The campaign group Catford Against Social Cleansing has exclusively released their response to Transport for London’s consultation on “Catford Town Centre, changes to South Circular Road” to this blog site.
In their letter campaigners criticise the proposals by questioning the lack of specific details like traffic flow data and maps, the omission of a retail park known as Halfords & Wickes and the loss of Metropolitan Open Land at the historic Catford cricket ground.
Catford Against Social Cleansing spokesperson, Cheryl McLeod said:
“Given that this is a consultation on changes to a nationally important road – the South Circular Road in London at Catford – I am very disappointed that Transport for London have failed to give us the details we need to scrutinise the proposals properly. Not only this, as Lewisham Council have helped shape this document, it is shocking that their own public plans for tall towers and demolition for more flats have been left out.”
“This isn’t a proper public consultation, it’s an insult to our intelligence.”
The full response by Catford Against Social Cleansing is reproduced in full below with their permission:
Thank you for your consultation on proposals to change the roads and traffic flows around Catford in South East London.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any specifics in this consultation about how the stated goals would be met.
In addition, a badly planned project may have unexpected consequences that would negatively impact Catford and the neighbourhood for years to come.
The fact that specific traffic flow maps and data is absent from the consultation leads us to conclude that this is not adequate and unlawful.
Please address the arbitrary exclusion of the Halfords & Wickes site. This is identifiable from Lewisham Council’s formal planning policies for Catford. It extends along the River Pool opposite Catford and Catford Bridge stations.
Catford Against Social Cleansing (CASC thereafter) asked where the taller buildings will be placed in June 2019 we can see from Lewisham Council at the planning committee proposed plans the taller buildings will be allocated at Halford & Wickes site, this has been omitted from any illustrations.
The challenging junction at Ravensbourne Road should be included in any plans for change. All traffic – including service vehicles for Barratt’s Catford Green – use this route, moreover a few weeks ago there was not one but two stand alone traffic lights, which impacted entry into Catford, it was very problematic, hence your proposals do not fill this community with hope that any traffic issues will be solved, if anything this will heighten the issues further. About the railway bridge that carries the Thameslink services and narrows the A205 South Circular Road to one lane in either direction: Why has this been excluded?
In order to make Catford “greener”, TfL proposes removing Metropolitan Open Land at the Jubilee Ground. We cannot see any compensation or replacement proposed. Therefore, there is a failure to comply with planning policies including the Mayor of London’s Plan.
Finally, the proposed plantings do not constitute any meaningful improvements. This cannot replace the loss of mature trees. The shallow planting is quite simply superficial.
There are too many unanswered questions which have been outlined in the above response for this to be a proper and fair consultation process. Furthermore, not having illustrations to show residents of this borough how these plans will work is disingenuous.
The consultation is inadequate and can be viewed as an attempt to make an easier route for these plans to sail through without opposition contrary to best practices for public consultation.
Transport for London are accepting responses until midnight on Monday, 5th June by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit for aerial photograph of Catford to Archoptical.