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Brixton Rec - demolition proposed by council

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by indigolove, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    Your post is so full of win :)
  2. brixtonscot

    brixtonscot Well-Known Member

    Thanks for reply Gramsci.

    It might of interest to know details of contract between LBL & GLL for running Rec , and how any proposals may effect that. Presumably GLL management do have some interest in any possible outcome.

    Also Rec staff also have interest in the future prospects for their jobs. Understandably they might not want to speak out individually - but if they have any TU representation that could speak on their behalf.
  3. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I do not entirely agree with this. If the document you are talking about is the Brixton Masterplan. Then its not a bad document. A lot of time was spent consulting people about it.

    Opening up some of the arches is not necessarily a bad idea. That does not mean I want Council housing and the Rec got rid of.

    The problem is keeping the (Labour) Council to its word. As stated in the Brixton Masterplan and the Lambeth Core Strategy. Both the Brixton Masterplan and the Core Strategy see the importance of the Rec as part of Brixton.

    Also the importance of enabling and supporting people in local communities to further the aims of the Masteplan. Which , from what I have seen, the reformed BRUG want to do. They are willing to engage with the Council to improve the Rec short term. And be involved in the future in it improvement following the Masterplan for Brixton. The Council should be criticised for showing signs of not keeping to what they said they were going to do.

    Also keeping the Council to its word about the Co-operative Council.
  4. happyshopper

    happyshopper Well-Known Member

    Did Sally Prentice actually say "frightful ethnic shops" or are these words you've put into her mouth as part of your paraphrase?
  5. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    It was in the draft consultation SPD written under name of consultants. Which , if I remember correctly , was on the google doc before meeting. The google doc had been brief summary then this was later filled out for comments.

    So the Rec was discussed at that last meeting. I was there. There are no notes of that meeting apart from the ones I took. There is slide of the presentation of the meeting which is online.

    Some of us had asked for more info and records online of what was said and what was presented to people. Well this was a start. Without it I do not think this issue of the Rec would have been more widely known.

    It was discussed at that last meeting at length. As those present realised that the Council were considering this as serious option. My feeling after the meeting was that this was more serious than I had thought. It was more than the Council responding to peoples comments about the dark entrance etc.

    To be honest the whole thing is starting to piss me off. Its clear to me , whatever the Council say, that this is option that the Council would like to pursue long term. The minutiae of when and who said what is a bit beside the point.

    Though I have been criticised for "speculation" like the unnamed "media speculation" that Future Brixton and Labour Cllrs go on about.

    There is one simple way to go from arguing who said what , when and what they meant. The Council could clear this up by issuing statement that the wording of the draft SPD for formal consultation will follow the Brixton Masterplan and Lambeth Core Strategy in keeping the Rec. That they have not says to me that the substance of "speculation" by media (Brixton Blog) and me is correct.

    Also it was Brixton Blog article on Rec that first alerted the Rec users about this. I was told this myself. So it to credit of Brixton Blog for reporting it. Despite the abuse they have got from Future Brixton/ Council referring to it as "speculation". I have re read BB coverage of this subject and its accurate and not "speculation".

    The Council have well paid desk jockeys who do there communications / PR for them. The people have to rely on mainly unpaid work of volunteers in BB , BRUG and Urban75. It so annoys me that this is how it has to work.
    gaijingirl, Brixton Blog and Greebo like this.
  6. fortyplus

    fortyplus smug git

    of course she didn't. It's the cheese-shop that the occasion is remembered for; had she actually used those words, it would have been plebgate in spades. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear.
  7. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    A few notes of the meeting:

    Notes on BRUG meeting Wednesday 21st November 2012

    Report from BRUG committee

    So far the Cllrs have not discussed the SPD.

    Monday 10th December Cllr Lib Peck has agreed to attend BRUG open meeting to answer questions.

    Monday 17th December. Cabinet meeting of Council. Papers for the meeting should be available online a week before. The draft SPD for formal consultation should be presented to this meeting.


    BRUG have met Greenwich Leisure. They have said that they are responsible for all maintenance. This is built into there business plan. There are no foreseeable maintenance problems that they cannot deal with. The Council are not responsible for the maintenance.

    There is a lot of disinformation floating around. There are not swimming pool leaks due to the pool being up on first floor. There were leaks due to plumbing which have been dealt with when the changing rooms were refurbished. Sport England put up the money to refurbish the changing rooms. Also the Council put in £3 and a half million to refurbish Rec.

    The Rec was always meant to be a family oriented centre with lots of activities. The pool is unique.

    In the meeting of BRUG committee with Greenwich Leisure GLL refuted the idea that the Brixton Rec was underused.

    GLL said they had electrical contractor looking at the lighting at front of building to see how it can be improved.

    If a new Rec was built going on what has happened in Clapham it would provide basic facilities but not the range that the Brixton Rec could provide.

