The next London Road LAT meeting is 18:15 for 18:30 at Calvary Church hall, Viaduct Road.
The focus of this months’ meeting is HMOs – Houses in Multiple Occupation. Shared rented houses are an essential part of the housing mix and our neighbourhood has a high density of them. Cllr Tracey Hill, who has been working exensively on co-ordinating community and Council responses to the issue of HMO’s, will be speaking at the meeting.
More on the London Road LAT website.
At the January Drara meeting residents expressed concern at the clearance of former Old Railway allotments – the stretch of land sandwiched between the Open House pub and London Road Station. Despite numerous attempts over several decades by local groups to have the area designated as a park and wildlife area, planning permission was granted in 2009, for the development of four two bedroom houses, when BHCCs refusal was overturned by the Planning Inspector.
Many residents were surprised to see the sudden clearance of vegetation in December, as the site has for years provided a green screen, and is home to wildlife. While this isn’t strictly in the Drara area, it is very visible to us, and the issue has been looked into in more detail by our neighbouring resident group, Southdown Rise at their January meeting.
It appears that planning conditions may well have been breached, as orignal wildlife surveys found slow worms on the site. Planning conditions state that the prior to development a survey must be under taken and any slow worms rehomed. While a survey was undertaken, this was done at a time when slow worms are hibernating. The issue has been raised with local councillors Leo Littman and Julie Cattell, and our MP Caroline Lucas who have all made enquiries as to what’s going on. In the meantime, a petition has been set up by Clare Tyler to save the slow worms – for anyone concerned to sign.
To see the land in its former glory see The Roundhill Society
Full planning application: BH2012/03286
Having been discussed for some time a bike share scheme is set to start on our streets this summer. A three year contract has been awarded to Hourbike who run other schemes including Oxford and Reading. Bikes will be available from 50 hubs across the city – and one of those hubs will be at London Road Station. Drara members met with council officers to discuss the best siting for the hub – and were successful in ensuring the proposed site has been moved – from outside homes on the west side of Shaftsbury Place to the north end, outside the station. Prior to installation of the hub a Traffic Regulation Order is required and a planning notice is currently displayed outside the station. Any comments are needed by Feburary 10th.