The Future of our High Street

 

Below is a summary of the items discussed in the Herne Hill forum's public meeting Wed 24 April 2013.

 

Protecting the independent nature of Herne Hill

 

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Herne Hill recognises that it has its own independent identity that it needs to protect.

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Local traders need to fight back by providing same or better than the Herne Hill supermarket chains.

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Use your local Londis supermarket - stocks surprising range of organic products, herbs & spices etc as well as regular items.

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Shops in Herne Hill need to improve both their external appearance and their offers. This includes more late night shopping.

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Local jobs for local people

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Local businesses keep money local

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Boycott of Tesco by local shoppers

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If Tesco does not come, careful that another chain does not step into its place!

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Object to Dulwich Estate plans to redevelop the Half Moon pub with flats built above and behind. This may stop it being THE live event venue in Herne Hill.

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ATM; Herne Hill needs another cashpoint so that locals can use local businesses. Traders felt the dip when Lloyds bank left Herne Hill.

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Provision for Herne Hill’s young people – youth clubs, activities etc.

 

Planning & Licensing

 

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Planning Department – keep retail units small so that independent businesses can afford to take them on.

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Planning laws not specific enough to prevent chain takeover. This should be rectified.

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Market forces for planning classes (eg A1, A2, A3 etc)

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Herne Hill can have its own mix of retail unit classes.

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Can Lambeth stop Tesco? Tesco have signed the lease but still need planning permission for sale of alcohol and signage. Cllr Taggart Parker will represent Herne Hill’s anti Tesco campaign.

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Renegotiate with Nordic the split of the £125,000 section 106 money as the impact on Herne Hill of Tesco will be more substantial than the 3-4 retail units in the original Goldcrest plans.

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Parking will be an issue with Tesco

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Road repairs need to be done on Carver Road / Herne Hill junction caused in part by heavy goods vehicles to Sainsbury’s

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Council & community need to be more alert in future re planning permission to prevent another chain entering Herne Hill (eg along Norwood Road)

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Local consultation needs to happen, to feed into Neighbourhood Plan

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Abuse of regulations by some traders (night time economy in particular) needs efficient enforcement by councils. Establishing a system whereby local intelligence is gathered is paramount.

 

Tesco’s stance

 

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Tesco listening to local opposition, consultation letters have gone out this week. (Audience feeling that arrival a ‘done deal’, there is no community need for another supermarket and there was no local consultation).

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Tesco aims to employ local people but cannot discriminate on who applies for jobs. Southwark encourages chains to employ local workers.

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Estimated 20-25 jobs, mix of full and part time.

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Tesco supports national charity (Diabetes) but also tries to support local campaigns.

 

Future of Herne Hill’s high streets

 

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Turn empty shops into affordable housing to prevent the push out of London of the urban poor.

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Southwark prefers to protect retail units and not turn them into housing as once a shop has disappeared, it will not return.

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The Meanwhile Project can help communities temporarily use empty shops for community organisations, charities, businesses and projects by negotiating with councils and landlords.