Charlton councillor: ‘Get involved in skate park plans’

The Charlton skate park options - A, close to the mini-gym; B, across the other side of the old athletics track; C. away from homes by Charlton Park Lane

The Charlton skate park options – A, close to the mini-gym; B, across the other side of the old athletics track; C. away from homes by Charlton Park Lane

A guest post from Councillor Miranda Williams, ward councillor for Charlton and Cabinet Member for Culture & Creative Industries:

Plenty of time to get involved in Skatepark plans

Following your recent article about the plans for a new skatepark for Charlton, I hope it will be helpful to provide some information on where things stand, and also address some of the comments made.

As your article mentioned, this public consultation is intended to get initial feedback from parks users, residents, skaters and interested parties.

Charlton Park has been identified as a good location because it has good public transport links, and the skatepark will build on range of existing park facilities. We are also very keen that all young people, including pupils at the neighbouring Charlton Park Academy can access this great new facility.

I know from some of the comments made there have been questions about why this consultation does not include copies of proposed plans, CGI images of what the skatepark may look like, or a detailed schedule for the development which sets out when work will start and finish. Here, I hope to reassure readers that detailed plans, including the design specs, proposed images, and a full build schedule will be coming, and that of this will be open to the full planning process and further public consultation.

So at this early stage, we’re seeking feedback on three suggested locations within the park, and we want people to give us their contact details if they wish to be more actively involved as the plans develop further.

As part of the process, a user group will be formed to ensure that those who want to play a more active role can do so – if this is you, get in touch.

I’m confident that with the active involvement of the local community we will have a popular, top quality and accessible skatepark that we can all be proud of.

Can I also take this opportunity to encourage Charlton Champion readers to view and engage with the current consultation (at www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/consultations) before the deadline next Monday – December 1.

And for those who want to get more involved, please email wheelsports-survey@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or call020 8921 5618.

Best wishes,

Councillor Miranda Williams

Cabinet Member for Culture & Creative Industries

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Join Jay Rayner’s Radio 4 Kitchen Cabinet in Charlton

Jay Rayner

An email from the BBC lands in the Champion inbox…

If there’s anything you ever wanted to know about food or cooking, but didn’t know whom to ask, read on.

Come and be part of the audience for The Kitchen Cabinet, BBC Radio 4’s culinary panel programme. Hosted by Jay Rayner the show is witty, fast-moving, and irreverent, but packed full of information that may well change the way you think about cooking.

You’ll have the opportunity to put your questions on anything and everything to do with food and drink to a panel of experts, and enjoy plenty of good-humoured conversation about cooking and eating.

Date: Thursday 27 November
Venue: Charlton Assembly Rooms, London
Doors open: 6pm

To apply for tickets, visit bbc.co.uk/tickets.

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Councillors back Woolwich Road Matalan development

Greenwich Shopping Park plan

A plan of the proposed scheme, with the Ramac estate on the left and the new M&S on the right


Greenwich councillors tonight unanimously backed an extension of Greenwich Shopping Park onto Woolwich Road, centred around a new “public square” and boasting branches of Matalan, Starbucks and Frankie & Benny’s.

All 10 councillors on the board supported the scheme, which its promoters say will create 200 jobs, including 100 full-time positions.

The site, opposite Victoria Way, was kept empty for some years awaiting the scrapped Greenwich Waterfront Transit fast bus scheme. A Travelodge was due to be built on the site in time for the Olympic Games, and gained planning permission, but that proposal also fell through.

Concerns raised by councillors included traffic, maintenance of the public square and the fate of a willow tree at the centre of the site.

“If we had Monty Don here, we’d be able to find a solution to this,” council leader Denise Hyland said as she lamented plans to knock down the tree, which she said “brings joy as you drive or walk past”.

Councillors listen to arguments in their revamped committee room

Councillors listen to arguments in their revamped committee room

Kidbrooke with Hornfair councillor Norman Adams said traffic in the area was “chaos” on Saturday and Sunday mornings, although the hearing was told the development would only bring 43 extra “vehicle movements” to the area during peak Saturday shopping hours.

Local resident Simon Hall said he was pleased developers had taken on board criticism of the plans, planting trees so he and his neighbours didn’t have to “face a dull brick wall”.

He called on Greenwich planners to make sure the development wasn’t as close to the pavement as the new Sainsbury’s/M&S scheme is, adding that developers’ money should be used to improve the “disgusting” street scene on the south side of the Woolwich Road and to turn the zebra crossing at the site into a pelican crossing.

Developers also plan to put lighting down the side of the Frankie & Benny’s unit to illuminate the existing pathway to Asda. The pathway’s owner, Ramac Group Ltd, did not respond to requests to co-operate with the planning application.

One sticking point was whether developers should contribute to a possible new bus route in the area – so far TfL has declined to extend the 202 service from Blackheath to serve Sainsbury’s/M&S, despite the developer offering money.

Regeneration cabinet member Danny Thorpe said that “even though you sometimes can’t get on a 472″, he would prefer to see money go into improving the surrounding area. But Denise Hyland added: “I don’t want to see Transport for London refuse to introduce a bus because there’s no Section 106 [money for it].” In the end, it was decided to leave the issue to officers.

Questions over the state of the public space – to be centred around a red oak tree – included whether it would end up being colonised by skateboarders. Which led to one Charlton Champion follower on Twitter to suggest a solution that could help the Charlton Park scheme

Details to be ironed out with the council before work goes ahead include sorting out a “travel plan” and finalising just where developers’ money should go.

