Government forces through Windsor Grove scrapyard

protest with placards
Protest against the yard in May last year

Central government has given the go-ahead for a massively unpopular giant scrapyard in a cul de sac in West Norwood.

The resulting heavy goods traffic will affect the whole of Lambeth, including Brixton.

Minister of State for Housing Marcus Jones, MP for Nuneaton in the West Midlands, has told developers Urban & Provincial that Lambeth council’s rejection of their plans for the yard in Windsor Grove has been overturned.

The decision will open the way for a major housing development by Urban & Provincial at the Brixton end of Shakespeare Road.

The letter announcing the decision says the government agrees with a planning inspector “that the proposed development would not materially alter the character of Windsor Grove, nor that of the surrounding area more generally”.

This flies in the face of opposition from thousands of local people, local councillors and representations from several local bodies and the MP for the area, Helen Hayes (Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood).

The minister “agrees that the proposed recycling facility in this area of mixed uses would not detract from the character of the area nor unacceptably worsen the living conditions of local residents”.

The scrapyard would be operated by Southwark Metals, which shares a director with Urban & Provincial.

The minister’s letter says he agrees with the inspector that the development would cause “a minor level of harm” to the environment for pedestrians and cyclists” but that this would not amount to “an unacceptable effect”.

Nor would the noise from the plant “materially harm the living conditions of nearby residents”.

urban scene
The site at the dead end of Windsor Grove with a Royal Mail delivery office on the left and homes on the right

The decision bars vehicles longer than 10.2 metres and/or higher than 4.35 metres from the site.

Large vehicles would not be able to use the site between 8 and 9am and 3 and 4pm during school terms.

The scrapyard would only be allowed to operate between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.

The inspector’s report says that there would be an increase from 21 to 73 HGVs (a 247% rise) a day using Windsor Grove, but that this is only “of minor significance”. 

It also notes that objectors to the scrapyard point out that “there is nothing to deter traffic from the north passing through the town centre”. And that “although HGVs leaving Windsor Grove would be required to turn left, they could then turn right and travel north through the town centre”.

The only way to challenge this decision is through the courts.

Read the minister’s letter and inspector’s report


  1. Lambeth originally encouraged the developers to apply and now we are all stuck with this monstrosity. The planning system is beyond broken. Can anyone lend us £50k for a judicial review?

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