FLR BWF response 2016

Friends of Lordship Rec                                           www.lordshiprec.org.uk

 

Objection to Local Plan SA 62: ‘Broadwater Farm Area’  [3rd March 2016]

 

NO TO THREAT OF DEMOLITIONS OF LOCAL ESTATES, AND THE BLIGHTING OF OUR COMMUNITIES.

 

PROTECT ALL THE LOCAL FACILITIES AND IMPROVEMENTS, INCLUDING THE BROADWATER FARM COMMUNITY CENTRE

  1. The Friends of Lordship Rec are the constituted organisation for all Lordship Rec park users, formed in 2001. Over the last 11 years we have been instrumental in the successful community-led regeneration of Tottenham’s largest public park, in partnership with Haringey Council Parks Service and other key stakeholders. We have a current membership of 1,344 park users, most living within a few minutes walk of the Rec, including many on the 4 housing estates within the area identified in proposal SA 62.

    We and other park user groups, in partnership with the Parks Service, currently manage or help manage various of the park’s features and facilities, and the park as a whole.

    For more details, see Appendix at end: The Community-led Transformation of Lordship Rec

 

  1. We object strongly to the draft Local Plan proposal SA62 for a demolition and redevelopment zone covering Broadwater Farm, Somerset Close, Lido Square, Moira Close, some houses along Lordship Lane, and the Broadwater Farm Community Centre.

    The proposal would increase powers for property developers throughout that zone in the future. It would cause massive stress to all concerned, blight, displacement and disruption for years, and undermine all the successful efforts over decades to build a strong and stable local community and to improve local facilities.

    Local residents have worked long and hard to make Broadwater Farm one of the most attractive and well-served estates in the UK.

    The proposal is unacceptable and should be withdrawn immediately. Instead the Council must work with the community to protect, support and improve all the existing homes, estates, facilities and communities in the area.

 

  1. We support the objection of Broadwater Farm Residents Association and do not repeat most of their excellent points.

 

  1. The proposal is unsound as it contradicts and undermines a range of Haringey, London and National policies which should protect the area:

 

– respect for the existing character of an area
– need for genuine consultation with stakeholders before proposals are made
– need to preserve, enhance and expand rather than destroy genuinely affordable housing
– respect for, and promotion of, strong communities rather than breaking them up
– need for mixed and balanced communities (like we have in Tottenham) rather than gentrification excluding lower income people (the majority of current local residents, and indeed of London residents generally)

– the need for Lifetime Neighbourhoods

– the need to protect and expand social infrastructure serving local communities

– the need for all development to be sustainable, in particular socially and environmentally sustainable (both of which necessitate refurbishment rather than demolition of structurally-sound housing)

 

  1. The proposal is unsound and invalid as the description of the proposal: ‘Improvements of the housing estate to improve stock, design of the site and routes through the area’ is grossly misleading. It is also misleading to characterise the area such: ‘ Broadwater Farm is a collection of Homes for Haringey and Housing Association estates… ‘ Those who know the area do not refer to the whole area as ‘Broadwater Farm’, and hence may assume that only the Broadwater Farm estate itself is affected by the proposal (maybe apart from some ‘through routes’ implications for the low rise estates). For some reason the key designation in the Urban Characterisation Study of the 3 Housing Association estates as ‘suitable for tall buildings’ of 6-11 storeys is not mentioned. Maybe it has been dropped, which is to be welcomed – indeed, if so, the current red-zone proposal should therefore not incorporate these estates and the homes along Lordship Lane. That bizarre and unacceptable designation is causing extreme concern and stress in these areas. They must be withdrawn from the red-zone immediately.

 

The threat of demolition and redevelopment is not implied or mentioned let alone made explicit as it should have been if it is the case. No reasonable or fair-minded person would think ‘Improvements of the housing estate to improve stock, design of the site and routes through the area’ meant or even could mean a threat of mass demolitions and redevelopment. It is only by reps of local community groups seeking discussions and clarification from planning officers that the true import of the proposal has been revealed to us (see quotes below).

