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Tue 15 March 16

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15 March 16:  The Tennis Club appeal decision is in... Refused, again!

7 March 16:  West Norwood Community Choir starts in April! It will be on Thursday evenings, 7-8.30 at the Portico Gallery. The choir will work mostly in 3 part harmony, and no experience is necessary. There will be a FREE taster session on Thursday  24th March at the Gallery from 7pm - 8pm followed by a Feast Film night. Songs will be along the lines of 4 Non Blondes, Sting, Spice Girls, Disney with a hint of Folk thrown in. If you would like to come, please get in touch at joyfulsinging1@gmail.com

6 March 16:  An update on the long awaited development of the Nettlefold Theatre and West Norwood Library - The Council is due to take a final decision on whether to proceed with the joint Picturehouse and library scheme next Thursday 10th March. You can see the scheme here  and read the report here . The officers’ recommendation is that  the Picturehouse partnership scheme is pursued. They also  outline that the Council will commit to contributing £3.4m  to the development costs of the scheme and there are estimated ongoing operating costs of just over £300k. These costs will be in part off set by the Council getting a share of Picturehouse’s revenue from the cinema and associated commercial uses. Enabling work would start as soon as possible and there is an expected opening date of September 2017

16 November 15:  The Tennis Club is appealing the last decision against its redevelopment aspirations.  This will be the fifth appeal following five planning applications.  There is little chance of the decision being overturned, but there is nothing for them to lose, apart from a some fairly modest costs.

13 November 15:  The question everyone asks is “when will the library and cinema open?”.  Despite Lambeth Talk boasting “West Norwood cinema ready to roll” and anticipating opening by 2017, a Picturehouse spokesperson maintains “about Easter 2017” (April).

12 November 15:  Show flat launch at Cheviot Gardens is this Saturday 14th November.  This is an over-55s development, part social housing, part shared ownership, part full ownership.  The interiors look great but the external appearance has caused the name Lego Gardens to be mentioned as a perfect replica could be built in Lego.  Shared prices start at £147k.

11 November 15:  The library policy decision was not referred back to Lambeth Cabinet.  A noisy and emotional meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee heard Labour as well as opposition councillors speaking passionately against the policy.  This was ratified by a narrow 5-4 vote.  The potential hold on West Norwood's library and cinema plan is now free to go to contract.

10 November 15:   Antic is boasting of opening the bar part of the premises Knowles of West Norwood on Thursday 26th November.

5 November 15:  The controversial library policy adopted by Lambeth Council Cabinet on 12th October has been ‘called-in’ by the opposition.  This will now have to go to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee, putting all library (and local cinema) matters on hold for an uncertain period of time. Initial review will be on 10th November.

3 November 15:  People have been baffled by the council having an elaborate points evaluation scheme for road and pavement repair and renewals, which appears ignored.  Repairs are put in hand apparently randomly, the worst locations being overlooked.  Thurlow Park ward councillors have volunteered to scrutinise the system and priorities.

29 October 15:  Work is underway converting the Money Shop next to KFC to a Costa Coffee Shop.  This has caused dismay to some who don’t want a big chain muscling-in on our numerous independents.  

28 October 15:  Despite a troubled financing process, the monthly street market at Station Rise is ON!  It starts on Thursday 26th November 3 to 8pm followed by a Christmas Special on Thursday 17th December.

27 October 15:  The meeting concerning the plan to spend £430,000 on upgrading one poor quality asphalt football pitch at Norwood Park to a 3rd generation artificial grass pitch was ‘this is what’s happening’ rather than consultation.  Whilst better facilities for grass sports plus floodlighting are broadly welcomed the displacement of the hard surface sports has yet to be considered.  Young people from all over the borough will be offered advanced training and matches here, and Norwood School will provide changing facilities.  Many detailed issues to be considered.

26 October 15:  April Lambeth Talk announced the engagement of an enforcement team to “change behaviour” regarding littering, tidying waste disposal, addressing fly-tipping.  One strand was reduced charges for Lambeth collection of bulky items.  It has taken till now to discover that the enforcement team is temporary and mobile.  It will end at Christmas having visited West Norwood maybe for three week-long sessions.  Result from October’s?  One fixed penalty ticket issued.  Reduced charges “an error”.

26 October 15:  The third and final Sustrans led design workshop for the Rosendale Quietway is today Saturday, 10.30 to 1pm.  In November there’s a ‘beauty contest’ that will select the scheme or schemes to go to public consultation in January, both dates to be announced.  Despite requests, still nothing advised regarding the section south of Park Hall Road except a prospective route.  This is shaping-up to be a hastily and probably unsatisfactorily public engaged  section.

24 October 15:  The decision regarding the potential 315 bus route change to serve the Peabody Estate Tulse Hill (instead of the bus garage) is expected by December.

22 October 15:  The bus stop shelter that was renewed a few months back at St Julian’s Farm Road has now had an LED display fitted to show bus arrival times.  It was feared that these were being discontinued.

19 October 15:  It seems that the ‘urban art’ under Norwood Road railway bridge is yet another ‘work-in-progress’ that seems to curse our local improvement programmes.  Some works around St Luke’s still not delivered more than a year after its supposed completion date.  Scoot Loop to improve traffic flow still not activated.

14 October 15:  Planning approval given last night for the Picturehouse Cinema / Library venture at Nettlefold Halls.  Detailed conditions not yet seen.

13 October 15:  Closure of Rosendale Road is off the list of options, official.More here  Perhaps the public planning can now be constructive rather than understandably defensive. 

13 October 15:  A Unison led lobby of Lambeth Council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday evening at Dunraven School was supported by about 300-400 people.  Outside before the meeting speeches were made before filing in an orderly way into the meeting, but there was anger when some were excluded, due to the hall’s seating capacity being full.

There were 13 speakers against Council proposals to radically change library arrangements and convert some to gyms or library/gyms via contractor GLL.  This is to save money due to substantially reduced budgets.

Anger surrounded the assertion that the council had not assessed the staff proposal for a cost saving Lambeth Mutual structure, apparently consistent with cooperative council policy, but had adopted a late proposition from GLL.

Despite the opposition expressed including from Dulwich and West Norwood MP Helen Hayes, the council cabinet passed its plans.  If enacted, these will see a loss of libraries, library space within some remaining libraries, loss of staff so some unmanned, but new gym space.  There is still a commitment to having a professionally staffed library at West Norwood alongside the 4-screen Picturehouse development.

10 October 15:  Tonight is the last night of performance by South London Theatre at The Old Fire Station for 18 months.  Temporary home is The Stanley Halls in South Norwood whilst the fire station is being extensively refurbished into a much wider based community resource including, of course, theatre space.  Should reopen about the same time as the library / cinema project across the road is completed.

7 October 15:  Culture 2020 consultation outcome has been digested.  Whilst some threatened library closures have been reprieved, at least in the short term, there are planned major changes which will considerably diminish the borough’s library service but with increased gym provision.  More here.  South London Press report.  Lobby the council at 6.30pm on Monday 12th at Dunraven School, 94/98 Leigham Court Road or sign the on-line petition.

5 October 15:  It’s Go! for monthly Street Market on Station Rise, starting Thursday 26th November.

5 October 15:  Antic has now announced a November opening.  “Industrial Victorian hardware shop” décor, with “communal workbenches”. 

5 October 15:  Lambeth Council and Sustrans were represented at this evening's NAG public meeting.  The objective was to try to clear some of the confusion around the Rosendale Quietway project to enable a more constructive atmosphere.  This probably wasn't achieved!  The other half of the meeting concerned the state of cleanliness and repair of our pavements and streets, and this part of the meeting was generally regarded positively.  Full report soon.

3 October 15:  A new web site What Runs Beneath is an on-line community blog for those around Dalmore, Eastmearn and Tulsemere Roads.

2 October 15:  Culture 2020 consultation outcome concerning leisure and librarieshas just been announced. This will be controversial.  Link

2 October 15:  The Norwood Park facilities’ lack of water and loos, and the damaged play equipment will be specifically addressed at the council ‘stakeholder meeting’ on Monday 26th October along with the plan for the upgrading of football pitches at Norwood Park (which could result in the loss of many mature trees).  Details

1 October 15:  Last night's Rosendale Quietway drop-in information gathering session hosted by Sustrans had a massive turn-out with what seemed a largely hostile reaction to changes, particularly the suggestion of road closure.  Due to mishandling of earlier stages, Sustrans will have a hard time moving the mood into a positive and constructive one.  More in current newsletter.

30 September 15:  The Nettlefold library and cinema planning application goes to planning committee on 13th October.  Expect ‘approved’.

29 September 15:  The vacated Money Shop close to KFC on Norwood Road is to become a Costa Coffee shop.

28 September 15:  Edgar & Annabel / The Swan, October 6-10 will be the last opportunity to relish the sights and smells of Old Fire Station before it closes for an 18 month refurbishment and reassignment as theatre and community space.  Temporary home will be the Stanley Halls theatre at South Norwood.

