David has finally received some good news via Cllr Jim Dickson:

Dear neighbours, apologies for the tedious flow of emails about parking; hopefully this will be the last!

Councillor Jim Dickson – with whom I’ve been in touch over the daft issuing of fines, on behalf of Fawnbrake residents – has received some good news, despite our initial challenges to Lambeth being turned down.

It’s self-explanatory, and he’s asked me to spread the word, so here it is:

Dear Cllr Dickson,

Further to my ME response yesterday I have continued to look into the suspensions and resulting PCNs on Fawnbrake Avenue, as I am aware a number of customers have been affected.

I can now confirm that any PCN cases which are still open will be cancelled.

This is because we accept that the multiple suspensions on the street may have caused confusion, coupled with the fact that the nature of the street furniture on Fawnbrake Avenue (to which we affixed the suspensions) means the information may have been inconsistently displayed.

We are currently investigating the feasibility of mobile posts to affix signs to, so that in the future information is more clearly displayed.

Kind regards,


James Edlin
Performance and Development Officer 

7th Floor, Blue Star House

Well done, David! But I guess we should continue to be vigialnt, and prudent where we park.  Lambeth may now improve the accuracy of the parking suspension notices.


HereFawnbrake parking tix‘s a timely and useful post from our neighbour David Williams.





The many Fawnbrake residents caught out by Lambeth’s dawn parking ticket raids during the (otherwise very welcome) pavement works, might like to know that Councillor Jim Dickson is trying to help.

I was one of the first to receive a £130 fine when all the spaces outside our house were full, and I parked farther down the road. On a direct route back to my house I carefully noted signs warning that parking would be suspended the following week. Sadly, none of them pointed out that the bit I’d parked in was also suspended…

I challenged the ticket via Lambeth’s online system (as advised on the ticket) but they’re basically saying ‘tough’ – maintaining that the signage was ‘sufficient and adequate’, meeting ‘statutory requirements’.

However Councillor Jim Dickson is looking into this on residents’ behalf, and challenging the council’s assertion that they got it right. Lambeth is looking into individual tickets again and we await the outcome.

I’ve written, again, pointing out that some of the signs are contradictory, unclear, too low down to the ground (therefore obscured by cars/wheelie bins if you walk along the road, not the dodgy, uneven pavements) etc.. Some signs even referred not to pavement works at all, but, mistakenly, to ‘tree surgery’; plain incorrect. Even now, the pavement-layers are working outside sections that are, according to one sign, meant to be suspended.

In the meantime – while also, obviously responding officially to your parking ticket within the time limit – please contact Jim to let him know your concerns; we have only limited time to do this.

He is contactable on

David Williams


Lambeth Council’s proposal to permit two massive music festival in Brockwell Park this summer provoked a quite unprecedented storm of protest from residents.  The public meeting, called and chaired by the Herne Hill Forum in January, was a cauldron of rage.

In consequence (and there are local elections just round the corner, aren’t there?), one of the events, Lovebox (why do they use such juvenile names?) has decamped to West London.  Their departure was the occasion of some quite byzantine events within our expensive Town Hall, as unearthed by the excellent Brixton Buzz.

But Lambeth, hungry for the money, have evidently given the amber light to the other event, Field Day.  This promises to be scarcely less disruptive, and with some 39,000 attendees predicted, the impact on Herne Hill will not be good.

Various groups have mounted objections. The Herne Hill Society have reiterated their earlier objections and the very active Brockwell Tranquillity group, coordained through Facebook, have lodged a very powerful and deeply-researched document challenging the legal basis for the licence: Tranquillity Objection to Brockwell License

Licensing objections need to be in by Monday 5 March. I have added my modest objections, see below:

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I am writing to lodge an objection to the proposal from Waxarch Ltd to hold the Field Day event in Brockwell Park in June 2018.