 

It is therefore also unlawful as it contradicts the general principles of public consultation as set out by the Supreme Court (in an October 2014 ruling against Haringey Council).

 

  1. It is worth noting that Haringey Council has confusingly promoted a specialist form for respondents to the Local Plan to fill in, sometimes implying that it is compulsory to use the form (which would be unacceptable as it would put off many local residents from responding), and other times not saying this. For example, in early 2016 the Council put up some posters in the ‘red-zone’ SA62 area, which doesn’t mention any form and states at the bottom:

 

“  You can submit comments:

By email: ldf@haringey.gov.uk

By Post: Planning Policy, Level 6, River Park House, Wood Green N22 8HQ  “

 

It also doesn’t state that respondents at this stage are encouraged, should, or have to request the right to give verbal evidence. In the light of this we seek assurance that, as the Our Tottenham network have formally called for, ‘all respondents to the current Local Plan consultation will be written to after the closure of the consultation to explain the Inquiry plans, procedures and issues and to ask if they wish to contribute ‘in person’ during the Inquiry.’

 

  1. The proposal is unsound and unattainable now that Lordship Rec has been withdrawn from the ‘red-zone’.

 

As pointed out in Note 1 of our original 2015 objection (see below),

 

“   Steve Kelly from the Council’s Planning Department spoke at the Tangmere Steering Committee on Broadwater Farm in February [2015] and when challenged admitted that the land on Lordship Recreation Ground would be needed for housing for people displaced by any demolitions on Broadwater Farm.

Matthew Patterson, the Councils Interim Head of Policy, Strategic Transport and Infrastructure, also confirmed to a rep from the Friends of Lordship Rec on 20 February [2015] that the inclusion of the northern part of Lordship Rec in the development zone is for the power to build housing to decant the residents of Broadwater Farm (or many of them) into that area of the park otherwise the demolitions on the estate could not go ahead due to the impracticalities of re-homing those affected during the demolition and redevelopment works.

Gavin Ball from the Councils Planning Department told a rep from the Friends of Lordship Rec that a deliberately large zone was chosen for maximum flexibility. It included additional powers to achieve redevelopment. He said there would be no net loss of open space, but that could include a realignment or a land swap. [He didnt say where]. Most of the land in the zone is owned by the Council, but additional powers could include increased powers of compulsory purchase of private land such as the homes on Lordship Lane. When challenged about the proposed re-designation of the 3 low-rise estates in the northern part of the zone as suitable for tall buildings, he said that this is because they are close to transport routes. We note, however, that this directly contradicts policies which protect the existing character of each neighbourhood, in this case the low-rise nature of all the existing buildings on and around those 3 estates. “

 

  1. The ‘suitable for tall buildings’ designation for the 3 Housing Association estates seems to have no justification and is therefore arbritrary and unlawful and/or unsound.

 

  1. In March 2015 we, the Friends of Lordship Rec, made the objection to the previous version of the proposal, SA63 (as it was then numbered). This is enclosed in full below. That red-zone proposal was the same as the current SA62 version, except it also included the northern third of Lordship Rec.

 

  1. In fact a third of all the objections made in February/March 2015 regarding the whole Draft Local Plan were objections to the SA63 ‘Broad Water Area’ red-zone proposal. Almost all of these objections specified that they were objecting to the entire ‘red-zone’ as then proposed.

 

  1. The Council have since stated that Lordship Rec was withdrawn due to the volume and passion of the objections in early 2015 – but despite the volume and passion of the objections clearly and explicitly relating to the whole zone at that stage, the Council have so far failed to withdraw the entire proposal.

 

  1. The Council’s senior planning officer Matthew Patterson wrote to the Friends of Lordship Rec on 03/10/2015, stating:

“  I can confirm that the MOL extent, as shown on the UDP Policies Map, is to be excluded from the red line boundary.”

