Neighbourhood Planning: design by consensus

The place for serious discussion, announcements and breaking news about Sydenham

Moderator: frenzarin

Post Reply
annabel mclaren
Posts: 115
Joined: 1 Oct 2004 19:55
Location: thorpes

Neighbourhood Planning: design by consensus

Post by annabel mclaren »

Sydenham Library, Monday October 17, 10am-4pm (free for all delegates with sandwich lunch provided)
THE GLASS HOUSE Community-led design is one of the agencies awarded funding by the government to offer support to communities hoping to develop a Neighbourhood Plan.
At the invitation of the Forest Hill and Sydenham Societies, GLASS HOUSE will run a one-day event for those who are keen to regenerate and improve areas in Sydenham, Forest Hill and Honor Oak Park. The course is run in collaboration with the Open University and will include practical advice and workshops with a special emphasis on Lower Sydenham and the Home Park area. Places are limited, so if you are interested please register for the event by contacting Ed Holloway - contact details below.

Ed Holloway RIBA
t: 020 7617 7759
m: 07762 701005
e: ed@beepstudio.co.uk

Annabel McLaren, Sydenham Society
love-sydenham
Posts: 48
Joined: 18 May 2010 18:56
Location: Sydenham, SE26

Re: Neighbourhood Planning: design by consensus

Post by love-sydenham »

Dear Annabel, I hope you well,

I must say, I would love to attend the consensus, as I am very keen to regenerate and improve areas in Sydenham, but I find the time of the meeting quite impossible to attend? Do you think it might be a chance that it will be repeated again at the more realistic (evening, after work) part of the day?

With warm regards,

Love-Sydenham
poppy
Posts: 574
Joined: 1 Sep 2007 20:03
Location: Sydenham

Re: Neighbourhood Planning: design by consensus

Post by poppy »

It does seem to exclude younger employed people and those with young children this course.

Without wishing to sound rude isn't it quite likely that it will be mostly retired people who will be able to attend and won't be very representative?

Sounds very good!
Tim Lund
Posts: 6716
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 18:10
Location: Silverdale

Re: Neighbourhood Planning: design by consensus

Post by Tim Lund »

I believe that the context for this Neighbourhood Planning is the Localism Bill currently making its way through Parliament - and the context for this in turn is the current Planning system, which the provisions of the Localism Bill will add to and in some cases modify, but certainly not sweep away. Hence the need for funded agencies such as this, which will be staffed by planning professionals, to help local people develop realistic plans for where they live.

I have registered for this event, and I'd like to think it was a way to put down official markers as to what we want - but there are no promises that anything will be funded. However, the Localism Bill also deals with a "Community Infrastructure Levy" which I think is intended to replace the someone haphazard current system of Section 106 agreements, whereby developers pay some arbitrary amount for good things in the area where they are building - but which sometimes get lost in the general financing requirements of a local authority.

This levy - essentially a local tax on developers - should be much more transparent, and although decided by 'the charging authoriy' - which could here be either Lewisham or the GLA - will be subject to local consultation:
The charging authority can set one standard rate or it can set specific rates for different areas and types of development.
Any differential rate must be justified by the economic viability of new development.
Charging authorities must consult their local communities – including local businesses and neighbouring authorities – regarding their proposed rates for their levy.
Anyone has the right to give their views on the formally published draft charging schedule.
It must also undergo a public examination by an independent person (for example, a qualified planning professional, such as a planning inspector, or a chartered surveyor) before the charging authority can formally approve it.
Higher levies will deter developers, and so appeal to community groups who wish to keep their areas more exclusive, with a lower perceived need for outside investment in community infrastructure. Conversely, lower levies will appeal to groups which see the way to regenerate their areas as being to attract more people to live there. The economic effects will be to raise the price of freeholds, but reduce rents and the price of new flats, which are likely to be built in higher rise blocks than currently. As such, it will attract the less well-off - which does not necessarily mean 'problem' neighbours, but more likely people starting jobs or families, who don't have the money to pay up for over priced properties. Having more people living in an area, especially if less affluent, so less likely to use cars for shopping, will also help stimulate local high streets.

