problems the Olympics will bring to Blackheath.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Run-to-the-Beat Half Marathon 2010

video
The Arrangements for the Run-to-the-Beat Half Marathon on Sunday 26th September 2010 seemed to work well. Vehicular exit from, and access to, Westcombe Park was easy, with little delay. The noise level at the Gibb Memorial (click video) seemed enough for the runners but, thanks to the array of directional speakers, was not too loud for most local residents. At the Maze Hill pinch point the sound was less than that from the stage in Greenwich Park. The weather was cool enough for the runners, with no rain on onlookers. A big improvement on the 2008 Siege of Westcombe Park.

The new right-turn marking for cyclists - but not cars - can be seen in the video as well.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Greenwich Market Appeal


The inspector, Mr Philip Asquith, concluded the hearings on the appeal by the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Liam Fox, on behalf of Greenwich Hospital Estates) with a (second) visit to the market on Saturday 18th September, after both parties had concluded their closing statements..

Much attention in the two statements focussed on the proposal that the Market’s cobbled courtyard would be used for an alfresco restaurant and bar for the hotel. There was also discussion of the fact that the hotel’s rooftop plant and equipment housing, and the fourth, mansard floor of the hotel, would protrude above the symmetry of Kay’s terraces when viewed e.g., from the heart of the Old Royal Naval College. There was considerable discussion of the absence of a Travel plan or any provision for disabled parking, set-down or pick-up. Counsel for the Borough drew attention to the Appellant’s suggestion that “"I believe that such users may choose to stay at one of the other hotels in the town centre" characterizing it as trying to avoid the Hotel’s responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act. There was also dispute over the implications for (possibly two-way) traffic in Greenwich Church Street of skip and other lorries entering or leaving Durnford Street (which would be partly occupied by stalls displaced from the covered market). Councillor Mary O’Mara, the West Greenwich Councillor who presented a petition opposing the application with nearly 1,000 signatures, argued the proposals would “rip the heart out of Greenwich”

The inspector is expected to submit his recommendations in the Autumn to Mr Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government – whose mantra is ‘Localism” and who claims “Local government couldn't find a better champion or a stronger advocate to represent them”. The forthcoming Decentralisation and Localism bill is expected set out a range of proposals for planning and related legislation to ‘devolve greater powers to councils and neighbourhoods’.

It remains to be seen how the Secretary of State will react to an appeal whose closing statement concedes “The Appellant recognises that there has been substantial local opposition to the scheme.”

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Greenwich Market Appeal continues

When the hearings resumed on Tuesday, the evidence submitted by the Westcombe Society about the proposed use of the cobbled market by the hotel as an al-fresco restaurant was raised. Dr Jonathan Edis, a former Conservation Officer for Bedfordshire County Council and now of Jonathan Edis Limited, who had been called as an expert witness by Greenwich Hospital Estates, said he was unaware of the proposal - advertised as a key attraction on the Hotel's website at (http://www.bespokehotels.com/hotel/pages/greenwichmarket/home.htm) and on page 27 of its glossy brochure (http://www.bespokehotels.com/pdfs/bespkbro.pdf)


The Inspector confirmed his intention to visit the market on Saturday (as well as Thursday), as requested by objectors to see the market in full operation.

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 2010 Applications

60 FOYLE ROAD, BLACKHEATH, LONDON, SE3 7RH Ref 10/2192/CP

Construction of a single storey rear infill extension APPROVED

Case officer: Victoria Wood Telephone: 020 8921 6201

Registration date: 9 August 2010

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for decision: 4 October 2010


36 HUMBER ROAD, BLACKHEATH, LONDON, SE3 7LT ref 10/2361/TC

T1 Cherry Tree to remove - lifting pavement RAISE NO OBJECTION

Case officer: Debi Rogers Telephone: 020 8921 5661

Registration date: 6 September 2010

Site Notice Date: 7 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 28 September 2010


43 WESTCOMBE PARK ROAD, BLACKHEATH, SE3 7QZ Ref 10/2330/TC

Robinia crown reduce by 30% and crown thin by 20% RAISE NO OBJECTION

Case officer: Debi Rogers Telephone: 020 8921 5661

Registration date: 30 August 2010

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for decision: 12 October 2010


