Ice Rink to move to Brixton

Streatham Ice Rink is to move to the Pope’s Rd Car Park in Brixton, councillors decided yesterday at a Lambeth Planning Applications meeting. The decision to host the ice rink in Brixton for three years while Tesco builds the Streatham Hub was voted in three to one, despite massive opposition from parents, Brixton market traders and campaigning groups. The traders in Brixton Market depend on the car park for custom from outside Brixton – figures released last year showed that trade had already suffered from the closure of the car park in 2009.

Below are notes made during the meeting by the valiant Richard Pope [he also posted them on urban 75 – see here for the forum debate]. He didn’t stay for the decision itself, but this gives brilliant information about what was discussed:

Welcome from the chair Diana Morris (Labour, Thornton Ward). Members
of the committee introduce themselves. 4 Labour, 1 Lib Dem. Then
council officers.
First item – declarations of interest. Cllr Brathwith child attends
school related to the application. Chair has been ice-skating before.
Go her! Hardly a major declaration of interest though.
2 items unrelated to the ice-rink/carpark. Getting those out of the way first.
Some Tunnels in Waterloo where the council officers haven’t done their
homework properly. Then something about types of brick (staffordshire
blue buff or something) and for Dunraven School. Looks quite nice.
OK, on to the 3 applications relating to the Streatham Hub / Brixton carpark
First up is the bit relating to a new carpark on Porden Road which is
supposed to provide more parking for people using the market (in place
of the multi-story).
Officers are presenting an overview, followed by something specific on
Porden Road. In 2002 planning ok’ed for Streatham hub including an
icerink, a swimming pool, public square, housing, and a Tesco store.
There was a 106 legal agreement which guaranteed onsite ice rink

They are now proposing a temporary off-site ice rink which requires
the 106 to be varied. AS well as the 106 there are 3 applications
which will be taken in turn.

The officers note that Boris is not happy and is opposing the
application (although acknowledge he has no power to direct them).
Also Streatham businesses are happy with temporary ice rink as the
Streatham Hub will happen faster. Also Sport England have objected.
TfL have no objection. Various other extra/late comments from Friends
of Brixton Market, and others.

Finally (and interestingly) Tessa Jowell contacted officers urging
caution given the level of local opposition.

Council officers then show lots of pictures and maps (very slowly).
Heckling from the audience when council officer gets the size of the
new rink wrong (he says temporary rink would be same length,
apparently he’s wrong).

No direct mention of Tesco so far. They Who Must Not Be Named.
Porden Road Residents Group are up. Chair is trying to make 3 of them
speak as one in 3 minutes. Audience not impressed.

Increased noise, pollution and traffic in Porden Road if the temporary
car park goes ahead. They say they know this because the area was
previously used as a works depo when the town centre was being
redeveloped. Points out that 3 years isn’t very temporary!

Community safety has not been considered – only one camera – already
have a problem with drug dealing/use.

John Gordon from Market Traders Federation is up. Points out that the
foods people buy are specialist and bulk. The committee is presented
with a huge sack of rice and a huge barrel of oil. Porden Road is too
far away. Most shoppers are women – invites members of comitee to lift
up barrrel and sack and walk about with them. Also suggests the
members borrow a child (there are several in the room) and try
carrying them at the same time.
Ben Tunstall from FBM says that there is an incline on Acre Lane; It
is in a distinct area of the town centre. people will just go to
Another resident of Porden Road is up. Point of Order that there is
are discrepancies in the application – different areas and names used.
Development plan makes no reference to new parking and will actively
seek to reduce parking near Tesco. Making the officers look a bit
stupid. He’s done his homework.
The applicants for Porden Road (Cllr Sally Prentice & and someone from
some kind of Lambeth regeneration department) are invited to respond
to the complains form traders and residents.

The council has a commitment to deliver Streatham Hub. The temporary
ice-rink is a way of doing this, but needs more parking, hence Porden

The committee get to quiz these two:

Q: “What guarantee that it really will be 3 years”

A: Within Brixton Master Plan; Tesco will be compelled to remove ice
rink after 3 years then they will do something ill-defined else with
it; Won’t need car-parking so that will also go after 3 years.

They refuse to guarantee that car-park will be gone after 3 years.
There could be another application in 3 years.

Cllr Palmer then points out that it will be very hard to actually
manoeuvre into the proposed car-park. Transport Officer responds that
it is possible. Doesn’t sound very convincing. Denies that it is on a
cycle route dispute the evidence of lots of cycle signs. Sounds like a

Cllr Brathewaite asks what lighting will be available and points out
hours will make it very noisy for residents. Applicants offer to close
it earlier.

Cllr Edbrooke asks if the carpark will actually be used. The
applicants don’t really know, but say they are trying to replace Popes
Road as best they can.

