Leisure & Sport

Video: Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre Opening Today – Chuka Umunna & Lib Peck

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Chuka and Lambeth Council Leader Lib Peck today toured Streatham’s brand new ice and leisure centre, which opened to the public this morning.

Beth Tweddle MBE, the Dancing on Ice star and Olympic medallist  will officially open the new Ice and Leisure centre at a gala event on December 10th .



A constituent’s vision of Brockwell Park

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Chuka’s constituent Clare Skilbeck has sent Chuka this copy of the poster she produced maping Brockwell Park. Clare recently met Chuka at a coffee afternoon he held at the St. Mathew’s Community Centre, and promised to send the poster.

The map’s remarkable detail shows Brockwell Park as it is enjoyed by hundreds of local residents, as well as providing information as to the park’s history. Clare will be supplying the poster shown here, as well as posters of Dulwich Park, Regent’s Park and Brixton, to local businesses which have supported the project and portions of the proceeds will be given to community charities.

Streatham Hub: Lambeth update

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Following a recent planning meeting, Lambeth council officials provided Chuka with an update on the Streatham Hub redevelopment. The update is below:

What is Streatham Hub?

The Streatham Hub development will breathe new life into Streatham and provide world class leisure facilities for the whole community. This substantial investment by Lambeth Council and Tesco will bring increased visitors and shoppers to the south of Streatham, as well as up to 600 new jobs. The Streatham Hub includes:
• a full-size ice rink
• a modern leisure centre, including a swimming pool
• 250 new homes, including affordable homes
• 600 new jobs
• improvements to the local environment and local roads
• a Tesco store on Streatham High Road near to Streatham Station.

You can view the latest exhibition of the plans here.

What leisure facilities will we get?

The fantastic new leisure facilities will include a 60m by 30m ice rink with approximately 1,000 spectator seats, alongside a new sports and leisure centre providing:
• a 25m, 6-lane swimming pool
• a 13m learner pool
• a 4-court sports hall
• a health and fitness suite with space to accommodate around 100 machines.
Where can I go to stake while the new rink is being built?

As the only ice rink in South London, residents told us how important it was to ensure that the rink remained open whilst a new one was being built. We are committed to ensuring that people can still ice skate in the area and as part of the agreement Tesco have to provide a temporary rink. This will be on the site of the former Pope’s Road Car Park in Brixton; it will be big enough for competition games and figure skating.

A planning application for the temporary ice rink was submitted by Tesco and approved by Lambeth’s Planning Applications Committee on 2 February 2011, along with an associated application to vary the original Section 106 Agreement to enable continuity of ice off site and an application for a temporary car park on Porden Road. Documentation for the committee meeting is available here.

The temporary ice rink at Pope’s Road takes us closer to the new leisure facilities in Streatham, including a new permanent state-of-the-art ice rink.

What about car parking?

The proposed location for the temporary ice rink is the Pope’s Road former car park which was forced to close in December 2009 and had to be demolished due to health and safety concerns.

In order to mitigate the closure of Pope’s Road car park, the council introduced free one hour parking on Brixton Station Road, Valentia Place, Saultoun Road and Rushcroft Road.

Work is ongoing to implement the additional car parking for Brixton Town Centre. A car park on Porden Road is due to be completed for summer 2011.

New signage for the markets has also been installed and an updated Brixton map which identifies where free parking, pay and display and motorcycle parking are allocated has been produced and distributed.

What are the next steps?

• Demolition of the former Pope’s Road car park is near completion with works to level the site now underway. This is due to be completed by late April 2011.
• Start on the construction of the temporary ice rink – July 2011
• Open temporary ice rink – November 2011
• Start on site for Streatham Hub – September 2011
• Completion of Streatham Hub – end of 2013
• Decommissioning of temporary ice rink – early 2014

Lambeth update on Streatham Hub regeneration project

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Below is an update from Lambeth on the Streatham Hub project:

As you may know, Tesco’s planning application for a mezzanine floor as part of their proposed new store was approved by Lambeth’s Planning Application Committee on 12 October 2010, subject to conditions, a S106 agreement.

