Mountsfield Park Improvement Plans – Contractors Start Work on Site 22nd September 2014
Proposed improvements to Hither Green Lane, which will:
- Achieve quality in the public realm
- Strengthen shopping parades
- Create a safe, clean place to live, work and play
- Integrate new development in keeping with the existing townscape character of Hither Green Lane
Please complete the following Survey:
Hither Green, Rushey Green,
Please come along from 12.
Have children bounce on a castle,
Dribble hot-dog onions on your blanket,
Soak in the views from Mountsfield Park
Please join us and enjoy an Everyone Togetherly afternoon.
ps. bring cash, wipes and wine… little reminders!
And… it’s not that the rhyming isn’t there it’s that you’re being treated to some real sophisticated stuff
Mountsfield Park Big End of Summer Cook Out – BBQ (and Picnic) – 6th September from 12 noon – Everybody Welcome! Next to Sammy T’s near the bandstand.
TWO WEEKS TODAY!!!! – Get it into your diary.
Saturday 6th September from 12pm
in Mountsfield Park, Lewisham
Join Friends of Mountsfield, if you please,
BBQ from 12 by Sammy T’s,
Jimmy Botton and his Fair,
Lay out a rug, unfold your chair
……..we’ll see you there, dear friends
ps: the huge charge for this poetic work (yes it rhymes) was waived in the interests of FoMP’s fund-raising ambitions, no need to thank the poet, truly.. no really.
Invitation to all Friends:
Friends of Mountsfield Park’s Annual General Meeting
A Lovely Get-together with Buffet Tea*
3.30pm, Saturday 18th October
St. Swithun’s Church Hall, St. Swithun’s Road, Hither Green
Children will be encouraged to get crafting in the basement while we meet.
St. Swithun’s Vicar Jane has very generously waived the fee for the hall and basement (approx. £130),
instead we’ll be asking for contributions towards church hall hire and children’s entertainment on the day.
Tea, scones and sarnies after the meeting (Let’s hope it’s champagne next year)
Remember – this is your chance to get involved and to have your say
about what FoMP should be focusing on in 2015!
* “AGM” is so off-putting! And we want you all there by way of a thank you for your support.
In the wake of some hairy funding moments and heated Council engagements the FoMP Executive would like to thank all who have come to meetings, offered ideas, and given support to-date. In these last months, FoMP proved itself a force to be reckoned with, respected for its commitment to getting the best deal it can for Mountsfield Park. The Council listened. We should all feel proud that we made a difference.
Work on our Community Garden will begin imminently. With Mayor Bullock, the Council has committed to create a space in which all of us – pensioners, school children, community groups, apprentices, young people, families, and individuals seeking space and calm – will glean many years of enjoyment. Whether getting stuck in with your gardening gloves or just wandering through it whilst the children play hide-and-seek, it will be a wonderful space for us all.
Likewise with the improvements to the Playground, work starts soon. Through the costing/funding negotiations, FoMP and the Council came to a solid agreement over what changes should happen.
- The two metal climbing frames will come out and be replaced by far-lovelier, timber towers with bridges, ropes and slide and a timber toddler climber too.
- A new basket swing should make the park more fun for disabled children.
- The better pieces of existing equipment are to be kept – including the large net climbing frame, the swings, the zip-wire, and the wooden toddler equipment.
- The blue low-level, walk-along pieces are to come out, as too are the see-saw, helicopter, snail and butterfly.
- Planting, boulders and mounds will go in.
- The toddler swings will move closer to the toddler area.
- The repositioning of railings will mean all equipment is brought together, (no more dodgy gates to battle Katy).
- A large grassed area will allow for children to roll on mounds, picnic and enjoy some distance from parents when socializing. All while being kept safe within the playground.
We estimate work will commence in the next month. Dates when the playground will be out of action will be published as soon as we have them.
Now to achieve our Café, which we aim to do within the next 12 months. Although we are disappointed that the Café will not be built during this phase of work, we are pleased to announce that, after pressure from FoMP, the Council has promised that at least £50,000 will be set aside to contribute towards a new café in the future. A £40,000 contingency fund currently held back for the playground and gardens, may too become available. FoMP will work with the Council to raise additional money. The FoMP Executive and sub-committees will continue to meet regularly with the aim of fundraising and exploring options – new build or upgrade, franchise operation or operator built, private investors or long term bank loans. We will share all options with you in order to get your ideas and feedback. Above all FoMP remains committed to keeping you informed, listening to your views and ultimately getting the best it can for all of us.