25 September 15:  Lambeth Community Awards results have been announced and local Bzz Garage and Open Orchard hero Wayne Trevor is a very deserving award winner.

23 September 15:  Surprise change of use granted from Money Shop to coffee shop (close to KFC) – it appears to be in contravention of council policy of no more than 2 in 5 consecutive premises to be café or takeaway.  Explanation has been requested.

22 September 15:  Lidl has instigated an appeal against refusal of planning consent for its proposed Crown Point store.  A key ground for refusal was unsuitable architectural appearance.  Defenders say “it’s not an attractive area, so what?”  Others say it should become an attractive area.

21 September 15:  NAG and Forum were invited to contribute to the opening of the review into Lambeth’s CPZ, unfortunately with only a few days’ notice and a daytime workshop, this was not possible.  However, despite a prospectus received only on the morning of the event it was still possible for NAG to make a written submission to the meeting.  Next stages awaited.

18 September 15:  The street market at Station Rise Tulse Hill has been allocated a £14,000 grant BUT, even now, £3,500 more crowd-funding still needed before it can go ahead, so no date yet.

17 September 15:  The agm business was dealt with efficiently with the constitution amended to allow two more committee members.  Last year's officers and committee members were voted back unanimously with two new members who together bring a lot of expertise on town planning and traffic issues.   Speakers council leader Lib Peck and chief executive Sean Harriss followed with an address to the meeting and then fielded questions submitted by the membership.  Full report soon.

15 September 15:  The first StreetWorks-Norwood2TulseHill informal designing workshop, where you can influence how Norwood Road and Tulse Hill gyratory are to be remodelled in the £7mill spend by The London Mayor’s Office and TfL. Next workshop 13th October. Details

13 September 15:  The first community event, an information gathering drop-in, to decide what, if anything, is wanted to enhance the Quietway route down Rosendale Road is on Wednesday 30th September – full details here.  Get involved, otherwise you may be surprised at what you get!  The good outcome from the shock announcement of the closure of Rosendale Road to through traffic is that there is now terrific awareness of what could happen.  

11 September 15:  The ‘urban art’ has been delivered to Tulse Hill railway bridge.  Many had misgivings about this part of the London Mayor’s Outer London Fund spend, but we’ve got it, so let’s hope it’s appreciated.

10 September 15:  Norwood Park facilities have been without water and loos since July despite requests to Lambeth from the Friends of Norwood Park, also play features need repair.  We must all work for urgent resolution.  

9 September 15:  A new secondary school has been approved for the West Norwood area and will be operated by the Gipsy Hill Federation Trust.  Where could there be a big enough site in this locality?  Opening forecast for September 2017.

8 September 15:  Major bridge strike by truck at Thurlow Park Road.  This is the most hit bridge in the country.  Road lowering has been talked about for years.  NAG to get on the case.

7 September 15:  St Luke’s car park will not be resurfaced by Christmas after all.  Firstly the allocated funding has been put in doubt and secondly there is excessive ground water.  The crypt of St Luke’s has a constant pump installed now.  Whether this is natural water or from damaged drains or water mains has not yet been determined.

7 September:  Keen eyed individuals will have spotted that part of the Art Deco parapet of Sainsbury’s on Norwood Road has been removed.  As feared, there’s major structural decay which will not be resolved soon.

5 September 15:  Residents are perplexed by Lambeth’s priorities for repaving.  For example, the centre pavement around Royal Circus was recently renewed whereas others in much worse state and much more used remain unloved.  Attempts to uncover the current true method of selection so far unsuccessful (but do come to our State of Our Streets meeting on 5th October where more will be revealed).

3 September 15:  The subway shortcut at Tulse Hill Station – it’s officially confirmed that access is not prohibited, but at the discretion of staff (it’s not a right of way).

2 September 15:  The Rosendale rumours turned out to be true BUT local reaction was so strong that a public storm erupted.  Thurlow Park councillors Anna Birley and Fred Cowell had not even been informed and immediately engaged Sustrans in discussions with the outcome that all plans are suspended.  In addition there is now to be a community led planning process to create this section of cycling Quietway.  Dates are being reconsidered for this process and the drop-in dates are no longer confirmed. only possible.

29 August 15:  There are rumours that Rosendale Road is to made a no-through-road for powered vehicles.  This is said to be part of the Quietways project promoted by The London Mayor’s Vision for Cycling and TfL.  Southwark has made announcements, none known from Lambeth, but Sustrans (a pro-cycling lobby group with a contract from TfL) has announced ‘drop-in’ consultations.  Full story in NAG's current newsletter.

26 August 15:  Following on from last week’s news of yet another failure by the potential developers to gain planning consent to build on the tennis, squash courts and social club on Knight’s Hill, our local MP Helen Hayes has said she is “very happy” to support NAG’s campaign.  Ms Hayes’ support can only help.

21 August 15:  The tennis appeal result is in – dismissed, again.  The nature of the decision notice means that it will be very hard for the developers to create a plan that will overcome the appeal inspector’s objections.

20 August 15:  The planning application for change of use of KIBA industrial land on Chapel Road to housing has been taken to appeal.  This is due to ‘non-determination’ within the statutory time limits for deciding planning applications.  Shows the developers are playing ‘hard-ball’; if successful they will blow the local KIBA policy apart.

18 August 15:  The St Julian’s Farm Road bus shelter on Knight’s Hill has been replaced with a new shiny one BUT no ‘next bus due’ LED display.  Yet to be installed or discontinued?  Other local shelters are rusting-off at ground level so maybe all will be replaced.

14 August 15:  Closed Money Shop next to KFC in Norwood Road has a change of use application in, for change of use to….. coffee shop.  This appears to be contrary to Lambeth policy that not more than 2 in any 5 consecutive town centre shops may be A3 or A5 use.

 

12 August 15:  A Norwood Road bag snatcher has been convicted.

10 August 15:  The consultation on changes to the 315 bus route has been extended to 3rd September, and you can make your comments here.  One might be that if we lose the 315 going up Norwood High Street, past the bus garage and down Knight’s Hill, it will be an important replacement to make the 68 route carry passengers right the way to the garage instead of pushing them off half way up the hill and not picking up till half way down.

7 August 15:  At last! It seems that funds have been signed-off and released for finishing the public realm works around St Luke’s.  These include much cycle parking, benches, trees, and resurfaced St Luke’s car park, including in front of the steps.  ‘The Leaning Palm Tree of WeNo’ may even find a new home!  Completion now expected before Christmas.

5 August 15:   We were given proper opportunity to make our case at the tennis club appeal.  The decision depends on how the inspector balances the need for more housing  versus acknowledged conflicts with some planning policies.  Unpredictable!  Full story.

1 August 15:  You may be thrilled, or maybe not, that from November, at a cost of about £700,000 there is to be a borough wide 20mph speed limit. Several other boroughs have these too.  All that’s needed is to convince the bus services and other utilities to take notice.  Driving at 20mph is likely to achieve something very big very red very close behind.

31 July 15:  The community drive to save West Norwood Tennis Club from redevelopment to flats with an unviable token sport element reaches a critical stage.  The fourth refused planning application is in the appeal process which has an informal public hearing starting 10am this Tuesday 4th August at Brixton Town Hall.

31 July 15:  Back in June the NAG newsletter reported that NAG and Forum had submitted a joint objection to what was referred to as “among the naffest plans yet seen”.  The plan was turned down by Lambeth on seven key aspects.  NAG-ing does get things done!

29 July 15:  The shortcut through the subway between Station Rise and Avenue Park Road cllr Max Deckers-Dowber advises is apparently at the discretion of station staff and is not a right of way.  Not ideal, to be at the whim of staff.  An altercation is likely sooner or later with the likely outcome of a definitive ‘no’.  Can use Oyster card or Freedom pass to get through, but may be cost on Oyster card.

28 July 15:  It's the Health & Leisure Centre's first anniversary.  It’s an excellent local resource and to encourage more and more people to enjoy, there are free ‘taster sessions’ of gym and swim on the day.  If that's your stuff and you haven't tried it, why not?  Great for adults and kids in the school holidays!

27 July 15:  The planning application for the Cinema / Library project at the Nettlefold Halls has been submitted!  To read, click here and enter the application number 15/04179/RG4 in search box. Latest date given for opening, if all proceeds well, is mid 2017.

24 July 15:  With absolutely no fanfare whatsoever, Picturehouse has slipped-in its planning application for major works to the Nettlefold Halls and Library to create a four-screen cinema plus café and bar, with a revised library space.  Although submitted by Picturehouse, it’s effectively a joint venture with Lambeth Council.  As such, Lambeth Planning are more than likely to approve the plan.  Estimated opening date - mid 2017.

