Shrewsbury Park Residents' Association

Winter 2011 Newsletter


December 2011

Dear fellow resident,

Season’s greetings to all and a warm welcome to new residents of the Laing Estate. 

I’d like to start by thanking the Association Committee and Neighbourhood Watch Area Coordinator for their help and support in running the Residents’ Association. 

We now have a couple of vacancies on the Association committee.  If you are interested in joining, please contact me. 

Covered in this Newsletter:

 -        Estate Maintenance and Upkeep

-         Royal Greenwich

-        Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee

-        Conservation Matters and Conservation Area Character Appraisal Document

-        Junctions of Brinklow Crescent and Plum Lane

-        Equestrian Centre

-        Former Fire Station Mast and Orange Mobile planning application

-        Association Vision Update

-        Neighbourhood Watch Update


Estate Maintenance and Upkeep 

I am delighted to report that the Association and the Council have now agreed on an Estate-wide maintenance schedule, as follows: 

1.  Shrub bed maintenance (Cleansweep team)

(Including hoeing bed surfaces, removing weeds, leaves and litter) 

Visit 1: Week commencing: 16th January (adverse weather could alter date)

Visit 2: Week commencing: 27th February (adverse weather could alter date)

Visit 3: Week commencing: 25th June

Visit 4: Week commencing: July/August but date dependent on resourcing for the Olympic Games

Visit 5: Week commencing: 24th September

In addition to these dates, there will be some interim visits to maintain standards. 

2.   Shrub bed pruning (Parks & Open Spaces team)

Visits:  2 visits per year, in late spring and autumn, timing dependent on shrub growth. 

3.  Road sweeping (Cleansweep)

(Including removal of litter from road-side verges)

Visits: Weekly, carried out each Monday 

4.  Pavement weed spraying (External contractor via Cleansweep team)

Visits: Four applications between March and September 

5.  Shrub planting

Negotiations for Council-funded shrub planting to fill gaps in the road side shrub beds are progressing and looking promising.  Further information to follow.

Please contact me if there are any maintenance issues you would like to raise and I will pass these on to the relevant team.


Royal Greenwich 

On 3rd January 2012 we are all ‘moving’ to a new borough, the Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG).

Local press coverage on this is overshadowed by the ‘London 2012’ Games, but the Royal Borough status is significant.  For one thing it’s a permanent designation, recognising the borough’s Royal connections.  The change has been timed to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. 

There are only 3 other Royal Boroughs: 

Greenwich therefore joins a very select group of Boroughs.  The Association is hopeful that the image of Greenwich will be enhanced and that this will lead to an increased interest in areas of special architectural and historic merit like the Laing Estate.


Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee 

In 1977, I remember attending a party at Shrewsbury House to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, which was very well supported.  In 2002, the Association Committee put forward the idea of a party at the house to celebrate the Golden Jubilee, however, there was little support.

For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June, if there is broad support from residents for holding an event at Shrewsbury House on or around 2nd - 5th June please could you let me know by the end of January and the Association will propose the idea with the Shrewsbury House Committee. 

Residents may also like to arrange their own locally managed street party.  If so, please see the web address below: 

On this webpage there is an online and a downloadable form.  For further information on organising a street party, please contact Janine Whittaker 020 8921 5408 or Ann Brandon 020 8921 6269 both at Greenwich Council.


Conservation Matters and Conservation Area Character Appraisal Document 

The Shrewsbury Park Estate Conservation Area was designated in 1992 and the Article 4 Direction was made in November 1994.  Residents are reminded that they should consult with the Council before carrying out works to houses or gardens. 

The Association has a consultative role only in relation to planning matters.  Planning decisions and dealing with planning enforcement are for the Council.  Residents do contact me fairly frequently about enforcement matters.  As Chair of the Association, I am prepared to pass on concerns to the Council if residents don’t wish to do so themselves. 

The Conservation Area Planning Rules document, first published in 1996, is due for an update.  However, before this can happen, a Conservation Area Character Appraisal needs first to be in place.  The Association has requested that this be sent out for consultation in the near future.  The Association is hopeful that the new Rules will provide more informative and useful documentation and see its consistent application in practice. 

The idea of erecting ‘Conservation Area’ signs on lamp columns and at the Estate entrances is in progress.  The Association has produced draft designs for this signage for Council approval.


