Breaking: Live Nation Mega-Concerts Confirmed for Clapham Common

Lambeth Council has confirmed that Live Nation will have 2 – 3 days of mega concerts (27, 28 and 29th June) on Clapham Common this summer. Bringing the likelihood of performances from people like Paul McCartney and Madonna to our leafy streets.

These concerts will also see crowds up to 45,000 strong attend each concert (well, if the concert is good…). Typically, until now Clapham’s concerts have had half that number of people. The press release from Lambeth states that these concerts are for a “more mature” crowd and won’t be dance focused. That made us LOL but make of it what you will.

Up to now, opinion has been divided with members of Love Clapham saying it’s both a good thing, “I for one think this is fantastic news… A festival here or there really brings a fantastic vibe to Clapham.” (Tim) and a bad thing for the community and area “Personally I’m against it. Natural spaces in the centre of town are very rare and should be protected. The common’s already way too manicured – they should let the grass grow – see if they can’t wild-meadow more of it. I hate seeing private commercial projects on the Common.” (Matt).

This follows a round of investigations about noise levels from such a concert and some consultation with local community groups in January. Live Nation will actually occupy the site for over two weeks for setting up and dismantling.

One thing’s for sure, it will get the whole country talking about Clapham for a whole new reason, perhaps even making our Claps a known venue for musical talent. Recently, we’ve already seen the launch of Music Monday’s at the new Clapham Omnibus theatre on Clapham Common. Plus of course, who can forget the local Pop Choir :)

Please do share your thoughts on this in our new thread on the forum – we’d love to hear what you think!

Hyde Park concerts coming to Clapham Common?

Live Nation’s large live concerts look to be moving from Hyde Park to Clapham Common from summer 2014.

Clapham Live Nation festivals?

We were first alerted over the weekend on our Twitter account by a fellow Clapper and this morning the report looks to be confirmed by a press release from our local community group, the Friends of Clapham Common.

Friends of Clapham Common are very clear on their position: “We are objecting in the strongest possible terms to Lambeth Council’s proposal to permit an events company to put on large-scale events on Clapham Common that could see 45,000 people a day descending on the area.”

Their Chairman, Melanie Oxley, went on to say “The commercialisation of Clapham Common has reached new heights. Lambeth Council risks converting our heritage landscape into an enterprise platform. Despite clear objections from ourselves and others, Lambeth is welcoming all kinds of unsuitable events.”

How do you feel? Will the cultural benefits of concerts from major music artists like Lady Gaga and Coldplay improve our area? Or will yet another influx of revellers destroy what makes Clapham Common so special already?

Boris Bikes not coming to Clapham’s Northern Line

After hearing about the extension of the cycle hire ‘Boris Bikes’ into South West London, including parts of Battersea and Clapham (along Wandsworth Road down to Clapham Junction) we got in touch with TFL to ask when they’d come other areas of Clapham. In particular, along the heavily congested Northern Line route from Clapham North, through Balham down to Tooting.

TFL confirmed that there “are no plans to expand further at this time”, and that they definitely aren’t coming to this area for the time being (not this year, and with no plans at all yet, we’d guess that currently, unlikely for 2014 either). This due to a number of factors that included:

  • Funding
  • Maintenance of docking stations 500m apart
  • Likely usage – particularly multi-direction usage
  • Available suitable land for docking stations
  • Local demand
  • Council support

However, TFL report that the Northern Line is the single most congested line, particularly at the stations Clapham North, Clapham Common, Clapham South, Balham and Tooting Bec. We’ve just had the cycle super highway added along this route to encourage cyclists (which is working), and we’re being encouraged by TFL to change our commute at these points, including the recommendation of cycling.

Therefore Clappers, like Sherlock Holmes I conclude that it is the most sensible place in probably the whole of London for this bike scheme to come!

What do you think? Do you want them? Will people use them? Is it worth us starting a petition to show local support and mapping out possible docking station location? 

Boris bikes coming to areas of Clapham

Clapham Boris Bikes

Some of you may have noticed Boris Bike (aka Barclay’s bikes) docking stations cropping up along the Wandsworth Road and Clapham Junction parts of the Clapham area. So far there are no signs actually within Clapham town or the High Street, however.

This is part of the South West expansion, which you can read about on the TFL website. The expansion (see map below) mostly covers Hammersmith, Fulham and Wandsworth, but scrapes into the Clapham area. We’re unclear yet whether the bikes will come into Clapham town and around the common, or if Wandsworth Road is the limit.

