Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

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JGD
Posts: 364
Joined: 5 Feb 2018 11:39
Location: Lewisham

Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JGD » 21 Jan 2019 21:52

So here we go again.

SydSoc has convened another secret squirrel meeting and held it on Saturday.

It invited two councillors from each of the Bellingham and Sydenham wards. It invited an architecture company to describe the benefits of a Masterplan for the tiny portion of the site that now has no plans for redevelopment on the table after the withdrawal of Kier's proposed development. It invited the FohSoc to attend. And multiple members of SydSoc were present.

When the absence of any Bellingham ward residents who were not councillors was commented upon at the meeting, the meeting took no action to explain this significant omission or to propose to reconvene when this omission had been corrected.

Discourse Architecture revealed in a tweet that they and SydSoc had conducted a "very productive meeting about the masterplan" for the gasometer site.

Astonishingly Discourse made no reference to the fact that SydSoc were in absolute ignorance of what benefits the immediate neighbours wanted from the previous development.

This absence of local knowledge, virtually zero membership in Bellingham and accountability to those ward residents underscores the questions around the avoidance of any observation of integrity on the part of SydSoc.

It is evident that SydSoc has elected to start in secrecy. They have an obsessive and abusive outlook towards their neighbours in their own community. Look to the earlier evidence in posts that have been highlighted. We residents of Bellingham have to live with this behaviour and prospect of SydSoc's unalloyed intransigence.

So Discourse Architecture's position is "Indeed we want to consider public consultation as the backbone of our work, as it has been for our Forest Hill proposal" They have been promoting over several months the need for a masterplan for the last portion of the Bell Green redevelopment. A masterplan for the small remnant what is probably less the 20% of the overall site?

A masterplan for the entire site drafted and agreed in the mid 1990’s would have been considered appropriate.

Until this meeting I thought it might have a little - but limited - value.

The new putative masterplan’s value today is reduced to being less than risible because of the closed nature of its launch.

So for the individuals who have been spot lighted as being in attendance - someone called Barry has been identified as the minute taker. If this is accurate I call for the minutes to be published immediately.

It is reported that in the closed meeting the opportunity was taken to discuss the retention of at least one gas holder. If the meeting concluded this was possible, what information has been provided to them that the demolition work underway now is to be modified ? I call for any such information to be made public.

Cllr Chris is reported as saying that she and officers are trying to track down the missing £1m in s106 monies that was not spent on the Southend Lane bridge and pedestrian safety improvements. In fact the missing monies amount to approx £2.08m. If it helps Cllr Chris I have been able to track the £2.08m in the authority's accounts to 2014. Please get in touch - we can discuss this matter beneficially. It is not the first time in recent years that councillors have proferred this kick-it-down-the-road answer.

But what do our councillors think when in their minds it's only a million? So what if it is mislaid or squandered by the council and residents are robbed of the benefits? Ask this question - how many years is it since the money was paid to the council.

And we have the self revealing jrw in attendance in a tweet. She tells us "Councillors from each ward were at the meeting, and are happy to work together for a good outcome at #BellGreen. There is no place for ridiculous administrative boundary disputes, putting community projects in jeopardy."

Julia the moment that you can confirm that you have consulted with a significant number of Bellingham ward constituents and from that can report on what those ward constituents want to see delivered, your tweet will acquire some validity. From the meeting this weekend it would seem you had very few Bellingham residents in attendance.

Most of you know my name, some of you have my email, some even have my number - do get in touch.

So as Burn's Night approaches on the 25th I leave you with his phrase "sic a parcel o' rogues" which comes to mind in the context here where actions have been undertaken that do go so much against popular opinion and the perception of integrity.

JRW
Posts: 316
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JRW » 21 Jan 2019 22:24

Hello again, JGD.

Saturday's meeting was simply a chance for people to discuss possible ideas to get public consultation started. Nothing has been pre-determined, everything is up for discussion, and the whole local community will have multiple opportunities to contribute. To enable that, however, some basic organisation, tedious admin and pooling of resources is required, hence a meeting. No conspiracy, just people who want to be useful, and improve Lewisham's planning process along the way.

