SE23.com - The Official Forum for Forest Hill & Honor Oak, London SE23
Online since 2002  -  10,000+ members

Home | SE23 Topics | Shops & Services | Wider Topics | Offered/Wanted/Lost/Found | Advertising | Contact
Geddes Hairdressing & Barbering Studio One Armstrong & Co Solicitors Adult Learning Lewisham


Post Reply  Post Topic 
Pages (5): « First [1] 2 3 4 5 Next > Last »
Expansion of Miriam Lodge Hostel for Homeless
Author Message
michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
29-08-2012 10:18 PM

There has been a planning application submitted to increase the size of Miriam Lodge from 125 units to 186 units. Miriam Lodge is a Hostel for homeless people.

http://acolnet.lewisham.gov.uk/LEWIS-XSL...mkey=67347

If you live close by and have concerns please let me know by PM or email michael@foresthillsociety.com or share your views on the forum.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Red fox


Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2012
Post: #2
01-09-2012 12:09 PM

I have just received the letter informing me that Miriam Lodge is proposing an additional 61 rooms to their existing hostel.  
 
First of all i wonder what the exact client group is that is going to be housed? There is no mention of that in the proposal. From what i have seen Miriam House is providing temporary housing for vulnerable people who often struggle with substance abuse issues. I have work experience in this field myself. This has thought me that there is a critical mass to such projects.  When projects become too big the problems become unmanageable. Provision for vulnerable people is essential but it needs to be spread and not concentrated. Dartmouth Rd is doing its part already as we have a hostel, a methadone prescribing service and our fair share of street drinkers gathering in front of the job centre in Dartmouth RD. For one street that is enough.
 
Miriam Lodge is a commercial provider of housing and they have no interest in their resident’s wellbeing. When i wanted to address noise issues with them recently i found no phone number for them on the internet. Clearly they did not want to be contacted.  I went there in person. The member of staff on duty was helpful and did sort a particular issue but he was alone on duty. Miriam lodge will run the hostel on a shoe string. They will not be able to intervene when needed or support their vulnerable tenants.
 
Since Miriam Lodge have started their service Dartmouth Rd has changed.  Till a few years ago no one was begging in the street. Now it is a common feature especially but not exclusively in the evenings. There are often loud arguments especially in the bus stop in front of the school that is serving Miriam Lodge clients as well. It is not uncommon to have your night rest interrupted by people shouting abuse at each other, threatening each other. I will spare you the details. Noise from the hostel is a daily occurrence, people shouting, arguing , playing loud music either from their rooms or from car stereo`s.  If there is staff present then they do not seem to be able to do something about it. Dealing has gone on and will increase due to economy of scale. I was offered drugs by someone in front of the road leading to Miriam House by someone who was under the influence of some substance himself. I politely declined. We had had an issue where people started to use the bus shelter as a meeting point during the night talking loudly till the early hours. My car has been broken in twice.  Our house has been burgled. There was a period when racist comments were written on our house.
Recently Dartmouth Rd and Kirk dale received extra money to revive shops and to try to create a good business environment to attract people back into these streets. This is vital as the neighbourhood has gone backwards. Especially close to Miriam House and the round abound Kirkdale with shops closing and the street front looking dilapidated.
 
A bigger hostel will lead to bigger issues in the neighbourhood we all know that.  It will ruin the recent efforts to regenerate the area. Vulnerable people have no change of recovery when housed in chaotic circumstances with a lot of vulnerable people around them. Especially as no one is looking after their needs and their housing provider is only interested in profit.  They need small provision by caring and knowledgeable providers and Miriam Lodge is unable to do this.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #3
02-09-2012 11:44 AM

Thank you Red Fox - I found that very interesting (not to mention SOBERING!).

I think your post would be a very good basis for a petition against such a massive increase in what has already proved itself to be an unacceptable burden on the neighbourhood.

Find all posts by this user Reply
michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
03-09-2012 09:52 AM

Both the Forest Hill Society and the Sydenham Society have requested a local meeting between the developer and the neighbours of this site, so that neighbours get a chance to voice their concerns and ensure they are on record.

Having spoken to others in the Forest Hill Society executive, I can state that we will be writing to oppose this development, and the communications I have received from neighbours have been very helpful to us ahead of writing a letter of objection.

