Posts Tagged ‘greenwich’
853 exclusive: Greenwich Council is canvassing arts groups on holding a new comedy festival to replace the Greenwich Comedy Festival, which has moved to Spitalfields.
The GCF will now be known as the Brick Lane Comedy Festival after switching to Allen Gardens, next to the old Shoreditch Tube station.
The organisation which runs the Old Royal Naval College, the Greenwich Foundation, decided it wanted to concentrate on smaller events and no longer wanted to play host to the GCF’s large marquee; however, organisers are planning to run events in Greenwich later in the year.
Greenwich Comedy Festival also lost its funding from Greenwich Council (it got £15,000 in 2010) – it’s not known whether Tower Hamlets is funding the new Brick Lane event, although its logo appears on publicity for it.
But now Greenwich Council has asked arts groups if they are interested in holding a replacement event. An email sent to various organisation reads:
The Royal Greenwich Comedy Festival will provide an exciting and distinctive offer. We are looking for an outstanding organisation or individual to curate, develop and deliver a programme of innovative and high quality Comedy events in Royal Greenwich.
The Royal Greenwich Comedy Festival will include a diverse range of Comedy programmed in July or September 2013.
The Key Aims of the programme will be to:
- deliver a high quality sustainable comedy festival offering a mix of free and ticketed entertainment for members of the public
- contribute to the economic development of the borough by developing awareness of `brand Royal Greenwich’, boosting tourism and generating inward investment
- maximise benefit to local businesses and the visitor economy
- maximise benefit for the local creative economy
In addition the events will make a strong statement about Royal Greenwich:
- as a place for high quality arts, venues and cultural activities
- as a place of heritage unrivalled elsewhere
- as a place where interesting things happen in unusual place
For full details, fee and contract terms please see the information pack.
I haven’t been able to get confirmation of whether the council is funding the planned festival. That said, just saying “brand Royal Greenwich” on stage might attract a few giggles…
One thing that the GCF’s withdrawal from Greenwich highlighted to me is just how poor Greenwich’s day-to-day arts scene actually is. It’s all very well having big showpiece events in the Naval College grounds, but what legacy does the GCF leave, especially since it was getting council funding?
Admittedly, Greenwich does have (the fairly pricey) Up The Creek, but there’s very few venues regularly putting on music or comedy in the town centre – I can only think of the Lord Hood and Oliver’s jazz bar for anything worthwhile in terms of music (plus the Pelton Arms in east Greenwich), although the Greenwich Tavern – recently freed from the clutches of Inc Group – is showing signs of imagination (incidentally, the The Greenwich Series tonight is worth a look).
Plus, obviously, there’s much more to the borough than Greenwich – in the 80s the Woolwich Tramshed was a famous comedy venue, but Comedy on the Common has been trooping on in Plumstead for a few years now without much recognition. In short, it does seem odd to have concentrated all that effort on a one-off event in the north-west corner of a large borough. Maybe whoever takes on the Royal Greenwich Comedy Festival will change things. Should be interesting to watch.
9.20am on Wednesday morning, and the residents of Greenwich Millennium Village wait in large numbers for a bus to take them one stop to North Greenwich station, to save eight minutes’ stroll through a park on a gorgeous spring day. For many, it would be quicker, or more pleasant, to walk. So why don’t they?
If you Google “Greenwich Millennium Village” and “sustainable”, you get 5,550 results. So what on earth went wrong? Are people just lazy, or is it the poor design of the streets on the messed-up Greenwich Peninsula?
I had a look round the Greenwich Square development (formerly the Heart of East Greenwich scheme, before that Greenwich District Hospital) last week – well, I had a look at the exhibition, anyway.
To be honest, once you’ve seen one exhibition for a new housing development, you’ve seen them all, and this didn’t feel much different, down to the Zero 7 soundtrack playing on a TV in a show flat. And, yeah, the website‘s a horror – “perfectly positioned between Greenwich Village [sic] and the Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich Square’s location provides the best of both worlds”. Pass the bucket.