I didn't hear anybody questioning the lack of Bellingham residents, if indeed there were none; I simply don't know. Most people aren't so fixated on arbitrary administrative boundaries, and appreciate that areas like Bell Green that sit at ward boundaries can easily get overlooked. I would be interested to know where you got your inaccurate information about the meeting.

RJM
Posts: 54
Joined: 2 Jan 2016 15:30
Location: Sydenham

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by RJM » 21 Jan 2019 22:26

Were there reps from Perry Vale ward? Some of us who are a few minutes walk away around Perry Rise have a legitimate interest in what's on the site and the knock on effects.

Ultimately, the whole thing needs to move on and a proper decision (hopefully one which manages the whole site) made. I hope more information on it is forthcoming soon.

LawriePark
Posts: 43
Joined: 2 Nov 2018 09:15
Location: Sydenham

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by LawriePark » 21 Jan 2019 22:27

JGD. Don’t see why your opinion might carry any more weight than anyone else’s here? Maybe you weren’t invited to the meeting because of your relentless, pompous, bellicose, self-important rambling, your singling-out and bullying of others, and the fact you’re not actually interested in anyone’s opinion except your own?

JGD
Posts: 364
Joined: 5 Feb 2018 11:39
Location: Lewisham

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JGD » 21 Jan 2019 22:34

LawriePark wrote:
21 Jan 2019 22:27
Don’t see why your opinion might carry any more weight than anyone else’s here? Maybe you weren’t invited to the meeting because of your relentless, pompous, bellicose, self-important rambling, your singling-out and bullying of others, and the fact you’re not actually interested in anyone’s opinion except your own?
Still up for that beer ?

JGD
Posts: 364
Joined: 5 Feb 2018 11:39
Location: Lewisham

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JGD » 21 Jan 2019 22:39

RJM wrote:
21 Jan 2019 22:26
Were there reps from Perry Vale ward? Some of us who are a few minutes walk away around Perry Rise have a legitimate interest in what's on the site and the knock on effects.
This is a perfect example of validity.

The residents of Perry Rise in particular have to endure the much greater degree of stationary traffic outside their homes than any of us.

Growsydenham
Posts: 74
Joined: 27 Jan 2018 09:23
Location: sydenham

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by Growsydenham » 21 Jan 2019 22:42

Didn’t see it in the weekly newsletter either. Shame, it sounds interesting.

JGD
Posts: 364
Joined: 5 Feb 2018 11:39
Location: Lewisham

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JGD » 21 Jan 2019 23:08

RJM wrote:
21 Jan 2019 22:26
I would be interested to know where you got your inaccurate information about the meeting.
Well in truth there are several sources. The majority are quotes from the many sources on the internet thingy - including yours. I'm sure as the author of your own tweet you are not now saying that you tweeted inaccurately.

And I am sure that the other parties who provided insight will not be too disappointed about your narrative that it is inaccurate - but I am certain it is precisely so.

You have confessed you have only ever passed All Inn One on the train - let me extend the invitation I made to LP and make a visit before its demolished.

Happy to buy you a drink too - we can all celebrate the Last Supper in AIO - Burn's Supper that is.

JRW
Posts: 316
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JRW » 21 Jan 2019 23:12

I was interested in your claim that the point was raised that no Bellingham non-councillors were present. I heard no one say that, and it hasn't been mentioned online. Source please?

Again, you misquote me, this time re All Inn One. I don't feel that in the circs, a drink would be particularly inviting; I prefer friendly, respectful discussion.

JGD
Posts: 364
Joined: 5 Feb 2018 11:39
Location: Lewisham

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JGD » 21 Jan 2019 23:37

JRW wrote:
21 Jan 2019 23:12
...Source please?

Again, you misquote me, this time re All Inn One. I don't feel that in the circs, a drink would be particularly inviting; I prefer friendly, respectful discussion.
Source please what ?

And as for AIO that is really sad and my quote is reasonable precise. Never mind - there will be plenty of other SydSoc friends there.