With regret we have to let the old walls go. The Council are certain that saving them would be financially unviable whether in making them safe or altering their use. We know this will be sorely felt by many and we are speaking to the Council about keeping some of the old bricks, perhaps to build them into bedding features in the park. We welcome any suggestions for what else to do with them. We’ll need to use them quickly as storage will be difficult – anyone with ideas please step forward!
There is, as yet, no clear way forward with the toilets. We have been reluctant to ask the Council to spend any of the remaining budget on the container loos as we hope they will only be there for the short term, one way or another. But they do need to be better kept and accessible whenever the park is open. If we can achieve this, can we users cope with them until we have a new café? Please let us know what you think.
Finally, thank you again for your hard work, commitment, and help. We want to celebrate FoMP’s successes and prepare for the next set of challenges, so please accept this invitation to a special BBQ and picnic, to be held outside Sammy T’s on Saturday 6 September. It’ll be a chance to look at the plans for forthcoming work in more detail, meet other members of FoMP and to play in the wonderful park we all care so much about! SAVE THE DATE – SEE YOU THERE!
FRIENDS OF MOUNTSFIELD PARK (FOMP ) – RESPONSE TO LATEST COUNCIL (LA) PROPOSALS FOR OUR PARK
6 AUGUST 2014
- Following concerns raised by FOMP, Councillor Rachel Onikosi, the Cabinet Member for the Public Realm at Lewisham LA, convened a meeting on 31 July. This meeting gave the opportunity for FOMP to raise our concerns in person and for the LA to present revised proposals for the redevelopment of Mountsfield Park.
- The LA made clear its view that the available budget will not stretch to cover the three main elements of the redevelopment plans – the community garden, the cafe, and the playground – and reaffirmed its belief that the cafe should be removed from the current phase of work.
- The LA has asked for comments on the revised proposals, and for these to be given by 8 August in order to influence the final decision to be made by Councillor Onikosi, which has placed FOMP in a very difficult position. We have discussed the proposals and other options within FOMP and across the wider community.
- Although there are naturally a range of views about how best to proceed, one fact remains unequivocally clear – there is deep disappointment that the latest LA proposals still fail to include a café in this phase of work, despite it being the most important issue during the last public consultation in 2012, and despite repeated requests by FOMP that a café be prioritised. The temporary solution proposed – a canopy between the existing container units, showed a dismissive lack of imagination.
- At the same time, FOMP are pleased to see that the LA has listened to concerns about the proposed improvements to the Children’s play area. Through making more sensible design and budgeting decisions, the LA has achieved a proposal that replaces the dangerous and obsolete pieces of play equipment, and introduces brand new pieces of good quality play equipment. FOMP are pleased to have the opportunity to influence the final choices over pieces of equipment.
- The LA also reaffirmed its desire to push ahead with the community garden. Whilst FOMP have always agreed with this in principle, we have been concerned that the LA is determined, as part of this work, to knock-down the old wall and toilet block, both of which we feel could potentially be of use in the future.
- According to the LA’s plans, when the above work is done, there will be around £56,000 remaining. There is also a £40,000 contingency in the LA budget which might be available at the end of the project. The figures, as we understand them, are set out in more detail in Annex A.
The FOMP response
- FOMP remain committed to an ambitious vision for Mountsfield Park. The LA proposals, whilst an improvement on the current amenities, fall short of doing justice to the potential of a much valued and well used green space. We have had to weigh our disappointment in the failure to deliver a café against the pressing need to see improvements in the playground area.
- Regardless of the outcome of this phase of work, FOMP continues to be determined to mobilise the enthusiasm of the local community and seek ways to raise funds to deliver tangible and long-lasting improvements to Mountsfield Park. FOMP are determined that this phase of work does nothing to undermine any future ambitions.
