28 November 2005

28 November 2005

Pools to be saved on film

A FILM-MAKER is to shoot footage of the pump rooms underneath a Victorian swimming baths threatened with destruction.

Once James Melloy has completed his film at Forest Hill Pools he intends to give it to the Sydenham Society and the Friends of Forest Hill Pools for posterity. Both groups are fighting to save the two 120-year-old baths from being knocked down and replaced with one modern swimming pool.

Lewisham council has been consulting the public over whether to proceed with this option or carry out a refurbishment of the existing facility.

James's film will include footage of the 1920s washing machines, spinners and drying systems that were used for towels; the area where coal to heat the water used to be stored; and the filtration system which is still used today.

James, of Sydenham Park, had a tour of the Dartmouth Road facility on Thursday last week and hopes to make the film in the next couple of weeks.

He said: "I hope the pump rooms can be listed. What amazed me is that they are still used. It's almost like a living museum.

"It all looks relatively good for the age that it is. Certainly a lot of the pipework has been painted and looks good.

"There are other bits that are old and knackered and unused."

He said Lewisham council needed to have a "sympathetic and imaginative" approach to the equipment's future.

One idea, he suggested, would be to get the rooms on a list of film locations, which would generate income from television and film companies.

The rooms could also be opened up each September for the annual Open House weekend, he said.

24 Hour Pubs?

DRINKERS looking for 24-hour boozing will be disappointed after very few premises applied for all-day licences.

In Southwark, the Ministry of Sound nightclub is the only venue that has applied to be open all hours.

But the council has received 320 applications to extend opening hours out of a total of more than 1,000 establishments. The rest want to keep the same hours they had before the new law came in.

The Licensing Act 2003 came into effect at midnight on Wednesday.

In Lewisham, Stonewalls bar in the high street has been given a 24-hour licence.
And eight off-licences have also been granted permission to be open all the time.

A total of 141 of the 653 premiseslicences granted have also been given the go-ahead to open after midnight.

Lambeth council received no applications to be open for 24-hour trading.

But 200 premises have applied to vary their licences. All those applications have been approved but with some changes.

Joan Ruddock, MP for Lewisham Deptford, said the new laws would help the police tackle problem bars and problem drinkers.

She said: "I voted for the new Licensing Act because my priority is to combat antisocial behaviour and protect residents.

"Local licensing committees can punish venues by reducing opening hours, imposing strict conditions, suspending their licence, replacing the management or even taking the licence away completely."

Retrial ordered over DJ 'killing'

A MAN accused of murdering his flat-mate then torching the body will stand trial again in April.

Michael Rogers-Wilson, 28, is said to have beaten Brett Youngs to death with a baseball bat after a row.

He then allegedly set fire to the body of the 30-year-old web designer and DJ, before fleeing the squat they shared in Northbrook Road, Lewisham.

Rogers-Wilson was arrested after Mr Youngs's death on May 27, 2003, and stood trial at the Old Bailey last month for murder and arson.

But earlier this month the jury was discharged after failing to reach verdicts following more than 29 hours of deliberations.

On Tuesday, Rogers-Wilson appeared in court again by video link from jail, dressed in a brown jumper and blue jeans.

Judge Peter Rook ordered that he stand trial again on April 10 and remanded him in custody.

Rogers-Wilson, of Little Heath Farm, Little Heath Lane, Oxshott, Surrey, denies murder and arson.

Time to sort out pigeon poo problem at bridge

AN ANGRY mum is concerned about bird poo rather than bird flu after her daughter injured herself slipping on pigeon droppings.

Joanne Hall claims transport bosses have ignored her pleas to clean a poo-strewn railway bridge in Burnt Ash Hill, Lee, for the past two years.

Now Mrs Hall is livid after her 10-year-old daughter slipped on a "skating rink" of pigeon excrement while trying to avoid the poop raining down from above.

Mrs Hall, of Wellmeadow Road, Lee, says she has written 10 letters to Network Rail and Transport for London since August 2003.

She has also contacted Lewisham Council and Lewisham East MP Bridget Prentice to demand the dirty bridge is cleaned up.

But she claims nothing was done and last week matters came to a messy head when her daughter Ellie took a tumble.

Mrs Hall, 44, said: "These pigeons are causing a health risk and an environmental risk.

"When it is frosty the poo on the pavement becomes quite slippery in patches.

"Sometimes it is so thick it is like a skating rink.

"If they can clear the pigeons from Trafalgar Square, why not a railway bridge?"

Ellie, who attends Colfe's School, Horn Park Lane, Lee, walks to school every day but runs under the bridge with a school bag over her head for protection.

She grazed her elbows and knees and ended up with droppings on her bag and clothes after the tumble.

Catering company manager Mrs Hall added: "I have a strong stomach but seeing that made me feel ill.

"Most people encourage their children to walk to school but I want my daughter to walk in a pleasant environment."

Mrs Hall now wants to see the bridge jet-washed, along with another in St Mildreds Road, Hither Green.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "If residents have concerns about pigeons at bridges we urge them to raise the issue with the council."

Lewisham Council says it is happy to pass on "any concerns residents have about bird excrement" to Network Rail.

Car park housing furore

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build high-density housing on a railway station car park have met with fierce opposition from traders.

Lewisham council is consulting over possible uses for sites around the borough.

A consultation document says Network Rail is proposing high-density homes on Blackheath station car park.

It also wants "decked car parking" for the station - cars on different levels.

Lewisham council's member for the environment, Councillor Andrew Brown, believes the plans are unsuitable for the area and will be opposed by the council and residents.

"I honestly can't see how the proposal would meet with any success.

"The plans are very sketchy and, even if a proper planning application is made, I don't think it will get past the planning committee," he said.

Blackheath Traders' Association chairman Chris Ball said businesses would suffer if plans went ahead.

He said: "I am totally against this. It is essential for our customers to have access to parking and the loss of at least 200 parking spaces would have a huge impact on Blackheath."

Traders in the area fear customers will go elsewhere if they are deprived of adequate parking facilities.

Evelyn Blackman, who runs the Good Looks hairdresser's in Blackheath Village, said: "People need somewhere to park and this will just ruin the village."

Blackheath Residents' Association representative David Walker said the site was unsuitable for high-density housing.

He said: "Flats built along railway lines are usually at right angles to minimise noise but it's impossible to do that here.

"Besides, the car park is a valuable amenity that represents 30-50 per cent of paid car park space in the area."

A Network Rail spokesman said: "We take on board the council's comments and will consider them as we develop our plans."

Do you agree a high-density housing development would ruin Blackheath Village?

Write to South London Press, 2-4 Leigham Court Road, Streatham, SW16 2PD or email letters@slp.co.uk

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A couple of months ago I went shopping in Blackheath for the first time in about 15 years (from Brockley). The parking was poor, very expensive, so I won't be hurrying back.
Much worse though is Greenwich where the council seem positively anti-car, So I don't shop there or visit the restaurants either.