Out with the Old... Network Rail tell businesses to vacate Atlantic Road arches

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by :-D, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  2. Carpet man

    Carpet man Active Member

    It's a shame ' they ' didn't include the 4 remaining Network Rail tenants to show their solidarity unless the higher rents being imposed within Brixton Town Centre shopkeepers
    editor likes this.
  3. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    They seem to have appropriated the Brixton Rec logo.
  4. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Excellent piece:

    Gramsci likes this.
  5. GarveyLives

    GarveyLives Well-Known Member

  6. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  7. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Brixton Arches redevelopment: Lambeth Council and Network Rail – Just Good Friends?

    I don't really understand what this article is going on about. What harm exactly are the hoardings causing? Is there something wrong with advertising businesses around the corner as being open for business?

    And it's muddled about the planning application conditions. Is it trying to say that the planning permission for the arches refurb disallows the erection of hoardings before a certain time? :confused:
  8. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Isn't it complaining about the hoardings narrowing the pavement - and the message on the hoardings being a sort of Orwellian Newspeak "Brixton Pillars" - support our excellent traders (even though we've evicted half of them so their arches can be re-priced beyond human ability to pay).

    If my reading is correct, then I support the article 100%.
    Gramsci, sealion and editor like this.
  9. mafalda

    mafalda New Member

    teucher - Please accept my apologies if you found the article a little too complicated. If you're unable to follow a short and simple series of facts and conclusions regarding the current actions of Network Rail in Brixton (and in Herne Hill previously), the role that Lambeth have in the dismantlement of these existing communities and the application of planning conditions, then perhaps this discussion is a little beyond you.
    ViolentPanda likes this.
  10. mafalda

    mafalda New Member

  11. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Those hoardings represent a grand waste of money. They reduce the width of the footpath considerably and don't even carry a clear message. There's no clear directions as to where Station Road is (a simple map would have been handy) neither is there any incentive to visit the places - just the same rather strange logo for each business.
  12. mafalda

    mafalda New Member

    Both of these comments are correct, but there is far more to this story than the invasive, premature and unnecessary hoardings that has destroyed the trade and footfall at the busiest time of year, approved and designed by Lambeth many months before Network Rail would be in a position to legally commence their development works. There is something far more sinister going on with Lambeth's warm embrace of Network Rail at the expense of our communities, amenity and existing traders, all of which are being casually tossed aside by a council obsessed with delivering its seriously flawed Brixton Masterplan. This issue is far from over.
    editor likes this.
  13. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Seems to me like there are two potential interpretations of what's happened:

    Sinister version:
    - Network Rail want to start on clearance and refurb of arches before planning conditions discharged
    - Lambeth agree to the erection of hoardings knowing that NR will use these to hide from view the unauthorised work and try to distract everyone by covering them in Orwellian faux-positive Newspseak
    - Lambeth don't care if they are dangerously far into the pavement and their Highways dept was instructed not to bother creating a safe line of hoarding and to lie that their intention was to create a "positive street scene"

    Less sinister version:
    - Lambeth support an initiative to put hoardings up that advertise the continuing existence of businesses on Station Rd, businesses which are likely to suffer from a reduction in footfall thanks to the vacated arches on that road
    - Lambeth think that these hoardings will create a more "positive street scene" than a row of boarded up shops
    - Network rail are going to need hoardings once they start work on the arches so Lambeth decide it makes sense to put the hoardings along a line that means they won't have to be dismantled and rebuilt when the work actually starts. Lambeth's Highways dept apply the same safety considerations that they would apply in determining any hoarding line.

    There might be scope for the truth to lie somewhere in between but the tone of the article feels a bit conspiracy-theory to me.

    The article seems to imply that Network Rail have started work on the arches ahead of discharging the conditions. Is there any evidence of this?
  14. mafalda

    mafalda New Member

    teucther - appreciate your more thoughtful analysis, so much better than the first effort.