 

Indeed, Cllr Alan Strickland, Haringey Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, repeated the above claim to Baroness Jenny Jones, an AM at City Hall (and former Deputy Mayor of London) on 25th November 2015.

However, for some reason the MOL-designated land upon which sits the bulk of the Broadwater Farm Community Centre and its Harmony Gardens has not yet been excluded, and in fact the red-zone boundary has been specifically re-drawn to include the said building and gardens. These are part of the park, and the park’s lottery-funded improvements explicitly included the Centre grounds. Indeed, the functioning of the Broadwater United sport pitches, being part of the park and removed by the Council from the red-zone proposal SA62, are managed from and reliant on the Community Centre. Hence the Community Centre not only straddles MOL, but also is a fully integrated and essential part of that MOL.

 

With the most senior planning officer and the relevant Cabinet member stating publicly that no MOL land should be under threat, the Community Centre must be withdrawn from the red-zone immediately.

 

  1. It should be noted that the original red-zone proposal only covered Tangmere block on Broadwater Farm (total 115 dwellings) as it was said to have some specific repairs issues. Red-zoning it may not have been the appropriate course of action but at least there was some attempt at justification. We now know, from a recent FoI request [LBH4703815], that neither Tangmere nor any other block on Broadwater Farm has been found to be structurally unsound. Hence the landlord should perform its duty to properly manage and maintain Tangmere and all other Broadwater Farm homes.

 

However, the current  red zone covers a staggering 1,473 homes (1,012 Council tenancies, 68 Council resident leaseholders, 63 Council non-resident leaseholders, 267 Housing Association tenancies, and 55 private sector dwellings) – a threat, in particular such an arbitrary threat, to such a huge area can only be described as unacceptable social engineering.

 

 

Dave Morris

Chair, Friends of Lordship Rec

7 Carrick Gardens N17 7AX

info@lordshiprec.org.uk

 

 

Please note that we are one of the local community groups backing the Broadwater Farm Area Campaign calling for the withdrawal of the SA62 red-zone. The list of supporting groups includes:

 

Broadwater Farm Residents’ Association, Friends of Lordship Rec, Broadwater United Sports And Football Academy, Broadwater Farm Enterprise Centre, Somerset Close residents group, Lordship Lane petitioners, Moira Close petitioners, Back 2 Earth @ BWF Community Centre, Rockstone Foundation, Broadwater Farm Children’s Centre Parents Forum, St Benet Fink Church, Church On The Farm, Lordship Rec Users Forum (stakeholders organisation for all the parks User Groups), Higham Road Allotments Assoc, Tower Gardens Residents Group, Lordship Rec Eco-Hub Co-op, Tottenham Clouds, Haringey Defend Council Housing, Tottenham Civic Society, Haringey Friends of Parks Forum, Haringey Federation of Residents Associations, Haringey Solidarity Group, Haringey Trade Union Council, Haringey Unite Community, Haringey Green Party, Haringey Play Association, Tottenham Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, Tottenham Socialist Workers Party, Woodlands Park Residents Association, Omega Works Tenants Association, Strawbridge Court Residents Association

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREVIOUS RESPONSE [March 2015]

 

Objection to Local Plan SA 63: ‘Broad Water Area’ Lordship Rec Site

NO TO DEMOLITIONS OF ESTATES, NO TO HOUSEBUILDING ON THE REC


  1. The Friends of Lordship Rec are the constituted organisation for all Lordship Rec park users, formed in 2001. Over the last 10 years we have been instrumental in the successful community-led regeneration of Tottenham’s largest public park, in partnership with Haringey Council Parks Service and other key stakeholders. We have a current membership of 1,322 park users, most living within a few minutes walk of the Rec [including many on the 4 housing estates within the area identified in proposal SA 63].

    We and other park user groups, in partnership with the Parks Service, currently manage or help manage various of the park’s features and facilities, and the park as a whole.

