Elephant Roundabout Hypocrisy!

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Sunday 20 January 2013 12.24pm
Your story about the petition presentation to the GLA calling for safer roads around the Elephant following another child's tragic death links directly to the Heygate redevelopment scandal.

The sheer blatant hypocrisy by Cllr Hargrove to dare attend the presentation on that particular day is breath-taking.

This is because on that very same say his Planning Department were giving the go-ahead to the Heygate Project which proposed:

1. An EXTRA lane on the northern Elephant Roundabout.

2. Refused point blank to allocate a single meter of dedicated cycle-lane through the new development, despite 2 Southwark cycle-routes and two Mayoral Superhighways traversing the development.

3. Privatised all the public roads and pathways in new development so preventing future councils from correcting this disastrous omission as the land will be privatised.

Southwark Living Streets were likewise breath-takingly hypocritical as on that very same evening when asked about cycle-safety concerns at the planning meeting, they failed to point out any of the above concerns with the project and so squandered a unique planning opportunity to deal with some of the core reasons why the Elephant is so dangerous and will now be even more dangerous.


The Transport and Planning Department refused point blank to include dedicated cycle-lanes despite an astonishing 107 separate local residents and 3 civil-society groups writing in condemning Lend Lease's failure to address cycle-lanes.

How Hargrove and Southwark Living Streets then have the nerve to pose for this photograph on the very same day disgusts me.


http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/6547
Sunday 20 January 2013 11.28pm
Cllr Hargrove is an ineffective politician. I took Southwark Council to the parking adjudicator because of defective signage (signs not there/pointing towards pedestrians instead of motorists) in Peckham which raked in, from memory, about £1m a year for the council.

When I won my appeals (x3) and the story made the Southwark News, instead of promising to rectify the signage which was causing his constituents (who elected him) financial hardship, he instead said the adjudicator was wrong to allow the appeals and that they would be appealing. They never did.

Suffice to say, the signage was exactly the same the last time I was in Peckham (nearly five months after the appeal) and yet Cllr Hargrove, despite having the time to comment to the local press about my victory, hasn't had the time to rectify the signage. All the while, on the basis of the FOI request I made, on average 23 motorists a day continue to be stung for £135 at this location alone.

Sorry for going off topic, but just my view of Cllr Hargrove.
Tuesday 22 January 2013 2.28pm
Donnachadh McCarthy wrote:

3. Privatised all the public roads and pathways in new development so preventing future councils from correcting this disastrous omission as the land will be privatised.

I am very concerned by this comment - on reviewing the plans at consultation events at The Hub I asked on more than one occasion about public throughways and access. The current Phase 1 building site is closed off which has removed two routes through to the Walworth Road from Balfour St area. I had been reassured that there would be a public pedestrian way through - no mention was made of this being privatised or of the potential implications of this. Can anyone shed any more light on this? Does this explain the frequent comments about "gated" development (which again I failed to see when reviewing the plans)...
Tuesday 22 January 2013 6.49pm
SophieLondon wrote:
I had been reassured that there would be a public pedestrian way through - no mention was made of this being privatised or of the potential implications of this. Can anyone shed any more light on this? Does this explain the frequent comments about "gated" development (which again I failed to see when reviewing the plans)...

There are several aspects to this. But in essence Lend Lease and "Soundings", their PR advisors, are trying to say "it will be public" but without actually being open and honest about the controls they will retain.

The Lend Lease outline planning application proposes a "public park". But it is important to note that the park not be managed by the council. Instead the developer is proposing the park will be managed by a private Estate Management Company (EMC) "Parks Advisory Group" and not, as is usual within Southwark, designated public open space and either managed by the council or by a trust (like BOST/Bankside Open Spaces Trust).

In practice this means that a nameless person will control access, decide what can be done and what cannot, without any community input whatsoever. This is unlike council or BOST-managed spaces which actively encourage community participation.

The roads within the site are also proposed to be managed by the EMC. The Highways Authority has itself objected to this, but councillors ignored this and local objections

Thus the entire development will be managed in the way that MORE London is - that is they will be able to invent policies to exclude and control on a whim with absolutely no democratic control.

Council officers said in their recommendation to accept the application that they donít see any difference between the EMC and council management. They appear not to understand the democracy argument.

Finally, much of the "semi-private space" which counts towards the green space to be provided in the development and is much trumpeted by Lend Lease, will in fact be elevated on raised podiums, and therefore invisible to all except the lucky few. These podiums are largely hiding retail and car parking - the developer has been allowed to provide more than two Wembley Stadium's worth of parking despite adopted council policy being the development should be car-free.

This aspect in itself is directly responsible for much of the massive loss of mature trees on the site, because raised podiums cannot be accommodate existing trees which are, not surprisingly, at ground level.

This article and this one discuss the issue in more detail, and this book discusses it at length.

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