    I would advise your further consideration of the whole street scene and hoarding layout as it stands today, in direct comparison with the NR development plans on Lambeth's planning portal. When these hoardings licences were applied for, no main contractor had been appointed, no site compound had been identified and no work was going to be possible for a considerable period and certainly not before 2017. All the same, Lambeth approve this hoarding application, made by third party, and send a couple of lads out from Highways to decide on the hoarding line. They bizarrely proceed to place the deepest hoarding immediately adjacent to the high street, but revert to flush hoarding on the empty premises further along the viaduct.

    The immediate and obvious result of this layout - try and retain the fact that absolutely no work could commence for months - was the destruction of footfall, trade and business for the remaining tenants and all the other businesses in the area that don't form part of the development. And the timing of this, oh yes, the two months immediately prior to Christmas when trade should be at its peak. Go and have a chat with some of the folk who work in or near the viaduct and see how they feel.

    Errr ... sorry to say that I hold further information that cannot currently be divulged, (honestly), but unfortunately all of it, especially the timelines of certain events and communications, does support the less pleasant interpretation.

    However, you could be right of course and Donald Trump may also have become US President through his own talent.
    Gramsci and editor like this.
  15. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I dunno, I'll have to have a look at it when I next walk past. But last time I walked down Atlantic road it didn't particularly strike me that the hoarding was especially far out into the pavement, or that the pavement was particularly narrower than it was when the shops were open and had stalls etc out on it.

    The Brixton Buzz article says:
    Are you sure that's right? Because it's very similar wording, but with a a different meaning to, the wording that's used for several of the conditions (5, 6, 9 and 10) on the Decision Notice, all of which start with the wording "no development (other than site preparation and arch clearance) shall take place until..."

    Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 00.47.55.jpg
    That said, condition 4 starts with "No development shall commence until a Construction and Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority." It's not immediately clear to me whether that condition 4 is one that has to be satisfied before any clearance/preparation works are carried out. Condition 4 doesn't specifically say anything about hoarding, but hoarding is mentioned in note 8 where it says

    So the advice about when the hoarding can go up doesn't seem clearly related to the satisfaction of the planning conditions (which are quite extensive). And many of the conditions specifically allow site preparation and arch clearance to begin before they are satisfied.

    (The full decision notice can be found here)
  16. Mr Retro

    Mr Retro Beware hedgehogs

    What outcome are you hoping for at this stage mafalda? Is it the removal of the hoardings until the work starts? It's not clear what you are trying to achieve and how you are intending to go about it.
  17. mafalda

    mafalda New Member

    Almost there - but you need to look again at the detail, (it's not always obvious). The supporting data and information I hold clarifies any confusion, but must apologise as I cannot share it at this time.

    The tip here is that hoarding & construction need to be considered separately.

    I certainly find it curious that Lambeth Highways enthusiastically embraced the NR hoarding application back in October/November. So much so that they immediately sent their own staff out to devise an invasive, bizarre and inconsistent layout that would impact on their own main town centre in the middle of the seasonal period and months before any construction, (including arch clearance and site preparation), could legally commence. A very generous interpretation of "prior to the commencement of construction" as shown in Note 8.

    Of course this could simply be a case of gross incompetence, but we're grown ups.
    Gramsci likes this.
  18. mafalda

    mafalda New Member

    Mr Retro - I apologise if it appears a little nebulous at this time, (unfortunately this is necessary), but in broad terms; fair play, a level playing field, and a bit more respect for the long standing businesses, traders and the local community who operate within or near the viaduct would be nice. However this is probably not feasible, especially given the future rental income projection that is involved and the longer term objectives of NR/Lambeth Council for the management and control of Brixton's town centre.

    How to challenge the expected outcome is also a good question as for sure this is a grossly uneven contest, but unfortunately this will have to remain under wraps for now, although everything will be legal and honest. Let's just say everything is going to plan with the major players acting as predictably as expected, which is very helpful.
    editor likes this.
  19. Mr Retro

    Mr Retro Beware hedgehogs

    Good luck.
  20. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Just thought I'd share some holiday snaps from Friday. The Rialto Bridge in Venice is having a bit of maintenance, with many units closed. Unlike Brixton however there is no effort to keep the shoppers at bay.

