Councillors’ questions to Council: Lambeth College, jobs & parking issues

Lambeth Council ChamberQuestions were put to Lambeth Council cabinet members at a meeting tonight by local councillors of potential interest to residents regarding the redevelopment of Lambeth College, local jobs and the ongoing parking issue in the area. The questions and answered are reproduced below.

Councillor Martin Tiedemann
To: Imogen Walker, Deputy Leader, Policy
Re-development of Lambeth College

Can the Deputy Leader, Policy, outline how the Council is working with the Education Funding Agency and its partners on the redevelopment of Lambeth College on Brixton Hill and, in particular, what pressure is being brought on them to properly engage with local residents who are concerned about the impact of construction and the potential trebling of the number of learners on the site once the College, UTC and Academy are fully operational?

Answer:
The Planning Department has entered into a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) with the Educations Funding Authority (EFA) and initial pre-application discussions have taken place with Mott Macdonald who are the agents for the EFA.

Ward councillors have been communicating the concerns of residents and planning officers have consistently emphasised the need for improved and better community involvement.
Mott McDonald are to produce a community involvement plan in response to this. This will set out how they aim to involve local residents throughout the pre-application and application stages.

The applicant is in the process of appointing a contractor who will design and build the scheme and further pre-application discussions will take place with the applicant and the contractor to develop the design. The PPA includes a number of meetings in order to allow officers to work with the applicant and to give feedback and advice whilst the scheme is
being developed. Ensuring that the applicant is responding to local concerns and adequately following through on the engagement they need to do will be uppermost in officer’s minds as these options are progressed. The details of a construction management plan and measures to manage and mitigate increased use of the site and the associated transport and traffic impacts will clearly be core to these discussions.

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Councillor Adrian Garden
To: Councillor Jack Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth
Pope’s Road

Can the Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth provide an update on what is happening at the Pope’s Road site in Brixton, a facility that is of interest to many residents around the area, including Brixton Hill?

Answer:
The POP Brixton project on Pope’s Road (previously known as GROW Brixton) is another exciting and innovative part of Lambeth’s approach to working with community partners and developers with a social conscience to provide a range of enterprise and community space, along with employment and training opportunities for local people.

The council is making use of a space that is temporarily available to pilot schemes and test assumptions around entrepreneurship and affordable space, as well as provide real outcomes that we as an administration are committed to. The land would otherwise be wasted or have to be developed ahead of the wider Future Central Masterplan. The project
is a practical exercise amongst others to bring social value into the supply chain with private sector partners and we expect this to influence how we can change policy and practice with respect to this, alongside developing Brixton Works with the Brixton Business Improvement District, the Community Development Trust being developed with Brixton Green on Somerleyton Road and the Impact Hub in Your New Town Hall, which is already being run as an independent partner. The project on Pope’s Road is being funded through private investment with the Council’s contribution being a three year lease, and will deliver a mix of units for rent in the heart of Brixton, some as affordable and others at market rent.

The project has a steering group chaired by me as the Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth and also includes representation from POP Brixton, the Brixton Market Traders Federation, the Brixton £ and ward Councillor Matt Parr. We have met regularly as a group to develop social value requirements, flexible performance measures and also to propose wider
partnerships using our local knowledge providing local labour, apprentices and entrepreneurs. The Service Level Agreement (SLA), which includes arrangements for a peppercorn lease until October 2017, was signed with POP Brixton who will be running the project. The SLA will govern the project and sets out the objectives and parameters within which the project will need to be delivered; including the provision of affordable space within the scheme, an allocations policy that promotes local businesses and community “give-back” and training requirements.

Planning permission for the temporary use was granted on 16th September 2014 and on 12th December 2014 containers were delivered to the site. The fit out work on the containersbegan on 13th January 2015 with 12 apprentices from Lambeth College, all of whom are being paid the London Living Wage.

The remaining 23 containers will be delivered on 18th January 2015 and the fit out will continue. A phased opening of the project is expected from February 2015. The space will include retail, food and drink sales, workspace and events space, as well as food growing space. There will be a programme of training activities on the site; Lambeth College and
other provides and tenants of the space will be encouraged to work with these training programmes to provide work experience. Other activities on the site will include projects with local schools and community groups and these relationships are now being developed so that they can help shape what is delivered and take advantage of these opportunities.

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Councillor Mary Atkins
To: Councillor Jenny Brathwaite, Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability
CPZ Review

The nine Labour councillors representing Brixton Hill, Tulse Hill and Vassall have been lobbying relentlessly for a Controlled Parking Zone review in areas of their wards following feedback from residents, so we are delighted with Councillor Brathwaite’s plans to conduct a parking stress review in 2015. Can the Cabinet Member outline when this will take place and how it will be implemented?

Answer:
The volume of communications from local residents and businesses requesting reviews of existing CPZs or the extension of control parking restrictions has been notable. Residents in Myatt’s Field find that they live in one of the few parts of Lambeth close to the centre of London without a CPZ and have expressed their frustration at the parking stress and congestion caused by commuter parking and the growing parking demand by occupiers ofnearby developments. Given that large scale developments within the borough are set tocontinue, particularly to the north, the demand for parking spaces is unlikely to abate.

In response to residents’ long held concerns about parking stress, despite the harsh financial times this council faces, I am determined to find ways to address residents’ concerns about parking stress. It was therefore decided that a borough wide feasibility study of parkingshould be undertaken.

A borough wide study will:

  • Enable us to consider the matter holistically, ensuring that any measures undertaken by Lambeth to address parking stress in one area do not displace the problem onto neighbouring streets
  • Ensure that limited resources are targeted at areas which need them most
  • Help officers prioritise areas rather than implement measures on an ad hoc basis
  • Provide an overview of parking patterns and evidence to enable new CPZs or other parking restrictions to be considered
  • Enable us to take action on addressing parking stress earlier.

The feasibility study will start in April 2015 and will be carried out in two phases along 12 months:

The first phase will concentrate on the north of the borough, most of which is covered by CPZs. This part of Lambeth has experienced the most development pressure. The review will assess whether parking stress has increased with higher densities or whether changing travel patterns and falling car ownership has minimised the impact of the rising population. During this phase there will be an opportunity to review the hours existing CPZ s operate to determine whether they continue to meet the need of local communities.

While this review is being undertaken we will take parallel action to address some existing parking problems. In Bonnington Square in Vauxhall, we shall introduce an experimental extension of the existing operational hours of the CPZ during the night to resolve the disturbances and illegal activities.

We shall also be taking a special look at Myatt’s Field. The review will undertake a technicaloverview of the parking needs of the area taking into account current and future developments in the vicinity.
We will also work with the residents of Harrington Road, many of whom are calling for the operational hours to be reduced to two hours a day.

Once Phase 1 is concluded, officers will analyse the results and implement the measures needed to tackle parking stress in the north of the borough, subject to finance. That way, residents in areas determined by phase 1 of the review to be most in need of action, will not have to wait a year from the start of the review to find out the schemes proposed, in consultation with residents and businesses, to elevate parking stress in their locality.

Phase 2 of the review will be to carry out a parking stress survey in the rest of the borough –mainly the non-CPZ areas. This will enable the council to determine whether there is a need to extend the existing controlled parking zones or implement other measures to addressparking stress. In the south of the borough a number of local communities have campaigned for new CPZs and several major development schemes could add to parking stress in the future.

I would encourage as many people and businesses as possible to take part in the review. Anyone who would like to be kept informed should sign up at www.lambeth.gov.uk/cpz

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