H O L M E W O O D H O M E Z O N E D I A R Y
MONDAY 14TH AUGUST.
First meeting Home Zone Public Participation, held at the Friends Meeting House, 14th August 2000
Matt Davies, Planet Earth presented.
Alvin Kirby - Planet Earth
Sven Vercammen - Planet Earth
Leeane Harbinson - Planet Earth
Annabelle Dawson - Artist leading the schools project
Monica Rubio - Video Project
Format of Meeting
Introductions were made by Matt Davies. The purpose of the meeting was to get people involved, with the aim of starting theprocess of identifying the most popular and appropriate combination of measures to improve Holmewood neighbourhood.
Four general topics for discussion were identified on visual boards:
1 Traffic Analysis
2 Environmental Analysis
3 Children & Routes to School
4 Pedestrians & Cyclists
To aid communication a hand-out entitled ‘HOME ZONE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION - Options for Consideration’ was given to the residents. This enlarged upon differing areas for discussion.
The residents were organised into separate groups for discussion and group leaders were allocated.
FIRST: View looking south west through Holmewood Gardens
SECOND: John and Stephie Rolfs discussing options with Sven Vercammen from Planet Earth
THIRD: Annabelle Dawson, artist leading the schools project joins the discussion
Those allocated to group leaders are as follows;
-DAN THOMPSON - TRAFFIC
-SONYA DEVI - GARDENS & ACCESSIBILITY
-DEREK HOARE - LOCAL HISTORY
-CHRISTIN STILT* - CHILDREN
-JEFF THOMAS - WEBSITE
*nominated in her absence to lead a group on the issues concerning children.
- To report back over the next couple of weeks.
Overview of topics discussed within groups
GARDENS & ACCESSIBILITY
· Some residents would like to see the gardens being locked at night. Who would be responsible? Local residents or local authority as key holders.
· This may deter prostitutes and kerb crawlers although it is noted that some residents feel this is not enough of a deterrent
· Other residents would like open access maintained with a well lit link area and potential cycle route.
· Should the whole garden have a railing with locked gates or certain areas such as the play area and a wildlife garden for e,g The rest of the garden could be made visually and physically accessible by removing shrubbery, planting more trees, opening up sightlines and introducing lighting as a deterrent.
· Prostitutes and their pimps were noted to hang out at the junction of Brixton Hill where the footpath has been widened. They have been known to confront local residents. Some residents felt that CCTV may be a solution both here and in the gardens.
FIRST: Group led by Dan Thompson discussing issues concerning traffic
SECOND: Group led by Sonya Devi discussing issues concerning gardens and accessibility
· There is a general consensus that the area needs to be cleaned. It is a hazard to children and smells especially in summer. There is a dog bin available but at present does not seem to be used.
· Some residents felt that the area was too large for its purpose whereas others saw no reason for this area at all. Is there a possibility of having a small dog toilet within the dog area.
Who would be responsible for keeping this area clean?
· The question was raised about how many residents have dogs and if they use this area in its present state.
IDEAS TO TRANSFORM THE GARDENS
· Dog area to be transformed into a garden with ornamental trees, shrubs, scented plants and seating - to be locked at night. This was seen as an area for the older residents to be involved in the planting and upkeep of the new garden.
· Water features - some residents are wary of ponds with regards to child safety.
· Sound of water.
· Wildlife garden - educational for use by local schools and play groups.
· Sculpture by local artists.
· A BBQ area for community events.
· IDEAS TO REVAMP THE CHILDREN'S PLAY AREA
· There is a general consensus that parents would like some thing different, stimulating, educational.
· It is noted that there is a local floodlit football pitch in the area and although residents are not adverse to a kickabout in the gardens, it is felt that this should not be big enough for older children.
· Wooden play equipment preferred for aesthetics and durability.
· One resident pointed out that the play area at Wandsworth Common is worth visiting for ideas, where play objects are set into broad areas and not just concentrated in the ‘playground’
· A shed for equipment to be used for summer schemes and other organised events.
· A small bike track within the gardens for younger children.
· Rubbish is a problem both in the park and on the streets. Some residents felt there was a need for street bins as long as they where emptied regularly.
· The need for better lighting both on the streets and in the garden was a critical point raised by many of the residents.
· Lighting does not always come on at the right time.
· Lamps are obscured by overhanging branches.
· Lamps are not working.
· Some residents would like to see localised light fittings, as well as other street furniture such as benches and decorative street bins.
FIRST: Entrance to dog area at north side of garden
SECOND: Children’s play area
TRAFFIC AND PARKING
· Most residents are happy that there is generally no problem with parking, with the exception of Holmewood Road and Cotherstone Road.
· Some residents felt that parking should remain on both sides of the road with the exception of Holmewood Gardens.
· Residents are concerned that any changes to a particular area will have a knock on effect to areas where they are generally happy with at present.
· The majority of residents are opposed to parking permits as they are too costly, unless parking is free for residents. What about visitors? Unlimited visitor permits?
· It was pointed out that Holmewood road is one of the first roads off Brixton Hill where parking permits are not needed.
· There is a system in Wandsworth where parking is restricted at certain times of the day for e.g early morning to put off commuters, with dispensations for certain vehicles.
· Some residents would like to see a one way traffic system around Holmewood Gardens with a turning point at the bottom of Cotherstone road and drop off points for Christ Church school.
· The question of cycle paths was raised. Are they needed if traffic volume and speed are reduced especially if areas are to become shared surface?
· Some residents felt that play on the streets is not desirable but pedestrian crossing points to the green are to be made safe as a priority.
· Some residents liked the idea of integrated planting bays in pavements as a possible traffic calming solution.
· The traffic island at the junction of Holmewood Road and Gardens is ineffective as drivers use the RHS lane.
· Some residents are dissatisfied with the state of the pavements. It was pointed out that if cable was going to be laid it would cause less disruption if both cable laying and paving were done at the same time.
The problems with traffic is a critical issue among the residents
Overall the meeting was very successful. There was a good turnout and a lot of important issues raised. Both group leaders and residents were encouraged to continue discussions over the next couple of weeks, involving residents who were not able to attend the meeting.
Residents were also asked to bring a neighbour with them to the next meeting.