Junctions of Brinklow Crescent and Plum Lane 

In June, the Association wrote to the Council objecting to the works that had been completed, without consultation, to re-profile both junctions of Brinklow Crescent and Plum Lane.  The SPRA position is that the junctions, including the stylish 1930’s sweeping kerb lines should be re-instated. 

The Council has now put forward a further proposal to retain the junctions as they are and ‘yellow-line’ the southerly junction and outside and opposite 203-209 Plum Lane.  Having discussed this with several residents directly affected, the Association has now written to formally object. 

Equestrian Centre 

Planning consent has been granted for the Centre, the Council’s decision having been supported by the Mayor of London and Secretary of State. The Association wrote to the Council to oppose the application and to the Secretary of State to appeal and request a ‘call-in’ of the decision. 

Despite the disappointment we all feel, I’d like to thank Liz McDermott and Toni Hale for their hard work on this issue, and also to thank other residents who wrote in to voice their objections.


Former Fire Station Mast and Orange Mobile planning application 

At the Eltham & Kidbrooke Planning Committee on 16th February the Council’s Planning Committee voted unanimously against the application.  However, the Council’s decision has been overruled at Appeal and retrospective permission granted by the Planning Inspectorate for the illegally sited Orange equipment.  The Association had written to the Planning Inspectorate supporting the Council’s decision and opposing Orange’s grounds of Appeal. 

So the fight goes on.  The Association’s position remains that the mast is inappropriate in the Conservation Area and that it should be decommissioned and removed. 

My thanks to all members of the Association, past and present who have worked so hard on this matter.


Association Vision Update 

The table below sets out progress on the main areas.

Vision area


Oak posts at the Estate’s entrances

To be installed.  Details to be agreed with the Council.

Repair, or replacement with replicas, of the original street name plates

Council to replace with RBG signs on an ‘as needed’ basis only.  Association funding therefore likely to be required.

Succession street tree planting

Five trees planted in 2011.  Agreement in principle for further planting in Autumn 2012.

Re-instatement of the shrub bed to the wide pavement in Plum Lane

Initial consultation with 209-223 Plum Lane complete and positive.  Follow-up consultation imminent.

Shrub planting

Agreement in principle for Council-funded shrub planting to infill gaps.

Re-instatement of period lamp columns

Retention of existing columns with ornate light fittings is possible.  Replacement of fittings currently beyond the means of the Association.


Neighbourhood Watch Update 

The Association has funded 12 additional NW lamp column signs.  The location of this signage has now been positioned for maximum impact, particularly at the Estate entrances and at junctions.

Thanks to Len Newland, SPRA Neighbourhood Watch Area Coordinator for continuing to operate the NW email ‘blog’ on behalf of the Residents’ Association and for this contribution: 

“We are fortunate to live on top of the hill avoiding the majority of problems that take place in the Borough.  I meet with the local Safer Neighbourhood Team every 8 weeks to raise crime and NW issues on our behalf; if you have any NW concerns, please get in touch by email.  If a resident would like to come along you would be very welcome. 

At a recent meeting, attended by Borough Commander, Richard Wood, Richard made an important statement: ‘The fear of crime was greater than the crime itself’.  I think this sums up how many of us feel.  Crime itself amongst the 22,000 residents looked after by our Safer Neighbourhood Team is very low, however in an emergency, always dial 999.  For non-emergencies, dial 101.

I send out emails regularly informing residents of criminal activities in the area and other issues.  On my ‘blog’ I have 95 residents. If you like to join it, please contact me on”


Some sad news 

It is with great sadness that I write of the death of my father, Ron in October and with his passing, the loss of a beloved husband, parent, grandparent, friend and neighbour.  Ron will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.

My parents moved to Ashridge Crescent in the early 1960’s having been impressed by the qualities of the Laing Estate on their regular visits to see my great uncle and aunt, Arthur and Phyllis Million who had lived in Ashridge Crescent since 1937.

Please accept my apologies for not publishing a newsletter earlier in the autumn, as I had intended, and hope that you understand the reasons. 

With kind regards and Best Wishes for a very Happy Christmas. 

Robert Million

Chair, Shrewsbury Park Residents’ Association