21 July 15:  There are major road diversions at Crystal Palace, also at Norwood High Street due to water main and gas main works respectively.  Ongoing till late August. Bus services through Crystal Palace affected.

16 July 15:  Antic has submitted a new and confusing planning application.  They have an existing consent for conversion of This That and the Other into a pub and restaurant.  Then there was a failed application for a retail arcade and flats to the rear.  The new application states “refurbishment of existing ground floor unit with the erection of a 3-storey new build to the rear”.  However, managing director Anthony Thomas says the pub/restaurant plans are unchanged and unaffected by the new application, and should be trading in September.  However, workers on site say more like six months!

10 July 15:  For years, residents have envied Herne Hill for their street market, craved their own, and now we’re to have one!  IF there's the demand!  The initial trial is once a month on 3rd Thursday (including 17th December Christmas Special) for seven months starting on Thursday 17th September from 3 till 8pm at Station Rise, Tulse Hill.  Any stalls are possible but the emphasis will be on low-cost foods.  A real street market!  Entertainment possible too.

Customers!  Do your bit to make it happen by going here by 14th August and pledging your enthusiasm with a small or generous contribution to the crowd-funding (money only taken if/when it goes ahead).  If you LOVE your neighbourhood, NAG, Forum and Feast – please do show your support.

Want to be a trader?  Open to existing businesses AND start-ups.  If you’re on income support there’s a 50% contribution to the very modest cost of £40 a session, or only £20 with support, stalls provided.  Act now!  Deadline is also 14th August.  Here is a form with a phone contact at its end for you to find out more.

9 July 15:  The report from the 20/20 Culture Consultation on Lambeth leisure services (including libraries) is delayed.  Now September is the likely date.

8 July 15:  Just when you thought traffic in the area surrounding Crystal Palace could not be worse when they start water mains replacement for a month (details), starting on the same date (21st July) there’s a month of gas works on Norwood High Street.  Bus route changes not yet advised. 

8 July 15:  For years, residents have envied Herne Hill for their street market, craved their own, and now we’re to have one!  The initial trial is once a month on 4th Thursday (except 17th December Christmas Special) for seven months starting on Thursday 17th September from 3 till 8pm at Station Rise, Tulse Hill.  Any stalls are possible but the emphasis will be on low-cost foods.  A real street market!  Entertainment possible too.

7 July 15:  Frustrated by being turfed-off the 68 at Norwood High Street railway bridge and seeing it continue to the garage?  Similarly whilst waiting at St Julian’s Farm Road, seeing it sale by?  NAG has now found the right place in TfL to apply pressure and with Forum we’ll see if we can get the 68 to carry passengers all the way to the bus garage and collect from round the corner at St Julian’s Farm Road for its return trip.

6 July 15:  Barclays recently closed their branch in South Norwood, the next to close is at Crystal Palace.  Could this be an omen for West Norwood?  Hopefully not – there’s an agreement among the big banks about ‘the last bank in towns’.  NAG’s trying to get another – possibly London Mutual Credit Union that offers full current and savings account facilities whilst also offering low cost loans.  Possible locations?  The Old Library or the Leisure Centre.

6 July 15:  Recently a schoolboy was mugged for his mobile phone by other schoolboys in quiet Bewlys Road.  If you see something that looks threatening rather than boisterous, phone 999.

5 July 15:  It seems that the presumed right of way through the passenger tunnel at Tulse Hill Station is not a right of way.  Till recently, station staff would let locals through the barriers, now you have to use an Oyster Card or Freedom Pass.  It’s said that there is a cost when it’s Oyster Card.

3 July 15:  There are proposed changes to the 315 bus route so that it can serve the Peabody estate is in consultation.  The issues are that some of the community on the Peabody Estate and surrounding streets would really benefit from a bus service.  It’s a stiff quarter-mile hill, not easy for those less able, or coping with shopping and kids.  However, the streets are narrow and many believe unsuitable for the long standard single decker buses.  The obvious answer is to run a mini-bus service but it seems that’s not an option now.  Also, the service up Norwood High Street and down Knight’s Hill would be lost, so this last session very relevant if you are currently a user of this section.  Contact Thurlow Park ward councillor Max Deckers-Dowber or Knight’s Hill councillor Jane Pickard

30 June 15: Yesterday evening, 42 gathered at Norwood Planning Assembly’s launch meeting to hear our new MP, Helen Hayes, pledge her support to neighbourhood planning.  This is an excellent pledge as before being voted as our MP, Helen trained and worked in town planning followed by being a partner in an architectural practice.  Combining this with her MP status means that Helen should be a terrific asset in trying to achieve the best for our community.  Meeting summary and next steps here.

3 June 15:  Notice received that the tennis club's appeal against Asset of Community Value status, was refused. (latest tennis newsletter).  Still leaves the planning application appeal.

17 June 15:  The date has been announced for the public hearing stage of the appeal by the tennis club developers against refusal of planning permission - 10:00 on Tuesday 4 August 2015 at Lambeth Town Hall, Acre Lane, London, SW2 1RW.

12 June 15:  The tennis club on Knight's Hill has a magnificent chestnut tree that unfortunately fell victim to yesterday's strong easterly winds.  Before and After.

11 June 15:  There is to be a review of the 2009 West Norwood Masterplan.  Controversial before it was even adopted, NAG has been pressing for its review for years and suspect the government inspector of the draft Lambeth Local Plan has raised her concerns.  All plans must be up-to-date and evidence based.  Whatever the issues of it in some matters not respecting evidence or public opinion, the evidence base is 2008 and earlier so a review is essential.  The Norwood Planning Assembly is bound to have major input.

10 June 15:  Our highlighting of the redevelopment opportunities close to our main shopping area were also spotted back in April by the Estates Gazette who describe the opportunities very concisely to slavering developers.

9 June 15:  Lambeth Council has launched the Street Champion scheme.  You can volunteer and Lambeth will support you "to improve your neighbourhood, from reducing dog fouling and litter to organising street parties". more information

3 June 15:  TfL says that the technical work on the traffic signals around St Luke's, including the Scoot Loops', will be finished by 15th June.  When the fine-tuning of the timings will take place isn't known.

2 June 15:  You may remember that there’s an £8mill spend planned for Norwood Road and the Tulse Hill gyratory.  Do you want to complain later or influence it now!  There’s another planning session open to all ages this Saturday 6th June at the Old Library.  Drop-in anytime from 10 to 4pm (repeated 11 to 2pm Sunday Feast Day).

2 June 15:  Delays to Sainsbury’s upper façade renovation.  Unsurprisingly defects have been found which have to be properly surveyed, tendering process, etc.  Won’t be finished any time soon. Photo In the meantime, grafitti has been facilitated by the scaffolding! Photo

1 June 15:  The Evening Standard reports that Lambeth is currently seeing the greatest rise in house prices of the London boroughs.

1 June 15:  Healthwatch is having notices for the forthcoming ‘Happy with your GP service?’ stencilled in the dirt on mucky pavements!  The event is from 6 to 8pm on Wednesday 10th at the Health & Leisure Centre. You will have the opportunity to speak to and hear from senior managers who make decisions about healthcare in Lambeth. Blue Badge and cycle parking only, plus 10 minute drop-off zone.

30 May 15:  The Metropolitan Police reports of the arrest of two on drug charges on Knight’s Hill with over 100 ‘rocks’ found.  

29 May 15:  Norwood Park has had £150k set aside by Lambeth for sports’ improvements.  Under discussion is whether to put Astro Turf on existing football pitch or whether to go big… Norwood Forum report

28 May 15:  At last, we may get a pragmatic review of the KIBA (Key Industrial and Business Area) that extends south from the West Norwood railway line to Chapel Road.  Last week councillors Fred Cowell and Jane Pickard with senior strategy and policy planning officer Alan Vinall with Emer Costello who actions policy, were hosted around the area for a comprehensive street by street overview.

27 May 15:  The Metropolitan Police invites you to join the Safer Neighbourhood Team, or just receive their bulletins.

26 May 15:  Planning appeals: The first planning application for a Tesco Express at 207-209 Gipsy Road was turned down and has now also been rejected on appeal.  However, an alternative plan which avoids the obvious traffic hazard of partially on-road parking on a bend has been approved.  The appeal against refusal of planning for a 500+ capacity church at 59-65 Elder Road has also failed, mainly due to traffic and disturbance issues.

25 May 15:  The weekend walk-in surgery at the Health & Leisure Centre has been discontinued.  This has been met with dismay by some, but there is still a seven-day 11 till 8 walk-in (8 till 8 at weekends) at 2-8 Gracefield Gardens, Streatham, SW16 2ST.  Details.

22 May 15:  There’s a new sheltered housing project on the starting blocks, this one in Elder Road.  Four alternatives currently being discussed, all are ground plus two storeys. Read here and here.