But this is what developers do. And the exhibition, in its office on Vanburgh Hill, does at least give the chance to get an idea of just what’s going to happen to the hospital site.
The shell of the first building is already looming over Woolwich Road, and the rest of it is looking equally… big. The new council leisure centre (to replace the Arches), library (to replace East Greenwich Library), health centre (to replace what’s left of the hospital building) and council service centre (like the ones in Woolwich and Eltham) will sit on the central square from which the development gets its name, while there’ll be a good number of retail units too. Full details of what’s planned are here.
Indeed, work’s under way now on excavating the basement for the gym – although you can only see that work from high up.
To be honest, the developers could come in and press crisp fivers into everyone’s hands and still find this a tough sell to jaded locals. Planning permission for this was given years ago, so the appearance of the huge shell on Woolwich Road has come a bit of a rude shock.
Pair that off with the fact that east Greenwich has already been battered by some spectacularly poor developments – often with retail units that have simply never been used – and it’s easy to be cynical. Doubly so when you remember the council’s commissioned a swimming pool that’s smaller than the one it’ll replace at the Arches, insisting serious swimmers can schlep to Eltham instead (or rather, use Lewisham’s new Glass Mill pool).
But what struck me is just how much this scheme is likely to change east Greenwich, possibly shifting its centre of gravity slightly east. My biggest fear – will the new retail units work when shops on Trafalgar Road already struggle? Six hundred new homes would suggest they’ll do alright – but there could be big changes fanning out through east Greenwich over the coming years. Better to be warned than not – but then many people are still unaware the council plans to sell off the Arches and the old library.
Hopefully, the developers will be wise to this, and talk to (and listen to) local people, and not confuse this with “talking to the council”. With the development including several new buildings and one new street, perhaps asking people for names would be a start. I don’t know whether “Greenwich Square” is fixed as a name, but come on, even “Vanburgh Square” would be better for the development at the foot of Vanburgh Hill.
With the Greenwich Wharf scheme wiping out wharf names such as Piper’s, Granite and Lovell’s, it’d be nice to see east Greenwich’s heritage recognised somewhere before it all goes. So if you had the chance to name four new blocks of homes and a street, what would you call them?
For years, its cut-off Thames Path stood as a reminder of the poor relationship between developers and locals in Greenwich. Now the firm which is developing Lovell’s Wharf and neighbouring Pipers, Granite and Badcock’s Wharves – under the uninspiring Greenwich Wharf banner – wants Greenwich Council to back plans to pack more homes into the site, taking the blocks from 10 to 13 storeys high.
The Greenwich Phantom’s already discussed this, but it’s worth restating what’s planned. The developer wants to increase the number of flats in the development from 667 to 913 – with the extra 246 flats all for private sale.
There was a consultation at the end of last year – it doesn’t seem to have had much effect, though.
Plans for a hotel and offices are axed in the new scheme, along with nearly all other non-residential uses. The original plans, approved in 2007, included a health centre, some shops, and a rowing club.
Reading through the planning documents (Greenwich Council’s new planning website is a mess, unfortunately), you could be forgiven for thinking that the developers saw the approved proposals for adjacent Enderby’s Wharf included 16-storey blocks, and thought “we fancy a bit of that”.
But even the current, more modest buildings are looming horribly over Banning Street – the new proposals look less like community-building, more like a quick money-making scheme, packing people in with fewer facilities and no investment in local transport to help them get in and out of the area.
A gorgeous day for the London Marathon – a reminder of why this is easily the best weekend of the year in south-east London.
People come out and cheer and chat, pubs suddenly gain jazz bands and sound systems, and for a few precious hours, overlooked streets come alive. It’s London at its very best, and felt all the more special in light of the terrible events in Boston last week.
