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All Hallows Church, Copperfield Street

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Tuesday 26 April 2005 1.57pm
The plans were in an architect's office on Great Guildford Street. I think the Cathedral might be able to direct you.

The Cathedral's desire to make money is understandable but exactly what they plan to change and develop are the reasons why this part of Copperfield Street is included in the Union Street Conservation Area. Copperfield Gardens and T F Ford's 1957 renovation of the gutted 'All Hallows Church', as well as the Church Hall were noted in the conservation plan as 'photographic viewpoints' and the street was noted for its peace and quiet. It's very sad that this sanctuary and beautiful part of London may disappear.

More confusing is the destruction of the Church Hall and its replacement with a fairly nondescript suburban home. The Church Hall fits in with the Arts and Crafts unity of Copperfield Street. That this will be lost in order to satisfy Church of England guidelines for the square footage of vicarages seems more than a little unfair (especially since the Cathedral owns the 'Vicarage' next door, at no. 2 Copperfield Street). Why demolish one hall to build another a few meters away? Refurbishment of the hall for another use seems not to have been considered. The new hall may well be used as a community centre but the old hall has not been. Southwark Council are including a new community centre in the old library building on the corner of Union Street and Southwark Bridge Road a few minutes walk away.

I understand that the condition of All Hallows Church is a source of worry to the Cathedral but why, if so cherished, has it been allowed to fall into this state of dereliction so that only a plan so drastic can replace it?
Sunday 1 May 2005 6.00pm
I live directly behind the proposed development and as far as I am aware nobody in our block has been invited to either consultation. Excuses about security doors are red herrings. All that was needed was a few envelopes, with the flat number on, put through the letterboxes.

The only reason I can think of as to why we didn't receive invitations was that it was a gone conclusion that we would all object to the scheme. The development threatens our light, a precious resource for us locally, and our conservation area.

The Cathedral must take responsibility for letting the building fall into dilapidation and not use this as another excuse. Maybe a bit of imagination and consultation would be good idea so that we can, as a community, find a way that the present buildings can be brought back into a use that enhances our community, rather than seeking to damage it, as well as derive some income for the Cathedral.

I find it extraordinary that the Cathedral is required to maximise income even at the expense of the community it is meant to serve. I am sure this contradiction will be brought to the public's attention for discussion when the Cathedral applies for planning permission.

I hope that the Cathedral will rethink its plans and show some sensitivity to those of us whose day light and environment are threatened and who the Cathedral claims, and wants, to be part of.
Tuesday 3 May 2005 3.23pm
The Church Gardens is a much valued area of peace in what is fast becoming a more busier and consiquently noiser area. It is a safe open play area for children on the street too, the redeveloped Mint St park is a mess and attracts too many drunks. For me, it is accepted that change and development over time is inevitable in an urban area. However, the respect in which local residents should be treated in regards to the value of their living space should not be past over lightly.

Eg. The London Fire Brigade, who operate a training centre based on Southwark Bridge Road, situated on the south side of Copperfield Street; claimed to have consulted all the local residents prior to the building of a 3 story training tower which to some local residents, was errected as a total surprise!

It has been said that water is regularly blasted onto the adjacent flats/gardens with high powered hoses, noise from the trainee's / instructors / equipment and exhaust pollution from the fire engines has resulted in the hightened distubance for those that work from home, and not forgetting the blockage of light with the south facing buildings. Windows remain closed during hot summer months and some people have said to leave their curtains closed due to the lack of privacy of the climbing trainee fire fighters.

In my view, The London Fire Brigade were totally ignorant toward the local residents. Sure, they had to put their facilities somewhere, but in such a residential area? They have even taken over the public football pitch on Sawyer St which was put in place by the former GLC. It looks to be nothing more than an extended car park for them. The development work resulted in the surrounding area becoming a noisey and dusty construction site for many years, only to become a permanent fixture of nuisance to the surrounding residents. Not everybody is a 9-5 worker.

The above is one very bad example of supposed local consultation that has made some peoples lives miserble. The area during most weekdays can sound like a continuious construction site with most of the noise coming from the training centre.

Anyways, back to topic - All Hallows, I've not seen the plans. It would be useful if someone could post them up on the web, or provide a link. As reported by some, I didn't recieve an invite to view the plans as a local resident either. Already a bad sign of consultation!!

Glass buildings can be very harsh with reflective light and radiating heat to their surrounding neighbours. With the building being planned said to be 5 storys high, higher than the flats on Copperfield St, this would obviously block a lot of light!

Copperfield Street, from the junction of Pepper St to Great Guildford St has a pretty uniform look to it, it has character. It even makes an appearance on a publically issued tourist map as a recommended area of interest for a walk. You occasionally see people from out of town, with maps in hand wandering around with the look of, "why am I here?"

It is a fairly unique part of Zone 1, Central London where it is very peaceful. To live around here is a real bonus. Destroying the character of the area is not something you'd expect from the church, of all people.

