A range of restrictions has been imposed on the proposed controversial redevelopment of the Lilford Road Business Centre following lobbying by local residents and Myatt’s Fields’ Labour team.
The development is likely to bring new jobs to the area and create a fresh start for the dilapidated buildings at the business centre. There are also proposals to create new green landscaping around the site and install sustainable travel infrastructure for employees, like bike storage sheds.
But many residents were concerned that the original proposals would have allowed delivery vehicles to move to and from the site for more than 100 hours each week which could mean a huge increase in traffic in the heart of a residential area that Lambeth Council has acknowledged is a congestion and pollution hotspot.
The restrictions were imposed by the Council’s Planning Committee at its most recent meeting. Cllr Paul Gadsby told the committee:
“I want to focus my comments tonight on a real concern in the community about an increase in traffic from this application.
“The applicant is proposing a window of 16 hours every weekday when vehicles can move to and from the site: the Council’s transport assessment suggests that peak hour movements will increase by 60%, this will result in hundreds of extra vehicle movements to and from the site each month, perhaps thousands over the course of a year. And while the developer has ruled out pleasingly the use of takeaway deliver firms in response to the community’s concerns, it hasn’t ruled out grocery or other high intensity delivery outfits: this model being pushed by developers across London is causing chaos in other residential areas, like Lilford Road, where residents are subject to increased noise, congestion and pollution, especially from speeding motorbikes.
“It should be noted that Lambeth Council has identified this area as a traffic hotspot with millions to be allocated to reduce traffic in the area: residents might rightly ask if this is a waste of money should this application go through unamended.”
As a result of the campaign by the community and councillors, the committee approved the application but placed more than 30 conditions on the development to address the community’s concerns.
- Tough monitoring procedures to ensure the applicant abides by the delivery hours approved by the committee.
- A requirement for the developer to appoint a “community liaison officer” who would be on call to answer any concerns raised by local residents.
- The conditions also confirmed that delivery hours would be limited to 7am to 11pm weekdays – down from the 24 hour delivery window originally proposed.
- So called “dark kitchens” (takeway food outlets) would be barred from operating on the premises.
Responding to the outcome of the meeting, Cllr Gadsby said:
“Cllr Gallop and I want to thank local residents, MPs and community groups, including the Lilford Road Action Group and the Brixton Society, for the huge amount of effort they have put into improving these proposals.
“We did not get everything we wanted and would have liked to have seen further reductions in delivery times to and from the site, however, the plans have undergone a lot of change from the original proposals from the developers last year. This includes tougher traffic restrictions on the businesses using the site to rule out the very worst high delivery businesses which are unsuitable in a residential neighbourhood. We acknowledge that the developer has also listened to local residents, with a number of the changes made voluntarily by them following a lengthy period of discussion in the past six months.
“However, we will be watching the development as it progresses. The planning committee spent more than two hours debating the traffic points made by residents and councillors: it is now over to the developer and Lambeth’s Building Control Team to make sure the promises made at the committee are upheld, especially those relating to ensuring there no adverse effects on local roads and pollution from the site.”