It’s also why the lesser, largely unwanted Run To The Beat event will never truly take off – when your race pounds the same streets, with fewer people, you’ll always be caught in its shadow.
Among the quirks of marathon day is the jazz band outside the headquarters of Greenwich & Woolwich Labour Party on Woolwich Road, Greenwich – they’ve been playing When The Saints Go Marching In every race day for as long as I can remember.
Today was no exception. Indeed, today saw an impressive turnout of local Labour dignitaries, including MP Nick Raynsford and his possible successor, assembly member Len Duvall, out among the public. It’s always a nice surprise to see elected representatives out and about on a big community day, although it really shouldn’t be.
But one figure’s never seen there – council leader Chris Roberts. No mingling with the hoi polloi for him…
Thank you to the eagle-eyed 853 reader who spotted where the Dear Leader watched the London Marathon – from high up on the Cutty Sark (on the far right), away from the public and his party members. “It looked like one of those old Russian mayday parades! Just runners instead of tanks,” my spy suggests. (11pm Sunday update: I’ve been sent a clearer photo. I wonder who the people with Roberts are?)(11am Monday update: I’m told places on board the Cutty Sark were being sold for £40 to benefit the council-backed Greenwich Starting Blocks charity. Ahoy!)
Back among the great unwashed, with the area covered in ads for health drinks and sporting goods, it was curious to see a former newsagent in Charlton offer its own advice to runners…
But walking home after the traditional marathon morning pint, the same old question came into my head. With the streets blissfully free of traffic for an hour after the race ends, why don’t we do something with them? Even mid-demolition Woolwich Road in Charlton felt peaceful and serene in the Sunday sunshine – imagine what you could do with Greenwich town centre during the afternoon after the marathon.
Until we reclaim the streets after the runners have passed by, we’ll never make the most of this magical day in the calendar. But when you’re watching from the Cutty Sark, it’s perhaps not a thought that’s ever going to spring to mind.
Last week, five lads who’d taken part in a television talent show managed to demonstrate something a generation of politicians, planners and developers are refusing to acknowledge.
One Direction performed a series of gigs at the O2 arena during the Easter school holiday, bringing hordes of young fans and their families to the Greenwich peninsula. Last Tuesday, they performed two shows – one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. You can’t say they aren’t working for their riches.
But chucking-out time at the matinee show coincided with the evening rush hour. North Greenwich bus station couldn’t cope, the signals favoured gig traffic over commuters, and getting home was a miserable experience for thousands of commuters.
With thousands of new homes planned for the peninsula over the next seven years, there are going to be many more miserable nights at North Greenwich – already the 10th busiest Tube station outside Zone 1 – to come.
Only 14 years after the Tube station opened, the infrastructure around the station just isn’t working. The only addition since 1999 has been the mayor’s gimmicky cable car, functioning solely as a tourist attraction. The only serious proposal to address this is the Silvertown Tunnel, which will simply make matters worse by piling more road traffic through the area.
Other plans – such as the now-axed Greenwich Waterfront Transit and Greenwich Council’s “DLR on stilts” proposal for Eltham, would put more pressure on North Greenwich.
Huge blunders have also been made. In time, it’ll be seen as criminal that the area was missed off the Crossrail project, which loops slightly north of the peninsula, passing under the fantastically-named Limmo Peninsula in Canning Town. The guided busway-which-never was, built on the wrong side of the road to ensure a pointless set of traffic lights outside the Pilot pub. And while the dual carriageways which carve the area up predate the redevelopment (the A102 opened in 1969, Bugsbys Way in 1984), there was no excuse for the mistake to be made again with Millennium Way and John Harrison Way.
For the peninsula to work, some of this infrastructure will need to be ripped up and started again. People will need a variety of ways to get to and from the area, and traffic which doesn’t need to be in the area needs to be kept out of it.
I like to use this website to tell you things you don’t already know. But here, I’m going to go through a load of points you probably know already. But what do we do about them? Hopefully, a conversation can start here.
