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 hiraethified

    It's good that some people from the community make the effort to get involved rather than directing their energies into pointlessly sneering away on the internet and social media without ever botheting to speak to the people involved.

    I know you always do, but there's certainly some who only want to belittle and put down any community action, often because they've decided 'they know better.' Mind you, I'm sure Network Rail appreciate their efforts.
    Gramsci likes this.
  2. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Did Network Rail ever come up with an explanation why they originally stated that ALL of the arches would HAVE to be cleared out because that was the only safe way for the work to proceed... but then it was just dandy for the bookies and pawnbrokers to keep on trading with no apparent problems at all?
    Gramsci likes this.
  3. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Unfortunately elements of that support are being directed towards a strategy that makes it easy for Network Rail to dismiss opposition as ill-informed and dominated by conspiracists and fringe viewpoints.
    Mr Retro likes this.
  4. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Shame there's so many snidey, puffed-up armchair commentators who are unwilling to get off their lazy fucking arses and do anything to actually help.

    But then that's what separates people who actually care about the community and those who don't give a fuck.
    Tricky Skills likes this.
  5. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Your previous post includes Brixton Buzz as guilty of this. Post #1610

    In my chats around Brixton I don't think the general public are particularly interested in NR views of the opposition to what they are doing to Brixton.

    The question is why well funded companies like NR and well funded,by my Council Tax, Lambeth council ( who have paid workers whose job it is to provide a communication strategy via Love Lambeth) have been unable to change people's perceptions of this regeneration project.

    Brixton Buzz is basically run on a shoestring by two committed people.

    An anecdote. Was chatting last weekend in shop. Someone said to me how he thought Brixton Buzz was good at covering issues. At no prompting from me.

    The mainstream have plenty of ways, due to the resources they have, to put in public sphere "corrections" to supposedly poor reporting.
    ricbake, Tricky Skills and editor like this.
  6. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    If Lambeth, or Network Rail, present misinformation, or wild speculation as fact, they should be criticised.

    So should Buzz.

    But that's not really my point - the point is that, in my puffed up armchair commentator opinion, it's counterproductive to run a campaign that's based on stuff that's either not really true, or not really relevant to the actual issue. People - maybe only the people that I anecdotally speak to - are liable not to take such campaigns seriously. That's my opinion, which apparently I'm free to post up without getting snidey personal attacks in response, seeing as that's the rules.
    Twattor, Winot, T & P and 4 others like this.
  7. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Like I said, if anyone actually cares about the issue they should get involved. Turn up at meetings. Show their support at demos. Help frame the argument, make the effort to provide research and information that will further the cause.
  8. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    You two are a bit embarrassing to be honest.
  9. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I had a look at the photos of the demo on Sunday. Some people I know were on the demo. Others I recognise. It was cross section of mainstream Brixton.
    editor likes this.
  10. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    No they haven't. NR insisted at the start that this was the only way to do this. It is example of misinformation put out by NR.
    editor likes this.
  11. alcopop

    alcopop Banned Banned

    I don’t think that is the point he is making
    teuchter and Mr Retro like this.
  12. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Why were they wearing face masks?
  13. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Did NR actually state at some point that it would be *unsafe* to do the works in anything other than a full possession of all units? I thought their argument was that doing it in one would be cheaper and quicker.

    Earlier in the campaign some people were asking for the works to be phased so as to limit the impact on businesses. Was this because they were unaware of these terrible safety concerns that have only now apparently come to light?
  14. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Another question is what do people want to happen now? What's the aim of the current campaign? Is it seeking an outcome that there's the slightest chance of NR agreeing to?

    The current situation is that NR haven't got full possession of all the units they wanted to have. Yes that may be a result of NR messing up.

    It seems that people are objecting to the idea of work going ahead to do up the units that they do have possession of, on "safety" grounds. But we also have complaints about the "dead zone" that currently exists because of the empty units. The units can't be brought back into units without doing the work that people don't want to happen. How is this to be resolved?