21 May 15:  Church Road Upper Norwood is to be closed for a month from 27th July at the junction with Westow Hill.  Church Road will become two-way for the duration.  The Croydon Council notice gives details.  It might be better if Westow Hill became two-way as well as that would make westward travel much easier than proposed Diversion 2!

18 May 15:  NAG still hasn’t been advised of the new street cleansing programme, nor the new plans to discourage rubbish dumping and other anti-social behaviour.  A new initiative is announced in the latest Lambeth Talk – “Do the Right Thing”.  Is this it?

17 May 15:  There could be two street markets on Station Rise, a weekly daytime one and an evening monthly, Twist on Station Rise.

16 May 15:  Prospective developer of the West Norwood Tennis Club site has put-in an appeal against Lambeth Council's refusal of outline planning permission.  There is a campaign supported by NAG to rescue the club for the community.  More soon...

15 May 15:  Knowles of Norwood has become an enigma. Antic, the business behind it, first engaged in West Norwood in 2007 with plans to open in the old Knowles premises on Knight’s Hill. After lengthy delays they pulled-out stating structural issues as a reason. An administration of Antic Ltd leaving unpaid creditors in its wake is part of the story but with a management acquisition of assets and ongoing finance from Downing the group has motored on. Since acquiring the old Coop back in 2013 the saga has continued with dates for opening repeatedly sliding by. It was to have been last year then in April we were told early June, in May we’re told September. Reason? Structural issues. Sounds familiar! Windows have been whited, can no longer see the chaos…

14 May 15:  We noted the lighting of the Old Library’s dignified architecture but it’s again dark.  Faulty cabling is said to be the cause requiring some fairly extensive replacement.

14 May 15:  Tennis Club rescue.  Massive support, so far the campaign has had support from over 600 people and an update will be prepared in a week or two.  In the meantime, an appeal has been lodged by the applicant against the refusal of the most recent planning application for redevelopment as flats with a modest retention of sport.

13 May 15:  It’s been clarified that the once a month Twist on Station Rise street market is completely independent from a possible weekly street market.  The latter will be considered as part of the Norwood Road TfL led public realm improvements.

13 May 15:  We noted the lighting of the old Tate Library’s dignified architecture but it’s again dark.  Faulty cabling is said to be the cause requiring some fairly extensive replacement.

12 May 15:  As reported on 6th January, the work around St Luke's is still stalled.  As a result of a NAG letter to GLA member Val Shawcross the TfL elements are now said to "hopefully" be finished by the end of May, but that seems unlikley. Meanwhile there's no indication on the funding becoming available to put in cycle hoops, benches, trees, etc. Councillors are aware and we will discover how much longer this takes. A year and counting...  This is not a good omen for the new TfL managed works about to start in Norwood Road and Tulse Hill gyratory.

12 May 15:  A reply has now been received from Lyn Goleby, managing director of Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd to the joint letter from NAG and Forum.  Nothing new, no sense of urgency, just an aspiration to have the planning application in by the end of June and opening around Easter 2017.  This would be about two years behind the original timeline given.

11 May 15:  After more than a month a reply has been recieved to the joint letter from NAG and Forum to Picturehouse managing director Lyn Goleby.  The letter expressed support but urged speed and concern for the library.  Ms Goleby replied that it's taking a typical period of time for a project of this sort with the expectation of a planning application to be submitted by the end of June with an opening of around Easter 2017, though she "cannot be certain at this stage".  The letter could not be said to convey any sense of determination for a speedy outcome, not even a firm schedule is in place.

8 May 15:  Helen Hayes for Labour is our new Member of Parliament.  Lambeth again went against national trends with an increased share for Labour though with the trends in the collapse of the Lib Dem vote.  Brixton Blog report.  Remember your local MP is expected to be available to all voters, not just those who gave their vote to Ms Hayes.

7 May 15:  A planning application is in for demolition of Paxton Primary School and rebuilding with three-form entry.  Want to know more?  Click here and enter 15/02638/FUL in the search box.

6 May 15:  The travellers have moved on, leaving just the usual mounds of rubbish for the owner of the site to have removed at some expense. It is yet another reminder of what a bizarre waste of a good site it is, empty for about 18 years.  The whole Key Industrial and Business Area (of which this site is part) policy and plans need urgent review and action.

5 May 15:  The Tarmac patching of St Luke's car park is temporary work until the 'proper job' is done. However, there is no date for this work as funds are not yet in place.

1 May 15:  Answer to what's happening at 125-133 Norwood High Street - the site is for sale for redevelopment, suggested as housing.  The sales brochure is full of interesting assertions. The site is believed to be part of the Key Industrial and Business Area (KIBA) so planning consent may be a problem.

1 May 15:  Travellers have inevitably moved onto the cleared site on the corner of Knight's Hill and Chapel Road.  Only surprise is that it hasn't happened before, but remember the Eco- Camp in 2011?  Photo and story at West Norwood News.

27 April 15:  125-131 Norwood High Street is one of the enigmas of West Norwood.  125/127 have been derelict buildings for years and 129/131 are cleared sites which have had old vehicles and rubbish for as long as most can remember.  These sites have just been cleared and a screen put around the perimeter.  No planning application, so what's happening now? Before and Now.

23 April 15:  Thursday’s Library / Cinema informal exhibition gave a lot more confidence in the project going ahead, respecting the architecture of the building, good consideration for the library and imaginative conversion and additions for the cinema.  There was even talk of opening by early 2017 but with the planning application slipped-back even further to June/July this seems optimistic.  There’s a second chance to see the plans and visuals, also to talk with Picturehouse and library representatives and fill-in a questionnaire – this Saturday 25th 9.30 to 3.30 at The Portico (address above).  To the relief of many, Picturehouse says it has no interest in operating the library, which was one possibility specified in a council cabinet report.

19 April 15:  Both TfL projects meetings concerned with design and delivery of the £7mill schemes emphasised the opportunity for the community of all ages plus local businesses to engage in the process: helping select consultants, visioning ideas for experts to technically plan and then delivery.  It’s not too late to join-in.  Contact project leader councillor Anna Birley abirley@lambeth.gov.uk

17 April 15:  West Norwood for Sale!  Well, a BIG chunk of it.  Tesco is at last disposing of the two major sites it ‘land banked’ around 10 years ago.  The sale particulars emphasise residential use.  In the new Lambeth Local Plan (which will be in force by the time any planning applications come forward) these sites are a significant chunk of Site 18. These will be crucial redevelopments for the future of West Norwood.  Keep watching…

17 April 15:  And the decommissioned fire station at 445 Norwood Road is on the market at £3.95mill.  Will it be converted as the recent successful planning application, or will a new planning application arise with perhaps an alternative ground floor use than the approved nursery school.  Keep watching…

14 April 15:  Station Rise at Tulse Hill is to have a street market, albeit a trial one organised by Tree Shepherd, provided there’s support to win a £20k bid from The London Mayor’s High Street Fund.  You can help by liking on Facebook and conventional means.  If all’s well it will be with us around September.

11 April 15:  The scaffolding is up with a nice green ‘hairnet’ around Sainsbury’s for repair and renovation of the upper façade.  This is in the Woolworth white terracotta Art Deco style, and if a proper job is done, should look magnificent when finished!

10 April 15:  The coffee stall that was briefly trialled at the Health & Leisure Centre is no more.  Not enough footfall.  The centre needs to engage in some effective promotion if it’s to hit its targets.  At planning, 3000 a day was forecast.

9 April 15:  The outline planning application for housing on the site of the defunct Norwood Mailing Company in Chapel Road is of fundamental consequence to the Key Industrial and Business Area (KIBA) that it is part of.  This is supposed to be reserved for employment purposes but lack of Lambeth plans to achieve this has resulted in the area suffering planning blight for years.  Developers are now challenging this.  However, it’s understood that Lambeth are in the early stages of assessing the area for a primary school or adult care provision, both of which would be high employers.

8 April 15:  Antic assures that conversion work of the old Coop to a pub /restauarnt will continue shortly with opening in early June (improbable!).  To be named Knowles of Norwood (after the hardware shop on Knight’s Hill that was originally to have been the location of the venture), the pub and restaurant is to have a hardware theme!  Glad Knowles wasn’t a tripe butcher…

7 April 15:  The White Hart at Tulse Hill has had a change of operator and is presently closed for refurbishment – opening again soon.

5 April 15: The Money Shop on Norwood Road (next to KFC) is to close.  West Norwood has now lost both pay-day loan businesses.  London Mutual Credit Union offers alternative services and at much lower cost, as well as conventional banking.  You can find LMCU on-line or the nearest branch is Brixton.  NAG tempting them to open a branch here has so far not succeeded.

2 April 15:  The courtyard beside the boarded-up Nettlefold Hall beside St Luke's has been cleared of the sordid abandoned mattresses, beer cans, and other mouldering junk.  What a transformation!