- After careful consideration of the LA’s proposals, and discussions with other local groups, FOMP believe that the best course of action is to offer qualified support, but only if a number of conditions are met:
- First, work on the community garden should press ahead, and we can see that the LA is determined to knock-down the old toilet blocks. But we ask that the LA does not knock-down the wall that runs along one end of the area before further conversations with FOMP. All or part of the wall could be a valuable asset in the future, for example as part of the community garden itself, or as a backdrop to other work (e.g. greenhouses, etc.), and FOMP would like the opportunity to discuss these options further.
- Second, we have lost all confidence in the ability of BDP to deliver a café. Their processes of design and tendering have failed, and their attempts to offer a basic canopy between the existing containers were derisory. We want the LA to ringfence £50,000 so that FOMP can consider ways to use this money more effectively to deliver the café that the park deserves, and for Councillor Onikosi to give a public commitment that this money will remain available until a café is delivered. Based on some promising initial conversations, we believe that, taken away from the LA’s unwieldy procurement processes, this money could help us to quickly generate additional funds, to build a cafe that will become an iconic local space within the next 12 months. In the first instance, FOMP want a discussion with the current operators to consider options.
- Third, we are pleased that the LA has listened to FOMP concerns about the playground, and have made improvements. FOMP will engage with BDP to influence the final selection of pieces of play equipment.
- Fourth, it is critical that the LA improves the park’s toilet facilities in the short term, until the new cafe is ready.
- Fifth, we ask that the LA undertakes a commitment that the contingency of £40,000 only be spent where necessary to deliver the plans as specified, and that money is not transferred to other projects within the park. As much of the £40,000 contingency as possible should be added to the £50,000 ringfenced for the cafe, on the same terms. To give FOMP confidence, the LA should agree to be transparent about when and why it intends to use the contingency.
- Finally, we believe that, in order to continue to improve the park for all users, it is important that information about activities and plans are properly advertised. So we ask that the LA uses some of the money remaining to place lockable poster boards at each entrance to the park. This is something that FOMP have asked of the LA previously.
- FOMP now asks the LA to respond quickly to confirm that the conditions set out above can be met, before FOMP is willing to offer public support for the latest set of LA proposals. Without this assurance, FOMP remains concerned that the redevelopment of Mountsfield Park will continue to represent a missed opportunity.
- Once the LA has agreed to ringfence £50,000 (to be increased dependent on the use of the contingency), FOMP undertakes to lead conversations with potential partners – starting with the current operators – to deliver the café that users of Mountsfield Park have lacked for too long.
LA building costs, as set out on 31 July 2014
|Park Area||Anticipated costs|
|Community Garden – includes demolition of WC block and general clearance||£94,140|
|Preliminary and set-up costs||£37,806|
|Amount remaining for café||£56,053|
The total budget for the project is circa £525,000, with around £100,000 set aside for non-building related costs.
On several occasions, the LA has referred to the ‘abortive costs’ of not proceeding with its recommendation and returning to the drawing board. The LA have now confirmed that these ‘abortive costs’ – in other words costs that would be incurred from the overall budget if it fails to move forward with activity as proposed – will total £78,497.
The meeting with Lewisham Council Officers, Cllr Onikosi and MP Heidi Alexander on the 31 July 2014 was very interesting. As a result of our representations the Council have made some
significant changes to their plans. But their proposal still doesn’t include building a cafe, which is obviously a massive issue for us. We will be meeting with Mehron Kirk of BDP on Wednesday 6 August to discuss options for the proposed play area improvements. We are still waiting to hear from Lewisham Council how their design Consultant, BDP designed a cafe building for us that went out to tender and received no responses from contractors. And that the returned tenders for the other two elements were up to 50% over budget, meaning that there was no money left for the cafe building. During the Council’s Mountsfield Park 2012 consultation phase for improvements, the new cafe building was preferred by a significant majority of those consulted.
HorticultureWeek News story:
Please come again to meet with Lewisham Council Officers and Cllr Rachel Onikosi, to discuss the future of the 2014 Mountsfield Park improvements. The conclusion from the 9th July meeting was that there wasn’t enough support for the Council to proceed with their current proposals to improve the play area, create a community garden and put the proposed cafe building on hold. We are hoping that at this meeting we can find a way that the Council can do all of the improvements including the cafe building in one go. The Council explained to us during the design consultation phase, that we need the improved play area, 90 sq/m cafe building and community garden that make up the Mountsfield Park hub, to make our park a much better place for everyone.
