Planning proposals - Our Lady and St. Philip Neri Schools
Cllr Curran spoke on the planning proposals for the schools. The initial proposals were met with some concerns about parking. The revised proposals include a dedicated entrance, well lit with good access from the park side. It is felt that creating a school entrance on this side will help reduce some of the Anti-Social Behaviour seen in the area. These proposals are due to come before Planning Committee shortly.
Q: Will there be any planning gain to help refurbish the younger children’s playground?
A: Councillors would support this. The existing equipment was funded by Bellingham Assembly, some S106 if it became available could potentially be used for this purpose.
Q: What is the timescale to completion of the work?
A: This is not clear at the moment, work could start in March 2017, it will probably take a minimum of one year to complete.
Q: Can we have support to promote walking to school rather than dropping off by car?
A: The School has already adopted that policy, and the new entrance design should facilitate that. However we recognise that this can be a challenge to working parents.
Gas holders at Bell Green (additional item admitted by Chair)
Annabel McLaren, Chair of Sydenham Society, informed the Assembly of a drop-in consultation sessions on Wednesday 7th and Saturday 10th December, on the future of the Bell Green Gas Holders. These iconic landmarks are at risk of being demolished by developers. In other areas they have been used as part of developments. There is also concern that the plan to build an additional large Aldi store will greatly increase traffic in this area. Annabel urged attendees to take part in the consultation.
Q: Would the new Aldi replace the one at Elmers End?
A: No, this one is additional.
Sydenham Centre S106 funds
Cllr Best reminded the Assembly of the refurbishment and remodelling project that is near completion at the Sydenham Centre, making this a fantastic space for community and arts events, performances etc. The centre includes a new sprung floor on the ground floor for exercise classes and an expanded stage area on the first floor. In order to support professional standard performances, the venue now requires a suitable audio-visual and lighting system.
Previous awards of S106 monies were from the St. Clements Heights development - £6,226 for curtains, carpet tiles, tables and chairs at the previous meeting in October
Previously S106 funds were £8,163 from Rotary Centre Addington Grove and £5,526 from 255-269 Sydenham Road – a total of £14,389 that was agreed at the meeting in September 2015 as £5,335 for the new boiler and rood repair at Sydenham Community Library and £8,354 for the AV and lighting system at The Sydenham Centre. However, having taken qualified technical advice and reviewed the specifications, council officers now advice that this will fall short of what is required.
Cllr Best proposed that the new S106 funding arising from development at 22 – 24A Sydenham Road which is £5,623, should be used to complete the AV facilities including the sound system and hearing loop as well as providing lighting for the stage. This would bring the total to just under £14k to complete the project.
The aim is to make the original vision of the centre as a thriving community and arts hub in the centre of Sydenham, a reality. We have support from the arts community and we also now have a microbrewery on site which will provide the venue an alcohol license.
Q: Is your proposal to spend the whole of the £5,623?
A: Yes. It is proposed that if there is any money left over this could be brought back to the Assembly for further decision.
Q: Is there a quote and a timetable?
A: Yes, this information will be taken to the internal S106 Board. The total needed is approx. £13,000.
Q: Can we write into the Microbrewery contract that they provide the alcohol license for the venue?
A: Yes, this is in progress. This would enable marketing of the space to attract a wider range of uses. The spaces at the rear of the top floor of the building can also be used at evenings and weekends.
The proposal was agreed.
The Chair thanked Laura Luckhurst, Development Officer, for her work this year.
Annabel McLaren mentioned the project to install artwork at Sydenham Station. Network Rail are interested in funding this, and it will involve a local artist and artwork from heritage railway posters. Sydenham Society hope to have more information to report at the next Assembly.
Barry Milton proposed a vote of thanks to councillors for their hard work and dedication on behalf of local residents.
The meeting closed at 2.00 pm.