3 April 15:  Lambeth is in negotiation with a private contractor for enforcement of regulations which include fly tipping, dog-fouling and other anti-social behaviour.  No doubt the contractor will have to be cost effective, so expect the issuing of fixed penalty notices to soar!  From lax to draconian?  There are still many issues and we plan another meeting quite soon.

2 April 15:  The Old Tate Library now has its grand Victorian features illuminated at night.  However, it may go dark again due to circuitry problems!

1 April 15:  The Health & Leisure Centre is trialing a part-time coffee stall.

1 April 15:  The date for the decision on which Kingfisher will decide which B&Q stores are to close is said to be by the end of this year.  Our local store is believed to have high sales by floor area, but high fixed costs too.  It would be a substantial loss if Kingfisher should close it, but a new occupant might be even better for the area.  Perhaps a Waitrose – this would increase the offer in West Norwood rather than directly competing with others.  Potentially this would draw in shoppers from a wider area increasing footfall to the benefit of all shops.  What do you think?  Send ideas to info@norwoodactiongroup.org

31 March 15:  The decommissioned fire station at 445 Norwood Road had planning permission granted for change of use to ground floor nursery school with flats above and behind.  Being a Grade 2 listed building many of its features are protected.  Expect the facade to remain the same but spruced-up, pavement reinstated and with street trees.

28 March 15:  Are you in business in this neighbourhood?  You could soon be obliged to contribute to the Business Improvement District fund.  The money is then to be used in ways the businesses decide will most benefit them.

27 March 15:  Lambeth Council's new chief executive Sean Harriss visited West Norwood escorted by councillors.  We hope for much!  A new culture of giving good service would be an excellent objective.

27 March 15:  The Central Hill Estate in Gipsy Hill ward is to be redeveloped, like everything else, at much higher density. Unfortunately NAG does not have the capacity to apply its normal rigour to such a major scheme, so if this plan concerns you, it’s urged that you engage with the issues. It seems probable that the area will be changed out of all recognition.

26 March 15:  For years, many on the Peabody Estate at the highest point of Tulse Hill have campaigned for a bus service to help those without cars to access local town centres.  It’s not an easy haul 1/3rd mile uphill with shopping, especially for the less able.  As the demand looked like being met, opposition has flared.  Concerns included considerable loss of parking to enable buses to negotiate the narrow roads, the associated hazards, excessive frequency (every 15 minutes) and the effect on the 315 route that would provide the service.  A formal consultation is planned.

25 March 15: The Conquering Hero of Beulah Hill has a micro pig Frances Bacon that hit the national media. Last national news reportage of our neighbourhood was the community shop at Vale Street.  Definitely improvements on the usual bad news that the media picks on.

23 March 15:  Good to see the Old Tate Library at last has its illuminations to add definition to its grand Victorian features after dark.

20 March 15: The exclusivity agreement between Bromley Council and the Zhong Rong Group for a rebuilt Crystal Palace has expired and the Chinese investors appear to have ‘gone away’.  Bromley is now proposing a trust to manage the park.  Plans for regeneration of the National Sports Centre have also been ‘parked’, including the proposal for two schools on the site.

5 March 15:  NAG helps local tennis enthusiast Dan Lockeretz launch a project to bring public use back to the West Norwood Tennis Club, also with squash courts and club house for a multitude of social uses.  Click here.

4 March 15:  Full public consultation starting from a 'blank piece of paper' was promised by council officers in a joint Forum / NAG committee meeting.  This relates to the proposal to review and rework the Tulse Hill gyratory, managed by TfL and £5mill funded by the London Mayor's Office.  Also, public realm improvements from there to Barclay's Bank, the £2mill funded by TfL.  Completion five years and two years respectively.  Announcement soon of first public meeting.  Part of the scheme could be a street market at Station Rise, Tulse Hill.

23 February 15:  The Open Works sponsored Plant a Garden or Orchard and, led by Wayne Trevor, is approaching its last assignment on 8th March, location yet to be decided.  The beneficiaries to date have included the Leisure Centre, Tivoli Park, the Holderness Estate, and particularly the Bus Garage, now dubbed the Bzz Garage due to the bee attracting flowering plants, shrubs and trees.  What a transformation!

21 February 15: Gipsy Road approaching Paxton Green had a raised brick carriageway created in 2012 to ‘traffic calm’ and make it more pedestrian friendly.  Unfortunately this was not robust enough to withstand traffic.  This has now been replaced with Tarmac.

20 February 15:  Cultural Services by 2020 – the consultation regarding culture, leisure and sport services in Lambeth, including the future direction of the library services.  See 31st January below for possible outcomes.  On Saturday 7th March at The Portico 11 to 1pm there’s to be “an arts, heritage and cultural themed workshop”Book Here (free). Curiously the corresponding Streatham event on 2nd March is “a town centre library and archives theme workshop”.  Book here (free).  What does this distinction in wording mean?  NAG will try to find out.  Many will be unhappy if the West Norwood precarious library provision is not part of the “conversation” at the workshop.

19 February 15:  Back on 17 July we reported the death of the 'urban art' project due to objections from Network Rail under whose railway bridges the enamelled boards were to be affixed.  This was met with satisfaction from many who felt the designs tedious and uninspiring, even moronic.  The concept had support but the sentiment was that this is one project that the design should definitely be decided by a popluar vote.  We're told it's to go ahead just at Tulse Hill, but still no public say in the choice of art. More...

13 February 15:  The much heralded rebuilding of the Crystal Palace seems to have run out of steam.  Potential developer Zhong Rong Group had a controversial exclusivity deal which expired in January.  Bromley Council has extended to 20 February for ZRG’s proposals. Inside Croydon report.  Also, public consultation has booted-out the proposed redevelopment of the National Sports Centre and with it the new school sites.  Inside Croydon report.  With ever increasing young families, where will the children be educated?

9 February 15:  If you have street trees in your road and one or more has to be removed for whatever reason these will not normally be replaced.  However, for a payment of £450 (which includes a 3 year ‘care package’ and guarantee) you can have a new tree planted.  Meanwhile trees planted in carriageways (such as Robson Road) appear as a result of absolutely no public demand whatsoever.

4 February 15:  Graham Pycock enthusiastically presented the Norwood Planning Assembly at the Norwood Forum open meeting. The NPA is currently going through council accreditation.  When the process is complete NPA members will be able to draft the Norwood Local Plan.  It is as simple and important as that.  To get involved, contact Graham via this link.  There will be a dedicated NPA meeting in mid-March, but make yourself known to Graham right-away.

4 February 15:  There are two prevalent informed schools of thought regarding the cinema: that the cinema will definitely happen, it’s just down to enduring the process; the other is that the project is finely balanced with both council and Picturehouse prepared to back-out if the figures don’t satisfy.  The project was over-sold when we were told in 2013 ‘a combined library and cinema in two years’, prematurely raising expectations.

31 January 15:  Latest library news is that there is a borough-wide consultation – “Cultural Services by 2020” – this includes library services as well as culture more widely, sports and other physical activities.  This is all about how budget reductions are going to be managed.  The outcome for libraries could be a reduction in service – possible downgrading from ‘town centre libraries’ to ‘community libraries’.  In the case of West Norwood the outcome might be reduced hours and, if the cinema project goes ahead, Picturehouse may be contracted to run the library.  Make your views known via the link above, or hard copy available via the council – 020 7926 2623

21 January 15:  Reports from the steering group for the Library / Cinema project do not bring news of 'full steam ahead'.  Picturehouse has not made a clear unequivocal commitment about paying the London Living Wage, a key condition by Lambeth.  The difference may be "a package equivalent or better than" - free cinema tickets in kind?!  It has clearly been stated that if the figures don't add-up, they'll walk away.  Sensible business, so doesn't need stating, unless for effect.

18 January 15:  The Knight's Hill Day Nursey in Eden Road, architect designed in the '80's, lies derelict and unused, except by occasional squatters.  NAG enquiries have revealed a complex situation regarding ownership and other matters.  However, the council is engaged in trying to bring the property back to its original use.  Time scale, at least two years.

17 January 15:  Just uphill from the Tennis Club is Cheviot Gardens sheltered housing estate, currently under redevelopement to much higher density.  Seeing it growing so rapidly from the ground is quite awe inspiring, and the bulk greater than the artist impressions conveyed at the planning stage!  Despite that, if the Tennis Club redevelopment should go ahead (see below), the 5th storey section will face a lower section of Cheviot Gardens.  Excessive bulk and height.  Overbearing!

16 January 15:  A new planning application is in for redevelopment of the Tennis Club at Cheviot Road.  Not that we were informed as no site notice has been posted nor letter sent to all previous objectors.  The plan is much as reported at in our newsletter of 23 August - 5 storeys with a reduced sport facility below.  Popular local view is to upgrade the sports space and no redevelopment. Click here to view and comment on the plan.  Ignore 'comments cannot be made at this time' - register and go ahead.  The existing comments make interesting reading.

