Oval Partnership

Improving the local neighbourhood

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Introduction to Oval Partnership Briefing Notes

This  website contains more than 40 briefing notes covering

The purpose of these briefing notes is to better understand the Kennington Oval Vauxhall area and what is happening to it.  Where relevant ,the briefing notes contain an assessment on how particular topics /developments might affect the area.  Armed with that knowledge we will be better placed to

Local experience shows that while some changes improve  matters, others make a situation worse.  For example, congestion charging  and local parking control damaged local businesses- some more than others.   As a result, the area no longer supports certain types of businesses.  However, as old opportunities disappeared new ones arose.  

Faced with declining shopping parades, local residents , when asked, typically wanted to see the return of butchers, bakers, green grocers etc. The economic reality though is that residents didn’t support such shops sufficiently when they were there. Add to that the adverse effects of parking control which discouraged passing trade and the result was almost inevitable.  Existing businesses close or moved out while potential investors stayed away. The Oval Partnership recognised the changes that were underway and from this, the Oval Farmers’ Market evolved.  Apart form the obvious social/community benefits of the market it is more efficient for food producers to sell their goods once a week rather than having to make a capital investment in shop premises and, probably, selling the same amount of goods only more slowly over the course a week .

As good as the market is, it cannot solve  all of the problems of the area.  Pubs are closing, shops and other commercial spaces remain empty, developments are delayed, roads remain  dangerous for cyclists etc.   Where it can, the Oval Partnership will support and seek to influence developments that will hopefully improve matters. Hopefully these briefing notes will help us make the right choices about what to support .

  In addition to covering future developments , this website includes a range of articles on local history.  We do believe that history has something to teach us though it is not always obvious what the lesson is.  For example, Market Towers was built in the 197Os.  Some forty years later, it will probably be knocked down.  Conversely , nearby Brunswick House, built 1758, is home to a thriving business and one might reasonably expect it to be still there for another 100 years and beyond.   It would be nice to think that new developments will prove sustainable and have a long shelf life. For the sake of those that come after let’s hope we make the right decisions more often than not.