    The staff of Rec have not been informed of the issue of the SPD

    Greenwich leisure are staying neutral on this subject.


    A member of Brixton Society attended to explain more about the planning process.

    Lambeth has a Core Strategy. This was formally adopted in 2011. It sets down the big strategic objectives for the borough.

    The Supplementary Planning Document comes below the CS. It set out detail for smaller areas in the borough like Brixton.

    The recent consultation on SPD for Brixton was done by the Council in conjunction with consultants they hired. This was series of meetings. This led to a working draft document to comment on about the SPD. This was for consultation and not approved by Council.

    The next thing is for planning officers to write a SPD for Brixton. This will be recommended to Cabinet by officers. If approved by Cabinet it will go out for formal consultation early next year.

    In the Lambeth Core Strategy Policy PN3 point E the Rec is mentioned and is kept.

    There is also possibility of a Brixton Neighbourhood plan. This would take some time to do as it has to be done more on a voluntary basis with some Council practical support. A Neighbourhood plan must also be consistent with Borough plan.

    At moment the draft consultation working draft is a mess in planning terms. It is full of ifs and buts. Instead it needs to be clear on what is wanted. The SPD , when finished, will be the planning document that will be referred to when planning developments. So it needs to be clear.


    There was then more general discussion. Here are some comments.

    The 20C Society are looking at Rec but this is ongoing so will take time.

    The Rec is structurally sound. There is the green issue of the embedded energy in it that will be released if demolished.

    The BRUG committee will be meeting Cllr Lib so asked for questions to ask her.

    Someone said that there was a purpose built shooting range in the Rec that he had looked at and wanted to see if he could get used again. At moment its unused. Some parts are used for storage purposes.

    Some people were not sure whether using a shooting range in Brixton was good idea.

    The person interested in reopening it said he was going to meet community leaders to discuss this.

    Someone asked why the Council thought a new Rec on the Ice Rink/ market car park site would be more used than this one?

    Listing a building does not mean that altering it is not possible. It just makes changes more difficult. So it would still be possible to improve a building.

    It is mistake to see Lambeth as having one mind. There are different views from officers and Cllrs. Some would like to see Brixton "tidied up". Some people , on the other hand, like the fact that Brixton is not like a tidy shopping mall.

    There were several shopkeepers there. Some shopkeepers had been helping to give out leaflets about the Rec. Some attended the meeting. There are shops at ground level of Rec. At moment there is no shop keepers association unlike the market traders.

    The shopkeepers were concerned about lack of parking due to loss of the car park. That the Council had indicated that the old car park site might be site for new Rec. So where would car parking for market go?


    At end of meeting it was said that people should keep emailing Cllrs. A lot of emails had been sent. This had been important in letting the Cllrs know the amount of feeling on the issue. It was also said that people could email Cllr Lib Peck and copy email to local ward Cllrs.

    Cllr Lib Peck is now acting leader of Labour group as Steve Reed may be a parliamentary candidate soon.
    Brixton Hatter likes this.
  8. quimcunx

    quimcunx Too tall.

    Me and @fogbat might be interested in the shooting range. :hmm:

    Is listing a possibility then? A unique swimming pool might be an angle.

    So you say Clapham got a scaled down facility on what they had before? Quelle surprise.

    Um, surely the old car park site should be used as the new car park site. :mad:
    Gramsci and Greebo like this.
  9. leanderman

    leanderman Street Party: July 2

    So, is there actually a definite plan to demolish the Rec? Or not?
  10. Frumious B.

    Frumious B. Well-Known Member

    There's the rub. There is a proposal. But there is no democratically agreed commitment to approve the proposal and execute any resulting plan. Yet. The worrying thing is that there is an intention by certain parties to push for it.
    Greebo and Gramsci like this.
  11. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The Council will not say either way. As I have already posted both the Brixton Masterplan and Lambeth Core Strategy retain Rec

    In the SPD consultation the Council decided to discuss replacing it.

    Council statement

    So there is no definite plan. But as the statement by Lambeth says it is something they are "considering" and they are "keen" to gather views on this.

    So the Cllrs have been getting "views" of local people by email.

    The whole tone of the statement is to get one to think a bright shiny 21st C centre would be better than present Rec.

    Greebo likes this.
  12. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    She used to be a LD.

    According to her:

  13. Frumious B.

    Frumious B. Well-Known Member

    Which they would have us believe is not fit for purpose because the architect designed it as a shopping centre and then hastily substituted a pool and a gym for the shop units.
    Greebo likes this.
  14. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Unlike the Rec the Barrier Block is not mentioned in the Core Strategy document.
  15. quimcunx

    quimcunx Too tall.

    Sally Prentice did you say the name was of the person who scored out 'like for like'?
    Greebo likes this.
  16. happyshopper

    happyshopper Well-Known Member

    This is simply untrue. It was designed in the 1970s as part of what was expected to be a wider redevelopment of Brixton town centre, hence the high level walkways that lead nowhere, but it was always meant to be a state of the art recreation centre. It doesn't have the slightest resemblance to a 1970s shopping centre.
  17. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    That's an urban myth. Not true at all. We discussed it at the meeting on Tuesday.

