Future Brixton

Will Sandy, Makaela Gilchrist and Carl Turner from grow:Brixton


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Sowing the seeds for Grow Brixton

Back in April we saw a team of award-winning architects, guerrilla gardeners, cooks and food producers win the chance to transform empty space at the former ice rink site in Pope’s Road.

Grow Brixton has now submitted a planning application for the scheme and you have until Wednesday 13 August to make any comments.

There’s a number of ways you can find out more and have your say and you can talk to the team if you’re interested in renting space:

Grow: Brixton proposals fo Meanwhile at Pope's Road

Meanwhile at Pope’s Road

Brixton Central masterplan pop-up stall


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Hundreds getting involved in the Brixton Central masterplan

Local people have helped IMG_1369to come up with a number of ideas about how the Brixton Central area could change for the better. Now, we need to know what you think.

So far more than 30 people came to the Community Reference Group workshop and we’ve spoken with hundreds of local businesses, residents and shoppers during three pop-up events this week. We were on Brixton Station Road market (Sat), Windrush Square (Tues) and at Brixton Village (Wed) so thanks to everyone who came and shared their views.

What have people been talking about?

  • Car parking has come through as a key issue, especially from local businesses.
  • There has also been a good debate about the height of buildings, with different views on how high buildings should be and where the tall buildings could be located. IMG_1352
  • People have told us affordable homes and the potential for affordable workspace are important and they want a mix of independent shop.
  • Lots of people have also talked about the need for public realm improvements. 

Join the debate

We’ll be at the fantastic  Lambeth Country Show this weekend (stand 27 in the Picnic Area) and then next week we’ll be hosting an exhibition in one of the units underneath the train station on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (see calendar opposite for details).

More details about the proposals, including exhibition boards, a presentation and a questionnaire are on the Brixton Central masterplan page. Please take a look at the ideas so far and let us know what you think. The closing date to feed back is Friday 8 August.

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Young people have their say on Brixton Central masterplan

Evelyn Grace Academy pupils discussing Brixton Central masterplanStudents of all ages from Evelyn Grace Academy got involved with the Brixton Central masterplan during a workshop run by Fluid on Thursday 26 June. We’d like to thank all the students who took part and the Stephen Lawrence Trust for its help on the day.

During a series of group exercises, we asked the young people a number of questions to understand how they felt about Brixton now and what they wanted to see in the future. It’s important that young people play their part in writing the masterplan and here’s an overview of some of their responses.

Can you describe Brixton? The words “multicultural” and “diverse” featured most. “Lively”, “vibrant” and “unique” were also popular.

Where do you like going in Brixton? The library, shops (clothes and food) and parks were mentioned. Brixton Rec Centre and the cinema also featured. The market was the place that students said they avoided and “overcrowding” was one of the reasons given.

What does Brixton Central need less of? “Restaurants, cafes and bars” were mentioned most, with “phone shops” also featuring.

If you had three wishes for Brixton? Students wanted “more police and less crime”. They also wanted sports facilities and things for young people to get involved with. 

What is your hope for Brixton Central?

  • “for the crime rate to decrease and for the reputation of the area to be more positive”
  • “more beneficial towards youths, elders and others that are challenged”
  • ” hope for change, but not for an unrecognisable Brixton”
  • “that it is suitable for the current population of Brixton and everyone feels comfortable in it”
  • “change to benefit our generation and the next generation of Brixton”
  • “facilities for a wide range of people of all ethnicities, rather than one specific group”
  • “that is does not become overcrowded and that everyone knows each other with a family environment”
  • “that Brixton can develop while keeping its originality and diversity”
  • “for it to become safer and gang free, and affordable”

How you can get involved

There are a number of events this month and the calendar on the right lists all of these:

  • Thursday 10 July, Community Reference Group meets – 7.30-9.30 at the Impact Hub (please register)
  • Saturday 12 July, Pop-up stall – 10am-4pm at Brixton Station Road Market
  • Tuesday 15 July, Pop-up stall – 11am-5pm at Windrush Square
  • Wednesday 16 July, Pop-up stall – 11am-5pm at Brixton Village
  • Saturday 19 July, Lambeth Country Show – 11am-5pm at Brockwell park
  • Sunday 20 July, Lambeth Country Show – 11am-5pm at Brockwell Park
  • Tuesday 22 July-Thursday 24 July, Drop-in Exhibition – 1-4pm at Brixton Station
view of Ovalhouse theatre


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How to design Somerleyton Road?

