An Independent Manifesto for Coldharbour Ward

Three suggestions to improve life in Coldharbour Ward

1. Re-open East Brixton station to provide the Overground to us in Coldharbour Ward and the Brixton area . People in West Brixton (Ferndale/Stockwell/Larkhall wards) already have access to the Overground through Clapham High Street station.
East Brixton Station closed in 1976 in a period of rail decline. The council and Network Rail have debated for years about providing high level platforms at Brixton or Loughborough Junction. Both of these options would be very expensive and require major engineering work and possibly demolition.
Replacing the platforms and reopening East Brixton station with modern lifts such as those recently installed at Denmark Hill is a cheaper and more realistic option. This would provide a major boost to the area, and reduce congestion in central Brixton.

2. Creating a proper park in front of the Barrier Block. The present Coldharbour Lane open space was designated by Lambeth Housing and Environmental Services in 1998, following pressure from David – then a councillor. The Texaco garage then on the land currently occupied by the car wash was built on land leased from Lambeth Council. The council should take the opportunity to recover that land for public amenity space to relieve the very dense urbanisation increasingly dominating the area.

On the suggestion of a Moorlands resident David researched the whether an Outdoor Gym would be suitable for the site. Southwark have 10 open air gyms, but there are only 2 in Lambeth. It would surely be appropriate to provide free fitness recreation facilities in Coldharbour Ward. This would potentially benefit everyone – especially those of limited means who are being by-passed by the current Brixton development boom.

3. Re-open Iveagh House surgery. It is an outrage that nearly two years ago the Iveagh House surgery practice was forced to move into the Ackerman Health Centre as one of three practices. This seems to have been to provide infrastructure to the Oval Quarter PFI development, still under construction and which has been largely pre-sold in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.
The removal of the Iveagh House doctors into the Ackerman had left Coldharbour Ward without a single GP surgery. The old Iveagh House building is still there unused – except that it is “Protected by occupation” – in other words a company is being paid to mind it, and simultaneously making profit from renting out the doctor’s consulting rooms as bedsits.
There is increasing difficulty getting GP appointments nowadays. More and more residents are being accommodated in the area by the property boom. Lambeth Council should pressurise the Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS to provide a better service, and re-open the disused doctors surgery at Iveagh House. Paying a property Guardian company to rent out consulting rooms as bedsits is perverse.

Promoted by David Warner of 290 Coldharbour Lane London SW9 8SE on behalf of Boniface Awogta and David Warner 290 Coldharbour Lane London SW9 8SE

Southwyck Gardens and Car Wash

In the early 1970s the shops on the south side of Coldharbour lane were demolished, along with the side streets (Sussex Road, Geneva Road). The Moorlands Estate was built along with Southwyck House Рmeanwhile Lambeth Council leased out the land currently occupied by the car wash to be used as a petrol station.texaco The land on either side of the petrol station (between Somerleyton Road and Moorland Road) was laid out as a small local park. When it was proposed in 1998 to build on this, David Warner, then on Environmental Services committee objected, in particular noting that there were 50 trees altogether on the site. Michael English, a Labour councillor supported this objection and proposed that the site should be designated at Public Open Space by the Housing Committee, which it was. After the cessation of the garage use the site was cleared by the council (see right). texaco-cleared-cropped

The next phase came as a shock. In 2011 a metal stockade was set up around the site and massive advertising hoardings were erected (without planning permission). It took 2 years for the advertising to be removed, although the car wash remains.

We want Lambeth to complete the job of making a proper park in front of Southwyck House. The immediate area is becoming more densely populated – since Barratts built and opened Milles Square/Carney Place and now Lambeth are expecting to build a residential complex in Somerleyton Road.

A Moorlands Estate resident suggested an Open Air gym would be a useful addition to the park to provide free exercise facilities to those unable for financial or other reasons to use the paid-for gyms. Making an integrated park between Southwyck House and Coldharbour Lane would be a lasting ecological benefit for the area. Adding an outside gym need not detract from the green ambience of the park zone. Look at these two photos Р bottom is the Coldharbour car wash a couple of years ago (before the council made the owners remove the advertsing billboards), and immediately below is a photo of the gym in Albany Road opposite the Aylesbury Estate Рa situation similar to our own.