Part 2 – we’re on to Popes Road temporary Ice Rink. Lots and lots of
people queued up to speak (15 ish?).
Brixton Society up first – points out that council change their mind
on replacing carpaking, and will loose 280k a year form parking
charges. Will Brixton people use it? Will they squeeze Streatham users
out? Can we trust Tesco / council to stick to a new 106 agreement?
Waste of energy building a temp rink. Air quality already poor in
Brixton. Points out that members voted 2 weeks ago to reduce crime,
this will increase it.
Person from the Werewolves special needs hockey team are up. Transport
links for users with special needs, in a busy town centre, with heavy
equipment, drop off point for users with special needs is not good
enough. Have the council looked at the equality impact.
A mother who is involved with one of the clubs says they are taking
her job away, she has devoted herself to keeping the club running.
Promises to be a pain in the arse if it goes through.
Another parent points out that some parents are disabled and need
spaces to park.
Ben Tunstall from Friends of Brixton Market again. The next 3 years is
critical for Brixton Market. Indoor market landlord is increasing
rent. Shoppers are down because of the carpark. The market is Dying on
it’s feet. Do the comitee want to be responsible for a massive
insertion of change at this time?
James Gardener – skater at the rink since 1975. Runs the (redskins)
hockey team. Loosing a party room and cafe as well as an icerink.
Popes Road is smaller. Worried about postcode gangs – parents won’t
send their kids. Streatham 1200 spectator seats, Brixton 400. At a
recent game there were 88 cars in the carpark. Kids will get their kit
Mike Dwyer – from another special needs hockey club. No store room for
recycling kit. No free parking. Too many cars in the market, children
nearly run over during the site visit. Cost of parking doubles the
cost for parent up to £360 per season. Even then no guarantee for
John Gordon from Brixton Market Traders. Brixton has to compete with
Peckham market, Lewisham and Tesco (which sells similar food). The
council acknolage the importance of parking in various master plans.
464k square feet of retail in Brixton, based on Tesco that works out
as 3,399 free spaces. Porden Road will be £3 an hour. Brixton is
surrounded by controleed parking zones.
Rosie from Rosie’s Deli. Lives in Peckham were parking is 80p. It takes
hours to get your nails done, costs too much in Brixton.
Coach of under 12’s team. He’s at the rink 3 days a week coaching. His
children and wife figure skate. So he is there a lot. This isnt a
compromise, it’s a surrender. Streatham is still standing. Kids need
to know that their community represent them. Cardiff is using a
temporary rink 5 years later. Brighton and other places have lost
theirs. Tesco is Monty Burns, don’t be is Smithers!.
10 minute break and then it all starts again – shed loads of people to
get through.
Man form Save Skating in Streatham – the survey of Streatham ice rink
missed loads of stuff, didnt even notify the management of the visit
so couldn’t access all areas. Not an equivalent facility, particularly
in terms of parking. The clubs won’t last the 3 years. Tesco should
honor their original agreement.

The secretary of state has sent some kind of letter as places a high
burden on the committee.
Lloyd Leon ex-mayor of Lambeth. 1) crime there was a murder at
Streatham. 2) kids are scared of gang warfare, blood will be on hands
of committee if there is a postcode murder 3) traffic is already a
mess 4) administration is in the pocket of Tesco.
Nicola, Electric Avenue resident. Parking chaos since parking closed.
Has there been an equality impact assessment. Crime risk, the market
has highest crime in Brixton according to crime maps.
Donna Sinclare – Options For Change, introduces a colleague who ran an
Angell Town youth centre. Been trying to prevent gang violence. This
is asking for gang warefare, postcode battles. Postcode warefare is
real. “Not one drop of blood on that ice!”.

Matthew, long term local resident. Concerned about local amenity.
Residential units right next to the proposed rink. Hours are longer
than the rec’. No parking for coaches of visiting teams. Where is the
transport assessment? Any development in Brixton should foster the
market and involve residents.
Chair and Cllr Ling complain about recording of the meeting. Streatham
Pulse and Friends of Brixton Market own up to owning the recorders.
After lots of tooing and frowing they agree to recording.
Lib Dem Councillors present photos of kids struggling with heavy
equipment. Also witnessed a young person nearly nocked over by a car
in Brixton Market. You will be alienating Streatham kids who are
scared of the postcode tag. Temp rink will lose at the same time as
Brixton Academy, pubs and clubs, so what security for the kids leaving
the rink?

Quotes some marketing shite from the Tesco website about community
being important.

