Last night, Brockley Central reader, sometime-contributor and celebrated journalist Kate attended the meeting of the Brockley Cross Action Group, to report on their news and, in particular, the progress of the Brockley Common project.
At least two other BC readers joined the meeting at the Broca, so if you were there, please say hello and add your thoughts.
Thanks are owed to Kate and to the BXAG for enabling us to report on proceedings and for doing all the actual work required to take these projects this far.
Here's what she says:
The first ever post on Brockley Central, on Valentines Day last year, was about Brockley Common (the little parkland on the east side of Brockley station, off Coulgate St). A year’s gone by, BC has grown massively, but some things don’t change: here’s another post about the Common.
Earlier this week, Nick wrote that there were doubts over the delivery of phase two of the Common refurbishment, which would see new paths, seating and a performance space created.
have offered £170,000 towards the cost of the scheme, but the money must be spent by the end of this financial year (end of March). This is now looking extremely unlikely because much of the preliminary work needed to draw up the detailed project implementation plan has not been done. This includes soil analysis and legal negotiation with Network Rail (the Common freeholder). London
At a meeting of the Brockley Cross Action Group last night, reasons for this were discussed. There was a two-month delay in submitting planning permission (which has now, happily, been granted), but the main problem is a lack of resources from the council, and specifically the highways department.
To drive the project forward, a named individual at the council needs to take responsibility for completing the project implementation plan. If the highways department isn’t able to commit a member of staff to do this, then BXAG may have to consider hiring an external consultant to do the work.
TfL is willing to consider re-allocating the grant for the financial year 2009/10, but any bid would need to include details of project implementation and loose ends such as legal negotiations with Network Rail must be tied up. Time is pressing, however; bids must be in by June.
BXAG is looking at various other possible sources of funds, but, whichever way you look at it, this situation means there will be a delay in delivering the renovations.
Another factor that must be considered is the big changes on the way for the whole station: in particular, improved access to make the station comply with the Disability Discrimination Act, and the possible introduction of ticket barriers as part of the arrival of the East London Line.
These factors mean that many aspects of the station environment could change in the next couple of years, and it’s important that this doesn’t disrupt, or worse, destroy BXAG’s planned improvements.
BXAG is therefore now seeking negotiations with TfL to discuss how phase two of the Common can be integrated into wider plans for the station. It is also seeking negotiations with the council over project resourcing, and looking at alternative sources of funding. The group is still very committed to the transformation of this site into a community space that is a real asset to the area.
Race for Space
If you value local green space, get your running shoes on! The first-ever Brockley 5k Fun-Run will take place in Hilly Fields on Sunday 27th April. Walkers are welcome to enter as well as runners, and posters will be going up all over the place by the end of this month to advertise the event. Entry will cost £12 and all proceeds will go towards Brockley Common.
[Brockley Nick adds: this is something we will be covering in a lot of detail over the next couple of months - it should be a fantastic event]
The area around Brockley station is well-planted and lovely; if you’re interested in keeping it that way, come along this Sunday (17th Feb) from 1pm til 4pm, for an afternoon of gardening with BXAG. Weeding, pruning, etc; if possible, bring gardening gloves, small trowels and/or forks, and big bags for garden refuse.