I would expect Councils in general to prefer lower rates for the levy, since they are under enormous pressure to get more housing approved - which is probably the background when currently some loved building gets turned into more flats than locals want - as in the recent case of Baring Hall Hotel. How all this pans out in Sydenham, Lewisham and elsewhere will be very interesting ...
Tim Lund
Posts: 6716
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 18:10
Location: Silverdale

Re: Neighbourhood Planning: design by consensus

Post by Tim Lund »

This item on the news this morning about unaffordable rents is relevant here. It's picking up a report from Shelter, whose solution is to name and shame rogue private landlords. The preferred solution of the housing Minister Grant Shapps is to get more homes built. On which side will the consensus of our neighbourhood planners be? Which approach is most likely to end tenant misery?

Ken Livingstone would also be for higher residential densities, in higher rise developments. Since he was involved in saving the Baring Hall Hotel, where as I wrote, I think pressure for more housing was what drove Council officers, I've just posted on Cllr Liam Curran's Facebook to inquire what the Lewisham Labour Party's attitudes are on this. Do they agree with Ken? Hopefully he will come on here and let us know.
Satchers
Posts: 3
Joined: 4 Oct 2011 20:39
Location: se23

Re: Neighbourhood Planning: design by consensus

Post by Satchers »

The workshop follows on (loosley) from the Neighbourhood Planning event run jointly by SydSoc and the Forest Hill Society on the 21st September. That event was about how we might be able to help improve and shape our communities (Sydenham, Forest Hill, Perry Vale, Honor Oak) using the new legislation contained in the Localism Bill and working with key stakeholders and Lewisham. The event was very positive and a number of really good ideas came up that we are now writing up and will share with you all in due course. Because this work is largely done in people's free time it may not happen at the pace that people who are paid for it can deliver.

This event (on the 17th) has been offered to us by two organisations offering workshops to communities working on neighbourhood planning. The date and time was set by the external organisations that are running the event and we just had to say yes, or no as to whether we wanted it to happen.

Hopefully it will be a really good way of focussing on key areas of improvement and will produce some real and tangeable results.
Tim Lund
Posts: 6716
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 18:10
Location: Silverdale

Re: Neighbourhood Planning: design by consensus

Post by Tim Lund »

I went to this event, and there were lots of good things said, with a particular focus on Home Park. But the more I reflect on it, the more I think it was a farce. Sydenham's sharpest political mind put her finger on it precisely towards the end when she commented that there was a fundamental problem, in that where we were, Home Park, was at the junction of three different wards - Sydenham, Perry Vale & Bellingham. Some discussion ensued about how neighbourhood forums, to be set up under the Localism Bill, not needing to follow existing political boundaries, but she knew where power lay. As did local councillors, who had been invited, but none turned up, apart from Chris Best, right at the end. As I left, she was in conversation with the new architect in town who'd been instrumental in organising this event. I wonder how long it will take him to cotton on to the workings on Lewisham's political machinery.
Tim Lund
Posts: 6716
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 18:10
Location: Silverdale

Re: Neighbourhood Planning: design by consensus

Post by Tim Lund »

As a member of the Perry Vale Ward Assembly coordinating group, I have received an invitation to an event, "Taking Local Assemblies Forward" this Tuesday. It will include a 20 minute presentation from Liz Dart, Head of Community & Neighbourhood Development, well known but curiously reticent advocate of Forums such as this, on the Localism Bill & Neighbourhood Planning.

It will be interesting to see if fresh light in cast upon the fundamental problem identified by the participant I mentioned at the event, which I think is that Lewisham Council mean any move towards Localism to go through existing ward based structures, which local councillors control, and not to follow a cross boundary initiative such as this, initiated by members of the Forest Hill Society who are not members of any political party (AFAIK)
Post Reply