Tuesday 25 March 2014

New Cross Forum..

The New Cross forum

2014-02-16 11.14.48Establishing a neighbourhood forum is a great way to mobilise people in New Cross, to liaise with external organisations and to create other opportunities for partnership and projects in the area, in addition to setting up a neighbourhood plan in order to steer local development.
Many of the things we would like to achieve through the neighbourhood plan can also be achieved through other means. For example, through setting up a business association, a community land trust and a social enterprise, as well as through seeking support from various bodies and funds. We may launch a three-month crowd funding account eventually to help raise funds for these initiatives. We also hope to tap into social enterprise funding, as well as neighbourhood plan grants through groups such as Locality.
Some possible aims are summarised in the table below – obviously this is just what John and I think and we are keen to get people’s input. All are welcome and we very much want to hear from as many people from the community as possible!
Forthcoming meetings / workshops
  • Monday 28 April, 7pm-8.30pm: Old Hall, All Saints Community Centre SE14 5DJ - forum meeting focused on: 1) understanding community needs 2) how to approach community-wide consultation, 3) Looking at other neighbourhood plans.
  • Sunday 11 May, 12pm to 4pm: Room One All Saints Community Centre – brainstorming workshop to develop a vision for New Cross and to explore opportunities and ideas for the area within sub-groups.
  • Wednesday 4 June, 7pm to 8.30pm: Kender Primary School – forum meeting focused on collating community consultation and research into needs so far, as well producing action plan for putting together first draft of neighbourhood plan and urban design guide throughout July / August / September.
Why we want to form a neighbourhood planMore information about why we want to form a neighbourhood plan in New Cross can be read here.
Notes from first forum meeting
  • Brief notes from the first forum meeting are here.
  • Presentation slides and full minutes from the first forum meeting are here.
Follow the official New Cross forum page at: http://thenewcross.tumblr.com/
Steering development in New Cross

Community’s spirit, diverse character and arts cultureVibrancy and social integration between different groups in community
ThroughProviding truly affordable housing and workspace in perpetuity for local residents and practitioners, as well as emergency housing for Lewisham’s homelessImproving streetscapes, community facilities and permeability for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as boosting local economy
HowEstablish a Community Land Trust across multiple sites around New Cross and set up a an estate agent on the high street to run as a social enterprise (more info here) where all profits (after salaries and running costs) are re-invested in the Community Land Trust, as well as improving vibrancy and social integration in the area. Also apply for other sources of funding and support. Getting land/units for free or nominal amount from the council and other public bodies will be crucial to setting up the Community Land TrustCreate an Urban Design Guide to become a Supplementary Planning Document for development in area

Establish a local business association. Create a regular day/afternoon event to attract people to area & liaise with council to permit businesses to trade on streets in front of their shops on these occasions.

Fundraise, develop designs for, and liaise with Highways Agency to implement pro-active specific public realm improvements to improve pedestrian crossings & cycle facilities, as well as create inviting and accessible public gathering places, so people can interact with each other without having to spend money. This will also provide a space for public performances. There are a couple of spaces perfect for this at both ends of New Cross high street: outside New Cross Gate Post Office and on the wide pavement area before Pagnell Street. The space outside the Waldron Health Centre could also be better used. Forthcoming pedestrianised streets Laurie Grove, Dixon Road and St James’s (as part of Goldsmiths masterplan) could be great places to run weekend markets/events.

Liaise with Goldsmiths about: the implementation of their masterplan; making sure their public-facing buildings (and particularly their high street units) are always presentable and in use, whether as a gallery, bike workshop, community space, Students’ Union shop or as the estate agent social enterprise outlined above. It would also be great to increase dialogues between Goldsmiths and the community in general, as well as make it possible for groups to book rooms at Goldsmiths for free for meetings and events.

Liaise with the Venue owners. The Venue and its neighbouring bank building are focal points at the centre of the high street. We would like to see these buildings used for more than two/three club nights a week and storage. We would like to encourage an active frontage on the ground floor of the Venue and its neighbouring bank on a daily basis. It would also be great to see regular film and documentary nights return to this former cinema. This will be beneficial to the local economy and vibrancy in the area, as well as the Venue’s owners.

Create mixed use context in predominantly industrial/residential area in New Cross between: area of Watson’s St, Idonia St, & Payne St; New Cross Road; Surrey Canal Road, and the railway line that runs from Surrey Canal Road to New Cross Road through Bridge House Meadows.

Promote vacant units (such as Barclays bank building in New Cross Gate) to interesting businesses/organisations.


    • Pleased to hear it! The first meeting went really well but we need to focus on speaking to as many people in community as possible, even if they don’t want to come to forum meetings. John and I have both been snowed under with study since last meeting but we hope to pick up the pace and get things happening for this throughout April / May until late September. And then we’ll review where we’ve got to. We are hoping to set up sub-groups around the key areas shortly for people to research needs in community and to develop ideas for how to meet them.

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