Stop Southwark Metals moving to Windsor Grove, West Norwood

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We oppose the plans for a major scrap yard in West Norwood for the following reasons:

Southwark Metals is a family run business linked with Urban & Provincial, a real-estate development company.  In their choice of location for their new scrap yard to receive, sort and dispatch 38,000 tonnes of scrap cars and metal each year they have little concern for the impact on the nearby schools and residents, and the impact of bulk carriers and other HGVs on roads through out West Norwood.

Southwark Metals, currently operating from its Old Kent Road yard, has a redevelopment opportunity that is worth millions to them at a different scrap yard they own at Herne Hill.  They need to act fast to find a new home for its capacity, and they can’t afford to be sensitive to us in West Norwood that will be impacted.

Southwark Metals and Urban & Provincial have identified an unsuitable location, down a narrow road off Norwood High Street, for their car and scrap metal “recycling” plant.  This just happens to back onto Kingswood Primary School, Park Campus and Windsor Close housing.

The intended site at the end of Windsor Grove is the former car breakers’ yard that NEVER received anything near the daily traffic Southwark Metals is stating for their new scrap yard – 120 vehicles DAILY (compared to 10 previously), 25% HGVs, 40% smaller trucks, 35% light vans and cars.  HGVs can be up to 44 tonnes.

Southwark Metals wishes vehicles to arrive and leave via Elder Road. In reality most of the vehicles will use whichever roads they wish, including through our already congested town centre.  This is only their estimate and, if not challenged, likely optimistically lower than reality. Once they are on site there will be no recourse when the figures turn out differently. That’s 120 vehicles in, 120 vehicles out, moving up and down Norwood Road, Elder Road and the surrounds EACH DAY!

For those who don’t know, the intended site is past Travis Perkins Builders’ Merchants and almost opposite GNK Builders’ Merchants up Norwood High Street, both of which already produce loads of traffic and already block roads with their own large trucks parking on the street, and using the entire road-width when entering and leaving the sites.

If the plan goes ahead the mainly diesel 120 daily vehicles will add to already high pollution levels, with engines idling whilst in traffic and/or waiting to pass. Consider school children‘s health from all the local schools, them crossing the roads these trucks would use, and emergency vehicles needing to speed past this congestion. The amount of heavy traffic this yard anticipates to handle at 38,000 tonnes per year is frightening!  

Have a look at the fleet of trucks proudly displayed on their website and what they currently deal with on a daily basis at their Old Kent Road location.  It is the capacity of the Old Kent Road site (not the Herne Hill redevelopment site) that will move to West Norwood, with car-breaking added – a new activity for Southwark Metals that has vast growth potential with accelerating scrappage of ‘dirty’ vehicles due to the ULEZ.

The enlarged Windsor Grove site is planned to encroach into the wooded Network Rail land which is designated by Lambeth as a SINC – a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation – an area that the Friends of Kingswood had been in negotiation with Network Rail to use for a forest school.

The key to Southwark Metals choosing West Norwood is that they need a replacement site within Lambeth to meet Lambeth’s policy of no net loss of waste site capacity.  It is obvious that the West Norwood site and location is highly unsuitable for 38,000 tonnes per year.  With the current traffic flow and narrow one-way systems. Their proposal is just plain ridiculous! They have recently amended their proposal to try sugar coat it further, we must not be fooled!

Their Herne Hill location has a building development plan worth MILLIONS. West Norwood is essential for their plan to go ahead.  We’re being used.  Oppose this plan!