ASB reporter – July summary

A total of 43 incidents were reported for July. This represents a decrease of 21.8% on the previous month’s total of 55 incidents.

Totals by house and their % of the total were as follows:

HouseIncidents
Gilbert14 (32.6%)
Ben Jonson12 (27.9%)
Frobisher5 (11.6%)
Shakespeare Tower3 (7%)
Andrewes3 (7%)
Thomas More2 (4.7%)
Defoe1 (2.3%)
Cromwell Tower1 (2.3%)
Mountjoy1 (2.3%)
John Trundle Court1 (2.3%)

In terms of the number of incidents and type of asb activity reported, the results were as follows:

Rowdy behaviour11 (25.6%)
Parkour6 (13.9%)
Skateboarding5 (11.6%)
Loud Music4 (9.3%)
Noisy talking/shouting3 (7.0%)
Noisy ‘tricks’2 (4.7%)
Cycling2 (4.7%)
Scooters on Podium2 (4.7%)
E-scooters on Podium2 (4.7%)
Noisy vehicle – service road1 (2.3%)
Loud music – passing card1 (2.3%)
Roler skating1 (2.3%)
Noisy drinkers1 (2.3%)
Loud music – 140 A. St. Office Party1 (2.3%)
Noisy Cote delivery1 (2.3%)

The Committee and I are currently analysing the full year’s data; following which we will prepare a report with which we hope to persuade the Corporation to introduce additional measures to help deter anti-social behaviour from occurring across the estate.

Meantime, The Barbican Association’s General Council has agreed that reporting should carry on until further notice as most asb incidents normally occur during the summer months each year.

David Bradshaw

Chair, Barbican Estate Security Committee

01/08/22

Planning update

Amazon Last Mile Hub application withdrawn

The application to convert part of the London Wall car park into a last mile logistics hub for Amazon was withdrawn last Friday (22nd July). The Amazon project team stated that “After working closely with the City of London Corporation to develop plans for a more sustainable micromobility delivery hub at the London Wall site, we are now looking together at potential alternative locations. We are committed to exploring opportunities to expand our new e-cargo bike delivery hubs for customer deliveries in London and across the UK.”

This is clearly good news – now we just have to wait to see where the next location for such a facility will be chosen. Hopefully it will be well away from residential premises.

Hotel to replace consented office scheme

You may recall that planning permission for the demolition and redevelopment of the site at 1-12 Long Lane into new offices was granted in July 2021. It now transpires that the owners of the larger part of that site, 1-8 Long Lane (the Pret building and the one next to it) have decided that the pandemic has had a fundamental impact on working practices. In consequence, they feel that demand for traditional office space in the City will decline and are therefore proposing instead to construct a 125-bed high-end hotel on the site. They believe that there is a lack of hotel space in this particular area, an area which is likely to attract an increasing number of visitors given the opening of the Elizabeth Line and its location in the Culture Mile.

The plans are at a very early stage and preliminary designs are expected to be available by late summer. There would then be a consultation period before a formal planning application is lodged possibly late 2022/early 2023. The owners say that they will be looking at the latest City Carbon policies to see how much, if any, of the existing structure can be retained and have reassured that they will stay within the height constraints of the existing approved plans. They want to significantly improve the “pocket park” (the Pret a Manger outside seating area) and re-activate the street front with restaurants/cafes/and retail at ground floor level.

So now we just have to wait to see what the architects come up with………

n.b. the building at 9-12 Long Lane is NOT part of this proposal and it is thought likely that a separate office development application for this site will follow in due course.

Licensing update

GoPuff to NoPuff

You may recall that an application for a premises licence for GoPuff at 176 Aldersgate Street was submitted in April. By way of reminder the application stated that it was “to facilitate a grocery service that requires the sale by retail of alcohol off sales Monday to Sunday 00:00 to 00:00 and on sales Monday to Sunday 08:00 to 23:00 …”.