    For more details, see Appendix 1: The Community-led Transformation of Lordship Rec

    2. We object strongly to the draft Local Plan proposal SA63 for a demolition and redevelopment zone covering Broadwater Farm, Somerset Close, Lido Square, Moira Close, some houses along Lordship Lane, and the northern part of Lordship Recreation Ground, including the enclosed sports field.

    The proposal would increase powers for property developers throughout that zone, including the threat of house-building on Lordship Rec in the future. It would cause massive stress to all concerned, displacement and disruption for years, and undermine all the successful efforts over decades to build a strong and stable local community and to improve local facilities.

    Local residents have worked long and hard to make Broadwater Farm one of the most attractive and well-served estates in the UK, and to make Lordship Rec the great park it now is including the sports field, home of Broadwater United youth football teams.

    The proposal is unacceptable and should be withdrawn immediately. Instead the Council must work with the community to protect, support and improve all the existing homes, estates, facilities and communities in the area.

    3. The information provided in the proposal is inadequate, biased and appears to be deliberately misleading in hiding the real intentions. It is not possible, on the information provided, to understand or respond meaningfully. For this reason alone this proposal should be withdrawn.

    The information portrays what the Council must have known are highly controversial proposals as being ‘Potential improvements of the housing estate to improve stock, design of the site and routes through the area.’  This may sound innocuous. Yet local community reps’ conversations with planning officers [Note 1] revealed the real agenda is to promote mass demolitions of structurally sound homes, accompanied by house-building on the neighbouring park (a threat no-one reading the document would realise from the lack of information given). Further, no information is provided on why the 3 Housing Association estates in the northern part of the ‘zone’ are included, but it transpires that buried in the ‘Development Management Policies’ is a poorly printed Map 2.2 showing that the Council bizarrely want to promote future Tall Buildings across these relatively recently-built low-level estates.

    This proposed demolition and redevelopment zone includes not only the estate and all its marvelous community facilities, but also Somerset Close, Lido Square, Moira Close and the private houses along Lordship Lane to the north. We have been told that the proposal would include housing to be built on a large chunk of the north end of Lordship Recreation Ground, including the enclosed sports field, to re-house some of those displaced by any future demolitions. Temporarily or permanently? It also doesn’t say.

    4.   We support the specific objections made by the Broadwater Farm Residents Association and by Broadwater United Sports and Football Association [See their objections] about the Broadwater Farm Estate and the Lordship Rec enclosed sports pitch.

    5. Over the last 10 years Lordship Rec park users and the Friends of Lordship Rec have worked with the Parks Service to achieve a successful, nationally-celebrated, community-led regeneration of Tottenhams largest public park. The Heritage Lottery Fund are likely to demand their 4m grant back, as may other funding bodies who have contributed. The park is safeguarded and protected for all time by a Fields In Trust covenant preventing any part of it being developed or sold off and park users have pledged to defend it.

    The sudden and shocking threat to Lordship Rec would bring the Council into direct conflict with the Lordship Rec park users organisations, and all the funding bodies (Lottery, GLA and the Environment Agency) who have supported the successful community-led regeneration.

    The whole park is protected in the following important ways:

  • as Metropolitan Open Land (equivalent to Green Belt)
  • in the written contract with the Heritage Lottery Fund, in which the Council is legally obliged to protect and maintain all the facilities for 25 years, ie until 2037
  • the park is safeguarded and protected for all time by a Fields In Trust covenant since 2012, preventing any part of it being developed or sold off. The park was runner-up in national Fields In Trust awards for most improved park.
  • The 2015-2025 Lordship Rec Management Plan, adopted by the Council in February 2015, commits the Council to working in partnership to ensure that the Lordship Rec users groups, the park users and local community generally are fully involved at every level and in all aspects of the future management of the park.  Yet the first time any of the User Group partners, some managing areas and facilities of the park, were made aware of this bombshell is when the current consultation document was first released in February this year.