The Council have invited Friends of Mountsfield Park to meet with them to work out a way forward at an open meeting, Civic Suite Catford SE6 4RU, Thursday 31st July 2014 at 7 pm . All Welcome!
More information from firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for the short notice.
FoMP play area sub-committee meeting to discuss funding applications for new playground equipment on Thursday 7 August, 19:30, at the Catford Constitutional. All welcome! We will discuss potential funds, their deadlines, and exactly what or how much we will apply for in each case. We will also agree key points to put into all applications so that we can make them as strong as possible. Funding applications will then be divided amongst those willing to fill them out, in the hope of not over-burdening one person. We will have details of available funds, but will no doubt not uncover them all. Please do bring to the (wine/ale filled) table any that you have also found out about or already know of. Also, If there is a piece of playground equipment you particularly would like, please bring details including price. Please email us at email@example.com if you would like to know more. Catford Costitutional, Catford Broadway SE6 4SP.
Friends of Mountsfield Park (FoMP) Meeting to discuss Monday’s emailed update and FoMP statement (after 9th July ‘Way Forward’ Council Meeting’) and to address members’ concerns that there was no opportunity to meet and discuss the statement before it was emailed to everyone.
We are still very much in support of the Council’s original scheme, to provide the Mountsfield Park cafe building, improved play area and community garden this year. However the Council Officers say that the current designs for the play area and community garden don’t leave enough money for the cafe, which is what people have said that they want most from the improvements. The Council say that we need to keep the existing play equipment. We are concerned that the play equipment is close to the end of its life and can’t be replaced easily if we go ahead with the current design proposals. We have suggested design changes that would provide a more cost effective scheme for the play area and community garden and still leave enough money for the cafe building. We hope that the Council will consider our proposals and arrange for the agreed improvements to be completed this year.
Apologies for not organizing enough opportunities to meet and discuss these important issues before making decisions on behalf of FoMP.
The meeting will be at 10am Sunday 27th July, Sammy T’s cafe, Mountsfield Park (near the bandstand).
FOMP – IMPROVEMENTS TO MOUNTSFIELD PARK: POSITION PAPER
20 JULY 2014
- Both FOMP and the Council agree on the improvements that are needed to the north east corner of Mountsfield Park, in particular that improving the children’s play area and creating a viable and more attractive café are critical. However, with issues developing over the finances and details of the project, FOMP and the Council have different views on how best to proceed. FOMP do not want to lose the café, and do not feel that the Council has sufficiently explored options to deliver the café within existing funding.
Mountsfield Park – The Way Forward
Civic Suite Room 3
9 July 2014
Come and meet us at Lewisham Peoples Day, Mountsfield Park, Saturday 12 July 2014. We will be selling plants again this year from our stall to pay towards the initial cost of the community garden public liability insurance. The community garden should be up and running before the end of the year. More donated plants would be very welcome and thanks to those of you who gave us plants to sell last year!
We will have the Council’s proposed Mountsfield Park improvement plans with us for discussion and would welcome any fundraising ideas for the park cafe building.
Lewisham Council to proceed with Mountsfield Park improvements despite the Building Design Partnership (BDP) managed scheme up to 50% over budget and having designed a cafe building that contractors weren’t prepared to build ! Lewisham Council Officers explained last night that the proposed cafe building would be dropped from the scheme because of budget shortfall and BDP would deliver a community garden and play area improvements this year. 35 Catford, Rushey Green and Hither Green residents, Cllrs Klier, Jeffrey and Walsh attended the meeting. Martin Hyde from Lewisham Council’s parks department Greenscene and Lewisham’s Gavin Plaskitt said that they were fully committed to delivering the park cafe during phase 2 of the Mountsfield Park improvements and would help Friends of Mountsfield Park (F0MP) fund raise for the new building. Lewisham Council also said that they will offer the cafe operator a long lease (20 years or more) at a low rent to encourage additional investment in the park building. The Council also agreed that the budget for the community garden area would not exceed £70,000 and that any remaining budget would be spent on improving the existing toilets and cafe eg additional outdoor seating.