15 January 15:  Our first 6 months of the News Thread - NAG hopes it provides a useful service. Comments invited!

14 January 15:  Yes!  Knight's Hill was resurfaced as promised.  Onto the next task.

13 January 15:  '38 degrees' has a current anti-fracking petition.  In the emails exhorting to sign the petition they state Dulwich & West Norwood as a high risk area.  It is not at high risk, as confirmed on the map link they attach.  Croydon area going as far north as the southern tip of Lambeth is within an area with an exploratory licence.  Planning permission for work would be required.  Lambeth has stated their unequivocal stance against such work.

12 January 15:  Saturday and Sunday all day doctor surgeries are currently available at the Health & Leisure Centre during the winter period (end of March).  Your own GP can refer you.  From April it will revert to Saturday morning only.

7 January 15:  Ground-radar tests took place in the 'car park' on the west side of St Luke's to establish conditions before work to lay a proper surface with proper substructure.  The future use of the space is not yet decided by the church authorities.  Gates may be installed and opened only for specific events.  There are still no plans for replacement of the wire mesh fences that obstruct the earlier pedestrian gates - a shame as it detracts from the appearance of this grand local church and landmark.

6 January 15:  The lower section of Knight's Hill roadway from the station is due to be resurfaced during the nights of 11, 12 and 13th of January.  This will include the incorporation of 'Scoot Loops' that automatically monitor traffic flows and adjust traffic light timings, though the tech side will take a bit longer.  Only then will the traffic signals be fully set-up.  Hoods on some pedestrian lights should also go!

6 January 15:  The finishing of the public realm works around St Luke's has stalled.  Funds for completion have been agreed but not yet 'signed-off'.  The project could well be a year late in completion with 'snagging' still to be done, plus benches, trees (in planters due to dense underground services), cycle racks and notice boards promised.

20 December 14:  Lambeth has released additional information which goes some way to describing the nature of the the agreement with Picturehouse.  Click here and  Click here.  Taken at face value, "by 2017" suggests before the end of 2016 which would be greatly welcomed; however, don't overlook "moved a step closer" - the agreement is still understood to be conditional on the ongoing costings referred to.  All being well, public consultation will follow.

18 December 14:  Library / Cinema News! Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Lambeth cabinet member for neighbourhoods, announced "Today I signed the agreement with Picturehouse for the redevelopment of the Nettlefold Centre. We will be able to provide further details at our next steering group meeting in January 2015."  The nature of the agreement has yet to be disclosed - it's hoped that it meets the expectations of our community.

18 December 14:  Norwood Forum's very professional bid to Lambeth Forum Network for funding to assist neighbourhood enterprises was successful.  Forum is planning events in January and March for local businesses, community groups and start-ups, so if you're looking for funding or need help, or have ideas, do attend.  Further information via info@norwoodforum.org

17 December 14:  Knight's Hill Surgery having settled in its new location at the Health & Leisure Centre is now offering Saturday and Sunday surgeries from 9am to 5pm.  Also, dental services are available in the dental school for local residents with special needs.

15 December 14: It is announced by Thurlow Park councillor Fred Cowell that the public realm improvements funding by TfL amounting to over £2mill for Norwood Road from Chestnut Road to Tulse Hill gyratory has been approved. Planning will start very soon with public workshops anticipated with work in 2016-2017.  This could include a street market at Station Rise.  Status of the rework of the gyratory not yet reported.

15 December 14:  West Norwood Community Shop in Vale Street has opened to great acclaim with coverage on tv and in the national press.  It offers surplus food from the big stores at knockdown prices but only to those in need. Click here or here.  After the success of a pilot there are expected to be 200 nationwide.

12 December 14:  The 'shanty shops' on Woodvale Walk off Elder Road were demolished back in August leaving a cleared site.  Work has now commenced on a 3 storey build with ground floor shop and 9 flats, though the detail of what will be built is still pending planning consent.  Consent was originally granted in August 2013 and since then there have been 8 applications for variations of the consent, 7 of which have been refused.  This is an approach used by some developers to get more latitude after they've got in 'the thin end of the wedge'.  The 2013 approved plan was uninspiringly dull but at least set-back behind railings and trees. Click here.

10 December 14:  Lidl's second planning application for the old S G Smith car dealer site at Crown Point is currently under consideration.  The first application was refused for reasons that included unacceptable architecture.  The new application is now for 3 storey (instead of 2 previously) with more flats above.  Presumably Croydon Council did not think the first application dense enough otherwise Lidl would not be going for more - unless they have upped the stakes for an appeal in the event of a refusal.  Locally there are mixed views with more supporters for the scheme than objectors on the planning portal.

8 December 14:  NAG's The State of Our Streets campaign is having increasing results. The pavement washer/dryer was allowed down to West Norwood and was in action outside the Nettlefold Hall - click here.  All we need now is for the Library to come back into use, perhaps with a cinema...

​7 December 14:  South London Theatre has suffered delays in its restoration programme.  Work will now start in October 2015 so performances will continue till then.

5 December 14: The Christmas Lights were lit at 5pm today and despite the Business Association financing extra decorations it seems a bit low-key!  St Luke’s new lamp standards are now all subtly alight, it just remains for the Old Library switch-on.

5 December 14: The grand opening of the health and leisure centre by Tessa Jowell MP.  Thanks was expressed to all those who had brought a complex project to completion, and a mission statement was voiced on how the centre should benefit the health of the neighbourhood in the widest possible way with preventative initiatives of many kinds.  A cehlidi band and jazz combo provided music but proceedings were brought to a premature end by police clearing the building due to an alarm, triggered, as later revealed, by a balloon.

26 November 14:  Hoorah for Grand Openings with the big-wigs!  All the issues at the leisure centre are due to be fixed in advance, so come 5th December, everything should be clean and perfect!

26 November 14:  The new fire station was officially opened last Tuesday by ‘Fire Minister’ Penny Mordaunt, whilst demonstrators protested against changes in policy affecting working practices, earnings and pensions of LFB staff.  Click here for the official announcement and here for the demo.

19 November 14:  The land on the west side of St Luke's currently used as an ad hoc car park and in places deep in mire is to be resurfaced.  A radar ground survey is necessary to determine that there is nothing sensitive that might be disturbed when resetting levels in this ex-graveyard.  The use afterwards has yet to be determined by the church authorities.

16 November 14:  The public “conversation” on 14th November about King’s Hospital reorganisation has been reported as a gesture without any outcome.  King’s will do what it wants and we need to know the result.  We welcome reports of patient experience from those awaiting surgery and the choices offered.  Do tell us your experience, good or bad via the contact link on the home page. 

14 November 14:  The posh Legible London sign boards dotted around West Norwood are a frequent source of comment – from pointing the wrong way, to resurrecting Newtown from the 1930's and now directing people to the decommissioned fire station on Norwood Road.  This needs changing as, apart from correctness, more people are likely to be looking for the new fire station on Knight’s Hill as it has a publicly available community room.

13 November 14:  A new primary scholl is due to open next September.  The school will have a two-form entry of 30 places each and its admissions area will be a 1½ mile radius from its likely location at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre – this takes-in SE19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 - five boroughs!  More information here.

11 November 14:  Vandals 6 - Leisure Centre nil.  The showers are now out of action and cordoned-off - expected repair date 7th December.  Not impressive. 

10 November 14:  Vandals 5 - Leisure Centre 1.  The poolside showers are down to 1 operational from 6.  This is despite damage starting in first week of August and assurances two weeks ago that they would be repaired soonest (prior to replacement with more robust push-button operation).

4 November 14:  The Tulse Hill Hotel says opening in two weeks.

3 November 14:  Cineworld, owners of Picturehouse, announce that the planned reorganisation and redundancies are now "a group matter" and will not happen in the short term though possible longer term.  Even Dulwich & West Norwood MP Dame Tessa Jowell joined the fray though The Ritzy is not in her constituency - no knowledge of her influencing the library cinema proposal in West Norwood.  Click here.

31 October 14:  The occasional Norwood Feast sponsored film nights at The Portico may become weekly.  Who needs Picturehouse?!  Current details here.  Good screen, comfy seats and cheap bar, so we're informed.

30 October 14:  Yesterday's Forum meeting had the announcement of a campaign for a new  state secondary school, Gipsy Hill Secondary Academy based on the Free School model.  It is to be 8 form entry opening in 2016, eventually with 1400 pupils.  Possible sites are not disclosed due to commercially confidentiality.  To ensure a green-light for the project, public support is essential.  Click here.  Even with this big lift in capacity, demand will still be ahead of supply.