The Matalan planned for the site would replace the one in Greenwich’s Millennium Retail Park – slated for demolition as part of the controversial Ikea development – which itself replaced its earlier site on Bugsby’s Way.

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Second Floor Studios & Arts open weekend – check out Charlton’s ‘Creative Quarter’

IMG_3603.JPGIt’s “London’s largest single site affordable studio space project”, it’s on our doorsteps, and it’s open to the public next weekend. Second Floor Studios & Arts (SFSA) provide affordable studio space to “a community of over 400 artists, printmakers, craft makers and designers” in premises on the Mellish Industrial Estate, off Warspite Road. Their open weekend is an opportunity for members of the public to take a look around the studios, meet SFSA members, try the canteen, and generally find out what’s happening  in Charlton Riverside’s ‘Creative Quarter’.

You can find the full open weekend brochure here, and a map of the site with a list of SFSA members here. The open weekend runs 11am to 6pm on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th of November.

 

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1,100 locals press Greenwich Council to improve road safety

The petition was presented at last night's council meeting

The petition was presented at last night’s council meeting

Last night, residents who live near Little Heath, Charlton and Hillreach in Woolwich presented Greenwich Council with a 1,100-strong petition calling for traffic calming measures after a newsagent was killed when a car mounted the pavement outside his shop.

This stretch of road, heading out of Charlton towards Woolwich barracks, is a notorious spot for collisions, with three teenagers dying in a crash with an out-of-service bus in 2008. Neighbour Jane Lawson, who attended the council meeting, picks up the story.

Just three months ago our dearly loved local newsagent, Ash Patel, was killed outside his shop on Hillreach by a car which mounted the pavement. The local community were terribly distressed and angered by this and their distress was compounded by the knowledge that there have been dreadful fatalities in the recent past and innumerable RTAs which don’t get recorded on the official statistics.

This time we were determined to get the matter addressed. A core group of local residents, spear headed by Carrie Harman, and ably assisted in the wording by Matthew Pennycook (thanks to the speed of Twitter) drew up a petition asking for traffic calming measures.

For those who are not familiar with this locality, Hillreach is an enticing Big Dipper stretch of road which seems to impel a huge number of drivers to pretend they are Lewis Hamilton – the consequences have been deadly.

And so, over the last three months the petition has grown. Scores of volunteers have knocked on doors, neighbours have been proactive in returning to empty houses, those who shop at the newsagents have spread the word locally and by the end of October the petition had reached the total of over 1,100 signatures. The response on the doorsteps showed the frustration, anger fury and determination to get action. Without exception we heard accounts of accidents, near-misses and appalling driving.

Full Council was held on 5 November where the petition was formally presented by one of the Woolwich Riverside councillors. Sadly, the procedures do not allow petitioners to address the xouncil – had that been possible, they would have been very aware of the mood of the people.

We’ve been assured that the council wish to see average speed cameras installed and Matthew Pennycook and Nick Raynsford are writing to TfL to make sure they comply.

We shall be watching closely and we don’t intend to let this matter rest until this deadly stretch of road is made safer for those who live here.

To conclude, the council meeting was attended by Ash’s son, Samir Patel, who told us that in the midst of their grief, Ash’s two kidneys and his liver were donated so that others might live. That is part of his memorial. Let’s hope that the measures we have asked for will be the rest.

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Charlton Lido: Good news for winter swimmers

Moonlit swim at Charlton Lido

Charlton Lido & Lifestyle Club has announced pool opening hours for November through to February, and it’s good news for swimmers as the heated outdoor pool will remain open five days a week through the winter months. This will be the first winter’s swimming since the refurbished pool opened in 2012.

The pool opening hours from 1st November are as follows:

Monday – 7.00am – 2.00pm
Tuesday – Closed
Wednesday – 2.00pm – 8.00pm
Thursday – Closed
Friday – 7.00am – 2.00pm
Saturday – 9.00am – 2.00pm
Sunday – 9.00am – 2.00pm

As ever, we advise checking the official website for opening hours if you’re planning a swim.

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Charlton skate park consultation launched

The Charlton skate park options - A, close to the mini-gym; B, across the other side of the old athletics track; C, away from homes by Charlton Park Lane

The Charlton skate park options – A, close to the mini-gym; B, across the other side of the old athletics track; C, away from homes by Charlton Park Lane

Greenwich Council has opened a consultation into its planned skate park in Charlton Park – but don’t expect to be asked if you think it’s a wise idea or not.

In July, the council’s cabinet decided to relocate Woolwich’s Royal Arsenal Gardens skate park to Charlton, with £365,000 provided by Arsenal developer Berkeley Homes.

The public are only now being asked for an opinion – and that’s to choose between three sites in Charlton Park. The first site is close to the Charlton Lane entrance to the park, while the second is tucked away in the other corner of the field. The third site is in a corner used by dog walkers off Charlton Park Lane.

There are only two questions in the consultation – which site you prefer, and whether you have any other comments.

Aside from the decision not to consult with the community in choosing Charlton Park, hard facts about the skate park remain hard to come by. There is no information about who would operate the skate park, what provisions would be made for safety, security and landscaping, and whether any other funding is being sought to create a facility that’d be an improvement on the rather spartan space it’d replace in Woolwich.

The consultation can be found at www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/consultations, and is open until 1 December.

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