Some key Council policies protecting open space include Page 45 of the Local Plans Development Management DPD:

  1. The Council will not grant planning permission for proposals for development that would result in the loss of open  space, unless an assessment has been undertaken which shows that the open space is surplus to all the functions that an open space can perform.B.
  2. The Council will require all residential development proposals in Areas of Open Space Deficiency (see  map 4.1), and in wards which fall below the Borough-wide target of open space of 1.64 ha per 1,000 population (see map 4.2) to provide new open space and/or make financial contributions to enable the provision of new open spaces or improvements to the accessibility  and quality of existing open space. [Map 4.2 shows that Lordship Rec is in a ward falling below the Borough-wide target of open space of 1.64ha per 1,000 population.]
  3. The Council will only grant planning permission for small-scale structures on Public Open Space (Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land, Significant Local Open Land or Lee Valley Regional Park as shown on the Proposals Map) where the development is directly related and ancillary to any recreational use of the land and the predominant open character of the open space is maintained.
  1. We support the following views as articulated in the objection by Tottenham Civic Society:

    We are strongly opposed to any suggestion of building on Lordship Recreation Ground, whether this is permanent or temporary. In our view the inclusion of part of the Recreation Ground in the Site Allocations DPD is unnecessary and highly undesirable, for the following reasons.

    Lordship Recreation Ground is Tottenhams equivalent of Hyde Park. After years of relative neglect, in recent years it has received a massive investment in new landscaping and community activities, volunteering, recreation and engagement.

    The main gate of the Lordship Recreation Ground is the Lordship Lane gate. This provides at this high point the main ceremonial entrance to the Recreation Ground, from which it can be viewed in its entirety. It is thus of vital importance to the identity and status of the Recreation Ground. We believe this part of the Rec is of inseparable integrity to the whole.

    The designation of this major park as a recreation ground might lead some to accord it less value than a formal park, but this would be entirely at odds with its value to the local community, to wildlife, and to the visual amenity and landscape of Tottenham.

    The Rec is a haven for wildlife, and the northern part of the Rec has improved hugely in this respect in the last few years with creation of wildflower meadows and new tree planting. There remains more capacity for tree planting in the area. The site represents a remarkable contiguous green space with Downhills Park to the south.

    In terms of its importance in the landscape, the views from Lordship Lane to the south, and from the southern end of the Rec up to Lordship Lane are sightlines of key importance and beauty. This is the landscape on which Luke Howard observed and formulated his new names for clouds.

    Opposite the Rec, on the northern side of Lordship Lane, is the long parade of 1920s neo-classical model housing forming the southern boundary of Tower Gardens estate, which is a conservation area. These homes have just been restored under Decent Homes funding. They are also designated Article 4. Their position facing the open space of the Recreation Ground, with uninterrupted light from the south, is a key feature of the conservation area.

    The origins of Lordship Recreation Ground are entwined with those of Tower Gardens Estate, and it has been the place where residents have gone for recreation for almost 100 years.  To separate the Estate from the Rec would have extremely negative social and environmental costs to the Estate.

    It is noted that there are no proposals to build on areas of green space in the west of the borough.

    It is noted that the overall site includes a large number of private freeholds fronting Lordship Lane.

    In our view the social and environmental costs of demolishing Broadwater Farm Estate and surrounding buildings are not justified.

    Tottenham suffers from a range of social deprivations, all of which are ameliorated by the presence of the Recreation Ground, and all of which would be inclined to worsen significantly if such a large part of the Rec were to be lost to housing development.

    We believe the Council has a clear and overriding duty to preserve and enhance this most important of Haringey’s open green spaces.

    7.  Broadwater United officials and volunteers have managed and helped maintain the Lordship Rec Sports Field – an essential facility for youth football for over 20 years there are currently 11 teams based there. This has made a huge difference to young people in the area, being a key part of the areas positive transformation. [See BUSAFA statement/objection].

