Founder's Place development - planning appeal

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Wednesday 13 December 2006 6.16pm
[Continued from this thread]

I have closed the previous Founder's Place thread because I wasn't happy that all the participants had adequately declared their interests and connections with the various groups and organisations involved in the matter.

Along with many others I view with some bafflement and concern the rather unpleasant personal feuds which seem to have surrounded the Friends of Archbishop's Park in recent times.

I am uncomfortable with this forum being used by anonymous posters to pursue these feuds by proxy.

Frankly it would make my life considerably easier to declare the whole sorry subject of Founder's Place and FoAP off-limits.

This is certainly what some people would like me to do. I do not intend to do that, because I think it's important that these subjects can be aired publicly and that people can share information about the appeal process and the opportunities for members of the public to make submissions.

If you post in this thread, or any other thread about FoAP or Founder's Place, I expect you to declare any relevant interests and affiliations, including, but not limited to:

- current or past membership of the committee of the Friends of Archbishop's Park
- if any member of your household is or has been a member of the FoAP committee, you should say so when contributing to this thread
- any employment by the Guy's and St Thomas' Charity or the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, or membership of any of the trust's decision-making bodies.

I reserve the right to 'name and shame' anyone who I find is using this forum to pursue their personal feuds without putting all their cards on the table.

I fully appreciate that some people associated with FoAP are unhappy with things Sarah (and others) have posted about that group and the conduct of its meetings etc.

I welcome the fact that some of them have chosen to contribute to the forum and that the chair and secretary have posted here under their own names to answer some of the questions that people have raised.

But I find it cowardly to see a small group of people who are all known to each other using assumed names to post personal remarks about people who take a different view to their own.

I hope that is clear.

Questions or comments welcome by email or private message.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Wednesday 13 December 2006 7.37pm
Thanks. I was beginning to develop a complex.

I help found the Friends of Archbishops Park, and Chaired the group until about 18 months ago when Helen Lees said she wanted to stand. Though I apparently remained a Committee member until a few weeks back, I have not been invited to a Committee meeting for almost two years.

I should say that I have no idea what most of this is about. I posted about 30 months ago, saying I was worried and upset about the treatment I was receiving from some parties. This has continued since then and is now evident in the Forum. I too, would love to simply go away and hide but suspect that is what people want me to do.

Instead and given the level of interest and opinion I will post details of how to contribute to the Founders Place Appeals process:

This application, by the St Thomas' and Guys Charity was for eight new buildings containing 641 new flats, 231 for "key workers", a new health facility, a Ronald McDonald House to house the families of sick children and a staff nursery. The existing staff accommodation (Canturbury and Stangate Houses) and the Holy Trinity Buddhist Centre to the north of Archbishops Park and the buildings on the corner of Royal Street and Lambeth Palace Raod would be demolished.

All the land to the south of Royal Street to Archbishops Park is conservation area designed to protect the setting of the park. The trees within this area, and the two buiildings are therefore protected.

Lambeth have rejected the application on two grounds. One essentially is bulk "the proposed buildings ...would by way of their height length and proximity result in an oppressive and overbearing development, thereby failing to provide an acceptable level of amenity for prospective residential developers."

The second is Conservation and that fact that "the buildings by way of their height, length and proximity to the boundary with Archbishops Park, harm the setting of the Park thereby failing to preserve the character and appearance of the Lambeth Palace Conservation Area."

There is an awful lot of detail and several boxes of papers. However in summary there are two areas of concern. First the demolition of the Holy Trinity Centre. And second the proximity of the builidngs, with south facing windows, to the avenue of 14 mature plane trees in Archbishops Park. Local residents are working with Planning Aid for London to get expert advice on the impact changes in miro-climate will have on the long term sustainability of the trees. But there is also concern that new residents will lobby for pruning and fellling of the trees to improve their light and veiws.

If you want to express your views to the Planning Inspectorate, whether to support the development or to support the Lambeth refusal, you should write to:

The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/19, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay
House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN. in triplicate quoting reference numbers APP/N5660/A/06/2029887 and APP/N5660/E/06/2029891

Comments must be received by 4 January 2007

You should give your name and address and if you wish, email or phone. Details will be made public.

Alternatively comments can be made by email via the Planning Portal www.planningportal.gov.uk/pcs

Responses can be quite simple, saying what the extra facilities might bring, or why you want the Holy Trinity Centre to stay, or why the trees in the park are important.

Questions might also be asked about the S106 money and why it has been ear-marked inter alia for improvements to the Lambeth Palace entrance and a football pitch and a games court rather than the cafe (using the old toilet block or lodge) that was the clear community priority during consultation.

We are told that it helps the inspector if he does get a good range of opinions from local people.

Details of the original application and refusal can be found on the Lambeth website reference was 05/01168/FUL/DC_PBR/37305. They also have further information about the appeals process. Alternavtively you can visit Lambeth Planning's offices at Vauxhall Cross. The case officer is Paul Robinson on 020 7926 1219.

If you have further questions do ask.

Sarah
Wednesday 13 December 2006 10.26pm
- I am not and never have been a member of the committee of FoAP.