This was part of the revised negotiations with Tesco, agreed in principle by the council’s Cabinet in March 2010, which would also see a temporary ice rink located off site whilst the new permanent Streatham rink was built.

An application to locate the temporary ice rink at Pope’s Road, in Brixton, has been received and the formal planning process has commenced. This includes a three week statutory planning consultation, which runs from Friday 22 October until Friday 12 November. You can view the application on the Public Access Planning Database from council’s planning pages – www.lambeth.gov.uk/planning - the reference number is 10/03425/FUL. You can also see hard copies of the plans at the Town Planning Advice Centre (details below) or at Brixton Library (please telephone first – 020 7926 1067)

It is anticipated that this application, along with the amended section 106 legal agreement on the main Streatham Hub site, will be considered by the planning committee in December. Approval of the planning application for a temporary ice rink could see a temporary rink open in Brixton within a year.

With the relocation of the ice rink to Brixton on a temporary basis, construction work for the hub is expected to be quicker than previous estimates, with the anticipated completion date in 2013. You can see further information on the hub and the temporary ice rink at www.lambeth.gov.uk/streathamhub

Commenting on the application

Comments may be submitted online through our Public Access database, by email to lambethplanning {at} lambeth.gov(.)uk, or in writing to Lambeth Planning, Phoenix House, 10 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2LL. When submitting comments by email or letter, please remember to quote the reference number, 10/03425/FUL and your name and address. Please ensure that we receive your comments by 12 November 2010.
The full plans are available to view in person at the following locations:
• Town Planning Enquiries, Phoenix House, 10 Wandsworth Road, SW8 2LL; between 9.30am and 4.30pm ,weekdays; tel. 020 7926 1180 (assistance available)
• Brixton Tate Library during normal opening hours, please telephone first on 020 7926 1067 (viewing only)

For more information visit www.lambeth.gov.uk/futurestreatham
Tel: 0800 052 6336
Email: futurestreatham {at} lambeth.gov(.)uk

Streatham Hub website launched

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Tesco has launched a new website on the Streatham Hub development, designed to keep the public informed and enabling people to submit queries about the project.

To visit the website, please follow this link

Streatham Hub: Pope’s Road Temporary Ice Provision

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

The building of the Streatham Hub has been fraught with delays since its inception more than 10 years ago.


Tesco Plc (“Tesco”) purchased the site where Streatham Ice Rink is currently situated almost a decade ago. In June 2001 the retailer published plans to demolish the Ice Rink – these were abandoned following strong opposition from local user groups, community and voluntary organisations.

New plans were approved by Lambeth Council (the “Council”) in February 2003 with a Section 106 Agreement associated with the scheme – which has become known as the ‘Streatham Hub’ – being concluded between the Council and Tesco in December 2007.

Under the agreement the development was set to provide new leisure facilities, a new supermarket and 250 new homes for the Streatham area where Streatham Ice Arena is currently located. There would also be a new transport hub linking road and rail. The Council said that as part of the deal Tesco would not be allowed to open its supermarket until the new leisure centre and ice rink open. Planning consent was granted to Tesco on this basis in December 2007.

In 2009 Tesco indicated to the Council that it wished to revise the scheme on account of economic conditions which it said meant the 2007 plans were no longer financially viable. With respect to their revised proposals, residents were alarmed when in October 2009 representatives from Tesco refused to guarantee that it would be able to ensure continuity of ice pending the development being completed (under the original plans the old ice rink would only close once the new ice rink opened, thus ensuring continuity of ice). Continuous ice provision is essential for the many user groups of the ice rink including Olympian skaters and the famous Streatham Redskins ice hockey team.