Many objections to the application were submitted on the grounds of the Prevention of Public Nuisance and a Licensing Sub-Committee Hearing was held on 18th May 2022 which concluded that it was necessary to impose conditions upon the licence and therefore ruled that there was to be no delivery of alcohol from the premises at any time and that customers would be required to collect any alcohol purchased from within the premises between the hours of 8am to 11pm.   

This decision was clearly not what GoPuff required and it was particularly pleasing to hear from the City of London Licensing team that they have recently been informed by a representative of GoPuff that the company no longer wishes to take up the premises at Aldersgate Street. Hence it is their intention to NOT trade from that site.  

Good news indeed – for now, anyway!

Pavilion Bar & Restaurant

An application for a premises licence was submitted in May 2022 by a new company, The Pavilion Bar & Restaurant, which wishes to operate from Retail Unit 3, 200 Aldersgate Street (the old EAT business location). Essentially, the original application was for the supply of alcohol on and off the premises, daily between the hours of 10am – midnight. There were many objections from local residents, primarily on the grounds of the Prevention of Public Nuisance and a Licensing Hearing to determine the outcome of the application has recently been held.

Site to be used to promote art and philosophy

At the Hearing, the applicant accepted that the original submission did not accurately reflect the true purpose of the venue and explained that, whilst the public will be able to purchase food and drinks at the premises, events to be held there will be targeted at an audience interested in the arts and/or philosophy. It was stressed that the venue had not been designed to be a late-night bar or nightclub and that the applicant is involved in a group that organises tours to cultural centres across London. The proposed venue is therefore intended to operate as a bar and restaurant promoting the arts and philosophy by providing a space for artists and delivering workshops, seminars and presentations on these subjects. The venue would become a fixed location for these events.

Reduced hours of operation

Ahead of the Hearing, the applicant had “considered the concerns of the local residents and sought to address them especially in relation to public nuisance” by reducing the licensing and opening hours requested and no longer requiring the service of late-night refreshments.

Licence granted on this revised basis

On this basis, the Licensing Sub Committee concluded that it would be possible for the Applicant to operate the premises in accordance with the licensing objectives, and a premises licence was granted for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises daily between the hours of 12pm – 11pm, for consumption off the premises daily between the hours of 12pm – 10pm and for daily opening times of 7am – 11.30pm. By way of reassurance, the provision for off-sales of alcohol was required solely to allow the sale of alcohol to customers in the outdoor seating area until 10pm and only if a pavement license were to be granted.

Whilst the concept of the premises’ proposed modus operandi still sounds somewhat unusual, it is pleasing to note the reduction in the requested licencing and opening hours. Time will, of course, determine however the success or otherwise of this arts and philosophy venue.

ASB reporter – June summary

A total of 56 incidents were reported for June, however as 1 incident was merely descriptive and no asb action reported; the official total for May is 55.

This represents a decrease of 9.8% on the previous month’s total of 61 incidents.

Totals by house and their % of the total were as follows:

HouseIncidents
Ben Jonson22 (39.2%)
Gilbert18 (32.1%)
Frobisher Crescent5 (8.9%)
Willoughby2 (3.6%)
Cromwell Tower2 (3.6%)
Defoe2 (3.6%)
Lambert Jones Mews1 (1.8%)
Andrewes1 (1.8%)
Bryer Court1 (1.8%)
Bunyan Court1 (1.8%)
Shakespeare Tower1 (1.8%)

In terms of the number of incidents and type of asb activity reported, the results were as follows:

Parkour15 (26.7%)
Noisy behaviour14 (25%)
Skateboarding8 (14.3%)
Cycling5 (8.9%)
Rowdy behaviour5 (8.9%)
Loud music3 (5.4%)
Other – smoking dope/weed2 (3.6%)
Vehicle nuisance noise1 (1.8%)
Public urination1 (1.8%)
Other – overt sexual foreplay1 (1.8%)
Unspecified1 (1.8%)

The Committee and I are currently analysing the full year’s data; following which we will prepare a report with which we hope to persuade the Corporation to introduce additional measures to help deter anti-social behaviour from occurring across the estate.