- A member of my household is a member of the FoAP committee.

- I am not employed by the Guy's & St Thomas' Charity or the Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and neither am I a member of any of the trust's decision-making bodies.


For the record: I cleared with the editor, who knows who I am, my right to post as ‘Fred' before I contributed to the Park debate and then again before contributing to the Founder's Place debate. He emailed to say ‘I am happy for you to post as “Fred” and without revealing your identity … As I said the other day I agree that you have a right to express your views independently of your connection with xxxx'.


What has bedevilled the discussions on this forum about the Park and now Founders Place is:
a) the poor quality of some contributions (rambling, speculative or emotional),
b) the desire of one person to post serially, and
c) the small number of people who contribute.

I suspect that (c) is partly a product of (a) and (b) (see for example Loafer's response of earlier today). On Founders Place it is unfortunate that we do not appear to have heard from, among others:
* tenants on the Founders site,
* local employers or employees,
* the Charity,
* the architects,
* councillors,
* Kate Hoey MP.

In truth, not many people have posted about Founders Place at all. In fact if you exclude the sort of ‘does anyone know a plumber' kind of post you will see that a large percentage of posts on other issues have been put up by a small number of people. Many of them are members of SCoSE1 (Serial Complainers of SE1) (click here to access the membership list.)

Maybe the small number of contributors to this discussion forum is unavoidable but what I urge readers to remember is that the views that are expressed on this forum by those with the time and inclination to post serially are not necessarily representative of the views of the community, as was evidenced by the votes passed at the FoAP AGM in November. (Although I am greatly heartened by the number of people who have supported the Founders Place development on this forum.)

I began posting on this forum in order to present arguments that had hitherto been given little exposure. I intend to continue to raise them (occasionally rather than serially) as I believe in supporting:
* improvements to the Park,
* developments that will bring inspiring architecture, better homes, more jobs and environmental improvements to the local community.

I will continue to criticise those who:
* denigrate positive developments in the Park,
* wish to turn the community into a museum.

PS You don't need to post to say that you enjoyed your prawn cocktail yesterday evening and are not a member of SCoSE1 - unless of course you wish to demonstrate that you also lack a sense of humour.
Wednesday 13 December 2006 11.04pm
I am sorry that you have felt the need to post a message like the one above. The tone and content of your message seem to me to be at odds with your oft-expressed wish for a reasoned, factual debate.

Fred wrote:
A member of my household is a member of the FoAP committee.
Thank you for declaring this for the benefit of others reading this correspondence.

There are several points in your message that I could pick up on, but I will comment only on this one for now:
Fred wrote:
For the record: I cleared with the editor, who knows who I am, my right to post as ‘Fred' before I contributed to the Park debate
That is untrue.

I contacted you AFTER you posted as Fred because I was unhappy that you had posted a message congratulating FoAP and posing as an independent park user - "It looks like the Friends of Archbishop's Park have been doing a good job" was part of your original phrase - when you had a clear direct personal connection with a committee member.

You then telephoned me and we corresponded by email, and you made a case that your opinions were yours and yours alone and you should be able to express them without them being associated with the member of your household who holds office in FoAP.

I initially accepted your argument, as shown by the portion of my email to you quoted above, on the basis that you did not use this anonymity to mislead. I made clear on more than one occasion that I was not entirely happy with this and my strong preference was for transparency and openness.

We also agreed to change the most obviously disingenuous part of your original message by dropping in a reworded paragraph. This can be seen here. At the same time I removed the pointed reference I had made to the rules of this forum which require you to declare your affiliations to organisations you write about here.

Lang Rabbie's original reply to you in that thread is, however, based on your original message praising FoAP.

I became increasingly concerned by your contributions and by those of other contributors who had both been less than upfront about their personal connections to members of the FoAP committee, which is why I closed the previous thread and opened this thread with more precise requirements about interests which should be declared.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Wednesday 13 December 2006 11.50pm
I agree I got the sequence slightly incorrect in that our conversation happened a few hours after my first ever post. As soon as I realised your unhappiness at my mentioning the good work done by FoAP I phoned you and readily agreed to remove the reference to FoAP. I would suggest that the debate that followed was one of the more interesting ones to have taken place on this discussion forum. It was certainly better than the one-sided monologues that had previously taken place on Archbishop's Park.

More importantly, I stand by the substance of my post about using the name 'Fred'. At no stage subsequently did you object to me posting as 'Fred' (not even this morning when we had an exchange of emails). Indeed in your request of 27th November about declaring affiliations you did not require people to declare if a member of his/her household was a FoAP committee member. You made that request for the first time this evening (a point you seem to recognise in your post) and I duly and promptly complied.

The views that I express on this forum are mine, which I express as a local resident.

You complain about the 'tone and content' of my posts. You made a similar response to a post from 'sallymyles2007' who expressed views similar to mine (and incidentally I have no idea who she is). My response to you is the same as hers was: you are very selective about which posts you grumble about.
Thursday 14 December 2006 12.10am
I rather suspect that one person's idea of a "Serial Complainer" might be regarded as a "Well Respected ... Practioner" of community advocacy by others.