    Or is the idea to make everything problematic enough for NR that they give up on the whole scheme? Then what happens? The stripped out units become magically fitted out without any building work happening? The whole site is abandoned for the foreseeable future?

    A campaign focussed on getting behind those traders who are still there and making a legal challenge to the evictions would be something with a clear aim: support those traders in getting the best deal they can within the confines of their legal situation. If this involves legal costs that they struggle to afford then that's something that donations, or pro bono advice could help with. There's little public info on what's going on with those traders. Maybe they prefer it that way in which case fair enough, I understand why they might. But the currently visible campaign is so nebulous that I don't actually know what I would be supporting if I were to volunteer time or money or whatever.

    Anecdotally I've heard that some of the traders who are waiting to return post-refurb are frustrated with elements of the current campaign. How much truth there is in that I don't know.
  15. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I believe Cllr Heywood to be a far more well-informed source than many given that - unlike some - she actually goes out and talks to the traders, Network Rail and locals. She made her environmental concerns very clear in August last year. Network Rail have yet to address these concerns.

    She said:
    Cllr Heywood issues highly critical submission as Network Rail prepares to start work on ‘regenerating’ Brixton Arches
  16. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter


    July 2017: NR submitted CEMP to Lambeth

    Aug 2017: Rachel Heywood's objection letter, referred to in the Buzz article

    Sept 2017: NR submitted revised CEMP to Lambeth

    Dec 2017: NR submits another revised CEMP to Lambeth

    Dec 2017: NR's CEMP approved by Lambeth.

    So, it looks like there were at least two rounds of revisions to the submitted CEMP before Lambeth approved it, both of those revisions subsequent to the objections submitted by Rachel Heywood (and others).

    You can read the officer's report, which gives details of all objections, and responses to them, here:


    The approved CEMP is here:


    When I saw the stuff about dust masks, I thought, she's probably read something in the CEMP mentioning dust masks, a bog standard requirement within building sites, and interpreted that as indicating some kind of unusual threat or danger to the public. That seems to be the case; here is the response on that point in the report.

    Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 13.54.24.jpg

    Is Network Rail yet to address environmental concerns brought up by objectors with little knowledge of normal construction procedures? No they are not.

    And by the way, if Rachel Heywood and Brixton Buzz are so worried about air quality, I wonder why they both supported the campaign to quash attempts to reduce motor traffic through Loughborough Junction. The primary and persistent danger to people's health as far as air quality is concerned comes from motor traffic, not building sites.
    Winot likes this.
  17. editor

    editor hiraethified

    teuchter - please refrain from referring to or referencing Brixton Buzz in any way at all from now on. It's become very apparent that it's become your proxy way of attacking me for many months and I believe that it is proving detrimental to both these boards and, more recently, the arches campaign. If you wish to have any discussion about this decision, feel free to contact the other mods. No discussion about the decision is permitted in this thread but you are of course, free to discuss any aspects of the arches envelopment.
  18. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    Jesus wept.
  19. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    And as for the idea that there's something exceptional about this site or the proposed works:

    It's just a refit of some railway arches along with some structural repairs. There are literally thousands of such arches across London. They are constantly being refitted and railway viaducts are constantly having repairs done on them. Yes it's in a town centre location. There is nothing unusual about building work going on in a town centre location. It happens all the time. London could not function if there were never to be any building work in town centre locations. There is inevitably disruption and there are well practiced ways of mitigating it. Yes there is a working railway station above. So what? There's nothing unusual about building work going on around functioning railway stations. Anyone who thinks there's something fundamentally dangerous about this had better not look into what's been going on at London Bridge for the past few years, for example. This project is completely trivial, on a technical level, compared to the many major railway infrastructure works going on around London and the country.
  20. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Not the point I was making.

    My point was NR said they needed full vacant possession to do this project.
    editor likes this.
  21. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    My point was that the Council and NR have well funded communications staff who have the resources to rebut what is in Brixton Buzz. An online mag run on a shoestring.