It seems a shame that TFL / Barclays/ Boris etc haven’t decided to urgently rush the bike scheme along the extremely heavily overcrowded Northern Line to relieve the pressure. Fingers crossed.

We’ll let you know more as we know it. Bike on Clappers!

Clapham Boris Bike expansion

Clapham Old Town regeneration project

Clapham Old Town regeneration project

You may have noticed that something is afoot in Clapham Old Town. Lambeth Council has gone ahead with plans to completely regenerate this area of Clapham with a multi-million pound budget (£2.8 million). It’s one of the most ambitious regeneration schemes Clapham has seen in recent years and, following the Venn Street improvements, Love Clapham has to highly commend the council for such brilliant investment.

You can see an artist’s impression of what the area will look like in the picture above and more images on the architect Marks Barfield’s website. Work has already begun, which you can see happening right now if you pop down, with the aim to be finished in the New Year (around March time).

This will be a fantastic addition to the area and another reason for people to visit and live in Clapham. The main changes are:

  • Increasing and improving the paved areas significantly to create a large pedestrian area, or, as the architect is calling it an “urban piazza” (massive LOLs right?!) – which will provide a space for people to enjoy in the summer and will make the restaurants and shops more accessible
  • Moving the bus station stop to the other side, to sit within Clapham Common (we know this was controversial for the residents looking onto this but hopefully the improvements will prove worthwhile in the long run)
  • Changing the main road to run in both directions, rather than the previous one-way system
  • Introducing greenery with many more trees

You can find out more on the Lambeth Council website.

Clapham News Roundup

Happy summer Clappers! Well, almost. It’s still a bit chilly but the sun’s out, the flowers are in bloom and we at Love Clapham HQ are feeling it. There have been quite a few developments around Clapham over recent months leading us into what promises to be a better summer in Claps than ever. Here’s the roundup…

WHSmith has opened on Clapham High Street, which might not seem like a huge deal but it’s significant as the first big brand shop to open since Boots took over from Woolworths a couple of years ago. Given that Clapham High Street has very limited shops compared to bars and restaurants, we’re happy about this.

Of course, the new Clapham Leisure Centre has been open for a few months now and is being heavily used – a great success after eighteen months without it, albeit with mixed feedback from our loyal readers.

Venn Street has really transformed the Clapham High Street area. Bringing a weekly market on Saturday’s with very high quality produce and snacks, but most noticeably for pedestrianising the road creating a community hub. We love it.

As you’ll see in the previous posts there’s huge debate about the bus station situation in Clapham Old Town – should more busses be stopping in one of Clapham’s prettiest spots?

Finally, Love Clapham has been hit with a series of stray cats, luckily they’ve all been re-homed. But where are they coming from?!

New Clapham Leisure Centre Open

Clapham has been without a swimming pool for over a year but the new leisure centre (which looks something like the above drawing) is open. And dagnamit, it’s only got a swimming pool with a moving floor to change its depth! This probably entitles Clappers to say we have a ‘state of the art’ leisure centre. It also has a large gym area and a sports hall above it. Fabulous. For those of you going “whaaa? A new leisure centre? In Clapham?” you can find it on Clapham Manor Street next to the equally healthy KFC. Have you been yet, what do you think? Tell everyone below…

Sainsbury’s on Abbeville Road controversy

If you live in the Clapham South / Abbeville Road area you may have heard that Sainsbury’s would like to open a new local store on Abbeville Road itself amongst the local shops. It will go in the large retail space that used to be Dexters restaurant (where you could amazingly buy a full English breakfast with the works, tea, coffee and a fruit just for about £8 – no wonder it went under!) This development is proving to be fairly controversial, dividing residents right down the middle. Some want to keep the road local shops only, while others welcome the idea of an affordable local supermarket. No doubt the supermarket will get its way regardless – but what do you think? Interestingly, the even more controversial betting shop that opened on Abbeville Road has now closed, after only a couple of years of poor trade.

Clapham Cycle Superhighway

Love Clapham is prone to the odd over-the-top superlative here and there (obviously!) but believe it or not, that is the actual name of those new blue streaks down Clapham High Street. Yes ladies and gentlemen, thanks to the heads up from Clapper @XanderBrown, say hello to Clapham’s section of the Cycle Superhighway! Continue reading