Keep Streatham Skating

In October 2009 I established a cross party coalition to campaign for continuity of ice to be retained following the public meeting that month. Various online and off line petitions, and a Facebook group, were established which thousands of residents signed. Following this campaign, Tesco and Lambeth came forward with revised proposals under which the old ice rink would close before the new one opened but temporary ice provision paid for by Tesco would be put in its place somewhere near by.

The revised proposals were approved by the Tesco Plc board in March 2010. This approval was of some significance since on the last two occasions when the scheme had gone to the Tesco Board for approval, no approval had been forthcoming; on this occasion the scheme was promoted by the Chief Executive himself and given Board approval.

Hands Off Our Common

As part of the revised proposals, the option of putting a temporary ice rink on Streatham Common whilst the new rink is built was discussed and considered. However, whilst many of the user groups of the ice rink were supportive of this plan given its close proximity to the current ice rink site, regular users of Streatham Common were deeply opposed and a campaign – Hands Off Our Common (HOOC) – was established in May 2010 to reject the revised proposals. Groups involved with HOOC included Sustainable Streatham, Streatham Action, Friends of Streatham Common and the Streatham Society.

The campaign was successful and on 26 July 2010 Lambeth Council’s cabinet resolved not to place the temporary ice skating provision on Streatham Common following a report from Council officers citing legal obstacles, practical difficulties and the likely extensive delay resulting from implementation, as the main reasons for not pursuing this: Report to Cabinet, 26 July 2010.

Instead the Council officers’ report recommended that the temporary ice skating provision be placed at Pope’s Road in Brixton, one of 14 options considered by the Council. The officers’ paper lists the advantages and disadvantages of Pope’s Road as follows:


• In Council ownership
• Site to be demolished and will be in vacant possession shortly.
• Site large enough
• Good accessibility
• Good public transport links
• Viability of town centre would be enhanced


• Could raise objections among market traders if temporary car park not provided.
• Loss of car parking for market traders, but can be mitigated by relocating elsewhere on site.
• Possible community safety concerns.
• Opportunity cost to Council for delaying its redevelopment of the site.

The timetable for completion of the entire Streatham Hub scheme envisages the temporary ice rink being opened at Pope’s Road towards the end of 2011 and the new ice rink (along with the supermarket etc) being completed in the summer of 2013.

Some stakeholders who use the ice rink support siting the temporary provision at Pope’s Road so long as Tesco are not permitted to open their supermarket before completion of the new ice rink and the other leisure facilities – this was the view presented to Lambeth’s cabinet on 26 July 2010 by the Secretary of Streatham Ice Skating Action Group. SISAG’s members include representatives of the dance club, figure skating club and hockey clubs who use the current ice rink. In response Council cabinet members confirmed that the Tesco store would not be allowed to open until the leisure facilities had been completed.

Save Skating in Streatham

Some users of the ice rink and local councillors have voiced great concern about the temporary provision being situated out of Streatham and formed a campaign: Save Skating in Streatham (SSS). They worry the ice rink will never return to Streatham and have considerable concerns about community safety, access and parking at the Pope’s Road site. Their petition (which has been signed by 335 people at the time of writing) is here, their Facebook page is here, and their recent letter to me is here. They argued that a site at Stockport Road should be considered but the campaign is now focused on enforcement of original section 106 Agreement under which it was agreed the old ice rink would stay in situ until the new ice rink opens.

I should mention that the Brixton Market Traders’ Association also oppose the temporary ice provision being placed at Pope’s Road – they argued at the 26 July 2010 cabinet meeting that the space could instead provide much needed parking facilities for Brixton Market customers.

My thoughts

Firstly, I should state that, as the Member of Parliament for Streatham, I have no legal power to affect this situation nor am I a party or signatory to any of the agreements between Tesco and the Council – it would be misleading for me to claim otherwise. My role – as an advocate for the area – is to ensure that as many of the voices and concerns of the community as possible are heard when decisions are made.

