The Society heard at the Consultative Committee on 5th March that London City Airport has dropped its plans to end the weekend break from the noise and to bring in more early morning & late evening flights. It still may want to seek to lift the current annual cap on flights but not any time soon. It intends to publish its final Master Plan before the end of the month but has no immediate plans to put in a planning application to lift the cap. Whether, and when they do it, will depend on the sort of growth the airport is experiencing.
Thanks are due to local MPs in Forest Hill and Dulwich plus several local Councillors who all totally understood and supported our argument and have ensured that Lewisham, Forest Hill and Dulwich residents have been properly represented.
We’ll never know what swung it. The public campaign must have helped - the mass postcard campaign from Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN), the demo last month at the London offices of the airport’s owners, and the mass anti expansion campaign at Bristol (same owners). Behind the scenes lobbying at the GLA with Sadiq Khan’s advisors, plus assistance from quite a few MPs (and many Councils) influenced a wave of anti expansion responses to the consultation from individuals. Executives from their Canadian investor owners were also lobbied, as was the local planning authority, Newham.
Obviously the air industry is in disarray right now - so, having flown their expansion kite, it's not a bad time for them to put expansion plans on a shelf for a while, whilst appearing to have listened to feedback. We will press on with the upcoming launch to MPs in Westminster of an independent economic report that will closely examine the economic claims that City made in their draft plan.
Where it leaves us is where we were when City launched the expansive draft plan last summer. That is with noisy overlapping flight paths over SE London with Heathrow, and City still having permission to increase flight movements over the present day level within existing planning permissions. The line that we took last year is still a good one - that no expansion should be even considered until such time as the overlapping flight paths over London have been satisfactorily resolved.
So with the immediate threat of new Heathrow and City expansion at least delayed for a couple of years, local focus moves to ensuring that the Airspace Modernisation (= sort out the flight paths) project, delivery due 2025/26, is properly reviewed. This involves close cooperation between the two airports, with a view to improving the double/simultaneous over flights of SE London, and increasing the altitude of planes from both before their final approaches. The Forest Hill Society supported by the Dulwich Society is engaged with periodic stakeholder workshops at both airports pushing them to work together and not lose focus on SE London as they push their two projects along.
The Herne Hill Velodrome has announced that it has received a significant new investment from The Rapha Foundation, to support its work making cycling an accessible sport and also to help it develop tomorrow’s future champions. This investment represents a vote of confidence in the work of the current staff, coaches and volunteers and, in the coming years, it should make a real difference to the thousands of people that use Herne Hill Velodrome’s facilities.
The grant represents a major boost to Herne Hill Velodrome’s development work, allowing it to build on the recent successes in women’s and children’s cycling while also growing the support provided to youth riders. By hiring a dedicated youth development officer for the first time it will be able to support more young riders at the track but, by being more active in the local community, it should also be able to increase awareness of the opportunities available to ride at Herne Hill Velodrome. The Rapha Foundation’s funding will also help to improve facilities and equipment, and make the Velodrome site, as well as the sport, accessible to the widest community of users. The aim is for more riders to enjoy the benefits of cycling, particularly from those groups that are under-represented in the sport today, and this investment is a key step in helping to achieve that goal.
This investment represents part of the second round of funding announced by The Rapha Foundation, who have a mission to inspire, empower and support the next generation of racers by funding grassroots and not for profit organisations.
Tim McInnes, Chair of the Herne Hill Velodrome said: “Herne Hill Velodrome is tremendously grateful to The Rapha Foundation for this investment. It makes a massive difference to what we do at Herne Hill, allowing us to reach out into our local community and improve our facilities, to show people that cycling really is an accessible, fun and rewarding sport, whatever their reason for getting onto a bike.”
Phil Wright, Chair of the Friends of Herne Hill Velodrome said: “This investment from The Rapha Foundation represents a huge vote of confidence in the work of our staff, coaches and volunteers. By enabling us to do even more, this is the start of an exciting time for all our riders and their families, and the new cyclists we will be able to welcome to Herne Hill Velodrome.”
Simon Mottram Rapha founder and CEO said: “I am extremely proud to announce the next group of organisations who will get funding from the Rapha Foundation, this time close to home. Herne Hill is an iconic facility for those of us who live in London and we are excited to help them reach more of their local community.”
The first public consultation on Phase 3 of Southwark Council’s healthy street’s initiative was held at Alleyn’s School on the 8th February. The draft proposals for discussion respond to the feedback from two previous consultations and aim to reduce pollution from vehicle traffic, improve the pedestrian environment and make it safer for children to walk and cycle to school. There will also be future consultations on potential timed access restrictions, permeable closure/one-way entry and parking controls. Leaflets were posted through doors and emails sent to everyone who had engaged with the process previously.
Comments/suggestions via the website www.southwark.gov.uk/ohs-dulwich or attend one of the two remaining public consultation meetings on:
Parking charges in the park will begin on Monday 24th February. The cost will be £2 per hour, payable only by using the app ‘PayByPhone’ (this is straightforward to use, requiring once-only registration).
Concurrently with the Southwark Healthy Streets proposals Lambeth Council have also begun consultation on its own initiative in West Dulwich (formerly the Rosendale Road Quiet Way). For more information go to: lambeth.gov.uk
Notwithstanding the delays on the TfL works at the junction of College Road & Crystal Parade which are seriously impacting on traffic flows along the Parade, Southwark is intending to start substantial works in Dulwich Wood Park on 10 February – scheduled to take until 14 August. These will include;
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