Find all posts by this user Reply
davidwhiting


Posts: 74
Joined: Dec 2003
Post: #5
03-09-2012 12:11 PM

Two things:

1. The list of properties consulted. No one in the SE23 part of Dartmouth Road has been consulted. Whatever the merits or demerits of this substantial proposed development, the whole of Dartmouth Road is likely to be affected. I am also surprised that the local police and social and health services have not been consulted.

2. Does Lewisham have a planning policy for hostels which would require certain levels of support and management?

Find all posts by this user Reply
poolsneighbour


Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #6
03-09-2012 12:30 PM

I am hugely concerned about how the new park and the landscaped boulevard along Dartmouth Rd adjacent to the pools are going to be used once they are open. The previous park at that location was well known for rough sleepers, drinking and drug misuse. I can guarantee a certain amount of that associated with Miriam Lodge.

What with the proposed increase in number of rooms there - I foresee this problem raising its ugly head again in future. I know the pools have CCTV all around them and better lighting - but I VERY much doubt that will put anyone off from hanging around there and causing antisocial behaviour at all hours.

Living right next to it.. the thought does fill me with dread!

Find all posts by this user Reply
Novels


Posts: 83
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #7
05-09-2012 10:13 AM

I have met someone who lives there, and who is literally struggling to survive, despite having tried to complain several times.
I sincerely hope that Lewisham Council will use this opportunity to restructure the place and treat its residents as human beings.

Find all posts by this user Reply
geo


Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
05-09-2012 10:41 AM

I live very close to Miriam, so close that my garden and living room is overseen by lodgers of Miriam Lodge. The expansion plan is very disappointing to see. Increasing the number of lodgers at Miriam Lodge will be damaging to the area. I am surprised they would consider such a expansion plan, especially as it near a number of schools, one which is only a few meters away? The building is a eye sore made worse by unruly lodgers. There are people who are allowed to sit on the window sill, shout out any nonsense, play loud music and dangle any rubbish outside their window. There has been an increase of unsocial able behavior seen on Dartmouth Road of late and it will only get worse with Miriam Lodge expansion plans.

It would be good if Miriam Lodge controlled lodgers use of the facility, as far I can see lodgers can do what they want, including shouting out of their windows, playing loud music and have arguments at any time they like while staying there?

It would be good if the building Miriam Lodge could be renovated somehow. There is a lot of space to be made use of. The existing building is so tall and unsightly, I am surprised it was allowed to be built in the first place (I guess there were no means of objections in the 60s). In my opinion knocking down the existing building and making use of the whole space would be a good objective for the council.

Find all posts by this user Reply
michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
05-09-2012 11:16 AM

Geo Wrote:
here are people who are allowed to sit on the window sill, shout out any nonsense, play loud music and dangle any rubbish outside their window.

Any photographic or video evidence of such behaviour would be very helpful. Stick it on Youtube or send it to me at michael@foresthillsociety.com

Find all posts by this user Reply
nottinghillbilly


Posts: 457
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #10
06-09-2012 04:57 PM

Michael, are there any plans to organise a petition?

Find all posts by this user Reply
Snazy


Posts: 1,495
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #11
06-09-2012 05:57 PM

Wow!
I have no working knowledge of the place but find the proposal ridiculous. Looking down the application I see that they propose to increase staffing to facilitate the increase of 61 placements, by adding TWO part time workers.

Given the reports of the already existing problems there, I pity all living near this place.

Another increasingly irritating thing on recent planning proposals is parking.
This one states 12 spaces will be lost, but its ok, ALL 12 will be replaced by cycle spaces.... seriously!

Its like the apartments being built next to me, 7 units, something like 18 bedrooms, but 2 parking spaces, but its ok because there will be lots of cycle spaces.

Planning = joke these days.

I hope you guys are successful with this opposition. Everyone deserves a second chance, but not at the cost of others freedom.

Find all posts by this user Reply
michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #12
12-09-2012 07:56 AM

Details of the Forest Hill Society response to this application can be read at http://www.foresthillsociety.com/2012/09...lodge.html

The Forest Hill Society have a number of concerns relating to:
1 The size of the new building in relation to neighbouring properties
2 Potential impact on crime and anti-social behaviour
3 Overlooking from rooms in the old and new buildings
4 Inappropriate density of development
5 Loss of amenity space for existing residents

If you wish to object you can write to planning@lewisham.gov.uk, preferably in the next few days.