Please come to meet with Lewisham Council to discuss the future of the 2014 Mountsfield Park improvements. Lewisham Council says there’s not enough money to pay for all of the agreed improvements, which includes the improved play area, 90 sq/m cafe building and new community garden. The Council have invited Friends of Mountsfield Park to meet with them to work out a way forward at an open meeting, Civic Suite Catford SE6 4RU, Wed 9 July 2014 at 6.30pm . All Welcome – please come! More information from the Project Manager Sandra Plummer email: Sandra.Plummer@lewisham.gov.uk
Proposed Mountsfield Park café building was given planning approval tonight at a Lewisham Planning Committee hearing. Please come along to our stall at Lewisham People’s Day on 12 July to find out more about the 2014 improvements at Mountsfield Park.
Can you identify these circles showing on the current Google aerial view of Mountsfield Park – Any suggestions?
The herringbone drainage pattern on the sports field in Google aerial view probably explains the muddy pool (in Winter) next to Stainton Lodge!
Dear All Friends and Users of our beloved Mountsfield
1) jobs – if you’re available for helping out with jobs in the coming couple of months, writing, blogging, pestering, postering, fund raising, planting, designing treasure hunts, any of these, please come to Sammy T’s on Saturday morning 21st June from 10am, to register interest and put yourself forward to take on a job to do in the run up to works beginning on improving the park.
Manor House Gardens Festival 21 June, Taunton Rd, Lee, Greater London SE13 5SU
Friends Of Manor House Gardens Local Event – It’s Open Garden Squares this weekend. There are quite a few local ones eg: Red House, The Secret Orchard in New cross and Culverly Green. For more information go to http://www.opensquares.org or http://www.facebook.com/LondonOGSW Friends Of Manor House Gardens Local Event It’s Open Garden Squares this weekend. There are quite a few local ones eg: Red House, The Secret Orchard in New cross and Culverly Green.
The last Friends of Mountsfield Park Meeting was Wednesday 23rd April 2014, Cafe of Good Hope.
Rory McNally (Chair of Friends of Mountsfield Park) (RM), Sandra Plummer (Lewisham Council Mountsfield Park improvements project Manager)(SP) Cllr Helen Klier (Lewisham Councillor for Rushey Green) (HC), Anne-Marie (Lewisham Gardens) (SH), Sue Hodge (SH), (AE) Audrey, Barbara Veale (BV), Carrie Blackman, 4 other local residents (names to be added), Glendale agreed to be at the meeting but didn’t attend.
Apologies: Peter Ranken, Martin Hyde.
Lewisham Council Release Latest Mountsfield Park Improvement Designs by BDP. The planning application reference for the cafe building is DC/14/87135 and can be found at: http://planning.lewisham.gov.uk/online-applications/
Lewisham Council planning authority will be receiving comments on the planning application until 19th May 2014. Friends of Mountsfield Park support the planning application for the proposed cafe building.
The other current proposed improvements don’t require a planning application.
Please email your response to the Council’s proposals for Mountsfield Park to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or the Lewisham Council Mountsfield Park improvements project manager Sandra.Plummer@lewisham.gov.uk
or the designers email@example.com
or post your comments on this page
BDP have been instructed by Lewisham Council to develop concept designs based upon a design brief, available budget and local consultation. The concept design will include the new relocated cafe with toilets, community garden (on the site of the disused bowling green next to Stainton Road) and improved children’s play facilities. Friends of Mountsfield Park and Lewisham Gardens submitted sketch comments to the Council in response to BDP’s January 2014 consultation event. The Mountsfield Park improvements are due to be completed by the end of 2014.