Here Robert Knight explains Igloo’s approach to design for Somerleyton Road development

When we spoke to local residents and businesses about the redevelopment of Somerleyton Road some people were concerned that a ‘shiny new development’ would be built that would have no relationship with the surrounding area or the communities living there.

We need to make sure this doesn’t happen so we will approach the design of the new buildings in a different way.

We believe that the best places are made when you select the best architects for each building and public space. Therefore, we have drawn up a long list of architectural and landscape practices, including a number of local ones, who we believe have the qualities necessary to deliver the type of street that people want to see.

Igloo, on behalf of the partnership, will speak to this long list of practices. We’ll assess each one in terms of their quality of design, their capacity and proposed design team, as well as any specialisms they may have (such as theatre design and heritage).

We’ll then recommend four to five practices that we think are the best fit for Somerleyton Road and could work together to create buildings that will reflect the neighbourhood and local community.

To make sure the individual building do work together, lead architects Metropolitan Workshop will coordinate the work. This will include making sure landscaping and building services work across the whole development.  Igloo will be speaking to the practices soon and the project steering group hopes to announce the final list of architects in August 2014.

In the meantime we’ll also be making sure we understand all the technical and engineering constraints of the site so we can brief the architects.


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Consultation on streets and open spaces

Your feedback is needed on these ideas for improving town centre streets and open spaces.

Local people have been working with the council, landscape architects and transport engineers to come up with ideas to improve Brixton’s town centre streets and open spaces. We’ve held workshops with local residents and businesses and come up with some proposals. You can read about them in detail in the Public Realm Report and let us know what you think through this questionnaire

Please note the deadline to feed back is Monday 14 July.

The streets we’re looking at include:

Acre Lane proposals

Acre Lane proposals

Brixton Station Road/Pope's Road proposals

Brixton Station Road/Pope’s Road proposals

 

Coldharbour Lane proposals

Coldharbour Lane proposals

Atlantic Road proposals

Atlantic Road proposals

For more information about the Public Realm Strategy >

Meet the Somerleyton Road tea


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Meet Igloo – Somerleyton Road’s development management team

Our new development management team, headed up by Igloo, came to the Somerleyton Road Street Party on Saturday 21 June to meet local residents. Igloo’s Chris Brown, explains who they are and how they will work with us at Somerleyton Road:

It’s a privilege for Igloo to be supporting Lambeth, Brixton Green and Ovalhouse to deliver the Somerleyton Road project. We are working with some great people like Metropolitan Workshop (architects and urban designers), Tibbalds (planning), Conisbee (engineers) and Social Life who have done previous work for Brixton Green on the project. Hopefully they will all blog on their specific roles here over time.

Igloo are employed as development managers so our job is to provide the development skills but without taking the developer’s profit! Our nearest project to Brixton is Bermondsey Square on Bermondsey Street in SE1 for Southwark and Aviva. 

Bermondsey Square SE1

Bermondsey Square SE1

Others say we have a reputation at igloo for innovation and trying to make the world a better place and it’s a challenge to match the aspirations of the Brixton communities for Somerleyton Road.

The project breaks new ground in so many ways, not least the sharing of control of development of council land with a local community based organisation, the real and deep community led approach to the brief for the project and the provision of long term low cost funding by the council. Any one of these would be unusual and together they are unique. 

We try to be selective in the projects we work on and the aspirations of the Somerleyton partners, developed from the consultations with local people, to maximise the affordability of housing for local people and make the street a better place are exactly what gets us out of bed in the morning.

We know there is controversy about the project, we know it has huge challenges (like the live railways alongside and underneath) and we know we won’t get everything right. We have started on a very steep learning curve and look forward to learning from supporters and critics alike.

You can follow Chris on twitter @chrisigloo

Somerleyton Road street party


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Wished you were there – Somerleyton Street Party

It was great to see so many people turn out for the community day on Saturday 21 June. Thanks to Brixton Green, Hill Mead Primary School, Brixton Come Together, Block Work Out and everyone else who made it such a success.

We talked to lots of people about how to make the development of Somerleyton Road into a successful street and we were particularly keen to find out what people thought about the new homes and who they should be for. We’ll feed back on this when we’ve had a chance to go through all the notes.

If you didn’t make it, here are a few pictures to see what you’ve missed. Pictures by Fiona Freund.

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