Secondly, there are a range of stakeholders with an interest in this development but – as the history of the project has demonstrated – those interests are not necessarily aligned and, even within the different groups concerned, there is a diversity of views too; I know this because I have spent much time consulting with all of them. For example, some ice rink user groups are happy to accept Pope’s Road as a temporary solution; others are not. Unfortunately this is not a project that will complete to the satisfaction of all involved – a degree of compromise on everyone’s part will be required.

That said, all are agreed on the principle that we all want to see the Streatham Hub completed as soon as possible, so that we can benefit from the fantastic leisure provision which it will provide, employment opportunities and new homes. My priority has always been to see the project completed as quickly as possible with this aim in mind whilst ensuring that, at the very least, there is ice provision for the current users of the ice rink in the interim.

Thirdly, the original s106 Agreement – agreed in 2007 – will be varied by Deed of Variation (if it has not been already) to allow for the revised 2010 plans to proceed. This is because Tesco would not agree to develop the Hub on the basis agreed in 2007, citing current economic conditions and commercial viability. I voiced some scepticism of their arguments in this regard given its pre-tax profits increased during the recession but their position remains unchanged. It is for this reason that Tesco paying for temporary provision pending completion of the scheme was agreed upon this year. There has always been a possibility that, should Tesco not deem the scheme commercially viable, they would walk away from the Hub project altogether leaving the future of ice skating in Streatham in peril – thankfully we did not reach this point. So whilst I have great sympathy with the SSS campaign objective to enforce the original s106 Agreement, I do not see how this can be done given what has come to pass and Tesco’s position. A lot has happened since the original 2007 agreement was concluded and I do not think we can wind the clock back (so to speak).

However, this does not mean that I am entirely happy with the Pope’s Road solution that has been proposed as things stand. It is vital that the concerns raised in relation to parking, community safety, spectator accommodation and transport are addressed ahead of the erection of the temporary provision. I understand that ice skating user groups met with Council officers yesterday and that progress towards the resolution of some of these issues has progressed.

Between now and the construction of the temporary provision at the end of next year, I will do all I can to demand that these issues are resolved. I met with Council officers and cabinet members during the summer with this is mind and I have written to Council officers for an update on progress in this regard which I will publish on this website in due course. I have also spoken with my colleague, Tessa Jowell MP, in relation to the concerns raised by the Market Traders Association of Brixton Market which is located in her constituency.

Finally, I am aware that the user groups of Streatham Swimming Pool feel that their concerns in relation to swimming provision in the vicinity have been overlooked somewhat given the focus on the ice rink. I was a frequent user of the pool myself as a child as I often competed there as a competitive swimmer. It is totally unsatisfactory that my constituents have been having to travel some distance in order to be able to continue to swim on a regular basis. This is an issue I have raised with the Council but my office will be seeking to arrange a meeting between myself and the stakeholder group for Streatham Swimming Pool imminently to see what further needs to be done.

If you wish to contact me further on this issue, please write to me at my constituency office or email me – contact details are here.

Kind regards,


Chuka presses Ministers on local benefits of 2012 Games

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

This week, Chuka posed a written question in Parliament to find out from the Minister for Sport and the Olympics:

(1) what assessment he has made of the legacy for the London borough of Lambeth and its residents from the London 2012 Olympic Games;

(2) what steps his Department has taken to ensure that London boroughs other than those hosting the London 2012 Olympics will obtain a legacy from the games.

Below is the response he received from the Minister:

“The London borough of Lambeth, London as a whole, and the wider UK are benefitting from the opportunities created by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“There has been significant infrastructure investment in and around the Olympic Park, including transport and utilities. Other economic benefits that have accrued to London include:

“Of the 6,442 contracted work force on the Olympic Park (excluding the Village) at the end of March 2010, 3,457 were from London, of which 2,185 were resident outside the five east London host boroughs (Greenwich, Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest). The Olympic Delivery Authority and its partners have a range of measures in place, including dedicated training centres, to promote sustainable employment benefits from the building of the Olympic Park.