30 October 14:  The Forum meeting also  heard council officer Christine Sipidias apologise for slow progress with the library / cinema project but basically saying that's the way it is.  The "legal documents" to be signed by mid October are in fact leases but are not yet signed, though should be soon; however, that's not a 'green-light'.  The leases are subject to various matters that are yet to be determined.  All being well, pre-application drawings will be publicly available in January.  Regarding the strife at Picturehouse (see 27 October below), the war of words continues. Read Will Self's comments in the Evening standard.

30 October 14:  Work at Antic (see 9 October below) has temporarily stopped (work to finish elsewhere!); completion by Christmas improbable.

30 October 14:  The new fire station on Knight's Hill comes into service today.  For the first month, shifts will be split bewteen the old and new locations.  It will soon be found how much of a problem traffic on Knight's Hill is to fire appliances making swift progress to emergency calls.

29 October 14:  This Wednesday (29th) Norwood Forum are holding a public meeting from 7 till 9pm at the Old Library, 16 Knight's Hill.  The two main topics are library / cinema project progress presented by council officer Christine Sipidias and changes to surgery at King's.  Meeting details here.  See Healthwatch item on 26th October too.

28 October 14:  This Sunday 2nd November, is the next Norwood Feast.  This also is the date of the annual Veteran Car Run from Hyde Park to Brighton.  Cars and three-wheelers (the youngest of which will be 110 years old, the eldest, an 1888 Truchutet, a mere 126 years old) will pass down Streatham High Road, past Streatham Common from shortly after 7am till about 9am, with stragglers following!  So make it an early start with a flask and folding chairs, watch the cavalcade and head-up to the Feast.

27 October 14:  Picturehouse recently announced their intention of reducing staff numbers at Brixton by about 20.  PH says it is about reducing reliance on zero hours contracts; staff say it's retaliation against their campaign to be paid the London Living Wage.  It's reported that jobs are to be renamed, staff will have to re-apply but with about 20 fewer posts.  Brixton Ritzy is reported to be PH's most profitable site.  Could outcomes affect West Norwood plans?

26 October 14: Healthwatch is holding a "conversation" (apparently not a consultation) on 14th November at Brixton about King's Hospital recent changes to surgery and how to deliver "high quality services".  Click here for how to be involved.  Topic also to be featured at Norwood Forum's next open meeting - see 29th October above.

26 October 14:  Another ‘state of our neighbourhood’ issue: Rosendale Playing Fields is the ongoing victim of vandalism and dumping.  Whytefield Residents’ Association have started a petition to urge Lambeth Council to address the problem.  They would welcome the support of all users, parents, local schools and their governors, football league and the local community.  More details here and petition here.  Do tell your friends and neighbours.

17 October 14:  Des-res?  Planning application in for conversion of West Norwood's ancient and long closed subterranean loos to a one-bedroom flat.

16 October 14: The water-main repair and extensive resurfacing work on Norwood Road near Lancaster Avenue that has caused horrendous traffic queues has now been completed with day and night working - likewise the road-works at Streatham Hill.  Now we will discover just how well traffic flows with no additional factors.  The resurfacing of Knight's Hill, when it happens, should be only nighttime working.

15 October 14:  At the same AGM as below chair Tony Peck reported the latest local theft wheeze - stealing catalytic converts from beneath cars.  Low cars are not at too much risk but cars with more ground clearance where someone can slide beneath are most at risk.  One that was stolen happened between the hours of 5pm and 10pm on a driveway - report suspicious behaviour - 999 (not 101).  Police have advised that their numbers are up and are now proactively on crime prevention.

15 October 14: Last night's Bewlys, Cheviot & Roxburgh Neighbourhood Watch AGM heard an LFB fireman say that when relocated at Knight's Hill at the end of October, if they need to head north down Knight's Hill and the traffic is bad they will head south (!) to Crown Point, west on Crown Vale, North of Leigham Court Road, etc!  This is bizarre.  Though difficulties were foretold, no-one would listen.  Suggest that as traffic lights at Norwood / Robson Roads can be remotely controlled that a northward journey is facilited by a long green phase.  NAG on the case.

14 October 14:  More information about Norwood New Town (see 7 October) - more correctly Newtown: this was a walled enclave from 1840 to 1930 (when the wall was demolished) that enclosed the unruly labouring classes.  With it reappearing on signposts, are we to see its re-establishment?!

13 October 14:  A burst water main at on Norwood Road near Lancaster Avenue is causing traffic chaos - the men with shovels say it will take a few days to be finished.

10 October 14:  A consultation is underway till the 31st October for renovation and partial redevelopment of the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.  Redevelopment might include two new schools. Details here. There's an exhibition at the centre from 13th to 20th October and you can make your comments there on the 16th or 18th, or online here.

9 October 14:  Users of platform 1 at West Norwood Station may have noticed a well-laden apple tree.  So have rats which are frequently seen climbing the tree to gnaw the fruit.  Even rats need healthy food to combat all the greasy take-away remnants!  Network Rail aware.  Wider issues apparent.

9 October 14: Antic have at last started conversion of This That and The Other into a bar and restaurant.  "By Christmas" is still the word...  photo

9 October 14:  Following a conversation with the applicant for the development of the soon to be redundant West Norwood Fire Station (see 29 September below) it was said that a ground floor nursery is the intention at this stage but may change to a completely different use.  NAG will stay on the case to inform all and perhaps lobby and campaign.

7 October 14:  The Legible London display board at Lancaster Avenue has now been corrected, however, another misleading one (photo) has appeared outside West Norwood Station in Hannen Road.  It could use right arrows to indicate Library, Norwood Road and Tulse Hill station.  It also references Norwood New Town on the other side! (photo), also outside the Nettlefold Hall (photo).  Norwood New Town... something Lambeth hasn't told us about? 

6 October 14:  Openings and closings down at Tulse Hill.  Good to see Hamiltons, the long established used car front on the corner of Norwood Road and Leigham Vale, trading again under new ownership.  The site had been empty for too long.  Norwood Travel next door may become an off-licence.  Sadly, Indian Palace has closed but Creative Aroma is a recently opened stylish coffee lounge.  On the other side of Norwood Road Redpath chemist shop closed and derelict for many years has had planning permission granted for internal conversions and reopening as a retail shop.  Near the gyratory James Wilson is now a coffee shop and close to the railway bridge there is now a shoe shop Ouch!

5 October 14:  Knight's Hill now has a plethora of cafes and licenced premises.  Going up the hill (excluding take-aways): Cul de Sac French coffee shop with big mother and children following. Lal Baag long established Indian restaurant is followed by Norwood's longest established hostlery, Horns Tavern (founded before 1756, rebuilt several times) with its traditional offer, whilst almost opposite The Great North Wood has established itself as a contemporary pub with a varied menu. Pintadera has become a popular Italian cafe / deli.  Otter has opened as a licenced cafe / bistro and gift ghop.  The Garden is an Italian gastro bar with back terrace, licenced and open till 11pm.  Finally there's the long established Frangipani Cafe close to Thornlaw Road.  With the The Garden, West Norwood's evening offer is steadily creeping up-hill.

3 October 14:  The astonishing revelation that currently there are neither funds allocated nor a date for resurfacing Knight's Hill as part of the still to be completed public realm improvements around St Luke's is reverberating.  The road is dangerous for both road users and pedestrians alike.  Surely it must be of the highest priority!  Just one pothole. NAG is on the case.

2 October 14:  This photo taken at 9.10am this morning shows that traffic isn't always backed-up in our neighbourhood, though it too often is!  Currently roadworks at Streatham is generating extra traffic.

2 October 14:  A 'modesty hood' has been put over the Legible London display board till correction...

1 October 14:  NAG The State of Our Streets Public Meeting.  Click here for report. 

1 October 14:  The planning application to rebuild the old tile warehouse and shop at 207-209 Gipsy Road as a Tesco Express with flats above has gone straight to appeal.  The application was submitted on 22 May but no decision or Planning Application Committee meeting was set.  As a consequence the applicant is following the appeal process due to 'non-determination' within the statutory period.

30 September 14:  Library / Cinema project steering group convened.  Detail is absent due to commercial confidentiality but key outcomes are: "legal documents" will "completed" mid October followed by 12 weeks of detailed costings.  Subject to all being satisfactory the facility is expected to open autumn/winter 2017.  None of these matters are assured.

29 September 14:  A planning application has been submitted for the soon to be redundant West Norwood Fire Station.  It is for conversion to flats above a ground-level nursery school whilst retaining the listed features (front facade plus panelled fire-mens' mess-room) and for 4 storey flats in the yard behind.  However, once given planning consent the ground floor use would be 'D1' which could mean other less attractive uses than a nursery school.

26 September 14:  Do you feel the need for a home call from a doctor?  Lambeth's Compost Doctor can offer advice, even home visits, to help you make good compost from your garden and kitchen waste.  Also how to create estate or community facilites, even training to be a Master Composter is all on offer.  Find out more at  www.lambeth.gov.uk/compostdoctor  or phone 020 7926 8948 .

