Brockley Cross Action Group update

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.
Transport for London 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).
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]
Feeling green-fingered?

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.


Anonymous said...

Despite using the station from time to time, and being well acqainted with Coulgate and Dandelion, I'm embarrassed to say I can't quite work out where BCommon is. (Do you have any photos?)

Anonymous said...

It's the patch of land directly to the east of the station, which lies between the train tracks and Coulgate St.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about 'celebrated journalist' by the way ...!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kate :-)

I know what you mean now. I was thinking of a huge area more like HFields but the place we're talking about is on a slight hill and is quite small isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Small but perfectly formed, Nicola!

I haven't been onto the land myself, but I have a suspicion that it feels bigger than it looks, due to the curvature of the surface as well as the greenery.

ade said...

It was really nice to meet Kate y'day and to be part of a community action group - if people can make it on Sunday to clean up the common, that would be grand - many hands = light work and all that:) The fun run should be good as well - I haven't done any running since the beginning of last week so there should entertainment in watching trying to get to the finish line...

Anonymous said...

How much extra funding does BXAG think they need for the external consultants?

Just a thought, alot of big companies offer their employeess days off to help charities etc.. Maybe BCAG should try to approach the big firms? I'm sure this would qualify.

Failing that, how much money is required?

I knew the council was bit crap in some areas.

ade said...

The total costs of phase 2a is approx £180k and then there is phase 2b. I think BCAG needs input from a specialist engineering project manager to set up the parameters for the project. The project needs specialist knowledge to drive it forward - for example the legal negotiations with Network Rail are yet to be done, I would imagine that will take massive legal resources to resolve

Anonymous said...

Anything that has a Network Rail or London Underground element gets complicated. Most of it is just bureaucratic rubbish, some of it is technical. I not sure of the rules but when you start working within a certain distance from the operational railway the conditions get more onerous. It's all to do with 'Infrastructure Protection'

Network Rail are bad enough at dedicating time to 'railway projects' this may be seen as a distraction? Unless you can sell it to them as some kind of publicity thing?

Good luck....

Anonymous said...

Hmm... Monkeyboy has a point here, it will be hard to pursuade Network Rail to commit to this. We all know about the increase in passengers expected from the ELL, but this is going to happen with or without the common going ahead.

Maybe try lobbing the Mayors office? He seems to be keen to promote local communities and has quite abit of influence in London.

@Kate, I understand the project costs as these are well known. What I was asking is what is the projected shortfall bearing in mind the need to employee the specialists? I.e. 10k? Whats the contingency fund?

Anonymous said...

That was meant to be @ade, not @kate :o)

Anonymous said...

Where can we find out more about/enter the fun run?

Anonymous said...

There will be posters up about the fun-run soon, but in the meantime the best person to ask is the lady who runs the Broca (sorry, I don't know her name!), as she is organising it.

Amanda said...

I really hope that the Brockley Cross Action Group, spends a little of the money the generate from the Fun Run on their website. It needs a website designer to rationalise the information is laid out. It's good that they have a webstite, but they need to get up to speed layout.

Anonymous said...

Click here to see why you need to get that money from TfL this financial year. May not be so lucky next year..!!

Now back to eating biscuits when I should be building tube stations...

Richard said...

If somebody involved in the fun run could bring some posters/flyers down to Jam Circus I would be happy to take them - and to push some customers into doing some sweating for Brockley

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