Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Creekside venue planned

This is 3 Creekside, the old Medina works. It's owned by John Cierach, who also owns the yard opposite behind the Birds Nest pub, and, more famously, the Big Red pizza restaurant and bar.

Having now rid himself of some troublesome tenants in the building (an evangelical church who refused to pay any rent) and tried, without much success, to rent the space as artists' studios, Mr Cierach has now lodged a Planning Application with Lewisham Council to turn the building into a new "cultural and creative hub for Deptford".

In order to carry out his plans, Cierach must apply for change of use – from 'light industrial' to 'sui generis'. This Latin term means "in a class of its own" and is used when no other, or no particular planning class applies. He intends the building to have a range of uses as follows:

The main area at the front of the building will provide space for live music, dance, theatre, cinema and DJs, and would also be available for photo shoots, product launches, wedding services and receptions. The yard area will have seating for food provided by street food vendors. Inside, a large bar will serve coffee, soft drinks and alcohol (including "botanical cocktails using herbs grown from our landscaped yard").

At the back of the building, bordering onto Crossfields, there will be a large gallery space. He also hopes to establish a micro brewery. The first floor does not require a change of planning class apparently. This area is to be rented out as music studios.

Outside of this application, Cierach also hopes in time to turn his scruffy yard at 2 Creekside into "a mini market of 2-storey steel containers" to house creative people who will make and sell things. The market could also include "flowers, bike repairs, street food and maybe organic foods".

It all sounds quite exciting, doesn't it! But there is a downside...

Although the Big Red has established itself over time as a popular venue, the late night activities on the weekends (often held in a container at the back) are not at all popular with some of its neighbours, with very loud music going on past 2am on a regular basis.

And whilst nothing in particular has been going on at Number 3 for a while, it has been used a few times this year already as an 'after party' rave venue, with loud music starting at 2am and going on till the morning. These events have caused many sleepless nights for both Wilshaw and Cremer House residents on Crossfields, and since the Noise Police clock off at 3am and generally take 45mins to respond, complaints on these occasions were unsuccessful. Ravers have spilled out into the garden area behind the building (which belongs to the Council) and used the open access to Crossfields as a rowdy short cut in and out of the venue. As one Crossfields resident puts it: "he hasn't got a very good track record of being a good neighbour!"

Listed in his application under "Important Dates" there is an item called "Latest Neighbourhood Consultation Date: Wed 30 July 2014". But there has been absolutely no consultation with anyone on Crossfields, and probably nowhere else either.

The application can be found on the Lewisham Planning Portal HERE.

The target date for a decision is Friday 19 September, so any objections should be lodged with Lewisham Planning by then. Email quoting the application number DC/14/87991 and include your name and address. An objection may not stop the venue becoming a reality, but may encourage the Planning Committee to apply enforceable conditions to reduce noise pollution when they grant the change of use.

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