    8.  This totally unnecessary threat to 4 social and Council housing estates and Tottenham’s recently-regenerated and largest public park would cause massive stress to all concerned, displacement and disruption for years, and undermine all the successful efforts over decades to build a strong and stable local community and to improve local facilities. Local residents have worked long and hard to make Broadwater Farm one of the most attractive and well-served estates in the UK, and to make Lordship Rec the great park it now is including the sports field, home of Broadwater United youth football teams. The estate and park have won many national awards for successful community-led regeneration and empowerment, and are now admired throughout the UK and beyond.

    The proposal is beyond belief. The Council should be celebrating what has been achieved instead of allowing planners to dream up outrageous proposals to destroy existing homes and facilities and break up our communities.

    9.  Broadwater Farm residents, and their Residents Association, have worked with the Council to dramatically improve the estate over the last 30 yrs. It now has great facilities, play areas, landscaping, health centre, community centre, schools and so on. In the last 6 years a range of ‘decent homes’ refurbishments and repairs to homes and blocks have been made yet bizarrely it has now been put on a list of Council estates facing potential redevelopment. We say it is the Councils duty as the landlord to finish off all the works started and ensure any repairs are done promptly.   [See BWFRA statement/objection]

    10.  Somerset Close, Lido Square and Moira Close are pleasant low-rise estates of secure and affordable housing, most with gardens. Council planners, however, have somehow proposed these particular estates to be suitable for tall buildings of 6-11 storeys in the future. This is unacceptable. Some key Council policies regarding its suburban character and tall buildings include the Local Plan (2013), SP11:
    – All development shall be of design that respects its local context and character and historic significance, to contribute to the creation and enhancement of Haringeys sense of place and identity.
    – 6.1.15 Haringey is characterised by predominately low-rise (2-3 storeys) residential suburban development across the borough and 3-4 storey development in its town centres.

    11.  The red-zoning of this area is grossly irresponsible and an act of institutionalised bullying and vandalism. It will cause immense conflict and mistrust, undermine plans and funding for further improvements, and cause stress and blight throughout our communities and among the tens of thousands of park users for years, unless it is withdrawn immediately.

    Dave Morris

– Chair, Friends of Lordship Rec

Support:  So far the following groups have confirmed to us in writing that they are supporting this objection [as summarised in para 2]:
Broadwater Farm Residents Association, Broadwater United Sports and Football Association, Broadwater Farm Children’s Centre Parents Forum, St Benet Fink Church, Lordship Rec Users Forum (representing all the Lordship Rec user groups and other stakeholders), Tottenham Clouds, Strawbridge Court Residents association, Tower Gardens Residents Group, London Waterkeepers, Back 2 Earth, Haringey Green Party, Haringey Play Association, Lordship Rec Eco-Hub Cooperative, Omega Works Tenants Association, Tottenham Civic Society, Higham Road Allotments Association

Note [1] 
Steve Kelly from the Council’s Planning Department spoke at the Tangmere Steering Committee on Broadwater Farm in February and when challenged admitted that the land on Lordship Recreation Ground would be needed for housing for people displaced by any demolitions on Broadwater Farm.

Matthew Patterson, the Councils Interim Head of Policy, Strategic Transport and Infrastructure, also confirmed to a rep from the Friends of Lordship Rec on 20 February that the inclusion of the northern part of Lordship Rec in the development zone is for the power to build housing to decant the residents of Broadwater Farm (or many of them) into that area of the park otherwise the demolitions on the estate could not go ahead due to the impracticalities of re-homing those affected during the demolition and redevelopment works.

Gavin Ball from the Councils Planning Department told a rep from the Friends of Lordship Rec that a deliberately large zone was chosen for maximum flexibility. It included additional powers to achieve redevelopment. He said there would be no net loss of open space, but that could include a realignment or a land swap. [He didnt say where]. Most of the land in the zone is owned by the Council, but additional powers could include increased powers of compulsory purchase of private land such as the homes on Lordship Lane. When challenged about the proposed re-designation of the 3 low-rise estates in the northern part of the zone as suitable for tall buildings, he said that this is because they are close to transport routes. We note, however, that this directly contradicts policies which protect the existing character of each neighbourhood, in this case the low-rise nature of all the existing buildings on and around those 3 estates.