    Since this is probably the number one tourist shopping location in Venice the Comune di Venezia will have their works sorted out by the spring if they have any sense.

    How unlike our own dear council and Network Rail.
    Picture 065.jpg Picture 061.jpg Picture 062.jpg Picture 059.jpg Picture 064.jpg
    discobastard and Gramsci like this.
  21. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    If only NR had thought to provide a temporary pontoon on the canal that happens to run along Atlantic road, and use this for site accommodation and storage, they wouldn't have had to hoard off part of the street! Silly them!
  22. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Not sure exactly what you mean there - the building aterials etc in the photo are actually on the canal side. My main point is they have to work on the job accommodating the tourist trade and NOT closing all units simultaneously.

    Lambeth and Network Rail claim to be improving Brixton and enhancing the retail experience, and yet it looks like most of the arches are set to be boarded up for some time. With examples like Carlton Mansions to go by (see other thread) it does not give me any confidence at all I will live to see this Brixton Nirvana!
    Gramsci likes this.
  23. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Well, what I basically mean is that I don't see how it's a meaningful comparison.

    Whether it's possible or sensible to keep units open depends on the kind of work that's being done and it seems the repairs there are to do with the structure of the bridge not the internal condition of the units. And they've still had to hoard off an area for storage of materials; I expect the businesses who usually have a view of the canal are affected by its position. A cursory google finds various tripadvisor complaints from tourists about the bridge being covered in scaffold at various points of time over the past year or so, and it looks like the works have been going on since the spring of 2015 and were supposed to have finished several months ago. Plus they are being funded through advertising revenue from billboards on the scaffolding apparently. Maybe Network Rail should have got in some luxury fashion brands to advertise on the hoardings; I'm sure that would have gone down well.

    I'm not sure I'd go to Italy to seek out exemplars of construction work carried out efficiently in transparent co-ordination between local government and private interests.

    Building works are slow and disruptive and there's only so much you can do to make them otherwise. If the hoarding around the arches sits there for a long time with nothing going on behind them then of course I agree that's no good. As discussed above, it seemed to me reasonable to assume that the hoardings have gone up to allow the site clearance to start whilst planning conditions are discharged prior to the main work starting. But we are told by an anonymous source, with access to information we aren't allowed to know about directly, that something more sinister is going on, so we'll just have to wait and see what the truth is.
  24. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I had a chat with a local trader about the "Brixton Pillars". He didn't like the advertising campaign at all. And he has a shop on the street.

    If the Council and NR thought this would be good PR then they were wrong.
    editor likes this.
  25. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I found particularly annoying where it says on the new hoarding "our neighbourhood". NR have spent the last year showing its them who decides what's best.
    editor likes this.
  26. Saul Goodman

    Saul Goodman It's all good, man

    Welcome to reality.... The golden rule... the man with the gold makes the rules.
    Gramsci likes this.
  27. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    It's such a shit name and a really poor and ineffective advertising campaign.
    Gramsci likes this.
  28. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Thank you for the helpful critique of my off-hand comment. And the illuminating article attached.

    You may have a point - I recall the San Marco frontage being obscured by scaffolding for many years. It is all OK now though fortunately.

    Was the sinister force you refer to affecting the Brixton railway arches - or the Rialto Bridge?
    teuchter likes this.
  29. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Brixton and the comments made by mafalda further up the thread.
    CH1 likes this.
  30. mafalda

    mafalda New Member

    Update regarding Brixton Viaduct Hoardings: Further to various areas of non-compliance with planning conditions that were recently brought to the attention of Lambeth Highways, they have now instructed NR to re-fix the hoardings against the viaduct.There is a great deal that NR have to do before they are legally able to commence these works. The hoardings have always been unnecessary and should never have been licenced by Lambeth. More to follow ....
    Gramsci likes this.

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