Brixton Central masterplan – workshop feedback
Written by Future Brixton team
December 30, 2014
Categories: Brixton Central, Brixton Central Masterplan
On Tuesday 2 December we hosted a workshop on the draft Brixton Central masterplan at the Impact Hub in the town hall. We looked at four key areas – 1) new homes, 2) workspace and retail, 3) building heights, and 4) transport and public realm.
Fluid architects, who helped run the workshop, tell us how it went…
Twenty-three people, including residents and representatives from local community organisations and businesses came to share their thoughts with the two major land owners, Lambeth Council and Network Rail.
After a short presentation participants were asked to discuss and debate the topic areas and a series of question in smaller groups.
Most participants agreed with the proposition for new homes on the International House site, in between the viaducts and above development on the former ice rink site, with the latter providing family sized homes. The need to maximise affordable housing was underlined.
Employment & retail
The proposals to locate new studio or office spaces throughout the masterplan were welcomed, with many people raising the need for space to be affordable. A hotel located above the station was met with general approval, although there were questions surrounding the demand for another hotel in the area.
Small shops and workspaces in between the viaducts within a new covered space were also well received. The importance of offering space for light industry and artists, including those already in the area was also raised. The need for more public spaces in this part of the town centre was also highlighted.
Improving street market facilities, including the provision of better infrastructure (such as electricity, water, Wi-Fi) met with widespread approval, with people stating that markets are central to Brixton.
Height & building form
The taller elements on the masterplan, namely the former ice rink site and International House met with general approval if building taller would support affordable housing being provided by the development. This was also true of development in-between the tracks, although a number of participants flagged the need for further work in relation to impact of the buildings, including on views and also emphasised the need for excellent design quality.
Transport & public realm
There was support for the potential refurbished of Brixton train station, including reposition the entrance onto Pope’s Road. Proposals for a cycle hire scheme located on Brixton Station Road and opening up of rail arches to create new walking routes were also well received.
Pedestrianising Atlantic Road (during the day with access for local buses and agreed hours of servicing) also met with strong agreement, subject to more detailed work about the impact on traffic elsewhere and also working with the shops to ensure their servicing could still work.
There was a mixed response to the propositions for a car park for public and market trader use located on the former ice rink site. Participants agreed to parking provisios for traders, and many also supported public car parking to support local shops. However, it was felt that there should be incentives for other greener methods of transport. Others held the view that people should be discouraged from driving into the town centre
We will be taking on board these finding, along with the 300 or so responses to the questionnaire we sent to all households in the area. This will inform the final masterplan, which will be published in early 2015. As the Council and Network Rail looks to secure a development partner or partners for the project, there will much more engagement with local people to move the proposals forward.