Find all posts by this user Reply
P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #13
12-09-2012 09:18 PM

I really didn't want to reply to this post initially but I feel I have to be honest. I have had a resident from here try to punch me in my shop at 11am 2 weeks ago because I never had a phone for them to use. Thankfully I had no kids in the shop at the time. If I did I would have had to let her hit me so that the kids could have run out of my shop and be safe. She has been sectioned under the mental health act so hopefully she will be helped and not be a danger to anyone else again. It is shocking to think that this behaviour could increase due to more units being built at Miriam Lodge. As far as I know there are no care workers there and all are left to there own devices. This seems like a recipe for disaster if it expands.

Find all posts by this user Reply
poolsneighbour


Posts: 162
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #14
14-09-2012 08:02 AM

Have sent a letter to the planning officer and MPs in our area. It'd be disastrous for Dartmouth Road if this was allowed to pass..just as it was getting nicer..

Find all posts by this user Reply
nottinghillbilly


Posts: 457
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #15
15-09-2012 08:57 PM

Hi P1971,
Thats awful to hear what happened! I do hope you have written a letter of objection and cited your experience as part of it.
It seems rediculous that we've won the portas money to improve our high st, and there are already new buisinesses opening up on Dartmouth road
and yet this one stupid proposal could scupper all that and turn our high st and station area into a no-go zone.
very sad:Thumbdown

Find all posts by this user Reply
michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
09-10-2012 12:18 PM

Unusually the local police force are also planning to object to this application.

There are concerns that in addition to the 120 current residents, the expansion to allow space for 60 young ex-offenders would have a detrimental impact on the current residents and neighbours. The possible closure of the police station in front of the site will do nothing to improve the situation for neighbours.

Find all posts by this user Reply
nottinghillbilly


Posts: 457
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #17
09-10-2012 07:12 PM

That's really good news MichaelThumbsup

Find all posts by this user Reply
P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #18
09-10-2012 08:42 PM

notttinghillbilly thanks for your support on this subject it is much appreciated, and to add to what Michael has said I have had the local neighbourhood police popping in quite a lot recently to check on us small shop owners. In fact one popped in this evening when I was cleaning up just to check all was OK and to say hello. As far as I know they don't want any more units at Miriam Lodge, they have told me so. Must say the local bobbies have been really supportive.

Find all posts by this user Reply
michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
06-12-2012 11:41 PM

The police came to the A&E consultation this evening at sydenham school. I was on the gate and they asked where to park.
I suggested in the police station car park, just opposite the school, and where we were advising members of the public to park. But they said they couldn't park a marked police vehicle there as it would be vandalised by residents of Miriam Lodge!

It is something when the police feel intimidated by hostel residents so much that they can't park in the police station car park.

This is not hearsay from NIMBY neighbours, this is the local experts on crime scared to park by the police station. Why would anybody want this hostel to increase in size by 50%?

Find all posts by this user Reply
michael


Posts: 3,196
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
07-05-2013 12:15 PM

Lewisham council officers have rejected this planning application.
A summary of the grounds for refusal show that the Forest Hill Society recommendation was entirely appropriate and in keeping with good planning policy. Despite a number of negative comments that can be viewed on the Forest Hill Society website, I believe that the response represented the concerns of the majority of people living close to this site.

Here are the reasons for refusal from the council:

Quote:
(1) The proposed development, by reason of its height, bulk, scale, massing and design would result in the creation of an obtrusive and incompatible form of development, which would fail to respect the character and appearance of the subject site and its surroundings.

(2) The proposed siting, layout, scale, massing, design, appearance and materials all fail to follow the prevailing character, and the proposed
development will harm the significance of the adjacent Sydenham Park Conservation Area, and will not preserve or enhance the setting of the Conservation Area

(3) It is considered that the intensification of the hostel use on the application site will mitigate against the objective of delivering an inclusive, mixed and balanced community

(4) The proposed development would cause an unacceptable increase in overlooking and loss of privacy to the neighbouring residential properties and hostel residents (existing and future)

Find all posts by this user Reply
Pages (5): « First [1] 2 3 4 5 Next > Last »

Friends of Blythe Hill Fields


Possibly Related Topics ...
Topic: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  Are you for or against the expansion of the Miriam Lodge hostel for the homeless? admin 1 3,257 01-04-2014 10:05 PM
Last Post: admin
  Miriam Lodge Open Days FHSoc 0 1,752 18-02-2014 08:34 AM
Last Post: FHSoc
  Miriam Lodge: Chicken keeping + Community Kitchen Garden LewishamGardens 9 5,270 31-01-2014 07:43 PM
Last Post: LewishamGardens