45 WESTCOMBE PARK ROAD, BLACKHEATH, SE3 7QZ Ref 0/2331/TC

Robinia in the front garden to be crown thinned by 30%, Sycamore tree in the back garden to be crown reduced by 30%

Case officer: Debi Rogers Telephone: 020 8921 5661 RAISE NO OBJECTION

Registration date: 30 August 2010

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for decision: 12 October 2010


IVOR HOWELL CAMERAS, 180 WESTCOMBE HILL, SE3 7DH Ref 10/2293/F

Installation of windows and doors to rear of property at basement and gound floor levels

Case officer: Kemi Erifevieme Tel: 020 8921 5566 APPROVED

Registration date: 26 August 2010

Site Notice Date: 22 September 2010

Deadline for decision: 13 October 2010


41 MYCENAE ROAD, BLACKHEATH, LONDON, SE3 7SF Ref 10/2279/F

Installation of 2 rear dormer windows and 2 roof lights to front roof slope. (Resubmission)

Case officer: Alex Smith Tel: 020 8921 5892 APPROVED

Registration date: 26 August 2010

Site Notice Date: 15 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 6 October 2010


13 Old Dover Road, Blackheath, London, SE3 7BT Ref 10/2191/F

Change of use of ground floor as part A1 (shop) and part D1 (Cookery School)

Case officer: Alex Smith Tel: 020 8921 5892 APPROVED

Registration date: 24 August 2010

Site Notice Date: 15 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 6 October 2010


Marnic House, 37 Shooters Hill Road, London, SE3 7HS Ref 10/2229/SD

Submission of details pursuant to condition 1 of approved planning permission dated 23/08/10 ref: 10/0850/F (materials for wall) APPROVED

Case officer: Jacob Jaarsma Tel: 020 8921 5438

Registration date: 23 August 2010

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for decision: 18 October 2010


40 MAZE HILL, GREENWICH, SE10 8XG Ref 10/2338/F & 10/2339/L

Loft conversion comprising installation of 2 rooflights and circular window in gable end and various internal alterations and general refurbishment APPROVED

Case officer: Kemi Erifevieme Tel: 020 8921 5566

Registration date: 23 August 2010

Site Notice Date: 15 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 6 October 2010


Marnic House, 37 Shooters Hill Road, London , SE3 7HS Ref 10/2307/SD

Submission of details pursuant to condition 4 of approved planning permission dated 23/08/10 ref: 10/0850/F (details of railings and gates) APPROVED

Case officer: Jacob Jaarsma Tel: 020 8921 5438

Registration date: 23 August 2010

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for decision: 18 October 2010


Marnic House, 37 Shooters Hill Road, London , SE3 7HS Ref 10/2309/SD

Submission of details pursuant to condition 4 of approved planning permission dated 23/08/10 ref: 10/0851/F (details of gate)

Case officer: Jacob Jaarsma Tel: 020 8921 5438 APPROVED

Registration date: 23 August 2010

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for decision: 18 October 2010


44 WESTCOMBE PARK ROAD, BLACKHEATH, SE3 7RA Ref 10/2231/SD

Submission of details pursuant to Condition 1 (facing materials) of planning permission dated 27/04/10 (Ref: 10/0344/F)

Case officer: Jacob Jaarsma Tel: 020 8921 5438 APPROVED

Registration date: 23 August 2010

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for decision: 18 October 2010


Marnic House, 37 Shooters Hill Road, London , SE3 7HS Ref 10/2236/SD

78 VANBRUGH PARK, BLACKHEATH, LONDON, SE3 7JQ Submission of details pursuant to condition 1 of approved planning permission dated 23/08/10 ref: 10/0851/F (materials for wall)

Case officer: Jacob Jaarsma Tel: 020 8921 5438 APPROVED

Registration date: 23 August 2010

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for decision: 18 October 2010