1. A crossing to Canary Wharf. Despite being one of Europe’s major employment centres, there remains only one direct way to get between the peninsula and Canary Wharf – the Jubilee Line. There’s also the river bus service – but that costs a fortune and goes to the west side of the Isle of Dogs. Yet the peninsula’s proximity to Canary Wharf should be its selling point. Office space on the peninsula isn’t exactly in demand – the only major tenants in the offices there are arms of government; Transport for London and Greenwich Council. 6 Mitre Passage is half-empty.
Creating a pedestrian and cycle bridge or tunnel – possibly including a bus lane – would transform the way the peninsula is seen, and properly connect it to the towers of Mammon over the water. The big problem will be where it would land on the other side, with development on the Isle of Dogs being 20 years ahead of the peninsula. Residents there objected to an early cable car scheme – and may not be impressed with a bridge. TfL’s cable car business case quoted an estimated cost of up to £90m for a bridge (compared with £59m for the cable car), and said “a better link between North Greenwich and Canary Wharf [is] likely to encourage investment”.
2. What shall we do with the dangleway? Sooner or later, some tough questions will have to be faced about the Emirates Air Line, successfully carrying fresh air between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks seven days a week. Sold as a public transport connection but marketed as a tourist attraction, the long winter has stripped the cable car of its Olympics sheen – despite the spin about meeting absurdly low passenger targets. Could TfL get away with selling it? Or should it simply integrate it into the Travelcard scheme? Or just knock it down and replace it with a bridge similar to the one I’ve suggested for Canary Wharf? Me, I’d sell it, and use the funds to build a bridge.
If the cable car is to stay, then I’d argue that more should be done to market the North Greenwich area to tourists – and that means creating visitor attractions between the Dome and the cable car terminal, and getting rid of the grim car park which separates the two.
3. Rework North Greenwich bus station. It’s architecturally very nice, but North Greenwich bus station already isn’t coping very well, and the peninsula’s less than half-built.
Seven bus routes terminate there, one passes through, but getting any more in there looks a tough ask – despite the fact there’s huge demand for services to the station (witness the success of the 132 extension from Eltham, the severe overcrowding on the 108 from Lewisham, and demands to extend the B16 from Kidbrooke). Buses also struggle when events are on at the O2, and even block each other from leaving the station. The bus station, and access to it, need rethinking.
I’ve mentioned this before, but North Greenwich station could also be a good hub for cyclists – if access to the peninsula can be improved…
4. Look again at how people walk or cycle to and on the peninsula. The peninsula developments are effectively cut off by dual carriageways which prioritise cars and lorries above all else. Walking from Blackwall Lane to North Greenwich station demands a pointlessly lengthy route unless you put your life in your hands and leg it across Millennium Way and the A102 slip road.
I cycle to North Greenwich most mornings. It’s more reliable than taking the bus, and cheaper than taking the train from Charlton. But there’s no proper route onto the peninsula – I’m not counting the rubbish on-pavement Peartree Way cycle lane, which makes you stop in pedestrian refuges, which aren’t great to use on foot, either. It took months for me to build up the courage to tackle the Peartree Way/Bugsby’s Way roundabout, covered in stones from aggregates lorries from Angerstein Wharf. It’s not a pleasant experience.
Even dumber is the cycle lane on West Parkside, heading to North Greenwich – which get used by pedestrians because the actual “footpath”, to the right, is so poor, and stops dead at each end with no thought as to where cyclists go next. It’s amazing to think someone thought this a good idea. The whole peninsula road network needs rethinking to encourage walking and cycling.
5. Cut traffic on the A102. The biggest ask of the lot, and one that needs a decisive shift in policy across London, plus a block on any new peninsula development that will require a significant number of parking spaces.
