General meeting minutes 21st March 2011

Last modified date

Notes taken at a General Meeting

between 7.30 to 9.30pm in the Lecture Hall of B6 College Lea Bridge Roundabout E5
On Monday 21 March 2011

1. Apologies – No apologies were received. Attendance was around 25 people

2. Neighbourhood Development Plan

Introduction by Ian Rathbone (Chair of Clapton Pond Neighbourhood ActionGroup)
Ian began by screening a video programme illustrating the Chatsworth Road Neighbourhood Development Plan. This was a very well put together production by Euan Mills, a local resident who is also an urban planner, outlining a new way of the community deciding on plans for the future of thearea and gave a positive insight to those present of how the local communitycan work together to have a say in future plans for Clapton.

He emphasised the importance of clarifying ‘An Identity for Clapton’ and the production of our own Clapton Neighbourhood Development Plan. Herecommended a series of meetings to move this forward. He also emphasisedthe importance of encouraging the Council’s Planning Dept to consult and work WITH the community instead of dictating to it and imposing unwanted developments upon us.

3.Pond House, 162 Lower Clapton Road

Presentation by Charles Moran (planning) and Ian Franks (architect)

Proposals were shown for the restoration and development of Grade II* listedbuilding, Pond House, into 4 high quality apartments in the main house andthe stable block/coach house into 1 dwelling. The ugly ‘70’s extension atthe rear of Pond House to be demolished and the gardens redesigned and landscaped. The land currently occupied by garages (formerly let to St JohnAmbulance) in Mildenhall Road to be the site of 6 town houses.

The proposals as described and illustrated were positively received by most, ifnot all, of those present with a few provisos which it is hoped will be taken onboard and ironed out once planning applications to council are made available.

It was confirmed that the existing front wall and trees are also listed and cannot be removed. These were not shown in the visuals as the architectwanted people to be able clearly see the proposed scheme for the frontelevation of the house.

Also, it was pointed out that the illustration showing the proposed 6 town houses running between the ends of garden walls at 158 & 160 Lower ClaptonRoad down to the first house on the north side of Mildenhall Road wasincorrect as it implied that part of the rear extension of Pond House continuedinto the garden of 158. It was acknowledged that this was an error.

It was also pointed out that as the apartments in the main house and stableblock were to be leasehold and that the 6 town houses were to be freehold witha section of garden in the main garden, wouldn’t it be better for one managingagent to be responsible for the whole estate? The planners thoughts were thatmost houses prefer to be freehold but it was acknowledged that as most newleases are now 999 years, long leases would be considered.

4. The Clapton Hart Public House (formerly The White Hart aka Chimes)

The Antic Pub Group has acquired this building next door to the closed Palace Pavilion and near to the Lea Bridge Roundabout. The Group has applied to the Council for extensive licensing as follows:

Supply of alcohol and recorded music
from 10.00 to 00.00 Sun to Weds
from 10.00 to 01.00 Thurs to Sat
from 10.00 to 02.00 Fri to Sun of Bank Holiday weekends; Christmas Eve:Boxing Day: and up to 10 occasions per annum; and on New Year’s Eve from10.00 to 00.00 on January 2nd
from 12.00 to 22.00 Sun to Wed
from 12.00 to 23.00 Thurs
from 12.00.00 to 00.00 Fri and Sat

Late night refreshment (ie when they close)
from 23.00 to 00.30 Sun to Wed
from 23.00 to 01.30 Thurs to Sat
from 23.00 to 02.30 Fri to Sun of Bank Holiday weekends: Christmas Eve:Boxing Day: and up to ten occasions per annum and on New Year’s Eve from 23.00 to 00.30 on January 2nd

A representative of the Group (introduced as Max) spoke at length and described the aims for this pub emphasising that it will be a ‘family pub’which is what we had been advised earlier.

Although most people present welcomed the idea of having a traditional local family pub, these licensing applications indicated that it hardly fitted that description.

Max assured the meeting that their record of acquiring other pubs such as the similarly named The White Hart in Stoke Newington (closest to Clapton) are huge successes and carefully controlled. He stated that it was not the Group’s intention to necessarily fully use these extensive licensing hours but on the occasions when they did require them, having them in place already was amatter of convenience. He informed the meeting that the proposal had the approval of the police.

An employee of B6 College, Lea Bridge Roundabout, was concerned about the adverse affect the pub might have on the students and was told that itwould not open until 4pm. It will be, principally, to provide for families and local people. There is to be a large garden area. Capacity 300 people. This will close at 9pm. (Children 8pm)

The problem was raised of parking in the residential streets all hours of thenight and day. These streets are already saturated. Max replied that he did not think parking would be a problem as locals and families would not be bringingcars and their aim was to attract this demographic. He went on to say that they plan to control noise and closely monitor people leaving as appreciate it is close to a residential area but he also said that they cannot be responsible for what happens outside. It was agreed that CPNAG would be pursuing this situation with a view to drawing up a parking plan with mobile phone numbersto call, notices about not parking in local streets and not making noise when leaving late at night.

The general consensus was that a family pub would be welcome and that weshould adopt a ‘wait and see’ policy. However several people present were doubtful about it realistically being a traditional local pub and were opposed.

5. Public Toilets Block corner of Millfields and Mildenhall Road

Plans and visuals were made available for all present to see.

There was a strong reaction against the scheme from all present. The main objection being the inappropriateness of this particular proposal for thisparticular site, particularly in terms of size and design.
Several people expressed worrying views about the sheer mass of the building and its impact on the area so close to Clapton Pond and Gardens. The feelingwas that the Conservation Area would be degraded rather than improved by this proposal.

Others were worried that no parking facilities had been provided and that there was no relief – no landscaping to relieve the huge bulk of the building. Many thought that a retail outlet would be detrimental at this point at thejunction of two residential roads.

There was total disappointment and dissent to this proposal.

6. Clapton Festival (11 and 12 June 2011)

Dave Rindl (vice-chair CPNAG) and Julia Lafferty (CPNAG and ClaptonArts Trust) briefly explained their involvement and that of the Clapton Square Residents Association. They described some of the proposed eventsfor this weekend and asked for volunteers to help. Present plans include: A Fashion Show: Films (one on fashion), possibly showing one of them in the original old Clapton Cinematograph (Palace Pavilion site) : Food of many varieties: Historical Walks: Art and Photography in some of the empty shops. Participation/involvement from other shops throughout Clapton.

Anyone wishing to be involved to contact Dave Rindl.

7. Any Other Business

Tram Shed Proposal

Julia Lafferty distributed a photograph of the proposal for this important sitein Upper Clapton Road with descriptive comments and asked that anyone whoagreed that this ‘monstrosity’ was to replace the existing buildings occupiedby working artists/craftsmen should send an objection to Cllr Ian Rathboneat asking him to relay your objections to thePlanning Committee.
As B6 Lecture Hall was only booked 7.30 to 9.30 the meeting had to close at this point.

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