78 VANBRUGH PARK, BLACKHEATH, LONDON, SE3 7JQ Ref 10/2246/TC

Fell bay tree in rear garden

Case officer: Debi Rogers Telephone: 020 8921 5661

Registration date: 23 August 2010

Site Notice Date: 6 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 27 September 2010


FLATS A & B, 141 WESTCOMBE HILL, LONDON, SE3 7DP Ref 10/2255/F

Installation of replacement timber windows APPROVED

Case officer: Victoria Wood Telephone: 020 8921 6201

Registration date: 23 August 2010

Site Notice Date: 15 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 6 October 2010


FLATS A & B, 27 HUMBER ROAD, LONDON, SE3 7LS Ref 10/2256/F

Installation of replacement timber windows APPROVED

Case officer: Victoria Wood Telephone: 020 8921 6201

Registration date: 16 August 2010

Site Notice Date: 15 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 6 October 2010


83 Maze Hill, Greenwich, London, SE10 8XQ Ref 10/2156/CP

Erection of a single storey rear extension REFUSED

Case officer: Alex Smith Tel: 020 8921 5892

Registration date: 13 August 2010

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for objection: 8 October 2010


83 Maze Hill, Greenwich, London, SE10 8XQ Ref 10/2158/F

Loft conversion comprising enlargement of roof, and installation of three dormer windows and five rooflights APPROVED

Case officer: Alex Smith Tel: 020 8921 5892

Registration date: 13 August 2010

Site Notice Date: 15 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 6 October 2010


25C VANBRUGH HILL, LONDON, SE3 7UE Ref 10/1754/F

Retention of 3 replacement double glazed timber windows

Case officer: Alex Smith Tel: 020 8921 5892 APPROVED

Registration date: 13 August 2010

Site Notice Date: 15 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 6 October 2010


Marnic House, 37 Shooters Hill Road, London , SE3 7HS Ref 10/2457/SD

Submission of details pursuant to condition 5 of approved planning permission dated 23/08/10 ref: 10/0851/F (Access Management Plan) APPROVED

Case officer: Jacob Jaarsma Tel: 020 8921 5438

Registration date: 14 September 2010

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for decision: 8 December 2010


Land Adjacent to 167 Humber Road, Blackheath, SE3 Ref 10/2469/F

Demolition of existing garages and construction of a 2-bed dwelling (this site is adjacent to Westcombe Park Conservation Area) Resubmission APPROVED

Case officer: Alex Smith Tel: 020 8921 5892

Registration date: 14 September 2010

Site Notice Date: 29 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 20 October 2010


41 ULUNDI ROAD, BLACKHEATH, LONDON, SE3 7UQ Ref 10/2441/TC T1 Lime Tree - crown reduce by 30% APPROVED

Case officer: Debi Rogers Telephone: 020 8921 5661

Registration date: 13 September 2010

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for decision: 23 September 2010


17 MYCENAE ROAD, BLACKHEATH, SE3 7SF Ref 10/2394/TC

Fell self seeded ash tree in rear garden (becoming too large for garden) and replace with suitable specimen RAISE NO OBJECTION

Case officer: Debi Rogers Telephone: 020 8921 5661

Registration date: 6 September 2010

Site Notice Date: 16 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 7 October 2010


Flats A & B, 30 Hardy Road, Blackheath, London, SE3 7NN Ref 10/2357/F

Installation of replacement timber windows APPROVED

Case officer: Kemi Erifevieme Tel: 020 8921 5566

Registration date: 2 September 2010

Site Notice Date: 22 September 2010

Deadline for decision: 13 October 2010


Flats A-C, 2 Ulundi Road, Blackheath, London, SE3 7UG Ref 10/2052/F

Installation of replacement timber windows (resubmission)