And IMVHO effective community engagement requires a passion for your neighbourhood, which may sometimes be expressed in "rambling, speculative or emotional" ways.

God forbid that every contributor to debate in this community bulletin board or any other local forum should be required to have digested the Civil Procedure Rules before making their case.
Thursday 14 December 2006 1.23am
Dont get mad, get even.

The issue is the park. People may wonder why Fred, his Friends and his Household appeared so suddenly on the Community scene and later on the Forum. And seem so determined to have a bloody big development that anihilates a conservation area.

Fred and his Friends are bullies. Anyone who has engaged to any extent in Waterloo politics will know what I am talking about. I had enough people phone me about Paris Gardens, and more recently on other subjects, to know my experience is not unique.

How do you deal with bullies. Ignore them. And dont let them sidetrack you.

We want to save the Holy Trinity Centre. We want to make sure that the trees in Archbishops Park survive into the future.

So write to the planning inspector and tell him how important it is to protect the setting of the park. And how important it is for us to retain our piece of green in the middle of the city.

With luck some impassioned defence of green, trees and conservation will swing the Planning Inspector. These proposals dont happen and Fred, his Friends and his Household disappear from whence they came.

Given Fred's attempts at dominating debate at both the AGMs this year it will be a relief. The articulate advocate performance in July was somewhat ruined by first the setting in a scruffy community hall, and then by the fact that someone from the North Lambeth Law Centre decided to take him on. Quite a memorable piece of communication across the social divide.....

So do fight for the building and the trees. I dont think any of us can trust Fred's judgement on what constitutes inspiring architecture.
Thursday 14 December 2006 2.10am
sarah2 wrote:
How do you deal with bullies. Ignore them. And dont let them sidetrack you.

I'm not sure I agree with you here, Sarah. In an ideal world you could just ignore bullies, But, in reality, I think if you can then you should challenge bullies, and ask them to explain their actions.

fred wrote:
Indeed in your request of 27th November about declaring affiliations you did not require people to declare if a member of his/her household was a FoAP committee member

How disingenuous is this? James asked everyone to declare any affiliations - did you not think it was relevant to declare a member of your household is on the committee? I actually reiterated Jame's request that people declared their interests: http://www.london-se1.co.uk/forum/read/1/60705/62048#msg-62048 and you posted a very facetious reply, but didn't actually admit to your involvement.
Thursday 14 December 2006 7.55am
Given that an open season has now been declared on people's associations, who:

- is westofbank (in particular what is his/her connection with Canterbury House - he has so far declined to answer this question)?

- the man who Sarah2 refers to as from the North Lambeth Law Centre?
Thursday 14 December 2006 10.20am
Fred wrote:
I agree I got the sequence slightly incorrect
Thank you. Glad to have settled that.
Fred wrote:
As soon as I realised your unhappiness at my mentioning the good work done by FoAP
Good grief. Talk about putting a spin on someone's words!

As you well know I was not in the least "unhappy" at someone mentioning the "good work" of a local organisation. Indeed as I said at the time I was delighted that we were hearing new perspectives on the subject of the park.

I was "unhappy" because the rules of this forum ask users to "be honest about your affiliation to a business or organisation that you write about on this forum".

You combined a disingenuous reference to FoAP with a thinly veiled attack on Sarah. Given the recently history of FoAP politics this set alarm bells ringing.
Fred wrote:
More importantly, I stand by the substance of my post about using the name 'Fred'. At no stage subsequently did you object to me posting as 'Fred' (not even this morning when we had an exchange of emails).
I have never objected to your posting under the name 'Fred'. My concern was that you did not mislead people as to your relationship with FoAP.

My records show that I did express strongly my preference for transparency on 24 November, which was some days after our conversation on 19 November.

My hope that the the anonymity this forum offers would not be abused to perpetuate personal feuds turned out to be hopelessly over-optimistic.
Fred wrote:
Indeed in your request of 27th November about declaring affiliations you did not require people to declare if a member of his/her household was a FoAP committee member. You made that request for the first time this evening (a point you seem to recognise in your post)
I did indeed make that explicit request for the first time yesterday evening and I have not suggested otherwise. I started a new thread to make the point clear.
Fred wrote:
I duly and promptly complied.
Thank you. People can make up their own minds now when they re-read your posts in the light of that knowledge.

As I suspect you are well aware, you are not the only person who shares a household with a FoAP office holder who has been posting on the forum of late. Their contributions yesterday made it clear in my mind that it was high time to insist on greater disclosure of interests and affiliations.

I will be interested to see whether any of the others I have in mind continue to post in this new thread.
Fred wrote:
you are very selective about which posts you grumble about.
That may be your perception.

Sarah will confirm that I have taken issue with her postings to the forum on more than a couple of occasions, including the recent past. And, indeed, I have removed several of her messages over the years.

I don't pretend that I always get the judgement call right, but I try to be fair.

Whatever one's opinion of Sarah, I find it significant that whilst Sarah's identity is well-known, those who have come on to this forum and set out to portray her as a terrible, unreasonable person don't have the balls to put their own names to their comments.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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