Streatham Hill Theatre Sold
The freehold of the Streatham Hill Theatre has been sold. The Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre were aware that a theatre company has been in advanced discussions with the old freeholders to buy it and turn it back into a working theatre with the support of The Theatres Trust, Historic England, and Lambeth Council. However, their bid was not successful. The Friends have heard that discussions are already in progress between the new freeholder and the theatre company bidder to negotiate either a resale or lease. They stated, “Be assured that the Friends will continue to follow developments closely and do everything we can to preserve this precious heritage building and see it returned as a fully working arts, culture and community hub for South London.”
Travelodge Plans for Hideaway Site
The application for Planning Permission (22/01081/FUL) for a 117-bedroom Travelodge hotel on the Hideaway site at 2 Empire Mews is under consideration by Lambeth Council. The plans include a “flexible commercial unit at ground floor to be enjoyed by the local community”. This modest unit of 357 square metres is not enough to compensate Streatham residents for the loss of yet more vital community and live performance space. The unit looks too small to accommodate a bar, loos, a dressing room etc that are needed for a sustainable venue. While development of the site is welcome, it also offers an opportunity to reflect the history and character of the area. The Hideaway Jazz Club is the site of the former Empire Cinema, which was destroyed by a flying bomb in 1944. Surely this important site (partly in a Conservation Area) in Streatham merits a better design than this seven-storey Travelodge template?
Low Traffic Neighbourhood Update
Lambeth Council’s decision to make Streatham Hill and Tulse Hill LTNs permanent is imminent with mitigations yet to be determined. A recent Council statement refers only to dispensations for “Blue Badge holders and other key service providers”. 23rd May saw the first of 3 Lambeth-organised Streatham Wells round-table events, which focused on Lambeth’s transport strategy goals. The next two meetings will focus on “traffic interventions”. Neil Salt, Chair of Streatham Action Transport Group, commented “As Leigham Court Rd. has seen traffic increase by 26% since it became a boundary road to the Streatham Hill LTN, any plan that increases the strain on it, such as by introducing a Streatham Wells LTN would be irresponsible without accompanying effective mitigations.”
The long-awaited c.£8.5m TfL A23 improvements’ project between Streatham Hill and Brixton Hill is on hold until TfL and the Government reach a longer-term financial settlement with TfL.
Bishop Thomas Grant School Plans
Resident, Vanessa Bastian, has contacted us about plans submitted to the Council for an artificial sports pitch and “associated landscape works” at Bishop Thomas Grant School in Belltrees Grove, SW16 Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation”. See the plans on the Lambeth Planning Portal (reference 22/01423/FUL) which are available for public comment until 9 June – though the Council will take comments made after this into account. Residents’ concerns include the substantial loss of mature green canopy cover and habitat, among other things. Vanessa writes, “The existing woodland is an important part of the local environment, both for its trees and the wildlife it supports. Spaces such as these cannot easily be brought back once they are destroyed. The Woodlands have been untouched for over 50 years and the wildlife and biodiversity unmeasurable and immensely important for an inner-city environment and its air quality.”