Meantime, The Barbican Association’s General Council has agreed that reporting should carry on until further notice as most asb incidents occur during the summer months each year.

David Bradshaw

Chair, Barbican Estate Security Committee

01/07/22

Creating a Better Barbican

Please help create a Better Barbican by volunteering to join the Leaseholder Service Charge Working Party that:

  1. Works with City Officers to improve the City’s processes and policies that ensure service charges provide good value when delivering the services defined in our Service Level Agreements
  2. Examines leaseholder service charges and the basis of their calculation, ensuring that information about service charges is transparent and is communicated effectively to residents and the Barbican Residents’ Consultation Committee (RCC)  

Membership of the working party is for three years. Residents with specialist knowledge and experience are particularly welcome.

The Service Charge Working Party reports quarterly to the RCC and its work covers six key areas:

  1. Reviewing and commenting on the service charge reports to be presented to the RCC 
  2. Examining past service charge expenditure to compare with current or planned levels of expenditure
  3. Reviewing draft service charge budgets and discussing with officers the basis on which these estimates have been made
  4. Engaging with officers to understand the processes and policies around achieving value for money within the service charge
  5. Considering whether more forecasting is required and review what is and isn’t currently forecasted
  6. Forwarding any relevant comments that may impact on service delivery to the Working Parties of the RCC including the Asset Maintenance Working Party and Service Level Agreement Working Party

If you would like to know more, or would like to volunteer, please email chairspeedhouse@outlook.com by Friday 15 July stating:

  • Your name
  • The skills/knowledge you have to offer
  • The areas of the working party’s activities to which you aim to contribute
  • That you will take the Minutes on a rotational basis
  • If you are a current/prior member of this or another Barbican Working Party

Current and prior members of this working party are welcome to apply as their valuable knowledge will complement the fresh perspectives brought by new members. Decisions on membership will be made by the residents delegated by the Barbican Residents’ Consultation Committee.

Thank you for helping to create a Better Barbican.

Christopher Makin

Chair Residents’ Consultation Committee (RCC) http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=188

London Wall West – Response to proposals published 18 June 2022

Copy of open letter sent to Chris Hayward, Chair of the City of London’s Policy & Resources Committee on 23 June 2022

OVERALL COMMENT

We are dismayed that the fundamentals of the proposed design remain the same as those we saw last December. The scheme proposes the demolition of Bastion House and the Museum of London. In their place is planned a huge office-led development of some 780,000 sq. ft, including two massive new towers, with limited cultural and green space. The scheme is wholly inappropriate for a site of such significance, both in its physical form and in terms of its proposed usage. Moreover, it undermines the City’s desire, as expressed in Destination City, to be one of the world’s premier destinations through its cultural offerings.

OUR OBJECTIONS

We have been told repeatedly that the principal objective of the proposed development is to raise funds – for the move of the Museum of London and other City projects.

By focusing on this objective, the City will:

• Ignore the site’s rich history, which features the Romans, Shakespeare, and John Wesley and many other historical features. The opening up of the Roman Fort Gate will be severely diminished by its commercial setting.

• Sacrifice the site’s public cultural heritage: as the home of the Museum of London for 50 years and the previously intended location of the world-class Centre for Music. It remains the Southern gateway to Culture Mile linking the South Bank and Tate Modern to St. Paul’s Cathedral and beyond.

• Confront visitors instead with a huge commercial development, with a cultural offering representing just over one per cent of its space.

• Compromise the nature and architectural integrity of the Barbican Quarter. The Barbican is world-renowned and one of the City’s major post-war achievements. The Museum complements the public benefit of the Barbican while Bastion House reflects its admired Brutalist design. The new proposals include little in the way of public benefit while the height and mass of the buildings will dominate and diminish the surrounding neighbourhood.

• Undermine many of its own policies and statements: the draft City Plan; the Open Space, Responsible Business and Climate Change strategies; the aims expressed in Destination City and the desire for the City to be a cultural hub, as expressed in the Barbican/Golden Lane Strategy .

