Present: Laura (chair), Nicole, Stephanie, Jim, Kate, James, David (minutes), Jim R, Allen, Luke (via skype), Sue Amos, Celia
Apologies: Nina and Hemali (LBS)
1. Update on planning issues relating to the park*
*refer to Appendix 1 & 2
Priorities for the Friends are:
a) Stead St. development – be diligent on the ground (take photos) and watch the area on developer’s behavior; watch protection of the hedge and be aware that any pruning must be approved by Parks; keep in contact with developers; keep on the possibility of decorating the hoarding and to involve the surrounding community in the artwork.
Action: Luke to contact Nina re: pruning approvals.
b) SINC status – Keep on consultation periods (including any counselors) and keep in touch with ecology officer to ensure we have enough evidence.
Action: Laura to begin investigating previous ecological report and see if we can get a quote for a new one; Luke to keep in touch with council officers related to process.
c) Crown Pub site – received planning permission at the appeal process Aug 2011, has until August 2014 to ‘start work’; move the pear trees away from the wall and into another location; plane trees provisional TPOs due up 7 March 2013; keep an eye on the site.
Action: Luke to follow up re: plane trees TPOs; ALL to think of places to move the pear trees.
d) Community Project Bank (Community Council) – every 3 years protecting green spaces; community infrastructure list had previously listed Nursery Row Park and we should engage with them again to have the park listed.
e) Queen Elizabeth II Field Designation application (via Cllr Hargrove) – requested to be included in the QE II Fields challenge for designation as Fields in Trust. Received confirmation that Cllr Hargrove will include us in the Southwark application.
f) Lend Lease Heygate development – note that Lend Lease will need to replace 300+ trees in the area; we must stay in touch with Lend Lease and Southwark Council to ensure the trees are not placed in the park but rather planted as street trees.
g) Neighbourhood Plan/Framework for East, North and West Walworth – Luke is in touch with the appropriate people.
2. Update on Education Project (Sue Amos)
Sue has clarified to the school that this project is not a gardening project; there were a few issues with numbers of children out but this has been rectified. Photos were shared. There are currently 19 sessions left in the grant however only 15 Fridays left + 7 after school clubs. Would like to build up to a big event at the end of term – can also be involved in the 1st event 1st June.
Action: Review project with a few members of the FoNRP – date set with David and Laura for 8/04/13. Celia may also have ideas to present. David to contact deputy head to set up a check-in meeting with the Friends and the school.
3. Update on Event planning for spring event – Saturday 1st June
Saturday 1st June – music (The May Birds have confirmed http://camillarockley.wix.com/themaybirdsuk), art (emailed Janine who did apple day crafts, could also be Jon – create bee hotels?), also want to work with Sue Amos on showcasing some work from the education project; planting (bee friendly plants); refreshments; Friends of the Earth stall; Dr Bike or similar session?
Action: Luke to send permission application; Laura to confirm craft person and ask Crampton Street bike club re: Dr. Bike.
4. Workday – 27th April, 10:30am
Laura has requested 8-10 tonnes of mulch by Southwark Council (Hemali); possible creation of path through the orchard for kids; also suggested woodchipping 2 x trees which are being taken down and drop it into the orchard
Action: Laura to organize workday, also enquire with Divine Rescue (Thurlow Lodge) for more volunteers.
5. Update on path condition by Orb St. and removal of tarmac by girders
Path to be spot replaced in bits and pieces in April. Full refurbishment of path may be in the next financial year.
Tarmac sections by the girders have now been replaced.
a. Meadow care this spring/summer
Keep an eye out for weeds such as dock, mallow, creeping thistle
b. Friends of the Earth Southwark – bee campaign
Update from Stephanie re: bee campaign which is being featured at June event. They are looking to cross-pollinate with other groups to create ‘bee worlds’. Also sign up as a bee friendly group: foe.co.uk/bees
c. Jim R would like to life some of the daffodils from the Crown pub section so they will have more room to flower. Perhaps in June?
NEXT WORKDAY: 27TH APRIL
NEXT MEETING DATE: 29TH APRIL 2013
Appendix 1 – Nursery Row Park Planning Briefing Note 25th March 2013
This note summarises the planning context relating to Nursery Row Park and identifies actions for 2013 and beyond.
Planning Context Southwark Plan 2004
Nursery Row Park designated as “Other Open Space” in the Southwark Plan 2004. However it also designated three sites in Nursery Row Park as “development sites” for housing – two sites on Brandon St (North and South of the Crown) and the area east of the stead St car-park and south of Stead St to the boundary with the Orb St flats. This was confirmed at a public inquiry in 2005 and adopted as policy.
Developers were then appointed for developments by Southwark Council, and FoNRP was founded to defend the sites as green spaces and push for development that respected the park.
In 2009 councillors finally voted to spare all three sites and change the housing plans.
