Showing posts with label councillor paschoud. Show all posts
Showing posts with label councillor paschoud. Show all posts

10 March 2009

Station News

Finally, and after a lot of emails from the Forest Hill Society and Councillor Paschoud, we have succeeded in getting the Perry Vale exit reopened, 80 days later than we were promised (you could travel the world in that time). Forest Hill station can now return to being only the forth most overcrowded rail station in London.

The work has still not been completed and there are no ticket barriers, so we can look forward to another closure for a short period, before September, when TfL will take over running the station.

Over in Honor Oak Park the ticket office will be closed for 2 weeks from Saturday 21st March. The new floor works started this weekend - they are doing one side then moving over and starting works in the ticket office. Southern Railway ask that you please purchase tickets in advance where possible.

22 January 2009

Redberry Grove development approved

Despite the objections of the Forest Hill Society, the Sydenham Society, Councillor John Russell, and over 60 local residents, the planning committee tonight accepted the proposed development in Redberry Grove.

Only three of the councillors turned up to the planning meeting - John Paschoud, Sue Luxton, and Paul Maslin - the minimum number needed to hold the meeting.

Despite a number of good arguments put forward by Michael Abrahams on behalf of the objectors, and by John Russell as a ward councillor, there was little discussion from the committee of their reasonable objections.

Sue Luxton was most concerned about making the modern building the highest environmental sustainability rating of any building in Lewisham, something that the developer, to their credit, was happy to accept.

There was some concern about possible loss of biodiversity and Sue Luxton recommended that the decision was deferred until after a biodiversity report was completed. However, this was overruled by John Paschoud's casting vote as chair. What biodiversity has been lost we shall not know, despite evidence of deer close to the site from the 1990s. If you visit Albion Millennium Green please keep an eye out for deer the size of dogs hiding the bushes. And if you see one, take a photo and email it to us!

The councillors showed no concern for the Sydenham Park conservation area, not even discussing the effect this modern building will have on the character of the conservation area. Lewisham council policy towards conservation areas appears to be that any modern building is acceptable as long as it is energy efficient and we can expect to see more buildings of this type in some of our most historic streets (of which Redberry Grove is certainly one).

Despite the defeat it is worth noting that the local residents fought a good campaign against this development, to protect their streets, so worthy of conserving, and to protect the adjacent area of nature conservation.

21 June 2008

Forest Hill Central revised plans rejected

CGI of developmentThe Forest Hill Society opposed a planning application from Berkeley Homes to change 10 of the two bed apartments into 14 1 bed apartments in the Forest Hill Central development. This proposal would have doubled the number of 1 bed apartments (of which we have seen many built in Forest Hill area in the recent years), and reduce the number of 2 bed apartments.

The council planning department had recommended accepting this change in the development but the planning committee considered the application and the objections from the Forest Hill Society and decided to refuse this planning application.

Hopefully now Berkeley Homes will reduce the price of the apartments to a price more appropriate to the market in Forest Hill. £395,000 for a two bed apartment (even a very nice newly built apartment) is much higher than similar properties in Forest Hill and with prices expected to fall in the next year they cannot justify asking such amounts for these new flats.

Our thanks to the committee for their careful consideration of this application and reaching the right decision for Forest Hill.

11 June 2008

Public Transport Liaison meeting

Cllr Paschoud (Perry Vale), Cllr Nisbet (Sydenham) and representatives from the Forest Hill Society and Sydenham Society attended a meeting last night with bus and train managers, as well as Lewisham Council officers and London TravelWatch.

Forest Hill station ticket barriers will be in operation from 7th July. At this time the Perry Vale exit will remain closed during the day until 3pm. At 3pm-8pm ticket inspectors will be present on the Perry Vale exit and after 8pm the gate, along with the ticket barriers will be left open when the station is unmanned (Open gates after 8pm is a concession that Forest Hill Society were able to get previously in communications with Southern Railways).

Sydenham Station is expected to have the barriers and gates in operation from today. At Sydenham they have a buzzer on the back entrance to enable step-free access to the platform but this is not planned for Forest Hill.

Points raised by stakeholders that require action by Southern:
  • Will consider a Sydenham style buzzer for Perry Vale gate in daytime hours, but not likely. This would give the same accessibility to Forest Hill as currently available. I have spoken to older rail users who commute southbound or Victoria bound off-peak on a daily basis and will likely drive to Sydenham rather than walk across four staircases to get to southbound platform at Forest Hill
  • Continue to look at the barriers at platform 1 for Sydenham
Other points raised by stakeholders that may require further follow up:

  • Risk assessment for Forest Hill was only done on the new ticket barriers on platform 1, no risk assessment was done on the manned exit from Perry Vale and congestion on the platform.
  • We recommend a policy of self-certification for mobility restricted access to Sydenham platform 1, i.e. if a customer says they need the gate opened the staff should not question this. Customers should not be forced to state their medical condition into an intercom system. Staff are not medically qualified to make such judgments.
  • We need to keep pursuing the long-term Perry Vale car park access to the station. Basic access could be achieved in a few minutes with the demolition of a single wooden fence or removal of a padlock [by qualified professionals of course]. Proper access would take a little longer to achieve.
  • Len Duvall (our London Assembly Member) has written to Mayor Johnson as well contacting the transport authorities directly regarding this issue.
  • London TravelWatch has written to the rail authorities expressing concern about the plans at both Forest Hill and Sydenham stations but have yet to receive a reply.

Prompted by demand on and East Dulwich Forum for the extension of the 63 route to Honor Oak / Brockley Rise, I raised this issue with the bus companies. The 63 route is currently under review and there will be a consultation shortly. This is an excellent opportunity to extend the service and I shall be writing to TfL buses to fully argue the case.

When the public consultation happens members of the public will have the opportunity to express their opinion on this possible route extension which I feel would be of great benefit to local residents wishing to travel between Peckham, Honor Oak Park, and beyond.

11 March 2008

Perry Vale residents locked out of the station

The latest news on increased accessibility for Forest Hill station is that when Oyster readers come into operation, in January 2009, the gate to Perry Vale will be kept shut throughout the day, only opening during evening peaks. During those evening peaks members of staff will be on hand to read every persons' Oyster card with handheld readers (from 3pm until the end of the peak).

This system would create delays for passengers exiting the Perry Vale exit as a member of staff checks every Oyster card. It is questionable whether staff would be willing to stand in the rain, snow, or freezing/boiling temperatures for hours at a time and trains every five minutes. In reality this system is likely to lead to the gates being closed and for passengers to get soaked while the cross the railway twice (over the bridge and then through the underpass).

Southern Railways have started work on implementation by making space for the gates at the ticket hall and then the barriers need to be installed by TfL. But the plans for the southbound platform are as described above.

The Forest Hill Society, along with Councillor Paschoud, are putting pressure on Southern Railways and others involved in the Oyster implementation to avoid shutting the gate. There are two alternatives that we would prefer:
  1. Oyster reader available at the Perry Vale exit for pre-pay customers to swipe in and out, similar to the system in place until recently at New Cross Gate. This would allow the exit to remain open as it does today.
  2. A new exit onto Perry Vale car park providing staffed ticket barriers all day and an accessible entrance to the station on the Perry Vale side of the station.
Further problems will occur at Sydenham and Brockley where the exits on the northbound (Sydenham) and southbound (Brockley) platforms will be remotely operated for disabled passengers only. Of course once these gates are opened there will be nobody to stop other passengers flooding through the gates. Honor Oak Park station should be fairly straightforward as a single set of barriers can be placed in the ticket hall.

We will keep you updated regarding progress on this matter.