Saturday 8 November 2014

LFS Residents Meeting Notes (from 2014-11-05 meeting)

A resident of Ben Jonson House who attended the meeting made the following rather excellent notes (below). 

The panel meeting was chaired by Michel Dick of the Barbican Centre.  On the panel were Margaret Matheson (LFS governor), Phil Eliot (LFS project manager), Mike Leigh (chair of LFS governors), Jane Roscoe (LFS director), Jane Bird (architects), James Taylor (architects), Tim Mander (structural engineers), Andrew Warrack (building services consultants),  Helene Evans (acoustics & noise).

The recording mentioned in the notes used my recorder and you can get the recording here.  I'm afraid the recorder ran out of space after only 20 minutes.  My fault, sorry.  The first 20 minutes are interesting though, and contain an introduction by Mike Leigh (@6:45), a summary of the project by the LFS director Jane Roscoe (@12:20), Jane Bird (@15:30) and James Taylor (@21:40) - with recording chopped @22:26.
Michel Dick, Barbican Director of Operations and Buildings, confirmed he had no objection to a recording of this evening’s proceedings and so I started the gadget, as you showed me, and placed it on the top table. This was at 6.30pm. However I fear for the results since when I went to switch it off some 65 minutes later (when the formal business ended and inspection of layout drawings and the “general mingle” started), the timer had seemingly stopped and the display showed “CARD FULL”.   
I do hope that the majority of the meeting at least will have been recorded. If it has you are likely to hear a background of various pyrotechnics due to a nearby firework display. There was a sound system in use but I think this was to enable the proceedings to be heard by the audience rather than for a recording by the LFS. 
For what it’s worth I think there were about 50 - 60 residents present, several of whom expressed support for the scheme despite them mostly having certain personal concerns derived from experiences when the cinemas were being built (and loading and unloading in the area between Ben Jonson and the Prior Weston Campus for the restaurant since then). [Nobody expressed opposition to the scheme.] Questioners included Robert Barker (RB) who asked several questions and will doubtless have a comprehensive recollection of what was said, despite taking no notes. One questioner had it confirmed that the LFS are using the same firm of architects and acousticians who were responsible for the redevelopment of Prior Weston School, which should add to residents’ confidence about this project.
LFS said there had been a pre planning application meeting with the Planners on 1/10/14 which went well and that it is their intention to submit the Planning Application in mid February 2015 with another meeting with residents before that happens. RB said he thought that timetable rather optimistic if, as he hoped, the purpose of that next residents’ meeting is to be meaningful and take on board residents’ concerns and is not just to inform us. 
Based on a February 2015 planning application date LFS anticipate that necessary preparatory works by the City would be carried out during 2015 with the School’s construction works starting in May 2016 with a view to the Film School opening in September 2017. [There might ultimately be a maximum of 130 students at the school but they would come from an older age group than traditional students and would be paying a great deal of money to study there.] There would be some potentially noisy work (to be carefully controlled) to break through the concrete slab in places to provide certain double height areas. Unlike Crossrail the LFS work would not entail tunnelling underneath either Breton or Ben Jonson so they did not anticipate any cracks appearing in any flat.  
At some stage there is going to be a need for podium waterproofing work above Cinemas 2 and 3 and the new Film School but there is at present no money for that. They also first need to evaluate the effectiveness of the waterproofing work currently being carried out at the Aldersgate Street end of the podium. It is not anticipated that the irrigation system to the planted areas anywhere on this part of the podium would be restored as that adds to the likelihood of leakage. 
[One member of the audience was] unhappy about the new cinemas façade, expressed concerns about the design of the entrance to the Film School on Golden Lane. However Mike Leigh reassured him that the LFS has impeccable taste and that the entrance should be the least of anybody’s worries.

No comments :