25 September 14:  One of the Legible London Super Signpost dispay boards installed at Norwood Road / Lancaster Avenue junction is pointing in all the wrong directions! photo

19 September 14:  The Nettlefold Library / cinema steering group is to meet on 30th September.  We hope to have John Kerridge, Lambeth’s associate director: communities commissioning to bring us up-to-speed at our meeting the next day, but in any event we will have a report.  Also, with councillors present there will be an opportunity to say what’s on your mind.  With the elections earlier this year there’s a ‘new term’ enthusiasm in the air – put 1st October in your diary now!

18 September 14:  Antic pub and restaurant latest: work to start next week – trading by Christmas.

17 September 14:  New street bins are about to be installed through our neighbourhood. They are a split design for recycling and rubbish.

17 September 14:  Latest library / cinema news is that the 8th September Lambeth cabinet meeting that we hoped to report on has been cancelled; the next will be 27th October.  Whether the stakeholder steering group meeting planned for late September is still happening is not known.  Meanwhile work has started at a Picturehouse cinema in Lordship Lane, East Dulwich.

16 September 14: The Tennis Club at 128 Knight's Hill are opening their bar to the public on Sunday from 12 to 3pm.  Whether this is a permanent Sunday arrangement isn't known.

15 September 14:  Norwood Action Group and Norwood Forum have submitted a joint objection to the Tulse Hill ‘gateway site’ redevelopment.  It’s a massive overdevelopment of the site that extends beyond the existing building lines virtually to the pavement.  Street level pavement edge will have a hedge – notorious rubbish traps, and balconies above – probably unusable for leisure being above a busy junction, but good for storage, bicycles and washing. Click here for the full story.

6 September 14:  The works around St Luke’s are still a work-in-progress.  However we are informed that ‘snagging’ and other detail work will continue once a specialist team is available, and that resurfacing of the road should be completed in September… Included in the final phase are tree planting, cycle racks, benches and yes, a notice board!  Concerns about traffic paying insufficient care when negotiating the pedestrian ‘level crossings’ have been registered with request for the problem to be addressed.

4 September 14: The Tulse Hill Hotel currently under major renovation by brewers Greene King division The Metropolitan Pub Company is due to re-open in November with an upmarket food and drink offer, plus boutique hotel.  

29 August 14:  Plans for the redevelopment of a key site at Tulse Hill are now before Lambeth Planning - follow this link to a longer report and access to details.  This will be on the agenda of NAG's next public meeting - date to be announced soon.

29 August 14:  News received that Strowgers the ironmongers and hardware shop is to close in about a month.  Surely the end of an era.  Long term residents will remember all sorts of traditional businesses such as Mills the Stationers and J.B.Wilson Undertakers (West Norwood's longest serving business - from 1838 to 2012), its shop front unchanged for about 100 years - now a non-descript convenience store.  Go to Strowgers before it's too late to buy all those hard to find elsewhere bits and bobs. 

27 August 14:  Our colleagues at Norwood Forum are conducting a survey of residents' preferences for a street market in West Norwood or Tulse Hill.  Go to www.norwoodforum.org home page to register your views - by 2nd September.  Act now!

26 August 14:  Library / Cinema News - It's understood that a report is to go before the council cabinet's September meeting.  What its recommendations are have not been disclosed.  Developments soon?

22 August 14:  Thursday evening saw the tennis club community room busier than it’s been for a long time.  Due to NAG’s newsletter and leafleting in the immediate vicinity enough people have viewed the plans to gain a collective view.  If you were one, please send your views to NAG by email from the contact button top left on the home page.  Following a review of comments a new topic will be started under 'Actions'.  NAG action over the last 7 years has helped scale the proposal down from the initial 11 storeys to the current proposal of 4 storeys.  There is more that we can do!

22 August 14:  ‘Unlimited Meanwhile’ has announced they are developing an app to help people find vacant commercial space in West Norwood whether for pop-up or permanent use, cultural or commercial.  If you are interested in forming a pilot group go along to The Portico Gallery at 10am on Thursday 11th September http://www.unlimitedmeanwhile.com/

21 August 14:  Thurlow Park Safer Neighbourhood Team is holding a crime prevention hour at Chatsworth Baptist Church on Thursday 4th September at 7pm.  All are welcome but places are limited so to book phone 07920 233 843 or email thurlowpark.snt@met.police.uk

20 August 14:  The new fire station on Knight's Hill is due to come into operation on 1st November.  We hope that the many concerns about the suitability of the location are unfounded.

16 August 14:  A notice is seen posted on the gate of West Norwood Tennis Club announcing a public exhibition of plans to redevelop the site.  The date is 21st August at the tennis club between 7 and 9pm. Many local residents are frustrated that this once popular sports and social club with origins going back nearly 90 years has since about 2007 stringently controlled its membership and refused new members.  What was once open to the community may be sold for redevelopment and personal gain. If you care about what happens on this site it is vital to visit - collectively we have influence.  Three previous planning applications (the first was for a 9 storey block of flats) have all failed due to all parties concerting to great effect.  Who knows?  Maybe fourth time something acceptable.

14 August 14:  Sonia Winifred is voted-in again as a Labour Councillor for Knight's Hill ward - for the second time in three months!  The by-election was caused by her initially standing when not entitled to do so.   Lambeth has 59 Labour councillors, 3 Conservative and 1 Green.  Sonia has pledged to work for West Norwood to be a vibrant and thriving town centre, attract new businesses and jobs, tackle flytipping, littering and anti-social behaviour.  Also library refurbishment, additional investment in local services.  She says "Lambeth's Labour council will ensure childcare is more affordable and provide free breakfasts in our primary schools."

14 August 14:  Incredible downpour hits West Norwood.  At about 2pm the skies opened and in a half-hour period about 3 inches of rain fell.  Backed-up weight of water in sewers from the heights of Upper Norwood and Crown Point caused displaced manholes and water cascades as shown in The Gallery on our Home Page.  Crown Vale was flooded with traffic diverted.  The next day the damage caused by tremendous pressures was evident.  More Photos:  Elder Road   Crown Vale

7 August 14:  Worldwide Mission Fellowship were refused planning permission to demolish the old Baptist Church and a house in Elder Road and rebuild a 500+ seater new church.  One of the grounds for refusal was the traffic chaos that would inevitably befall this already congested road.  Today it was announced that they are to press the application by appealing the decision, showing little regard for local residents.

4 August 14:  The series of strikes at Picture House to gain the living wage for staff has been concluded with a staged agreement, subject to a vote to accept.  Perhaps this will facilitate progress of the joint library / cinema project.

28 July 14:  The much anticipated West Norwood Lealth & Leisure Centre at Devane Way (opposite West Norwood station) opened to much excxitement and pleasure.  Facilities include a large fitness studio and a 25 metre pool.  Opening later will be doctors' surgeries and dental school.  Note: disabled parking only.

24 July 14:  The Open Works in conjunction with Arriva and many volunteers have transformed the flower borders at the bus garage from weeds and rubbish to, yes, flower borders!  Although NAG had tried to achieve the same end, The Open Works made the running, so a big 'thank you' and congratulations for uplifting this corner of West Norwood. Also special thanks to Wayne Trevor who planned the work and Floral Hall for contributing dozens of plants.  See pictures!  young helpers  Rathbone helpers  work in progress

24 July 14South London Theatre's major refurbishment and conversion into a more flexible space with greatly improved theatre and public facilities will commence with closure in May 2016, reopening in time for its 50th anniversary early in 2017.  Enabled by a £1.6mill Heritage Lottery Fund grant, SLT is to refurbish the historic 1881 Fire Station for the benefit of the whole community.  Click here for full details.

22 July 14:  NAG, Norwood Forum and others gave evidence to Lambeth's Overview & Scrutiny Committee concerning King's College Hospital management moving most elective surgery for three specialties to other sites.  See link King's for full story.

18 July 14:  The Cheque Centre on Norwood Road has closed.  Double shop anyone?

17 July 14:  The proposed but unloved 'urban art' panels to have adorned our railway bridges have been scrapped!  More details

15 July 14:  Whilst funds have not yet been allocated, it looks highly likely that TfL will fund public realm improvements to continue from St Luke’s to the Tulse Hill gyratory.  This could include a pedestrianised Station Rise for a street market.  Plus further funds to reconfigure the Tulse Hill gyratory to two-way working.  ‘Visioning’, as it is known, is expected to start in September with consultation to follow, works completed by 2019.  Subject to proper consultation we anticipate a major improvement to the whole district centre except Norwood High Street and the shopping parades south of West Norwood Station.  Another objective!
The reworking of the Tulse Hill gyratory back to two-way working should bring back a better community feel to the area with increased pedestrian and cyclist safety.  However, the pay-off is that the traffic flow may well be restricted more than at present – this could have knock-on effects far beyond.  We're poised...