Building a six-lane motorway to two two-lane tunnels seemed a good idea in the late 1960s, when it was envisaged to be part of a network of urban motorways. We’re paying the price now in pollution and congestion, and in the deep scar the A102 cuts through Greenwich, Blackheath and Charlton. As one American traffic engineer observed, “widening roads to solve traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity”.
As we know, both City Hall and Greenwich Council favour compounding this error by building a Silvertown Tunnel. Yet measures should be taken to reduce demand on the A102 – some will favour building a new crossing further down the Thames, yet discouraging traffic which isn’t going to London from entering London seems to me a wiser idea; perhaps by dropping Dartford crossing tolls, perhaps by London-wide congestion charging. What isn’t wise is tolling the Blackwall Tunnel, which will just send the problem through Greenwich and Deptford to the Rotherhithe Tunnel and Tower Bridge.
The problem of a six-lane motorway can then become an opportunity to rebuild and do something different. Take it down to four lanes – which it is through the tunnel and on the A2 which feeds into it. TfL wants to take one lane off the A102′s sister route, the Westway, for a cycle route. Whether that could work on the Blackwall Tunnel Southern Approach is debatable, but it could certainly work as a bus lane, or even a route for a tram. Hey, there’s the DLR on stilts…
Think this is all a bit out there? Last year, BBC London revealed the Woolwich Road flyover was in a “poor” condition, while the Blackwall Lane flyover had at least 34 different defects. After 2011′s closure of the Hammersmith Flyover, a sudden and nasty surprise can’t be ruled out.
Public bodies such as the GLA and Greenwich Council have great sway in what’ll happen on the peninsula, but it feels like residents have no more say than they did when the land was largely owned by Victorian industrialists.
The GLA now owns much of the land there, but it still sticks to a blueprint decided years ago, while the rushed consultation over new masterplans and the lack of any consultation over blocking affordable housing at the tip of the peninsula do nothing to dispel the impression that the council’s just a cypher for property developers.
Yet with work now starting on a new phase of Greenwich Millennium Village, and with more construction taking place elsewhere on the peninsula, we’re approaching the point where it may soon be too late to reverse the mistakes that have been made on the peninsula’s infrastructure. If City Hall and Greenwich Council want to achieve anything more from the “regeneration” than fat profits for developers, like creating a sustainable community, then it’s time to pause and think carefully about changing their plans.
Remember the Peninsula Festival? Greenwich Council wasn’t the only public body stung by the failed event, which was due to run during the Olympics, but closed early and ended up going into administration.
London mayor Boris Johnson has written off a £99,000 debt owed to the Greater London Authority from Peninsula Festival Ltd, the company which was to run the festival.
The bulk of the sum, £84,000, relates to rent due to GLA Land & Property, which owns the freehold to much of the vacant land on the Greenwich peninsula. As well as the music festival on a site next to John Harrison Way, a campsite had also been due to open on plots of land at Peartree Way. Despite a press launch the previous summer, Oranjecamping never opened in Greenwich – relocating to a site in Walthamstow instead.
The remaining £15,000 relates to a street music festival, Rhythm of London, which was supposed to have “entertained crowds during the Olympic Games”.
It appears City Hall came off worse than Greenwich Council, which gave the festival £40,000, but was at least able to move its big screen to Well Hall Pleasaunce, Eltham, when it was clear the event had flopped.
The festival was supposed to have put on concerts and club events during the Olympic period, but never recovered after festival operator Kilimanjaro Live pulled out of the event. A promised beach at Delta Wharf never materialised, and nor did most of the festival bill.
Eight months after the Peninsula Festival’s failure, both of exuberant promoter Frank Dekker’s companies, Peninsula Festival Ltd and Orange Connections Ltd, are in liquidation. Dekker himself is now believed to be working as a project manager for a renewable energy company in Maidenhead.
The main festival site has remained empty, but construction vehicles have now moved in on the area by Greenwich Yacht Club earmarked by Dekker for use as a “campsite business lounge”.