JRW
Posts: 316
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JRW » 21 Jan 2019 23:53

I asked for your source claiming that the lack of non-councillors representing Bellingham was raised as an issue. Nobody has said that online, as it didn't happen.

michael
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Location: Forest Hill

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by michael » 22 Jan 2019 08:13

JRW wrote:
21 Jan 2019 22:24
Hello again, JGD.

Saturday's meeting was simply a chance for people to discuss possible ideas to get public consultation started. Nothing has been pre-determined, everything is up for discussion, and the whole local community will have multiple opportunities to contribute. To enable that, however, some basic organisation, tedious admin and pooling of resources is required, hence a meeting. No conspiracy, just people who want to be useful, and improve Lewisham's planning process along the way.

I didn't hear anybody questioning the lack of Bellingham residents, if indeed there were none; I simply don't know.
Having attending the meeting I complete agree with your summary and would point out that the way JGD has presented / reported the meeting is not an accurate picture.

Public consultations don't just materialise out of nothing, people need to sit down and discuss the options and make it happen. Discourse have worked with the Forest Hill Society on consultations on the town centre including listening to local residents and presenting ideas in local ward assemblies and other public meetings, consulting on options in the library, in windows of solicitors, in newsletters, online, etc. Their involvement and tweeting should demonstrate that this is the beginning of a long process of consulting and that the intention is not to work on a secret stitch up.

But I would also say that the meeting was aware that there was a particularly need to consult people living in the Bellingham ward as any planning moves forward.

What I would ask is that we don't descend into tribal warfare along arbitrary ward boundaries even before any consultation begins. There is so much we are all likely to agree about and together we can make a difference. There really isn't the need for the animosity I see from JGD towards anything positive people try to do in the area - which is a shame because I know him and think that he has some incredibly useful and positive contributions to make to the process.

JGD
Posts: 364
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Location: Lewisham

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JGD » 22 Jan 2019 08:46

michael wrote:
22 Jan 2019 08:13
There really isn't the need for the animosity I see from JGD towards anything positive people try to do in the area
Animosity - really Michael? Splendidly poor choice of phrase. It is very disappointing to see that tone adopted by you.

You had the good fortune to be invited to this closed meeting. Which is one more invite than Bellingham residents received. So was it accidental that SydSoc had a significant number of members in attendance ?

Its like having made the choice to remodel your home and then find that only strangers are to be permitted to determine the design parameters. An entirely unrealistic proposition.

I know you too and you also have credentials some of which are incredibly useful and positive. We have corresponded in private about this matter.

Please be more specific about what matters you are disappointed that I have reported or that you think I have misreported..

JMLF
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JMLF » 22 Jan 2019 09:11

Huh, I wrote a far too long post which didn’t post/work. The long and short of it was - I’m banging the same ol’ drum in the hope that an influential member of the community or attends meetings/is close with those involved take on board my basic point/premise. The Sydenham Society and others put a lot of time, effort and in some cases money into big projects which do not always appear to benefit or are approved by a large proportion of the community (this doesn’t discount the good work they have done - examples are: The Gasholders, the mosaic at the Syd Centre (cost 50k, I’ve informally asked a few people and either people don’t notice it or think it’s old/not attractive), the greyhound mosaic (again, likely not viewed by majority of SE26 residents due to location).

In this case all the effort, time and money (1 mil!) could go towards a variety of functional things across the community which would improve a large percentage of people’s daily/weekly lives. Examples off the top of my head:
- extra zebra/other crossings where necessary
- disability access to areas as required
- new greenspace equipment (whether it be playground stuff for kids, exercise equipment or a sensory/relaxation space)
- improve high street storefronts/buildings with funds added to businesses own input for vibrant paint/designs/uniformity
- support for restarting weekly market
- extra street lighting for required areas

Those are all achievable and would across the board make a difference to so many people in the community rather than one big fairly narrow minded project with no actual functional benefit to the community as it stands and again something which does not appear to represent a large number of Sydenham/the area’s opinions (something which is a very repetitive theme with some of these issues and a lack of knowledge/access for those with full-time jobs/families/not on the forum or already signed up to sydsoc (again this would be the vast majority of SE26!!!!!)

