News of the Blackheath Joint Working Party

Since my last report in May the BJWP has been largely preoccupied with the run up to the OnBlackheath concert on 13th and 14th September. We have been promised by the Lewisham Borough Council authorising officer, Kevin Sheehan, a proper review of the event with a view to influencing decisions relating to its structure in 2015. In the run up to the concert we were unable to persuade Kevin Sheehan to maintain his original condition that the concert should end at 10.00pm on Saturday 13th. He accepted police advice that it should end at 10.30pm. Mr Sheehan did insist that the noise levels, although higher than used for Royal Borough of Greenwich events, should be kept to the levels set out in his in-principle approval. Greenwich Environmental Health officers will have been monitoring the noise levels in the relevant parts of the Borough and, if they exceed the limits set, have access to the organisers to insist that the noise be reduced.

Some readers will have noticed that, for much of this year, tracts of Blackheath have been left un-mowed. The “no mow” policy was proposed by the Westcombe Society and was recommended by the London Biodiversity Partnership for areas of lowland dry acid grassland habitats such as Blackheath. I was intrigued to see two tractors on Blackheath in August cutting the long grass and collecting it in the way that I associate with farmers harvesting their crops.

Finally, the BJWP was alerted to Transport for London’s proposal to re-design the junction with the A2 at the North East corner of the heath. The consultation period has ended so there is little we can now add. Residents will be interested to learn that, as part of the re-design, there would no longer be a left turn from Prince of Wales Road onto the A2.

On other matters, the local council elections in May resulted in a change in the councillors who sit on the BJWP. One change meant that a new chairman was needed. Cllr Kevin Bonavia, Councillor for Blackheath Ward, Lewisham, was elected. Paul Morrissey, Councillor for Blackheath – Westcombe Ward, Greenwich, was elected Vice Chair.

Philip Craig