    As Gramsci said, there's a lot of disinformation around. We're gonna get lots of bollocks like this coming up: "it's too old" (it isn't), "there's leaks in the pool" (they're aren't), "such and such a machine is broken" (it can be fixed) and so on.
    Greebo likes this.
  18. Frumious B.

    Frumious B. Well-Known Member

    Somebody needs to be putting all this stuff on the BRUG Facebook page. I nominate you. :)
  19. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    Greebo likes this.
  20. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    Greebo likes this.
  21. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

    Yeah I saw those and while they're interesting, I'd kill for large-scale (1 to 100 or 200) floor plans.
  22. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter Home is south London mate

    might be worth contacting the BRUG committee - they might know.
  23. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    C20 backs local campaign to save Brixton Rec

    19/11/12 by catherine croft

    Laura Chan reports on the threat to the Brixton Recreation Centre: ‘The Brixton Recreation Centre, owned by Lambeth Council, is under threat of demolition to allow redevelopment of its site. A campaign to save ‘The Rec’ (as it’s lovingly known to locals) is in full swing, as users meet regularly to discuss what can be done to save the iconic leisure centre.
    At a recent meeting held at the Rec, I was heartened to hear many impassioned users of the centre say how much they value it, praising, its swimming pool, climbing wall, gym and other sporting facilities, and also valuing it as a place to meet and as a local focus Attendees were encouraged to contact their councillors and ask them to support retention. C20 Society is backing the campaign.
    Designed by George Finch (working for Lambeth Architect’s Department) in the late seventies, I was struck by how “Herman Hertzberger-ish” the building feels. If the interior planters which line the main atrium on all floors were used (they stand sadly empty now), the sense of accessibility and warmth of this much loved building will only increase. It’s generally well maintained and in good condition, with a major investment in the lighting scheme shown above recently completed. With its exposed walkways at all levels, activities such as judo and bowls can be seen from the upper levels. An unusual swimming experience is created by the undulating timber ceiling and large windows that allow swimmers to see trains go by.
    Architecturally interesting in its waffle slab ceiling construction, steel truss roof and a feeling of openness throughout, the Rec does more than serve its function as a leisure centre. Rec user Julian Cripps, member of a local practice, says of the building: “The Rec was the result of an extended design development period that modern architects would only now dream of… The Rec is not only an unrepeatable asset in brick and concrete but, in the unique spaces and combination of provision. It has become a beacon of enlightened provision and symbolic of investment and regeneration of deprived city areas.”
    Nelson Mandela visited the centre in 1996 where he and other dignitaries met to discuss schemes launched to regenerate the area after the 1985 riots. At the time Mr Mandela said: “I want to tell you that Britain, especially London and the community of Brixton, were the heartland of the anti-apartheid struggle.”
    Speaking at the recent meeting, Steadman Scott confirmed: “This building means more to black people than anything else” – a strong statement that speaks of The Rec’s importance historically, socially and architecturally. Like the nearby Brixton Market buildings, recently listed for their significance to the local community, it is one of those places that really feels as if it belongs to the people who use it. It should certainly not be knocked down.’
    Laura Chan
    You can find out more about the campaign here and read the Save Brixton Rec blog here.
  24. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Got this today:

    Dear Rec Supporter,
    NEXT USER MEETING AT THE REC MONDAY 10 DECEMBER 6.30PM. CLLRS LIB PECK AND SALLY PRENTICE (Cabinet members for regeneration and culture & leisure)will be attending to hear your views on the future of the Rec.

    (Cllr Lib Peck is now leader of Labour Group as Cllr Steve Reed is going to fight by election in Croydon)

    Full information later this week.

    Please help distribute leaflets outlining the threat to the Rec and what users can do. They are available from The Eyes of Egipt shop, Station Rd behind the Rec stairs 10-6, Mon-Sat or email your request to me to leave them on Rec reception for you.
    Greebo likes this.
  25. Manter

    Manter Lunch Mob

    I was talking to a guy last night who lives (now) in Canada water and says he still comes back because fo the variety of facilities, value for money etc.... it is well known outside Brixton too
    Brixton Hatter, Gramsci and Greebo like this.
  26. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    Greebo, Gramsci and Manter like this.
  27. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

  28. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I like the talking pigeons.:)
    Brixton Hatter, nipsla and Manter like this.
  29. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    btw I did say that the times of meetings were not that good for a lot of people. This one is 6.30 which is a bit better.

    They might try to ask people what times are best.
    Greebo likes this.
  30. Frumious B.

    Frumious B. Well-Known Member

    They won't be so chipper when the shooting club starts.
    Brixton Hatter, Gramsci and Greebo like this.

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