Lastly, I couldn't agree more with Nik's comment of "I understand that the condition of All Hallows Church is a source of worry to the Cathedral but why, if so cherished, has it been allowed to fall into this state of dereliction so that only a plan so drastic can replace it?"

Why? Lack of foresight, poor management or just plain ignorance? Or all 3.

Tuesday 3 May 2005 10.57pm
Thank you for all your input

There are some very valid points and so eloquently put.

Yes, isn't it amazing that Pizza hut can manage to get junk mail to our doors when the Cathedral staff seem to be stumped by this!!

Nik mentions the “Lack of foresight, poor management or just plain ignorance?” of the cathedral to maintain the site. I think that they are being very clever, knowing full well that letting the site fall into disrepair is the easiest way to justify such a radical proposal, with all the financial gains involved.

Another interesting point: I understand that the Cathedral's parish boundary was changed some years ago to exclude this area including the All Hallows site. Then more recently (perhaps in the last couple of years) the parish has been changed back again to include the site. Does this not suggest that this plan has been in the background for some time? Or maybe I'm just being cynical and the Cathedral are genuinely concerned for the spirituality of the poor lost souls that they turfed out without a care all those years ago.

I agree, if the Canon Pastor needs a new home ,why can't something be done with the existing Vicarage, just next door.

The Dean (Colin Slee) has also made comment about the current proposal being slightly lower than the church that used to be on the sight until it was destroyed in 1944……. Does this make it all right then to steal our light and to box us in …………the original church was built in 1879, in that year they were still building slum houses with outside toilets. But surely we do not want to return to the building practices of the 19th century.
Wednesday 4 May 2005 2.22am
Drafting architectual plans through the various stages from proposal, concepts through to consultation stage does seem to suggest that there have been plans in the heavens, so to speak, for some time. An uneducated guess, 6-12 months at least. You've got the finances to evaluate, draft, build 3D computer / actual models, seek planning permission and possibly come up with alternative solutions etc etc... Such a process costs money, and if you're willing to invest, you're going to want a valued return! So, to me, it looks like it'll happen either way.

Time to start making some noise, people!

On the basis of whats been portrayed on this forum thus far, this does come across as somewhat devious and questionable behaviour by Cathedral. But hey, I suppose even the church has a PR dept these days. As much respect the faith has in hope towards them in the 21st C, it isn't really showing much respect for the local residents in the area. But hey, it's their land, and as such, I guess they can behave like a corporate developer if they want to. As a reminder, I've not seen the plans yet, so I might tip toe back on that comment.

With regards to the posting of invitations for the consultation, if people working on behalf of Cathedral have the time to deliver such notices, surely, given that it's the church, one would think they'd have the time to ring on a few door bells at least, to spread the word in person. Not to say this hasn't happened, but asking around this evening, it doesn't appear to have been the case!

There has been filming on Copperfield Street for a couple of TV drama's recently. By practice, the production companies should give local residents notice of such activity in advance. And if one local resident opposes the filming, for whatever reason, they have to stop shooting. Relevance? I didn't get anything through the letterbox. Whats with this letterbox phobia in general? If nothing but a potential liablity. Royal Mail dont care, they just dump your mail anywhere to get rid of it haha. And no, got nothing against shoots in the area, as long as they're not with guns.

This is a personal opinion, not one that is intended to reflect the feelings of anyone else in the forum or the local area, and I'm sorry in advance if I cause offense to anyone, but if the Canon Paster needs a new home, as with the Royal Family these days, you have to show a bit more in return to the public to justify such money to be spent. Even if the sale/rent of other apts/offices would pay for the new dwelling.

I'm sure I'll have a bolt of lighting come down on me tomorrow morning, or a fire hose drench me into the path of a 344 bus... but hey, such is life.


Wednesday 4 May 2005 8.42pm
For General information

The proposal has not yet formally been put to the planning dept of the council, but I believe the Cathedral expect to have this done some time in June. As yet the plans are not available for viewing, thay have only been shown at the 'locals consultation meeting' . The architects involved are PLB Architecture, (they have a web site for address and contact details) on Gt Guildford St. The person at PLB dealing with the plans is Andrew Fifield, you may be able to persuade him to show you the plans.

Otherwise there is a model available to view in the Cathedral but you will probably need to talk to Sarah King to see it.

We will be getting a petition of objectors together soon so watch this space.

Ps I have heard talk of people using 'private mail' on the Forum, how does that work?
Saturday 21 May 2005 6.39pm
We have now started a petition against the proposed plans - so if you would like to add your names to it - please private message me.

Many thanks
Saturday 21 May 2005 6.44pm

Please add me to your list of petitioners.
Saturday 21 May 2005 6.59pm
Play fair, folks: by all means mention your petition, but somehow I don't think 'Mini Haha' needs to use the forum to pledge their support for higher watha's petition

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Sunday 22 May 2005 3.54am
Are there restrictions to building on consecrated ground or is consecrated status something the Cathedral can deconsecrate at will? Can anyone clarify that for me?

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 22 May 2005 3.57am by figure5ingold.
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