Imagine if your local council had begun the process of allowing a massive new development of luxury housing, exclusively for the affluent, towering over the skyline. Imagine if that development included its own private school, and a luxury hotel.
And imagine if it’d decided to renege on its past plans to create mixed communities, where people who wanted homes for social rent or affordable housing would have a fair shot at living in new developments.
What’s more, imagine if it’d approved plans to shunt the non-affluent into a plot half a mile away, creating a little ghetto as far away from the luxury homes as possible? And what if it never asked you about it?
This is social cleansing – and it’s beginning to happen on the Greenwich Peninsula as Greenwich Council yields to the demands of private developers.
Controversial plans for the peninsula were backed at a planning meeting held in public at the end of February, but it went completely unrecorded at the time, save for a few lines posted in comments on this website.
Now residents on the peninsula are threatening legal action against the council for ignoring its own policies on redevelopment.
February’s meeting saw councillors agree to reduce to 0% the proportion of affordable housing to be offered at Peninsula Quays – the development planned for land just to the south-west of the Dome, surrounding the northern end of Tunnel Avenue.
In the past couple of years, land here has been cleared and decontaminated and roads rebuilt. No planning application’s gone in yet – a small exhibition was held a month ago, showing tower blocks and plans for up to 1,638 homes (see a business plan) – but this is an adjustment to the masterplan which covers the whole peninsula.
The plans include a private school, “high-end private residential” units at Drawdock Road, and a four/five star hotel at Ordnance Crescent.
Effectively, the council’s planning board approved the idea that a development which will sit opposite Canary Wharf should be built in Canary Wharf’s own image – exclusively for the affluent. It’s envisaged this will be up and running by December 2019.
To make up the difference, new developments to the far south of the Dome – around where the City Peninsula tower now sits – will see levels of affordable housing shoot up to between 54% and 58%, mostly for social rent rather than shared ownership. These developments were also given permission that night, and will be completed by December 2017.
Greenwich Council says that overall, the 11 plots considered together will be 25% affordable – but all those properties will now be pushed to the south, towards City Peninsula and Greenwich Millennium Village.
There was no consultation on this change – pushed through so developers can grab £50m in grants. Residents at City Peninsula and GMV are furious, as they expected levels of affordable accommodation to be even across the peninsula. They’re now threatening to force a judicial review of the councillors’ decision, accusing them of railroading the change through.
A letter to Greenwich Council seen by this website brands the councillors’ decision as “unfair”, adding that the new plans don’t offer enough family accommodation and contradict both local and London-wide planning guidelines.
So far, they’ve had no response from the council – but the residents are sure of their case.
This aggressive development follows Hong Kong billionaire Henry Cheng investing £500m into the project last year through his company Knight Dragon, teaming up with existing developer Quintain.
At present, if the Knight Dragon/Quintain proposals go through, they’ll destroy the dream of the peninsula as a stable, sustainable community, as promised when Greenwich Millennium Village was conceived in the late 1990s.
Indeed – and the planning documents hint at this – it may all be one long hangover from the construction of the Millennium Dome itself, with central government keen to recover the costs it spent on infrastructure back then.
While by most accounts GMV (which remains separately developed) is a fine place to live – and the river-facing homes at City Peninsula look like fantastic places – it still suffers from being physically isolated from the rest of the area by dual carriageways. But it’s developed into a mixed community, and people seem to rub along fine.
Greenwich Council’s frustration with the pace of development on the peninsula is well-known. In 2004, it expected 500 homes a year to be built over the next 20 years. In fact, only 229 homes have been built since then.
But in the long term, is it really worth junking the benefits of building a mixed number of homes just to get developments back on the move again? Greenwich Council’s and developers’ desperation to get things moving again could have long-term, disastrous consequences for the regeneration of the area. This is a complicated tale, but one to watch closely over the next few years.