There are also questions concerning the scheme’s compatibility with the National Plan and the National Planning Framework . How can the City ask others to respect its policies if it fails to do so itself?

THE CITY’S CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY

It is now widely agreed that, because of the devastating impact of carbon emissions on global warming, and the large proportion of carbon emissions resulting from major construction projects, serviceable buildings should not be demolished if re-fitting them is a feasible alternative. Our polling showed that 88% of Barbican residents opposed demolition of Bastion House and the Museum of London. However, the Whole Life Carbon Assessment report prepared by the City’s project team dismisses the option of retaining Bastion House without providing the necessary factual evidence. The judgement is based on a hypothetical assessment of risk rather than a full structural survey.

Moreover, if the scheme were to go ahead in its current proposed form, it would add over 45,000 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere during the demolition and construction phases. This is more than the entire CO2 annual output of the City Corporation’s operational activities. How would this be compatible with the City’s stated aim of achieving Net Zero in its own operations by 2027?

THE CONSULTATION PROCESS

The City has stated its commitment to transparency and delivering a robust consultation process. We have commented elsewhere that this is far removed from our experience. Above all, the City has failed to engage with local stakeholders on the fundamental issues about the site as recommended by the National Planning Policy Framework.

While the Project Team has specified the nature of the consultation undertaken to date and highlighted the key concerns that arose (the height and mass of the proposed buildings, and issues of sustainability) they have provided no information whatsoever on the extent of those concerns, and why so little has been done to address them. We can only assume that the City’s failure to provide us with detailed information is because there is widespread opposition to these proposals.

In addition, the Project Team’s graphics are selective and misleading. There is little assessment of the scheme’s impact on the Barbican Estate and neighbouring conservation area. No 3D models demonstrating the full scale of what is proposed have been made available although we know they exist and their availability for stakeholders is encouraged in the London Plan .

We urge the City to live up to its commitment to transparency and consult meaningfully with the local community. The current process falls far short.

CONCLUSION

This remains a short-sighted proposal, lacking vision and apparently driven solely by the desire to raise money. Furthermore, the intention to enter into a long lease with a developer carries the risk that even the limited public benefits of the proposal would later be jettisoned by the developer.

As our polling showed, there is no evidence the scheme has the support of the local community. It is contrary to many of the City’s own policies. This is an outstanding site crying out for an imaginative scheme respecting its heritage and location. We once more invite the City to stop, think again, and work with us and the wider community to develop a scheme worthy of the site, the City and London itself.

Adam Hogg and Averil Baldwin Joint Chairs Barbican Quarter Action

Full pdf version of this letter can be seen here

www.londonstartshere.co.uk

twitter @barbicanquarter

instagram @barbicanquarteraction

London Wall West – Open meeting Wed 6th July

London Wall West – latest proposals

Open Meeting Wednesday 6 July 2022

The Barbican Association invites you to an open meeting to discuss the City’s latest proposals for London Wall West (the site currently occupied by the Museum of London and Bastion House.)

The meeting will be held on Wednesday 6 July at 7:00 pm in St. Giles Church

Please come if you can.

This is an important site and its development will affect residents and the wider community. The meeting will be a chance to tell you more about our response and for you to make your views known.

Refreshments will be provided and there will be time to mingle afterwards.

Adam Hogg,

Chairman of the Barbican Association 

Please contact Averil Baldwin email: averilmbaldwin@yahoo.com if there are any queries.

Barbican Quarter Action Group. New Website

Barbican Quarter Action is the new campaign group set up to protect the Barbican Estate and its vicinity, including Golden Lane, St Paul’s, Smithfield, Farringdon  and Clerkenwell from inappropriate and ill-considered development by the City of London both now and in the future.

The current campaign is focused on the plans for Bastion House and the Museum of London site: Barbican Quarter Action is asking the City of London to rethink, reset and stop this unacceptable development.

To learn more and to find out how to join the campaign please visit the website www.londonstartshere.co.uk which was launched today.

