A meeting was held today between the Oval Partnership/local business people (Michael Keane, Jade Castello, Mark Ryan and Barnaby Shaw) and Transport for London representatives at their offices in Albany House, Petty France. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss concerns about the Northern Line Extension and its impact on local businesses particularly in the Kennington/Oval area. The key points and discussion are summarised below.
Kennington Station upgrade
Reassurance was sought on whether a full upgrade of Kennington Station would eliminate or reduce the need for planned works at Kennington Green and Kennington Park. TfL reported that a study was underway and so reassurance could not be given until the findings were known.
Concern was expressed that the proposed re-location of Bee Urban to an area of low footfall would damage their business/social enterprise. TfL stated that the relocation was Lambeth’s responsibility. Concern was expressed that the consultation had resulted in an excessively expensive solution for the Kennington Park site. TfL claimed that the proposed solution (building the head house on the Keepers Lodge site) was not necessarily more expensive than building the head house over the shaft. TfL claimed that the original consultation did not include a community building and the current approach was therefore supported.
Concern was expressed at the lack of detailed business impact assessment the one that had been carried out was too general. It was pointed out that a lease on a local shop had fallen through as a direct result of the planned works for the Northern Line Extension and that the shop remaining empty was damaging local businesses. TfL stated that there were statutory mechanisms for claiming compensation. TfL agreed that there would be a negative effect on local businesses while works were going on. The view was expressed that negative effects would be permanent.
A discussion took place on the quality of consultation. MR stated that as a local business owner, he had not been made aware of the extent of works on Kennington Green. TfL defended their approach on consultation. MK pointed out that the two Claylands Road residents whose house was threated with demolition under one NLE option had never been formally told that the threat had been removed. MK expressed the view that whilst TfL consultation had been almost excessive at times, some individuals/businesses most likely to be affected by aspects of the NLE were not specifically targeted as well as they might
The NLE would have a negative effect on Oval Parade business due to (i) a marginal reduction in foot fall as tube users divert to Nine Elms stations, and (ii) further reduction in traffic which had already reduced by some 30% over the last 10 years. It was suggested that the 2005 upgrade of Oval Station was a missed opportunity and the situation would be improved if some of the Oval Station surface structures were rebuilt to include additional commercial/retail space.
NLE Health Impact Assessment
This was criticised because it appeared to omit basic health impact information particular on the number of people affected by noise and vibration from the new tunnels. Discussion was curtailed due to time constraints and MK would write with issues.
Statement of common ground
A draft statement of common ground was produced outlining a number of points for TfL to consider. It was made clear to TfL that any agreement must be ratified by the Oval Partnership management committee.
Mitigation measures were suggested including changes to red routes to make area more pedestrian/business friendly. It was also suggested that some research be conducted to better understand the impact of the NLE other transport infrastructure It was agreed that the points raised were within the wider TfL remit but not with the remit of those present and therefore could not be agreed.
It was agreed that NLE work would damage local businesses. TfL stated that they would not wish to see any business area damaged and would use best endeavours to see that was the case. In the absence of any substantive agreement on the suggestions to help local businesses the Oval Partnership remains of the view that the NLE will benefit businesses in Battersea but will have a negative effect on the businesses in the Kennington/Oval area.
health Impact Assessment prospective purchaser