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Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise or Community Asset?

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Ex19.15
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Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise or Community Asset?

Postby Ex19.15 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:06 am

Battersea Park Formula E, 88 Thurleigh Road and Neal's Lodge. Three instances where despite considerable public objection from several prominent resident groups and individuals, Wandsworth Borough Council look happy to steam roll ahead and ignore all local community cries. As a result, for this is not uncommon Council behaviour, it would seem borough residents have well and truly had enough. Despite the substantial effort and cost that it involves, there are currently four judicial reviews being launched against Wandsworth Borough Council in an attempt to be heard and to fight for what's actually best for the local community. Public awareness and support is crucial to helping these campaigns so please see here for the full synopsis.
https://cjag.org/2016/04/25/residents-l ... h-council/
papinian
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise of Community Asset

Postby papinian » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:15 am

Some thoughts:

- If you don't like what Wandsworth Council is doing then do what happens in other boroughs and replace the party in power. Unfortunately, too many people in Wandsworth are addicted to the Conservatives and lower council tax.

- What do you mean by "prominent" resident groups and individuals? Is it only celebrities who should be listened to and not ordinary voters. Generally, judicial reviews are used by the rich (because only they can afford the costs involved) to overturn the decision-making of democratically elected bodies.

- Some people on this website seem to be of the view that "the community" (which generally amounts to a small vocal subset of the community) can tell everyone else what they can / can't do. I believe in decision-making by elected councillors and I believe in property rights of individuals. Or, to put it more abstractly, I believe in democracy of all rather than an oligarchy of English upper middle class types.
yummygranny
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise of Community Asset

Postby yummygranny » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:15 am

Sorry, is Neal's Lodge the same as Skylark Cafe? Can someone clarify - please?!
papinian
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise of Community Asset

Postby papinian » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:17 am

yummygranny wrote:Sorry, is Neal's Lodge the same as Skylark Cafe? Can someone clarify - please?!
Sort of. Neal's Lodge is the whole of the building on Wandsworth Common. Skylark Cafe is in part of the building - that is not changing. Another part of the building is being rented by the council to be a private nursery.
yummygranny
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise of Community Asset

Postby yummygranny » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:33 am

Ah Thanks. What is currently being used for now and why is it a problem?
Earlsfield mummy
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise of Community Asset

Postby Earlsfield mummy » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:54 am

The difficulty that I have with this argument is that when the council do appear to be trying to maximise a community asset, those in opposition argue for the side of the minority that live on a few roads that might experience increased disruption. They argue vehemently against motor vehicles and noise in one park but then don't follow through this policy in another of the Borough's parks. I'm talking about the closure of Dr Johnson's Avenue to avoid traffic driving through the common.

Leads me to believe that its all just politics and there are no true underlying principles which makes me even more disillusioned...
Reb
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise of Community Asset

Postby Reb » Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:53 pm

I echo the question above. What is this space currently being used for? Surely it's better for the building to be used than to just sit empty? And a nursery, private or state, will serve the community won't it? Or am I missing something? Highly probable!
belfagor21
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise of Community Asset

Postby belfagor21 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:57 pm

yummygranny and Reb - Neal's Lodge is currently occupied by "NatureScope: a vibrant and accessible community facility with a focus on ecological education, skills training and recreation". They run nature conservation, environmental education and outdoor craft activities for the public and for schools as well as fitness classes, kids clubs, an art club, ie lots of options for the public. http://www.naturescope.co.uk

Earlsfield Mummy - You are quite right in agreeing with the council's idea of appearing "to be trying to maximise a community asset of a community assett". BUT did you know that there is an alternative proposal (Project Phoenix) to the Private Nursery that the council knew about but DID NOT mention at the planning meeting???

papinion - THAT is where democracy is falling down. The council is not letting the public know all the facts! And the same goes for the application by a property developer to build 8 houses on land behind Thurleigh Road. I was at the planning meeting where both these applications were discussed and there was no mention of Project Phoenix and there were gaping holes in the information provided for the Thurleigh Road development.

For more info on Project Phoenix (a potentially ground breaking community initiative designed primarily to support all of the Wandsworth LEA 56 primary schools), have a look at the following thread:
"Will you help save community asset on Wandsworth Common?"

For more info on the Thurleigh Road project, have a look at the following thread:
"Safety on Thurleigh Road"
belfagor21
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise of Community Asset

Postby belfagor21 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:01 pm

Oh, and yes, JRs are prohibitively expensive (I've heard that they are upwards of £30,00 from start to finish) for the majority of people which, in my opinion, is why the council is getting away with shoddy planning approvals...
papinian
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Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise or Community Asset?

Postby papinian » Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:56 pm

belfagor21 wrote:which, in my opinion, is why the council is getting away with shoddy planning approvals...
One man's shoddy planning approval is another man's much needed accommodation for young families.

As I've already said, if one doesn't agree with the way that Wandsworth Council is run, vote out the Conservatives and vote in Labour. Ironically, Neal's Lodge and 88 Thurleigh Road are in wards where the Conservatives got some of their highest votes in the 2014 council elections - well over 50% voted Conservative in each ward.

As regards Neal's Lodge, there seems to be a misunderstanding on the part of many people as to the function of the planning process. The function of the planning process is to determine the acceptability of the individual proposal before the planners. It is not to consider other alternative proposals that third parties (aka nimbies) may put forward.
belfagor21
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise or Community Asset?

Postby belfagor21 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:44 pm

papinian - "much needed accommodation for young families" would be great but how many young families can afford houses that cost over £2,000,000 each? Also, what about providing much needed social infrastructure like doctors surgeries, schools, hospitals etc etc?

And yes, "The function of the planning process is to determine the acceptability of the individual proposal before the planners" but what happens when the planners IGNORE THEIR OWN POLICIES when they approve an application?
Goldhawk
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise or Community Asset?

Postby Goldhawk » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:17 pm

I thought Naturescope was out the back near the bowling green in a separate building?
I thought the nursery is using the currently vacant portion of the Neals Lodge building
The Phoenix Project appeared to be a rushed proposal and had no clear funding plans.

I do agree that the 88 Thurleigh Rd development seems excessive for the site

Formula E in Battersea Park is clearly about income for the Council
papinian
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise or Community Asset?

Postby papinian » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:11 pm

belfagor21 wrote:Also, what about providing much needed social infrastructure like doctors surgeries, schools, hospitals etc etc?
It seems from your previous post that you don't consider nurseries like the one in Neal's Lodge part of the social intrastructure. Care to explain?
viva
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise or Community Asset?

Postby viva » Tue May 03, 2016 8:20 am

I wonder if this is why the Little Forest Folk nursery that is an outdoor nursery which was originally going to run from Naturescope and on the Common has now been denied by the Council. I believe they were going to be based at Naturescope for an hour at beginning and end of day, food provided by Sklark, and then were going to be out and about on Wandsworth and Tooting common learning outdoors all day. Was so excited to sign my LO up and so disappointed that it hasn't happened. Perhaps this larger nursery offers more financial reward? Gutting.
Wandsworth Council
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Re: Neal's Lodge - Private Enterprise or Community Asset?

Postby Wandsworth Council » Tue May 03, 2016 12:22 pm

The council held an open and wholly transparent competitive tender for the future use of this vacant building on the common. This was done in order to obtain the best possible value for the taxpayer from the ongoing use of this public asset.

A number of bids were received from interested parties that complied with the terms of the tender process. An incomplete bid was received from another party. This party was informed on numerous occasions that in order for their bid to be properly evaluated further information was required. This information was not provided and sadly, as a consequence, their bid was not able to proceed.