The Lodge, Honeywood Walk, Carshalton Village

Your local councillors in the heart of Carshalton's Conservation Area

Your local councillors in the heart of Carshalton’s Conservation Area

This is to advise The Lodge consultation is still open until end of February 2015. We’d like to encourage those who haven’t yet done so to complete EcoLocal’s online consultation questionnaire to have a say about the future of The Lodge.

In September 2011 the Council’s Carshalton Local Committee agreed that it would like to see The Lodge (off Honeywood Walk) and The Grove (House) buildings used respectively by Eco-Local and a voluntary sector partnership. Since then both groups have been working up their proposals for taking over these buildings.

Eco-Local has undertaken a feasibility study for The Lodge which includes offices, teaching classroom, communal meeting facilities, residential, storage and workshops. Eco-Local are developing their plans further, including a survey of the building, intending to agree terms and conditions and submit a planning application during the first half of 2015.

Eco Local has just finished consulting local groups on their plans. We understand that over 350 responses were received and 97% were enthusiastic about EcoLocal’s plans for the Lodge. Ecolocal is a well-respected local environmental charity and commands much local support.

Eco Local also gave a presentation on their plans to the January 2015 meeting of the Council’s Carshalton Local Committee, and residents also expressed their continued interest there.

It was therefore surprising to Hamish, Alan and Jill as local councillors that the opposition Conservative councillors attacked the idea of The Lodge being taken over by EcoLocal when asking questions at the meeting of the Full Council on Monday, 19th January 2014. One Conservative councillor suggested that The Lodge should be sold at market rate to realise a profit for the council. This suggestion was roundly rejected at the Carshalton Local Committee held in September 2011 where the clear majority of residents wanted The Lodge to be leased to EcoLocal. The same Conservative councillor also suggested The Lodge should be sold to ease the housing shortage with affordable housing for rent on the site. He clearly did not know that The Lodge was within The Grove Park Management Plan boundaries, that it was in the high profile Carshalton Village Conservation Area and that it was an historic building. This sort of proposal is just not suitable for a green parkland area next to Carshalton Ponds, for a conservation area (where planning is tightly controlled), and would destroy the building’s historic past.

Hamish, Alan and Jill will continue to support EcoLocal’s takeover of The Lodge from the Council on a lease from the Council. This is the same business model being used for the successful bidder for the Charles Cryer Theatre. The Sutton Theatres Trust is taking over the Charles Cryer and Secombe Theatres on a lease from the council, and like EcoLocal will pay rent to the council. The opposition Conservatives have pledged support for the theatres takeover, but it seems not for EcoLocal.

The Lodge – An Update

EcoLocal gave a presentation at the Carshalton Local Committee last week on their progress to retain The Lodge for community use.

As they said: “The Lodge is situated within the grounds of the Ecology Centre at the heart of historic Carshalton. Sutton Council no longer has use for The Lodge and is considering how to dispose of it. The Council has been very supportive and at the meeting last night useful questions were asked, and once again our proposals received positive feedback. You can read about our plans online. We’d like to encourage those who haven’t yet completed our online consultation questionnaire to have a say about the future of The Lodge. The more responses we get the better. And please do share the link with other people you think might be interested. Thank you”.

Update: This is to advise the Lodge consultation is still open until end of February.

Carshalton & Clockhouse Local Committee, 6th January 2015

Chairman Councillor Hamish Pollock says: “Do come along to our meeting of the Carshalton & Clockhouse Local Committee on Tuesday 6th January 2015 from 7.30pm. We’ll be meeting at Carshalton Beeches Baptist Church, Banstead Road, Carshalton, which is quite near the shopping parades.”

Carshalton Beeches Baptist Church
Carshalton Beeches Baptist Church

Hear about Environmental Improvements in your area

Safer Neighbourhood Team

Get updates on The Lodge abnd The Grove House.

Find out more about how the local committee spends money on Public Realm Improvements

Hear how you could access a neighbourhood grant of up to £500 for your local group, including youth groups…

SEE YOU THERE!

Carshalton Village – Focus Team’s Actions

In recent years we have been fully involved amongst many other matters with the following activities:-

1) More School Places. We successfully worked with Carshalton All Saints C of E Primary School and with local residents to bring a new form of entry.

2) Preserving and Enhancing our Heritage. We designed and obtained funding for a new Carshalton Second World War Memorial to be completed this year. We are also deep cleaning all the borough’s war memorials.

3) Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour. We worked with local police to ensure that anti-social behaviour is minimised and Carshalton High Street and local parks kept safe.

4) Heritage Centre. We refurbished the Heritage Centre at Honeywood Walk, Carshalton with improved displays, using Lottery Funding.

5) Improved Leisure Facilities. We refurbished and modernised Westcroft Centre including a new Carshalton Library.

