Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Our March update

Councillors Report – March 2012

Local Government Boundary Commission Review

The boundary commission appear to have now accepted our arguments for the number of councillors to remain the same. However they will still have to make changes to bring the ratio of residents to councillors back into line, so the threat of boundary changes and two member wards still exists. We have provided full details of projected population growth in Brownswood and elsewhere as part of our case.

£11.5m refurbishment of Kings Crescent Estate continues

The second stage of the refurbishment (which includes replacement of the electrical mains and lighting, all lifts, the installation of two tier door entry systems, and new roofs and windows for Weston and Lemsford Courts) is progressing well though inevitably causing some disruption. The installation of entryphone systems starts on 4 March. The current programme is being reviewed to move Bramfield Court forward, in view of the ASB problems being experienced there, and to condense the programme to bring the completion date forward from the end of August.

Works to prepare for the digital TV switchover should be completed by 4 April.

The window replacement works have been completed at Lemsford Court and the contractor has now moved on to Weston Court.

Officers have had initial meetings with the planners and expect the masterplan application to go forward once one final document is supplied. There will then be a 13 week plus period for the outline application to be considered. Estate residents and those in neighbouring streets will be invited to comments on the proposals.

A major issue remaining is whether the remaining blocks to be refurbished will get flat or pitched roofs. Residents are generally opposed to flat roofs because of their experience of leaks over the years. The Design Code, which forms part of the planning application, makes no pre-emption on the design of roofs and states that “roofs may be pitched or flat”. In the meantime, Weston and Lemsford are to be given shallow pitched roofs which will be concealed by parapets. It is intended to arrange visits to schemes elsewhere where “green” roofs have been installed to allow residents to see if modern ones work better.

Finsbury Park Accord

A draft Finsbury Park Accord has been drawn up between Haringey, Hackney and Islington to deliver further regeneration of the Finsbury Park Area. The draft document, which is being finalised, highlights the need for more co-operation amongst the boroughs, a focus on town-centre improvements including on Blackstock Road, and a drive to improve the local economy. The accord may also highlight recent steps forward on the Hackney side, including the building of additional housing. The next step is to draft Supplementary Planning Guidance for the area.

Hostel expansion

Oli and Feryal have been active in supporting residents raising concerns about the expansion of one of the hostel at 350-356 Seven Sisters Road. Their worries are based on the perceived proliferation of such establishments in the area.

Woodberry Down regeneration

The first five KSS1 blocks are now complete and fully occupied. Riverside Apartments is the final private block at the eastern end of the West Reservoir and is on schedule to be occupied towards the end of March 2012. “The Residence” Tower (175 units) is being fitted out and residents will be moving in between July and October 2012.

Basic construction of both blocks at 268 Green Lanes is now complete, with fit out and landscaping to the external areas due to be finished soon.

Berkley Homes are continuing to pursue a further tower block at Woodberry Down. The TRA, WDCO, will only accept this in the context of a review of the overall masterplan which brings additional benefits to residents.

A new health centre will be built as part of the Phase 2A development on the former Pewsham site. The site is cleared, with the exception of three detached properties on Woodberry Down. Work was originally due to begin in March 2012 and be complete by March 2014. However there has been a delay in purchasing leasehold properties as Berkeley Homes, the developer, has not been able to agree terms with some of the leaseholders. Berkeley Homes have put negotiations on hold until more progress has been made with obtaining a Compulsory Purchase Order for all of Phase 2. Berkeley Homes anticipate being on site in October 2012 with a completion date in late 2014.

The council is still in negotiations with the PCT to take a lease on the property. The PCT will then sub-lease some of the building to local GP practices. If the council is unable to reach an agreement with the PCT or GPs, it could directly market the health centre to other providers. These would include GP practices, dentists and pharmacies.

The Castle

The Castle climbing centre on Green Lanes has applied inter alia, to expand their cafeteria space and add a conservatory to the eastern side and a greenhouse to the southern elevation. For further details go the planning section of and search for 2012/0162.

Alexandra National site

Construction of the framework is now complete, with all the new council housing already allocated to returning tenants.

Council budget

The council is due to set its budget and council tax at the meeting on 29th February. We are proposing to freeze the council tax for a 7th year.

Councillors Brian Bell, Oli de Botton and Feryal Demirci

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Castle Climbing Centre, Green Lanes - planning and listed building consent applications

Please comment by 26th March via the Planning section of the LBHackney website.

Application Number: 2012/0199

Date Received: 16/01/2012
Validation Date: 08/02/2012
for Listed Building Consent

Agent: Cook Townsend Architects
Agent Tel: 02084440330
on behalf of The Castle Climbing Centre Green
Lanes London N4 2HA

Development Case Officer: Evie Learman

Internal alterations to the existing building
comprising new escape provision; additional
cafeteria space; relocation of existing utility
space and refurbishment of existing internal
building fabric. External works comprising
new lean-to conservatory on the eastern
elevation and new greenhouse on the
southern elevation; alterations to external
building fabric; provision of new external
sports activity space and modifications to
existing road and pedestrian access including
new access door on western elevation facing
Green Lanes.

All this work is in connection
with an associated planning application
reference 2012/0162.