Update, 13 April 2013: The minutes from the planning board meeting are now available, which show the proposals criticised by local residents, local councillors Dick Quibell and Mary Mills, and planning board member Hayley Fletcher (who isn’t named).
Amazing news, and not an April Fool – the Thames Path through Greenwich has now completely reopened for the first time in six years, after the path around Delta Wharf was quietly brought back into use. If you want an Easter Monday stroll or cycle, wrap up warm and go for it.
It means the riverside pathway from Wood Wharf through to Angerstein Wharf is now completely open again, from one end of Greenwich to another, for the first time since demolition work on Lovell’s Wharf started in 2007. (Here’s a few snaps of Lovell’s before work started.) That link reopened earlier this year, and now contractors have finished rebuilding the footway just south of Drawdock Road, at the end of Tunnel Avenue, which shut in August 2011.
Of course, while contractors had aimed to get the walk reopened by Easter, in a cock-up that’ll be familiar to anyone who uses the path, one part of it is still partly fenced-off. Just ignore the sign and keep going.
Of course, the question now is – how long will the path stay open for? How long do we have left before another prolonged diversion? The stretch that’s just reopened is already earmarked for development (more of which to come on that one…)
And with development will come a different look for the path, as shown by the introduction of a clear cycle route. How long does the anarchic, old-style east Greenwich riverside walkway have left? Enjoy it (and the work of the Guerilla Knitters) while it lasts.
The other big question mark lies at Enderby’s Wharf, where developer West Properties – despite being allowed influence over Greenwich Council transport and tourism policies – still hasn’t lifted a finger on the cruise liner terminal site it was given permission to build over two years ago.
We may have got our path back – and just as you enter Charlton, there’s a new information sign to round off the happy news. But the path should never have been subject to such lengthy closures in the first place without proper information and consultation. Hopefully lessons have been learned – and that we’re all a bit more vigilant now than we were six years ago.
It’s good to see any local politician attempt to engage with the masses, and so today sees senior Greenwich councillor and cabinet member for health and older people John Fahy launch his own website.
It includes a blog where he updates us on what he’s going and what he’s thinking. In the past, he’s been critical of the Run To The Beat half-marathon, which he’s previously branded “an imposition on borough residents”.
Indeed, only a few weeks ago, he tweeted: “It would seem the Run To The Beat organisers have failed my test in making a charitable contribution, measly 200 tickets on offer. Pathetic.” He’s not been the only local councillor livid at race organisers, as well as their own council ignoring their residents.
With the new Run To The Beat route almost the same as last year’s, surely the good councillor would be putting the boot in on behalf of his constituents, no?
No. He’s broken ranks with his colleagues.
I welcome the proposed changes to the Run to the Beat route. The balance between the needs of residents and participants has been struck.
IMG are a world wide organisation engaged in all sports activities which is why I have tried, but failed,to encourage a donation to our Starting Blocks charity.
Over many years the London Marathon has brought enormous joy to thousands of people and have made significant contributions to sports legacy in the Royal Borough. My case rests.
Not quite sure what case Cllr Fahy is making – the London Marathon’s a completely different event which has left a legacy in the form of the London Marathon Playing Fields on Shooters Hill Road. Run To The Beat provides no such benefit.
As far as changes, the route avoids Woolwich town centre, easing disruption to Greenwich Council regeneration partner Tesco as well as the Royal Arsenal development, owned by Greenwich Council renegeration partner Berkeley Homes.
Everyone else will have to lump it. To make up the missing miles, the route will cut off Charlton Park on three sides, cutting off access for Sunday footballers as well as mourners at Charlton Cemetery.
There has been no attempt at a meaningful consultation, and neither organisers nor Greenwich Council have officially released the route (shown above). You’re welcome to take part in the poll below, which shows a hefty majority in favour of scrapping the route or changing it so it doesn’t shut locals in. (Here’s a suggestion.)
So why did John Fahy change his mind?