I oppose this event specifically on the following grounds:

Public safety will be jeopardised. The total numbers attending Field Day/Mighty Hoopla (37,500 on the Saturday, as estimated by the organisers), would place a huge strain on public transport and on public security. It is a dramatically large number to manage in our area’s narrow streets and with our limited bus and train services. We recall that last year’s Sunfall resulted in the police being called to deal with unsafe crowds, and problems witnessed both for Sunfall and the Fireworks display include crushes and people being pushed off of the pavement into on-coming traffic at Park gates. The present application appears to offer no additional crowd management points: it would use the same gates, and there are no details around calculations for crowd exit speeds e The Brixton Water Lane gate has a very narrow lead in, forming a natural bottle neck, explaining why it has so often been the site of crushes. This could be mitigated through additional crowd management points, where people can be held until the crush subsides, are needed within the Park but outside the fences. No details of this are given on the plan and a license should not be granted until plans for this are provided.

Crime and disorder is a real possibility and the organisers have demonstrated no meaningful measures to combat this. On past form (e.g. last year’s Sunfall event) Issues such as drug dealing, drug taking and disposal of drug paraphernalia may not be confined to the area designated for the event, but are likely to spill over into other areas of the park and the surrounding streets and residents’ gardens, resulting in long-term damage and pollution. Do we expect our over-stretched police to prevent all this? And our limited park managers to clean up afterwards? At Sunfall these issues were not dealt with by the police because they were occupied with crowd management

There is a high possibility of public nuisance. The license for music is very late – music until 23.00 on the Friday and Saturday, and 22.30 on the Sunday. This is a residential park, surrounded on all sides by homes in close proximity to the event site. Yet it is likely to take several hours for people to exit the site, which means locals could be dealing with large numbers of drunk people outside their homes until well past 1am. Given a ticketed event of this magnitude has not taken place in the Park before, the cut off for live music should be 9pm with an event close of 10pm, in line with other events such as the Lambeth Country Show’s 8pm finish, 10pm for the Fireworks display and a 10pm live music license and 10.30pm shut down for Sunfall.

In general, my concerns are dealt with in more detail by the Brockwell Tranquillity objection that has been submitted in a representative capacity.

And in conclusion ,  I believe that events on this scale are too large for the Park, and should never be tolerated.

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Our horizons are changing


For those of us who live on the North/North-West side of Herne Hill, and for the many more who use Herne Hill Station, the familiar close horizon has been brutally and unexpectedly disturbed by a huge and intrusive new housing development.

For many years – probably for ever, in fact – we have enjoyed fairly open skies. With the exception of the two post-war tower blocks facing Brockwell Park, there have been no very tall buildings either in Herne Hill itself or on the horizon, until the eye reaches the distant new towers of Vauxhall, Blackfriars and The Shard, and the City. As we wandered down Kestrel Avenue from Herne Hill, the tallest object we could see on the skyline was Battersea Power Station with its iconic white chimneys.

That is so last year! Battersea Power Station has been blotted out. Now, anyone walking down Kestrel Avenue is assaulted by a massive new apartment block. It crouches just over the Herne Hill border, neighbouring the Ark Evelyn Grace Academy and sandwiched between Shakespeare Road, Loughborough Park and the Thameslink railway track. But its presence now dominates the whole horizon in that direction.

What is it? Loughborough Park, once a prewar and relatively un-dense social housing estate managed by the Guinness Trust, has been in the throes of redevelopment for some years, at the behest of Lambeth Council. Controversially, the old tenants were “persuaded” to vacate their properties to allow redevelopment: Brixton Buzz had a typically partisan but probably accurate account of the process in 2015.

The Loughborough Park development, being carried out and managed by Guinness Homes Ltd, is an ambitious one. It will provide 487 new apartments, accessed on a social rent, “affordable” rent or shared ownership basis. Some of the blocks, visible from the train, are already in occupation: the whole thing is due for completion by 2019. The 133 apartments offering shared ownership are being marketed under the apparently enticing strapline “Electric Quarter”. The others seem to have no such fancy label. The huge block that now looms on our horizon appears to be one of those.

The need for new housing in London is undeniable. Our city’s population is expected to reach more than nine million by 2020 – an increase of 14 per cent in a decade – pushed up by immigration and rising birth rates. And in a further decade London will be home to more than 10 million people as it continues to draw in migrants and generate young families.

So we must resign ourselves, here in Herne Hill, to a blighted horizon and, once this giant block is occupied, by significant nighttime light pollution. But one weeps especially for the residents of the northern segments of Shakespeare Road and Mayall Road, whose rear-facing outlooks must now be ruined forever by these huge blocks.