JRW
Posts: 316
Joined: 18 Jun 2015 15:01

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JRW » 22 Jan 2019 10:25

JLMF, it's a real shame you don't want to know about this positive move to do something about Bell Green. All your suggestions are on the table, just further down Sydenham road. Sydenham is not just the central area, and Bell Green is an absolute mess at the moment. The welcome improvements already underway at Cobb's Corner are not the end of the story, and the relatively deprived areas of Sydenham deserve attention too. Please respect that other people make positive contributions too.

JMLF
Posts: 520
Joined: 12 Dec 2013 19:41
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JMLF » 22 Jan 2019 12:44

The ideas off the top of my head mostly consisted of things that apply to all areas (crossings, lighting, green spaces, the shopfronts - My bad as I shouldn’t have put “high street” as I meant all the shops down to Bell green inc opposite the library etc. ) and were just that - off the top of my head.
Be interesting to know more as for me anything is better than dead space or too much of similar things which are already offered nearby (ps: I’m not saying one of everything only as I’m aware a little competition and differentiation between similar shops can be a good thing and result in very different environments/ethos/offerings)
Last edited by JMLF on 22 Jan 2019 13:01, edited 1 time in total.

LawriePark
Posts: 43
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Location: Sydenham

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by LawriePark » 22 Jan 2019 12:45

JGD wrote:
22 Jan 2019 08:46
michael wrote:
22 Jan 2019 08:13
There really isn't the need for the animosity I see from JGD towards anything positive people try to do in the area

You had the good fortune to be invited to this closed meeting. Which is one more invite than Bellingham residents received.
How do you know? You weren’t there! Stop making erroneous statements as if they’re fact

Michael is right about you

stuart
Posts: 2997
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Location: Lawrie Park

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by stuart » 22 Jan 2019 12:58

Yes I agree JRW that Bell Green should be the top of any major initiative to improve our area - Bell Green being the place where all our roads come together. The issue is trying to build a consensus of all of us on how we should go about it. Its good to know stuff is being put on the table - but what stuff?

Are there any minutes of the meeting that could be shared to avoid possible misinterpreatations and unfortunate tifs I see upthread?

Stuart
Last edited by stuart on 22 Jan 2019 13:01, edited 1 time in total.

JGD
Posts: 364
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Location: Lewisham

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JGD » 22 Jan 2019 13:00

LawriePark wrote:
22 Jan 2019 12:45
How do you know? You weren’t there! Stop making erroneous statements as if they’re fact

Michael is right about you
But then Michael and I will enjoying a drink together in the not too distant future.

Where do you find your happiness LP - you haven't taken up the offer yet./

JGD
Posts: 364
Joined: 5 Feb 2018 11:39
Location: Lewisham

Re: Bell Green - A New Plan, January 2019

Post by JGD » 22 Jan 2019 13:23

stuart wrote:
22 Jan 2019 12:58
Its good to know stuff is being put on the table - but what stuff?

Are there any minutes of the meeting that could be shared to avoid possible misinterpreatations and unfortunate tifs I see upthread?
Entirely prophetic Stuart.

People seem to be reluctant to accept a hard fact that this can only move forward in an open and transparent fashion.

Any remit provided to Discourse architecture must have the support of all principal and affected parties. Not prepared by a single entity that delivers a remit to others on a take it or leave it basis.

Interesting that Discourse already is tweeting terminology like "We have started to work with @SydenhamSociety on our proposal for the improvement of the Bell Green area in Sydenham." Equally interesting is the absence of any allusion to reaching out to other valid parties in order to develop and reach agreement on a remit. Instead we see references to consultation which is without shape or form for now.

Who has signed off a remit for this, who is funding the work, is Discourse doing this on a pro-bono basis.Who is acting as client for the design development work. Who will make and manage a Planning Application and on which party's behalf ? Who is doing the costing for the proposal. Who and how is it to be delivered - will a developer be engaged in the process at an early stage and potentially bring development funding to the table?

Is the master-plan proposal with its resource, time and costs overhead necessary or appropriate for what is a relatively small development, presumably now with an affordable housing emphasis at its centre as outlined on several occasions publicly by our ward councillors ?

its all in the preparation.

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