Dogs, drugs and alcohol – new restrictions for Lewisham’s parks and green spaces? Please complete the Council’s online consultation of current and proposed control of dogs, drugs and alcohol for Lewisham’s parks and green spaces https://lewisham-consult.objective.co.uk/portal/community_services/crsp/public_space_protection_order
Earlier this week, we posted a request from the Police about an incident which took place in Mountsfield Park on Sunday 20 November 2016. Sadly this is now a murder investigation. More information can be found here.
Mountsfield Park is a community park which is much loved by the local residents who use it every day. The Friends of Mountsfield Park and the park users we represent are devastated by this dreadful news. We will help in any way we can, and urge anyone who is able to help the Police with their enquiries to come forward.
Please note the following:
- The Police are appealing to find any witnesses who were in, or near to, Mountsfield Park between approximately 17:15hrs and 18:45hrs on Sunday, 20 November, and are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard anything regarding an incident involving a man in the company of a child.
- Officers will be conducting appeals at the park one week on from the incident on Sunday 27 November 2016
- Anyone who can assist the investigation is asked to call the incident room on 020 8721 4868.
- To give information anonymously Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org
The cafe! The trim trail! Christmas! Volunteering opportunities! Fox-proof bins! Accessible picnic benches!
It’s all go at Mountsfield Park. Read all about it here…
So lets be honest, 2016 has been a strange old year…
But it’s Christmas! And never ones to waste an opportunity to eat, drink, and be merry, we at FOMP will be throwing our annual Carols in the Park event at 2pm on Saturday December 17th 2016.
There will be music, mince pies, and mulled wine, and the chance to spend a magical afternoon with friends and neighbours.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Rory, Maria, Carrie, Ros, Rivke, Max, and Gareth
The Council say that there are no plans for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to manage tennis courts in Lewisham’s parks. The LTA has been working with the Council to find ways of upgrading Lewisham’s tennis courts – “many of which are in a very poor condition”. That includes providing funding towards the capital costs and providing an online platform for making bookings. Management of the courts will continue to be through Glendale. At the moment there are no plans to include Mountsfield Park during the initial phase of the work and no current timetable for future phases.
There will be more information about the management of tennis courts in Lewisham’s parks after a Council meeting with Lewisham Parks Forum 14th September.
We want a cafe in Mountsfield Park. We have been campaigning for a cafe for years, and have been promised one by Lewisham Council – including as part of the Council redevelopment of the park that created the Community Garden and revamped the play area. But the Council were unable to follow through on their plan to build a cafe at that time. Since then, we have worked with them to identify some funding – £50k – to launch a tender process to encourage an outside investor to build a cafe in the park.
A viable and attractive cafe plan is in front of Lewisham Council for approval right now – made by a local businessman who has worked closely with the Friends of Mountsfield Park. You can see the plans and some pictures of the new cafe here.
But the planning department at the Council is making unreasonable demands:
- they are demanding that the new design have a ‘biodiverse living roof’ to replace what they claim is a living roof on the existing, abandoned container units. In fact, the current ‘living roof’ is around a dozen unmaintained planters. We have offered to move these and add them to the Community Garden, so there is no loss of natural habitat, but the Council says this isn’t good enough.
- they are demanding that the new design meet the ‘BREEAM’ environmental rating of ‘exellent’, even though the Council was prepared to waive this requirement for the cafe they planned to build in Mountsfield Park! In other words, had the Council actually managed to deliver the cafe they promised in 2014, we would now have a cafe that didn’t meet these very high standards. The current proposal meets the ‘BREEAM’ environmental rating of ‘good’ with an aim to achieve ‘very good’. This means the current plans exceed mandatory standards by some margin.
If Lewisham Council turns down the current proposal – for what we think are spurious reasons – it could be years before another option is available and the money we fought to get the Council to commit to support the project – £50k – will be at risk.
We want the Council to take an intelligent approach, to look at the benefits a cafe would bring to Mountsfield Park: it will bring in revenue, encourage people to stay in the park longer and enjoy the Community Garden and play area, improve security by making the park more attractive to families, provide a place for dog walkers to get a cup of coffee, and it will mean that maintained toilet facilities are available in the park. These are far more important that a handful of planters!
We have written to the Planning Department to outline our concerns, but here’s what you can do to help:
- add your signature to this petition by 3 August 2016 to let Lewisham Council know you agree that we’ve waited long enough for a cafe and toilets in Mountsfield Park.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org by 3 August 2016 with any further comments, thoughts, and experiences. All evidence is good evidence and will help us to make the case.
- Tell your friends and neighbours! Share the petition, share this blog post
We want a cafe. The park deserves a cafe. It needs functioning toilet facilities. A local businessman is willing to invest to create an amazing cafe. Short-sighted planning decisions shouldn’t stop it happening.
The prospect of a cafe in Mountsfield Park has moved a step closer with the submission of a planning application to Lewisham Council.
We have been campaigning for a new cafe in the park for years, and we are delighted that the clear wishes of so many in the local community are that much closer to being realised. The journey to this point has been lengthy and sometimes frustrating, with disappointments along the way. But it now feels like we are in touching distance of getting a cafe that will serve the needs of all park users – families using the redeveloped playground, weekend gardeners in the community garden, daily dog walkers, picnic goers, joggers, and many more.
Your Executive has written to the Council to put on record our firm support for this proposal – you can view our letter here: Mountsfield cafe reference DC-16-095961
We encourage you to write to the Council to express your support as well.
You can view the planning documents here:
We’ll keep you posted as the proposal progresses.
Rory, Maria, Carrie, Ros, Rivke, Max, and Gareth