Friday, September 18, 2009

Recent Mayor & Cabinet Decisions pertinent to Ladywell and Brockley

There were a number of decisions taken at Wednesday's Mayor & Cabinet meeting that I thought worth drawing to local residents' attention.

Streetscape improvements on cards for Brockley and Ladywell?
Item 6 of the agenda was about proposals for Lewisham's Local Implementation Plan (LIP), which is the plan for how to spend money allocated from Transport for London (TfL) within the borough.

I'm pleased that the proposals include funding ear-marked both for Ladywell Road and Brockley Road. The Ladywell proposals include the long overdue 'toucan' crossing on the east side of Ladywell Bridge, to make it easier for cyclists to get onto the Waterlink Way path (Lewisham Cyclists and local residents have been calling for this for years) as well as (hopefully) the chance to get the bigger streetscape improvements on Ladywell Road that Ladywell Society and more recently Ladywell Village Improvement Group (LVIG) have been calling for.

I know that representatives from LVIG have already had early discussions with highways with a view to ensuring that this is a community led project, rather than a highways consultation imposed from above, and we will be keeping a watching brief to ensure that remains the case. You may recall that the last Ladywell ward assembly allocated £10k of its money to fund urban design work to develop plans to improve Ladywell Road, so we now need to work with highways officers and LVIG to see how that can best be spent.

The proposals for Brockley include works around Brockley Cross area and the station, but also Brockley Road itself from Brockley Cross to Adelaide Avenue, though it's not clear exactly what shape these works will take yet, and whether it will just be the roads, or also the pavements and wider streetscape issues that get addressed. As a Ladywell ward councillor, I'm particularly interested in the stretch of Brockley Road from the junction with Wickham Road to Adelaide Avenue, but I suspect my colleagues in Brockley will be keeping a close eye on proposals for Brockley Cross and Coulgate Street.

You can read the report in full here (p9-12 have the Brockley and Ladywell details). Also worth noting are the significant sums involved in repairing and maintaining Victorian bridges within the borough, including a massive £500k to re-waterproof Ladywell bridge.

Youth Provision and 'Myplace' Funding
In another item on the Mayor & Cabinet agenda, which is disappointing for Ladywell (but positive for Sydenham) is the decision to focus the Council's bid for 'Myplace' funding for a youth centre in Sydenham Wells Park, rather than the project they had previously considered to bring Ladywell Playtower back into use. The report states:

"The proposed site for a Myplace application was identified through an analysis of current youth service provision, levels of deprivation, teenage pregnancy rates, anti-social behaviour and crime hotspots, and ongoing engagement with young people and key stakeholders.
6.2 Based on this, two sites came to the fore for potential development: the Playtower site in Ladywell and Wells Park Youth Hall in Sydenham. An exploration of these options concluded that a redevelopment of the Ladywell Playtower as a youth centre would not align with cross-Council strategies, and as a Grade II listed building, would prove too costly to refurbish."

The question now of course remains what will happen to Ladywell Playtower, when, and will some kind of community use be retained?

Gordonbrock Primary Rebuild
This was in the confidential part of the meeting as it was dealing with contracts and commercially sensitive data, so I can't say too much, but plans are proceeding with the proposed rebuild, with a view to decanting the school, and starting works in January, assuming all planning permissions and the decant site are ready by then. Part of the reasoning behind the rebuild is to increase it from 2.5 form entry to 3 form entry. My understanding is that one of the existing Victorian buildings will be incorporated into the new design.

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