Southwark Core Strategy 2011
The Council in 2009/10 then started on replacing the 2004 Southwark Plan with a new Core Strategy (under new national guidance). http://www.southwark.gov.uk/info/200210/core_strategy
During the consultation process , and subsequent “examination in public” (FoNRP presented evidence), officers then re-designated the two sites on Brandon St as Other Open Space (effectively re-incorporating them back into the park) and this was included in the new Core Strategy proposals map.
However the development site by the Car Park (51p) boundary included the car park – this is still to be built on. Changing a development site boundary requires a specific process – a Development Management Plan – and this is still (2013) under development by Southwark.
FoNRP lobbied for designation of the park in the core strategy itself as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), which would automatically upgrade the status of the park from “Other Open Space” (the least “valued”) to Borough Open Land (the middle grade). However the inspector rejected this in the Core Strategy itself because the Council presented inadequate evidence showing how they had identified NRP and other candidates for SINC status across the Borough, even though FoNRP had submitted a detailed ecology study supporting NRP’s designation.
However FoNRP did achieve the inclusion of specific references to “Green Links” which aims to promote better links between parks. http://www.southwark.gov.uk/download/4808/cdair25_objector_ref_150_friends_of_nursery_row_park_matter_9
Elephant & Castle SPD (Supplementary Planning Document)
Adopted on 12th March 2012 this document contains many helpful policy statements.
“Policy SPD 32: Natural environment Opportunities to improve the natural environment should focus on: a) Enhancing the green routes shown on Figure 25 and b) Enhancing Nursery Row Park, in particular its nature conservation value.”
“In particular, there is scope to improve nature conservation at Nursery Row Park (4.6.3)”
Figure 25 – the whole park included as “protected open space” in the “Brandon Street Proposals Map”
5.3.13/14 “Previous consultation and our evidence base identify the need for natural green space improvements to Nursery Row Park. Nursery Row Park provides a vital open space for the surrounding homes. There has already been recent investment into the park, including money spent on landscaping and sculptural features. Further improvements are necessary to improve its setting and the edges to the park and enhance its value to nature conservation. In our view, the nature conservation value of Nursery Row Park would justify its designation as a site of importance for nature conservation. While we cannot do that through this SPD (SPDs cannot set new site designations), we will seek to bring that forward in a future development plan document.
80% of Nursery Row Park is designated as Other Open Space in the Core Strategy and saved Southwark Plan policies and is protected from inappropriate development. Given the need for open space in the area however, the entirety of the park should be protected and should remain as open space.”
Open Spaces Strategy 2012 Adopted 29th January 2013
This specifically identifies – through discussion with Kate Johnson the day before – a change to include a recommendation to include “Recommended boundary change to the area of protected open space and potential site for biodiversity improvements at Nursery Row Park”
This, and the comments in the SPD, will lay the ground for the Development Management Local Plan document expected in 2013. (See “actions”, next section).
Actions for 2013
There are three priority areas for campaigning in 2013 and three secondary areas.
1. SINC status via the forthcoming Development Management Local Plan document
2. Monitoring Stead St development and chasing S106 funding for biodiversity improvements in NRP
3. Monitoring Crown Pub flat development
4. Ensuring position on Community Infrastructure Project List
5. QEII Playing Fields application
6. Monitoring Lend Lease development at Elephant & Castle
1. SINC status via Development Management Local Plan document
This is expected to be consulted on in 2013 and adopted in 2014. This document will contain the specific development policies that add clear local detail to the Core Strategy relating to development.
This document, together with the London Plan, the Core Strategy, and the E&C SPD will form the “development plan” which Southwark Council will use to determine planning applications. A key part of this is local area designations, and therefore this is the document where we have to ensure that two specific requirements of the FoNRP are included:
a) The re-designation of site 51p which is currently park from “housing land” to park.
b) The designation of the whole park, including this section of site 51p, as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), and thus the designation of the entire park as Borough Open Land (BOL)
It is worth noting a couple of things:
a) It is unlikely that a major programme to collect new evidence for SINC designation will be needed at NRP, but it will be needed for the rest of the sites in the Borough as this was a conclusion of the core strategy examination. This is despite the 2006-2009 monitoring document specifically mentioning NRP (http://www.southwark.gov.uk/download/4784/cden24_southwark_biodiversity_partnership_annual_reports_2006-2009 )
b) There will be consultation on the change – this means we will need to respond, at the appropriate time, by communicating the issue to the community and encouraging positive responses.
• ACTION: need to maintain contact with Planning and Parks, and the Southwark Ecology Officer, to ensure that this is happening, and make sure NRP is included.
• ACTION: to continue to ensure that biodiversity in the park is encouraged (protecting and managing meadow, orchard, beds, trees) whilst the Stead St development means removal of much of the wildlife hedge.