More concern about safety for the kids – Lambeth’s own plans describe
the area as a no-go area. Tesco will benefit if the market fails.
Woman from a group representing ice dancers in Stretham. Since this is
the only option available, and Tesco will just wait so Brixton is the
only option and we have to try and make it work. Not happy that hours
are so short because training for ice dancing has to happen after
hours, promises they won’t be noisy.
Cllr Kazanthis – his daughter was pictured on the SLP aged 6
campaigning to save the ice rink – she is now 16! It’s a far from
perfect solution, but is the only option. No fan of Tesco, but needs
to go ahead.

Sounds like Tony Blair. Is telling the committee what they want to
hear though. All nodding.
Matt Parr – Labour councillor for the ward in question. Regrettable
that the council has got it’s self in this position where a new
facility is generating public outrage. He is very concerned about the
effects on Coldhabour and the market. Some of the best shops in
Brixton have gone, we need to keep the rest.

He objected officially saying it shouldn’t go ahead is the parking
situation could not be sorted. Says the council officers have gone
along way on this. We’ve lost a lot of spaces.

Parking provision was always going to go down when the carpark shut.
We want to reduce car use, but you can’t do in in one go. The concerns
of traders have not been addressed so he maintains his objections.
The planning advisers for Tesco are to make a presentation (which is
brave or stupid).

Tesco are committed to delivering the Streatham Hub (really?). They
had to reevaluate the scheme because of the economic climate and
change the build time. They are just reading out the planning
application and mentioning public transport links.

These guys are really slimy.

Committee as some questions of them:

Cllr Brathwaite: shortening of the build period for Streatham Hub – how
much will be saved and how much time will be saved?
Tesco: they need the time to relocate a bus depot [that’s a new
excuse?] save about 6 months, and then 2 years on build time. Claim
they have helped by keeping the skates in their current home for so
long. The last thing Tesco wants is for a club to fold. Contradicted
himself saying it would save 1 year. Didn’t answer what the financial
saving would be.

Tesco admit it was originally going to be a 3 year build, so we are
back where we started?

Cllr Brathwaite: repeats the question about costs.

Tesco: All the savings are going to pay for the tempoary ice facility.
So no savings in financial or time terms.

Tesco will get 2 years additional trading. This so doesnt go down well
with Cllr Brathwaite.

Cllr Palmer: there is no parity. Parking hasn’t been solved and the
officers report is poor in relation to parking. e.g. no mention of %
of staff parking or special needs. The only swimming pool in the
borough is in Brixton so Brixton is already over stretched.

Tesco: staff have to use public transport.

Council officers: the report refers to the Werewolves (special needs
hockey team) situation. The car park could be closed just for them.
Suggesting people can use the surrounding roads.

Tesco: commit to werewolves that 23 spaces will be made available or
Tesco will pay their tickets. [what about other users?].

Council Officers: coach parking to be sorted later. Park on Coldhabour Lane.


  1. We are beginning to investigate a Judicial Review of the Section 106 variation, there is no equivalence to the Streatham Ice Arena facilities at Popes Road, the distorted report full of inaccuracies prepared by DP9 is pure fantasy to conclude that Popes Road is not just the same as but better than Streatham’s Ice Arena.
    If we do go down this route it will be expensive, we will be looking for donations to help fund this, too many people and businesses will be impacted irreversibly by this crazy decision, lives and livelihoods’ will be at risk, it may create jobs in Brixton but what about all the jobs lost in Streatham. We will be setting. The threats of if the businesses in Brixton don’t respond to the opportunity created by the Ice rink coming to Brixton, others will is not just a hollow threat, gentrification of Brixton is on the cards and the multi-cultural businesses that meet the special needs of their customers are really under threat. Skaters do not come to go shopping, so there wil be little benefit to businesses from these skaters, the only benefactor will be Brixton’s parking services who will be making millions out of our skaters and their parents forced to pay to park.
    Insult No1- “This is gentrification of Brixton and you have not got your ticket”.
    Insult No 2. “White middle class people want to shop in Brixton and buy books and cheese from cheese shops. They want to stroll around Brixton and not have to look at 16 horrible looking meat shops on Electric Avenue, It is time for Brixton to move on”. The insults came from 2 Councillors who got into their seats by their means necessary and forgot the votes of the people who need the smelly meat shops, who can already buy both cheese and books in Brixton.
    Brixton Market is under threat, our youth will be under threat, our clubs and teams will not only be priced out of the rink but logistically, getting to it adds at least an hour to journey times, lack of space and storage will cause frustration, and lack of adequate parking close by will stretch patience not just of our users but also local businessmen and residents, how much pain are we supposed to live with, just to appease Lambeth’s political ideology and increase the profitability of Tesco’s two years earlier than the original section 106 allowed them.
    Watch this space we will be keeping all informed of our plans, you will be told how to donate if we proceed..

Comments are closed.