    If that hasnt succeeded then the question is why not.
    editor likes this.
  22. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Ok. And they've failed to get it. So they'll have to do a slightly different project from the one they wanted to do. But what's the relevance of this point to where we are now, and the options for what happens next?

    Regarding your other post, maybe you will see the irony in the fact that I'm now not allowed to answer your question.
  23. Ms T

    Ms T Honey-coloured ramparts

    Meanwhile the Herne Hill work continues apace. I have not noticed it being particularly disruptive.
  24. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Funnily enough, Network Rail started responding to some of the points raised in the Buzz article but have remained completely quiet after being asked this:
    Yet earlier, they'd come up with this remarkable claim:
    Gramsci likes this.
  25. snowy_again

    snowy_again Slush

    Because they have a very different lease agreement - I thought that was covered a few years ago on here?
  26. editor

    editor hiraethified

    That wasn't made clear at the start, just like the situation with Antic's bar. Traders were told that they needed vacant possession of the arches for the refurbishment work to take place. Only did it later emerge that there were these 'exceptions' which then completely undermined Network Rail's assertion that vacant possession was required for the work to be done. Hence the anger from traders being thrown out.

    And let's not forget that NR and Lambeth's PR quietly colluded to shut down local opposition. No wonder people don't trust them.

    And here's NR's own words explaining why the arches all had to be vacated (before it turned out that they couldn't kick out the bookies)

    Save Brixton Arches: Network Rail and Lambeth keep traders in the dark about their plans

    And their original statement:

    As local outrage grows, Network Rail issues a statement on the Brixton Arches Refurbishment
  27. alcopop

    alcopop Banned Banned

    My understanding was that the majority of NR leases were cheap but offered no security. The pawnbrokers probably paid more but couldn’t get thrown out on their ear.
  28. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    During this whole sad saga NR were insisting that the project needed vacant possession of all the aches. They were confident they could get this.

    During the planning application they said the same. Suggestions that they do the project more gradually. Without disrupting the business community so much were rejected.

    I remember one reason given by them that it was a health and safety issue. They were very concerned about the passengers on the the trains. They absolutely needed vacant possession to strip out and look at the structure.

    I really don't see what the argument here is.

    This was NR line.

    NR were cocky about getting vacant possession. Either they didn't do there legal homework or they thought they could persuade tenants to go.

    That plan failed. Some tenants like the carpet shop have also driven NR to a stalemate. NR hasn't been able to bully them out. All credit to those shopkeepers who took on NR.

    NR misjudged the situation.

    They are to blame for this part of Brixton being blighted.

    It's caused serious financial difficulties for other business on Brixton Station road. An increase of ASB. I know as it's come up at meetings about the Rec.The fall out of NR flawed regeneration plans has had serious consequences for the local business community. Which the Council have had to deal with. Such as reducing business rates on the shops it owns beneath the Rec.

    NR are the villians here.

    Get a reality check here. Whatever the rights or wrongs of the arches campaign it's NR who are to be blamed for the dire state of Brixton Station road now.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  29. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Another thing if we're on the subject of misguided campaigning then look at the present Labour group.

    The whole thrust of the Nu Labour Council policy was that business/ residents and Council could "Co produce" a regeneration plan for the Brixton Station road area. I know I attended the meetings. The "Brixton Central Master plan". When Cllr Jack Hopkins was telling local residents to turn up to meetings or lose out on regeneration benefits.

    The New Labour Council also still think they can persuade big business to do "social capitalism". Marry social justice with profit.

    I listened to a Cllr going on about how he had been visiting business trying this recently.

    Council see Pop as a model that they can persuade big business to do.

    The Brixton masterplan ran aground permanently when NR went there own way.

    If criticism of campaigns is discussion then imo the New Labour "Social Capitalism" model has failed. It's naive.

    Its not how business works.
    Tricky Skills and editor like this.
  30. Carpet man

    Carpet man Active Member

    Budget Carpets last day of trading is 3 Weeks today ( Saturday 7th April ) after 28 years of trading ! Thank you to everyone on Urban , Buzz and all the fantastic people who helped with the Arches campaign you’ve been amazing

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