2. Stead St development
Approved by planning committee on 17th July 2012.
The hedge is to be removed in part, and pollarded in part. This small concession for pollarding is the result of long discussions with planners and following representations at planning committee.
The conditions state “The site and trees shall be managed in accordance with the recommendations contained in the submitted Arboricultural Report dated 29th June 2012. In any case, all works must adhere to BS5837: Trees in relation to construction (2012) and BS3998: Recommendations for tree work (2010). (Specifically the retention of the hedge and relocation of trees T9 and T10)”
Any plans for pruning, plant removal etc. have to be done with the permission of Planning. Planning in turn have to consult Parks. And Planning have committed to including FoNRP in this process as a key consultee. This was confirmed by Rachel Gleave (Southwark planning case officer) on 13th March 2013.
Part of the development includes a store for FoNRP in the part by the Orchard (current access route to the car park from the park).
• ACTION: updating species audit in the existing hedge now urgent, and taking photos
• ACTION: monitor hoardings and take photos of any damage/inconsistencies
• ACTION: make sure store happens and access arrangements are adequate
• ACTION: communicate with Parks to ensure that development conditions are clear
• ACTION: Work with Guinness Trust to involve local art and creativity for the hoardings facing the park and eventually welcome packs for new occupiers
In the medium term, the developer has committed to providing S106 funds for “PUBLIC OPEN SPACE, CHILDRENS’ PLAY EQUIPMENT, AND SPORTS DEVELOPMENT”, to the total of £160,527. Planners have indicated that Nursery Row Park is the only likely place that this funding can be spent, so we need to discuss and engage with the planners and developers (Guinness Trust) to identify the timescales to allow us to engage with the community and prioritise.
3. Monitoring Crown Pub development
Development refused permission by Southwark Council but overruled by inspector at appeal in August 2011. Nine flats are to be built on the Crown pub site.
There are serious implications of this for the park – the two adjacent Plane trees and the planting around the site, as well as the possible impacts during construction, as the new flats will be much bigger (height and plan) than the existing pub. FoNRP have responded by asking the “Urban Forester” at Southwark Council to put Tree Protection Orders on the two plane trees – this was done provisionally in Sept 2012, but needs reconfirmation after 6 months. This period has now elapsed, and we are awaiting confirmation that they are now in place formally.
• ACTION: Chase TPOs
• ACTION: watch development like a hawk and note any changes
• ACTION: transplant pears on wall of pub
• ACTION: communicate with Parks and Urban Forester to ensure that developer respects conditions
Development has to start by August 2014, but this could just be digging a trench. Demolition of the pub does not need planning permission and could start at any time.
4. Community Infrastructure Project List (Community Project Bank replacement)
The proposed change is said to reflect “the desire to improve infrastructure for all and improve the communication between the council and the local community when it comes to planning infrastructure. Existing governance will ensure individual allocations are free from bias and opportunity is available to all.”
This replaces the Community Project Bank – it should be noted that in 2010 Walworth Community Council’s, Community Project Bank’s third priority was ‘Open Space/Play and Sports’ proposal, “Investment in a network of green spaces throughout Elephant and Castle and Walworth, including Nursery Row Park” This priority and commitment of Walworth Community Council is incorporated into the proposals of this scheme as we aim to green up public spaces in the vicinity and make some of the existing spaces function better.”
• ACTION: We need to make sure that the new Community Infrastructure Project List respects this priority and demonstrate why this is so important, to residents and to councillors. This will probably be through the Community Council process, where presentations and debates may be scheduled.
5. Queen Elizabeth II Playing Fields Challenge
The Council has included Nursery Row Park in the QEII Playing Fields Challenge bid for designation as a “Field in Trust” following a representation to Cllr Hargrove. The aims of the challenge are to “to safeguard hundreds of outdoor recreational spaces in perpetuity for future generations in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee and as a permanent tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.”
This document states that if successful in the bid, there would be a legal process implemented that will “protect sites in perpetuity through a Deed of Dedication. Deeds will be entered into for each site; these are legally binding contracts which will ensure the protection of the site in perpetuity. The Deed will impose a number of restrictions on the park. The Deed will specify that the sites are protected as non-charitable sites by FIT; protecting the land for general open space purposes, specifically for sport or games, or for outdoor and indoor recreational purposes, depending on present and foreseen circumstance”
• ACTION: Monitoring progress of bid with Parks
6. Monitoring Lend Lease development at Elephant & Castle
Lend Lease, via the E&C Community Fund, granted us funding for the education programme this year. As a condition of their outline planning application, they have to replace trees cut down in the Heygate area with others locally. We need to make sure we are talking to them, and other local groups, to make sure these are what we want and where we all want them.
• ACTION: Monitoring Lend Lease development at Elephant & Castle and discussions with local groups
Appendix 2 –