6) Invested in our High Street. We secured funding for new Carshalton village signs which will be installed soon, introduced the Carshalton Christmas lights and brought the new Frost Fair to help local businesses thrive.

7) Listening to You. Carshalton Council buildings including The Lodge and The Grove House: We consulted extensively with local residents and Friends Groups over re-use of the redundant council buildings whose future re-use is now assured.

8) Better Transport. We successfully campaigned with Tom Brake MP and other Lib Dem councillors to save the cross London Thameslink loopline trains service.

9) Safer Roads 1. We installed safer crossing facilities at the junction of Ruskin Road and Park Lane following the All Saints School expansion nearby. We got pavement bollards installed at the junction of Ruskin Road and Woodstock Road.

10) Safer Roads 2. We successfully campigned for TfL to install new railings around Carshalton Ponds.

11) Carshalton Park. We installed marker posts to protect the air raid shelter discovered in 2012 and various brick piers to the park railings rebuilt/repaired. We have got the “Ornamental Garden” between Talbot Road/The Square junction and Ruskin Road improved.

12) The Grove Park. We install a new waste bins and a new multi-gym at the award winning park.

Carshalton Village’s Old Buildings

Click on the link below to see the historic video made in the Summer. Since the video was made the council have of course decided to not decant staff from buildings in Carshalton into Sutton’s Civic Offices.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqaP5N9jJWY

“Under one roof” plan for Sutton Council rejected. Carshalton’s Heritage Buildings Update

Sutton Council has rejected a plan to close its district offices and relocate staff under one roof – saying the £15 million costs were too high in the current financial climate.

Preliminary research had suggested the council could make savings if it shut its offices including Denmark Road, The Lodge, The Grove and Stonecourt in Carshalton Village and instead house the workers in the Civic Offices in Sutton.

But when presented with the full business case for the “Smarter Working” project, members of the Executive have just said it would not be appropriate to spend the money at the current time.

Cllr. John Drage, Sutton Council’s Executive Member for Finance and Efficiency, said: “Now is not the right time to spend such a large amount of taxpayers’ money, given the current economic climate and tough financial times we are all facing.

“There are simply too many variables beyond our control. There are economic factors, uncertainty over the property market, government housing reforms and question marks over the cost of borrowing, which mean we have to be cautious.”

The council is currently carrying out a review, called Smarter Services Sutton, of everything it does to see if it can do things in a different, less costly and more effective way.

At its meeting earlier this week, the Executive agreed that once the majority of these reviews have been implemented it would have a better idea of the council’s accommodation needs over the coming years.

Cllr. Drage said: “We will then have a clearer idea of what accommodation we require and which buildings could be vacated and found alternative uses for.”

Cllr. Ruth Dombey, the council’s Deputy Leader, added: “We have thought long and hard about this. In simplistic terms, we have several council buildings and it would seem there is money to be saved by reducing that number.

“But in this economic climate, going ahead with the full blown business case does not seem to be the sensible thing to do. We need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a different solution.

“It has been a very useful exercise and we have met a lot of different groups, especially in Carshalton Village, who have come up with some very interesting ideas about possible uses for some of our buildings which we could return to in the future.”

The Smarter Working project was considered because the Civic Offices building is now over 30 years old and its electrics, lighting, heating and ventilation systems need replacing. The work would have increased the number of staff able to work at the Civic Offices in Sutton Town Centre from 612 to 1,165.

Protecting Carshalton’s Heritage Report back from Special September Local Committee

 

Local Committee chairman, Cllr. Hamish Pollock reports: “Over seventy local residents came to the recent Carshalton & Clockhouse Local Committee on 15th September, to listen to and discuss ideas for protecting Carshalton’s historic buildings. It proved to be a highly successful event.”
“A local historic buildings expert talked about The Lodge, Stonecourt and The Grove, for which new uses will need to be found, if the Council decides to move staff to the Civic Offices, Sutton in a few years’ time under the One Council, One Roof project.”

Local Committee Vice-Chair Cllr. Jill Whitehead says: “During the summer the Council consulted a number of local groups to seek suggestions as to proposed new uses for these buildings. We talked to The Friends of the Grove, The Friends of Carshalton Park, Friends of The Water Tower, The Friends of Sutton Ecology Centre, Westmead Allotments Association, and also the Carshalton Society.
Two of the groups made presentations at the meeting namely Friends of the Grove and Friends of the Ecology Centre. They were joined by Sutton Council for Voluntary Service who put forward a proposal to use The Grove as a voluntary sector “hub” for local groups, and Eco-Local, a well-known local environmental organisation which proposed using The Lodge and The Old Rectory as a major local centre for environmental research and activity.”

Cllr. Alan Salter adds: “The Council will now take all the ideas forward for further consideration. The Council’s Executive Committee will meet in November to assess if the One Council project should go ahead. If it does, it will be discussed in detail at further Local Committee meetings in December 2011 and April 2012, before any final decisions on buildings uses are made.”