ASB reporter – May Summary

A total of 63 incidents were reported for May, however as 2 incidents were merely descriptive and no asb action reported; the official total for May is 61.

This represents an increase of 38.6% on the previous month’s total of 44 incidents.

Totals by house and their % of the total were as follows:

HouseIncidents
Ben Jonson35 (55.6%)
Frobisher Crescent12 (19%)
Gilbert7 (11.1%)
Thomas More4 (6.3%)
Shakespeare Tower2 (3.2%)
Lambert Jones Mews1 (1.6%)
Defoe1 (1.6%)
John Trundle Court1 (1.6%)

In terms of the number of incidents and type of asb activity reported, the results were as follows:

Parkour26 (42.7%)
Cycling18 (29.6%)
Rowdy behaviour5 (8.3%)
Skateboarding2 (3.3%)
Noisy – loud talking2 (3.3%)
Noisy –alcoholic drinks party in
Bonfire
1 (1.6%)
Vehicle nuisance noise – moped1 (1.6%)
Children playing football1 (1.6%)
Tricks on scooter – non-electric1 (1.6%)
Loud motor cycle1 (1.6%)
e-scooter1 (1.6%)
Rollerskating1 (1.6%)

Will residents please continue to report any asb incidents they may observe/witness until, at least, the 20th June 2022* as this will provide us with a full year’s data with which to persuade the Corporation to introduce additional measures to help deter anti-social behaviour from occurring across the estate.

*The Barbican Association’s General Council has agreed that reporting should carry on beyond this date – until further notice – as most asb incidents occur during the summer months each year.

David Bradshaw

Chair, Barbican Estate Security Committee

02/06/22

GoPuff – outcome of licensing hearing

Licensing Sub-Committee’s decision

I am sure that you will all recall the application made in April for a premises licence for GoPuff at 176 Aldersgate Street. By way of reminder the application stated that it was “to facilitate a grocery service that requires the Sale by Retail of Alcohol off sales Monday to Sunday 00:00 to 00:00 and on sales Monday to Sunday 08:00 to 23:00 …”. To confirm these intentions, in answer to the question “Will the supply of alcohol be for consumption on or off the premises the answer “Both” was given by the applicant.

Many objections to the application were submitted on the grounds of the Prevention of Public Nuisance and a Licensing Sub-Committee Hearing was held on 18th May 2022 at which a good number of objectors made personal representations. .

No delivery of alcohol allowed

The Sub Committee concluded that it was necessary and appropriate to impose conditions upon the licence so as to address the concerns relating to enforcement of the licensing objectives in general and the promotion of public safety and the promotion of prevention of public nuisance. Hence it ruled that there was to be no delivery of alcohol from the premises at any time and that customers would be required to collect any alcohol purchase from within the premises. In other words, alcohol can only be sold to customers on the premises between the hours of 8am to 11pm 7 days a week.  

Planning permission now required

Re the delivery of other goods, and the times permitted for those deliveries, this will now be a planning decision. A planning officer has confirmed that “It is the view of the Planning Division that the proposed use of the premises as outlined by GoPuff in their premises licence application, would primarily fall within Class B8 (Storage & Distribution) of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (As Amended) albeit with an ancillary public counter. Such use would constitute a ‘material change of use’ requiring planning permission. Should an application for planning permission come forward, planning can consider all aspects of the proposed use including servicing, hours of operation and potential impacts on the amenity of adjoining and nearby residential neighbours”.

So we now have to wait to see what GoPuff’s response to the Hearing’s decision will be and whether a planning application for change of use will be submitted.

But transfer of licence made

But it is not just as simple as that. We have been informed that the premises already had a suspended licence from the previous occupier) and it is open to any new occupiers to transfer this licence to their business. The licence has therefore now been transferred to GoPuff and it can therefore be used by them. The old licence DOES NOT prohibit deliveries and permits them up to midnight Thursday to Saturday and 23:00 the rest of the week.

So we now just have to wait to see how the situation develops.