Appendix 1
THE COMMUNITY-LED TRANSFORMATION OF LORDSHIP REC     
By the Friends of Lordship Rec, Jan 2015

Lordship Rec, Tottenham’s largest public park at 26ha, is bordered by 2 large Council estates (Broadwater Farm and Tower Gardens) and streets of terraced housing of all tenures. In 2001, when the Friends of Lordship Rec set up, it was a poorly-maintained and virtually abandoned park with no on-site staffing, no flower beds, semi-derelict buildings, poor quality and decaying infrastructure, and few organised user groups or activities apart from a mother & toddler group running an old hut, and a local youth football club (Broadwater United) managing the enclosed sports pitch.

Inspired by the successful and comprehensive community-led improvements to Broadwater Farm throughout the 1990s, the Friends conducted an initial park users survey: How Can Our Park Be Improved?, and then teamed up with Broadwater United FC to launch the Lordship Rec Users Forum (LRUF). The aims of the Forum were to get all the stakeholders’ organisations (User Groups, Council, Residents Associations, Schools etc) to work together, to promote and encourage a range of new user groups, to develop a community-led vision to regenerate the site, to lobby for the resources needed to achieve that vision, and to move towards joint community/Council management of the site.

The Friends and the Users Forum have ever since continued to meet monthly and to consult the public widely to achieve the above, and indeed our achievements have multiplied beyond even our own wildest expectations!

*  The number, breadth and membership of dedicated autonomous user groups has mushroomed, and now includes the Friends, Broadwater United FC, a new Lordship Rec FC, Wildlife Group, the Parent & Toddler Group, Walking Group, Lordship Sports & Arts Consortium, Running Group, Back 2 Earth environmental charity, Trax youth cycling club, Brakethru mobility cycling club, Shell Performing Arts Collective, and a River Moselle Management Group

*  Guided by the results of public surveys and consultation efforts, and after 5 years of discussions, preparations, planning and design, and lobbying of funding bodies, the LRUF and Council succeeded in obtaining 5m, mainly from the Heritage Lottery Fund, for much-needed regeneration works. Weekly LRUF/Council coordination meetings have just overseen the completion of these works, including a brand-new flower-lined channel for the River Moselle, a new Loop bike dirt track, an Environmental Hub building with cafe and classroom, refurbishment of the Shell Theatre along with a new park staff team depot, renovation of the enclosed sports pitch, restoration of the historic and nationally-unique Model Traffic Area, new meadows, flower-beds and tree planting, and general improvements to drainage, paths and entrances

*  There are now a wide range of public activities and events in the park organised by local groups, including the regular LRUF-organised Community Festival. 2012’s ‘re-launch’ festival in September 2012 introduced the new facilities, attracting 8,000 local residents, double our previous highest turnout!

*  Building upon the growing partnerships and co-management philosophy developed in the last few years at every level of decision-making, the Friends, LRUF and Council are committed to the ongoing co-management of the park as a whole, and the micro-management of each of its facilities and features, eg Lordship Woodland and Lake / Friends; Bike track / Bike Club; Spinney / Lordship Wildlife Group; Eco-Hub / Hub Co-op; Football Field / Broadwater United; Harmony Gardens / Back 2 Earth; Shell Theatre / Performing Arts Collective; InfoShop / Rockstone Foundation – and other potential similar micro-partnership arrangements.

*  Inspired by the improvements achieved so far the key partners continue to meet for regular Lordship Practical Coordination meetings to monitor any ongoing works, discuss and plan further improvements and the fundraising necessary to achieve them, and to encourage and coordinate a wide range of events and activities by user groups.

It can be truly said that an inspiring and path-breaking community-led total transformation of this vital but neglected space is being achieved by exemplary community/Council partnership-working – and LOTS of hard work!

 


Leave a Reply