“Of the 1,349 companies that have won over £5 billion of work directly supplying the Olympic Delivery Authority (May 2010), 689 were registered in London, of which 493 were registered outside the host boroughs and 20 in Lambeth. Many more business across London are winning work in the supply chains of the ODA contractors and LOCOG began in January its procurement for everything it needs to stage the Games, so there will be many more opportunities for business in London across many sectors to get involved.

“34,047 London companies, of which 27,418 come from outside the five east London host boroughs (June 2010), were registered on CompeteFor, the electronic brokerage system giving companies access to Olympic-related opportunities and the support to compete for them.

“The Mayor of London is responsible for maximising the impact of the Games across London and has been working with a range of pan-London partners including his family of agencies to deliver a coherent legacy programme that ensures people living in London gain from the positive effects of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Streatham Hub agreement

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Last month, the Streatham Hub Redevelopment was given the go-ahead.

The project includes a brand new ice rink, swimming pool, leisure centre as well as affordable housing, and will bring up to 600 new jobs to our area.

Following pressure by the “Keep Streatham Skating!” campaign, Tesco have agreed to guarantee continuous ice rink provision and Lambeth Council has said the retailer will not be allowed to open it’s supermarket until the new rink and leisure centre are opened.  To read more about the history of the project and the campaign to maintain ice provision, follow this link.

Of course, we have been here before – agreements with Tesco to develop the project have been reached in the past. However, when I spoke with Tesco on behalf of local residents at the end of last month (and asked why we should believe the scheme will proceed this time round), I was told that on the last two occasions the scheme had gone to the Tesco Plc Board for approval and no approval had been forthcoming, whereas on this occasion the scheme was promoted by the Chief Executive himself and given Board approval.

Tesco has agreed to provide a temporary ice rink whilst the new rink is built.  Finding a site for this structure has been difficult, and I have concerns over placing a large structure on Streatham Common.  Doing so, in my view, should only be considered as a matter of last resort if no better alternative site can be found in Streatham.

If the Common is the only option, a full explanation should be given to the community with reasons and the structure should be there for as short a time and take up as little space as possible. The Common should also be restored to a better state once the temporary structure is gone. Consultation with interested parties, including skaters and users of Streatham Common, is currently underway.

So there are still issues which need to be ironed out but I believe that our area – including skaters, swimmers and users of the common – will benefit and Streatham High Road will be given a much needed boost from the Streatham Hub development.

Change4Life school sports clubs launched

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

The government has outlined plans for establishing a network of after school Olympic sports clubs. The Change 4 Life programmeis aiming to inspire teenagers of all abilities to play an Olympic sport and build a world class sports system on the back of Britain hosting the Olympic Games.

£6m of government and lottery funding will be spent on 3,000 new after school clubs to open in the summer offering sports as diverse as badminton, boccia, fencing, handball, table tennis, volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

The initiative will build on the successes since winning the Olympic Games in 2005 which include increasing adult sport participation by 600,000 and ensuring that 90% of 5-16 year olds have at least 2 hours of school sport every week.

As well as the obvious health and sporting benefits, it is hoped that the scheme will contribute to building a sense of community spirit. In addition the government aims to get 2 million people playing more sport, 1 million more physically active, and to ensure that 5-16 year olds are offered 5 hours of school sport per week.

Tesco Protest

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Over the weekend, Chuka joined local residents to protest outside the Tesco supermarket on Streatham High Road.

The protest was held to put pressure on Tesco to keep Streatham Ice Rink open and to uphold its promises on the Streatham Hub project.

Tesco’s board is due to meet later this month to agree proposals for the Hub, and will present these to Lambeth council in advance of its cabinet meeting on March 22.

In 2007, Tesco promised that the existing ice rink would not close until a newly-built ice rink is opened, but refused to guarantee this at a public meeting held in October 2009.

Concerns have also been voiced over the current state of the ice rink and Tesco’s failure to invest in the building’s maintenance.

If you have not yet done so, sign Chuka’s petition to Keep Streatham Skating