Case officer: Victoria Wood Telephone: 020 8921 6201 APPROVED

Registration date: 2 September 2010

Site Notice Date: 22 September 2010

Deadline for decision: 13 October 2010


128 HUMBER ROAD, BLACKHEATH, LONDON, SE3 7LX Ref 10/2559/TC

Small Mimosa - cut back to height of shrubs. Robinia - reduce canopy by 25%

Case officer: Debi Rogers Telephone: 020 8921 5661

Registration date: 16 September 2010 RAISE NO OBJECTION

Site Notice Date: No Public Consultation

Deadline for objection: 5 November 2010


29A VANBRUGH PARK, BLACKHEATH, LONDON, SE3 7AE Ref 10/2464/TC RAISE NO OBJECTION

fell self seeded ash tree in rear garden right hand side

Case officer: Debi Rogers Telephone: 020 8921 5661

Registration date: 17 September 2010

Site Notice Date: 21 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 12 October 2010


Flats A & B, 27 Humber Road, Blackheath, London, SE3 7LS Ref 10/2256/F APPROVED

Installation of replacement timber windows and roof tiles. Amended Description

Case officer: Victoria Wood Telephone: 020 8921 6201

Registration date: 15 September 2010

Site Notice Date: 215 September 2010

Deadline for objection: 6 October 2010


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Liam Fox vs Westcombe Society (and Others)

The appeal by Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Defence, to his colleague Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, against the unanimous decision of Greenwich Council’s Planning Board (to reject the application by Greenwich Hospital Estates for a major redevelopment of Greenwich Market) was being heard by an Inspector this week and will continue next week as well.

The rejected application proposals included a 100+ bedroom hotel, with "an alfresco restaurant-bar set amidst the 200-year old cobbled courtyard of the Market". The plant and equipment on the roof of the four-storey hotel would protrude above the roofs of Joseph Kay’s magnificent market ensemble when viewed from a number of classic viewpoints such as beside the Painted Hall of the ORNC.

The hotel, which advertises itself as just 10 miles from the M25, would have no parking or setting down space even for disabled guests. Although it was claimed to be a boutique hotel, its size, height and bulk are closer to that of the Novotel next door to Greenwich Station, which provides private indoor parking (for a fee) and special provision for disabled guests.

Objectors, including the The Westcombe Society, spoke strongly against the proposal, as did a number of Councillors (from both parties), market traders and other local residents. They all expressed concern that the proposal would not only change the historic appearance of Joseph Kay’s market – it would also destroy the entire character of the Market area. Reservations were expressed about how easily a hotel, conference centre and banqueting suite – with parts on both sides of the market – could co-exist with the bustling market we know and love. Traders pointed out that the noise when the stalls are being set up at 06.30 in the morning is very considerable (intolerable for guests trying to use the alfresco restaurant for breakfast?). How would people get from one part of the hotel to another when the market was thronged with visitors? Or would visitors no longer come if the demolished shops were replaced by something resembling a characterless hotel mall? The Greenwich Conservation Group drew particular attention to the impact of the proposed development on the living conditions of those in properties around the existing market.

Concern was also expressed about the traffic problems that would be created by the removal of the current unloading and turning space in Durnford Street and the fact that this, the main approach to the market, would no longer lead to the market itself. The project would involve the demolition of historic buildings in Durnford Street. The old banana warehouse and the adjacent flower shop, which it was claimed were too unsafe for a surveyor to enter to assess their condition, would be knocked down to make way for a trash compactor.

Objectors urged the Inspector to change his travel plans so that his site visit took place at the weekend rather than the relatively quiet days during the week. He was considering this suggestion.

The hearing, in Woolwich Town Hall, is open to the public from 09.30, Tuesday 14th September. Closing statements are expected on Friday 17th September.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Greenwich Market Appeal

The planning appeal and the revised application for changes to the market, including construction of a 'Boutique' hotel on the site, will be considered at a Planning Inquiry starting on 7 September 2010, overseen by an independent planning inspector. Once the inquiry has concluded, the Inspector will then make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who will decide the appeal.


The inquiry hearings will take place at Woolwich Town Hall. It will run from 7 to 10 September and from 14 to 17 September, beginning at 10am on each day.


If you would like to speak or have any questions about the inquiry, please contact the independent planning inspector Paul Bennett by email on paul.bennett@pins.gsi.gov.uk or call 011 7372 6372.


The Westcombe Society will be represented at the appeal and intends to object to the revised proposal on the lines of its objections at the original planning application meeting