Opportunity to Help Lewisham Council, BDP and FOMP Design the New Mountsfield Park Community Garden – please download copies of the plans ( links below) and add your ideas for a new community garden to the blank version and please email us a copy. Lewisham Council want sketch plans showing paths, vegetable beds and anything else that our community garden should have. The designs will be sent to Lewisham Council and their design consultants BDP when we receive them. The deadline for emailing us copies of your ideas/ sketch plans is Monday 10th February. The Mountsfield Park community garden will be open to the public during normal park opening hours from 2014/ 2015 onward. Click here to download a blank copy of the Mountsfield Park Community garden plan Click here to download a copy of the Mountsfield Park community garden location and context plan
Preliminary design layout agreed last Saturday for the Mountsfield Park community garden and new park cafe - Lewisham Council and their design consultants BDP invited local people that had previously expressed an interest in the Mountsfield Park community garden to a design workshop yesterday at Hither Green Baptist Church. BDP presented a sketch plan showing a community garden, new cafe building, refurbished children’s play area, orchard, wildlife area etc. The proposed general arrangement is based upon meeting the needs of the local community, results of previous consultation phases and what can be best achieved with the existing budget. The proposal is to provide a new 90 sq/m cafe building (including toilets) made from 4 shipping containers. Estimated completion of the improvements is by the end of 2014. The scale of each of the proposed improvements is still indicative. A sketch site plan of the community garden will be issued by Lewisham Council/BDP in the near future for further consultation.
Billy and Jed are keen to welcome you at Mountsfield Park’s Sammy T’s cafe
Christmas opening times as follows:
Monday 23rd 9 till 4
Tuesday 24th 9 till 3
Christmas day closed
Boxing day closed
Friday 27th 9 till 4
Saturday 28th 9 till 4
Sunday 29th 9 till 4
Launch of Sammy T’s Mountsfield Park cafe and Santa’s grotto – 22nd December 2013 1-4pm.
London Borough of Lewisham and BDP introduced their current phase of consultation to improve Mountsfield Park last Wednesday at Hither Green Baptist Church.
Friends of Mountsfield Park (FOMP) Meeting Notes 13th November 2013
Venue: Hither Green Baptist Church, Radford Road
Lewisham Council meeting to discuss proposed community garden with the Council’s designers BDP (Building Design Partnership)
Friends of Mountsfield Park release community garden design for discussion!
Partitions – The land sectioned off into 6, 8 or 12 individual gardens managed and maintained by the gardening group rather than spaces allocated to individuals.
Structure – Each garden can be partitioned from its neighbour by formal clipped evergreen hedging, seating areas and formal wide walkways with pergolas covered with vines and climbers. It means in winter and spring there will be things of interest to see.
Raised beds - Within each garden- a series of small and large raised beds made with new oak railway sleepers. People and groups can plant, tend & harvest.
Outside kitchen area with seating- Permanent BBQ and stone oven. Makes the space very usable for other groups- we could rent the space out to scouts or parents groups or parties. A community meeting place.
Compost bays – greenhouses/ poly tunnels.
Fruit tree cordons - edible hedgerows, step over apples.
Terraces – The garden arranged around a large central terrace. Lots of benches and seating. This can be a great performance space.
Seating areas - There would be seating areas & arbours throughout the space. Including a large area near the outdoor kitchen with large tables for use as an outdoor classroom or workshop space. Again, another potential revenue stream.
Community garden buildings – Existing container buildings for storage, toilets to be rebuilt.
Access – Community garden to be fully accessible to the public during normal park opening hours, but will remain a dog free.
BDP have been awarded Mountsfield Park improvements landscape and architecture design contract. BDP are an international design practice known in Lewisham for their work at Cornmill Gardens and Ladywell Fields. We will be meeting with them at our next Friends of Mountsfield Park meeting – Hither Green Baptist Church, Radford Road, 7pm, Wed 13th of November- All welcome!
Saturday 20 September the newly-pedestrianised Catford Broadway will host the free showing of the 1980s sci-fi classic ‘Flash Gordon’.
The night starts at 7pm with the film starting at 7.30pm sharp. There will be street food from local chefs Route 66 serving up the fresh Mexican flavours of southern California, as well as a pop-up bar by local pub the Catford Constitutional Club.
The audience are encouraged to bring a cushion, blankets or their own seating to avoid ‘numb bum’ by sitting on the concrete floor. The guideline being ‘if you can carry it, then you can bring it’.
The night has been organised by Deck Social, who delivered the Catford Broadway Supper Club, the Catford Canteen, the Deptford Brunch Club, and the newly-formed Catford Society.
The Catford Broadway Pop-Up Cinema is a taster event for the Catford Free Film Festival launching in March 2015 – which aims to bring people together from across the community to enjoy free films.
It is also part of the Mayor of London’s Summer of High Streets celebrations, with free events across London.
For further information please contact: Deborah Efemini, Deck Social 07539 001 036 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.