Saturday 23 October 2004 12.46am
There was not any public consultation, and the 'engaged stakeholders' seemed to be the usual supects. There was also supposed to be a copy in the Lower Marsh
library but this was shut when I went along to look. In fairness WCDG did their best by holding a consultation day where they invited those not part of the guilded inner circle. I was on holiday but never to let ignorance get in the way of a good opinion I responded anyway. I did not get an acknowledgement.
The real issue as I see it is the idea of pooled planning obligation contributions. There are some good arguments for but my fear - following my group's complete inability to lever any of the £19 million SRB into our park - is that the tough and the organised will win. Though given the references to transport there could be some good tussles between the SBEG/Coin St family and TfL.
(I am feeling despondent as I heard today that our major WPB bid for play equipment in Archbishops Park that has dominated my life for the last 4 months failed at on its second panel. So am feeling very dispondent as they could have told us right at the start that they did not want to fund play. All they will fund is the exercise trail, which we don't need as we already had funding in place for that. So what chance would the park have of ever receiving anythng from a central pool of S106.)
The other problem with a central pool is that this would enable funding for the current army of paid community workers. Some are fine but the SRB experience is that this means that revenue money for actual delivery to people is very constrained.
My guess is that people expect it to happen, and people are starting to move into place. For example work is being done to look at the feasibility of setting up a single Open Saces Trust to manage all the green spaces in the Waterloo area. (Again one of those consultations that is restricted to a small stakeholder group but again I will offer my unsolicited views.)
I can't down load the whole document due to my dodgy modem, but Archbishops was in a difficult position. The main assumption has been that improvements would be funded through S106 from the Founders Place Development immediately to the north, and this and the lease is why it did not get any of the Albert Embankment
S106 administered through the Greening Vauxhall process. The original map had Founders Place in and Archbishops out.
In many ways being out is good for Archbishops. Most residential users live to the south not to the north, so if it was in, investment would be driven by the Waterloo (seemingly sports, sports and more sports) agenda. Plus we would be competing for the money with powerful and well resourced players, and so it woudl be difficult to drive through a community vision. (Interestingly our managment plan is not quoted as a source document in the current green space trust consultation and I don't think it figured in the earlier green space audit.) But I suspect that others may see Archbishops as a suitable site for Waterloo facilities and may not want to grant us our independence.
All this is a bit anoracky. But it is important and will help shape the future of the area. And for students of local community politics - if there are any - it promises to provide plenty of activity.
One interesting point is that though London South Central is supposed to cover a big semi-circle up to Battersea Power Station, it appears that SBEG have managed to keep their area carefully defined. At one stage it looked as if there was some jostling between Cross River Partnership and others. What I would love to see is someone with vision who is really committed to the less glamerous 'Lambeth Riverside' area, who is able to implement sensitive and mixed development that opens up, rather than barricades in, the existing community.