Your New Town Hall – what you’ve said
Written by Anna Quigley
October 3, 2014
Categories: Your New Town Hall
Throughout July 2014 Muse and Lambeth Council held a number of Community Design events with the aim of improving the design of Your New Town Hall through local involvement. People were encouraged to share their ideas and thoughts, particularly about the civic spaces included in the project, such as the customer centre and the register office. Events included meetings for residents living close to the sites that make up Your New Town Hall, workshops for community organisations and public exhibitions, such as our stall at the Lambeth Country Show and the film made by young people with Photofusion.
What you said
These are some of the issues you’ve raised. We’re taking them all seriously and here’s just an overview of what we’re doing to address them:
Parking: Immediate residents are concerned about overflow parking in local streets from new residential and civic development.
Brixton has a top rating for public transport and we will expect new developments to be car free with residents of new flats not eligible for parking permits. However, we understand that increased numbers of residents will likely lead to increased pressure on parking outside existing CPZ time restrictions. It’s possible that CPZs can be reviewed and we will also promote car clubs and cycling for Brixton residents more widely.
Construction management: You wanted reassurance about disruption from building works due to YNTH and other nearby developments which may happen at the same time.
We know that some disruption is inevitable but we will do all we can to keep this to a minimum and Muse will be drafting a construction management plan which we’ll share with you for your feedback. It will consider issues such as reasonable hours of working and how vehicles will access the site. We will also work with other developers where there are a number of local construction projects happening at the same time.
Height of proposed buildings in the centre: People want the height of new buildings to respect their surroundings – particularly with regards to sunlight and privacy.
We are testing these issues and exploring the best ways for the new buildings to respect existing residents. E.g. your comments led directly to designs that kept the press building as a buffer to noise and changes to bring back the sunlight to the community garden in Arlington Lodge
Public Realm: People want a well landscaped space, which feels safe – with plants good lighting, seating and more bins.
We’ll continue to work on plans in response to your feedback. Your comments are already helping with where to put play facilities and security gates and we’ll want your thoughts on the public spaces on Buckner Road at the next stage.
Olive Morris House: Some people didn’t understand why we need to demolish Olive Morris House.
We’ll set out the reasons why some buildings are being kept and others aren’t on the website. Olive Morris House in an expensive building to maintain and the layout doesn’t lend itself to efficient modern office space or conversion to residential. We would like you to think about how we continue to commemorate Olive Morris as one of Brixton’s heroes.
Affordable housing: People want new housing to benefit local people and to have as much affordable housing as possible.
We are developing the scheme with this in mind – and will need to comply with the council’s own policy for at least 40% affordable homes. But we also need to balance this against other com
Civic spaces: People want quality spaces, with good public access, better signage and more light. Event spaces should be updated and reasonably priced.
Your feedback will help us to improve on the event spaces and meeting rooms and we will work with you to develop a business plan to include price lists.
Customer services: People want better access, shorter queues and a design that allows for private discussions.
Your feedback is helping us to finalise the building design and we’ll work with you to further develop internal layouts and how the service works better for customers on a day to day basis – this includes making appointments so you’ll be able to see someone at a time that is convenient for you.
Enterprise centre: People want a high tech but affordable space that includes other features, such as a café.
We’ll include this space as we develop the scheme. Meanwhile, we’ll keep trialling what works at the Impact Hub, at our other meanwhile spaces in Brixton, such as Number Six and grow:brixton, and by consulting other local Hub groups.
Democracy: There is support for the idea of live streaming and greater promotion of the public viewing gallery and opportunities for people to watch important meetings.
We want to continue to work with local people to open up the town hall and get people directly engaged with democratic processes. The design of the building is just the start and using digital technology can bring the town hall to you.
What happens next?
What we’ve shown you so far has been very much a work in progress so that your feedback can shape the design of the scheme. At the next stage, which is known as pre-planning consultation, we’ll show you the draft proposals for the scheme and we’ll want to know what you think. This will be the final stage before the scheme is submitted to the planning authority so it’s important you have your say.
The design of the scheme is not the end of your involvement, however, and there will be opportunities to help us shape how services operate and internal design.