‘HGV threat to Brixton roads’ warning

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Roads in central Brixton and around Brockwell Park could see a significant rise in heavy lorry traffic if plans for a new waste processing yard in Lambeth are approved.

Brixton MP Helen Hayes will tomorrow (27 May) join protesters outside the proposed site for the yard in West Norwood at 4pm. They will include concerned residents, representatives of local schools, parents and children.

Map produced by campaigners showing routes that could be affected by the yard

The protest is organised by #ScrapTheYard, a grass roots community campaign fighting to stop waste processing company Southwark Metals moving a sorting yard to West Norwood.

The company’s temporary site near Millwall football club in Lewisham already attracts criticism from local people.

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Southwark Metals’ site near Millwall football club

Southwark Metals’ original site was on the Old Kent Road.

The proposed new site at Windsor Grove, West Norwood, a former car breakers’ yard, will, say the campaigners:

  • Worsen the air quality, health and physical safety of more than 3,500 school pupils and thousands of local residents in a half-mile radius of the site
  • Add 250,000 extra vehicle miles in Lambeth 
  • Add 150 daily vehicle movements through local streets, five and a half days a week – 40,000 trips a year
  • Unnecessarily transport 25,000 tonnes of scrap metal per year in and out of Lambeth, impacting Southwark, Lewisham and Croydon too
  • Obliterate a local wildlife Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.
  • Impact a further 21 schools and 14,864 pupils located in a one-mile radius from the site  

“If successful in its planning application for a scrap metal sorting yard at Windsor Grove, Southwark Metals would add a quarter of a million extra vehicle miles in Lambeth each year compared to its current location,” said a campaign spokesperson.

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Despite its ‘temporary’ status the Lewisham yard is on larger roads than the proposed West Norwood replacement
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The proposed West Norwood site is on a narrow road flanked by housing
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Domestic garages are right next to the entrance to the Windsor Road site

“This is directly at odds with Lambeth council’s implicit commitment to its residents to tackle pollution with its Climate Change Emergency, launched in July 2019, yet the council is seriously considering it.”

“Windsor Grove is a small cul de sac located beside a residential area of West Norwood, with access unsuitable for a business of Southwark Metals’ type and size.

“The area is already frequently blocked, so the proposal would disastrously further impact local traffic and bus services, and the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and schoolchildren.”

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Roads in Lambeth already face a big increase in HGV traffic because of the presence in the borough of two sites used in the digging of a massive tunnel under London to house new electricity cables.

The Windsor Grove campaigners point out that in an initial planning application Southwark Metals and the property developer Urban and Provincial – Thomas Pratt is a director of both – said two thirds (65%) of traffic to and from the site would be HGVs. In a revised application, this has fallen to one third (35%).

The long-standing and active local community organisation Norwood Action Group (NAG) says that: “The data has been pushed and pulled all over the place (or “refined”) almost beyond recognition”.

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Windsor Grove

NAG also disputes the applicants’ claimn that the site would see 45 HGV movements each day. “NAG, using their source data, makes it 107,” it said

“For the purposes of the application, it looks like the term HGV has now been applied to only the largest trucks that would visit Windsor Grove.”

NAG and the Norwood Forum have created a website that has details of all the issues surrounding the planned yard.

Rob Andrew of NAG said that “In the face of fierce local opposition”, the year‑old application that Lambeth council was set to refuse last August had been scaled down.

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Windsor Grove looking towards its junction with West Norwood High Street

“Southwark Metals hope to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by now saying daily vehicle movements would ‘only’ be about 150, and annual tonnage ‘only’ 25,000.

“This looks like it could win Lambeth over,” he said, appealing to all residents of Lambeth and neighbouring boroughs to object to Lambeth Council. 

“If you were one of the 1,464 people who made an objection to Lambeth in the earlier round, it’s vital you do so again,” Andrew said.

“Make clear that the lower figures are still an outrageous proposal.

“The plan impacts the entire borough, dragging most of the scrap carriers through the whole length of Lambeth.

“Everything about this planning application is plainly wrong.”

NAG has produced a detailed point-by-point rebuttal of the plans.

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The entrance to Windsor Groce from West Norwood High Street

The campaigners are urging people to visit Lambeth planning website (extremely slow and unresponsive at the time of writing) to object to the plans – even if they have done so before.

The page link above, when it is working, has two applications on it. The campaigners stress it is the Windsor Grove one that should be objected to.

The Shakespeare Road application, which the Blog reported in September last year, also involves a scrap yard and Urban & Provincial, and is linked to the Windsor Grove application.

For planning permission for this development, another scrap site must be found.

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Windsor Grove

Campaigners ask whether the new site will be expected to replace both the temporary Lewisham site and the Shakespeare Road site.

The campaigners also have an online petition.

You can follow the campaign on Facebook @Scraptheyard and Twitter @ScrapTheYard_WN and use #ScrapTheYard generally on social media.

Southwark Metals and Urban & Provincial have set up their own website to support the application. It urges people to contact them for information by calling 020 3963 2642 or emailing info@windsorgrove.co.uk.