Tuesday 10 August 2010

The inscrutable Shirayama

Shirayama Shokusan Company Ltd are referred to as Shiriyama in the draft Southbank and Waterloo Cycling Strategy.

They own the former County Hall and the bit of Belvedere Road between Westminster Bridge Road and Chicheley Street - the bit which is almost impassable by bicycle at either end and has no cycle parking along it.
P36 of the report says:
"Fig 10 above shows the cycle provision in place at each end of the privately-owned section of Belvedere Road, broadly described as the County Hall section. As revealed, signage, routes and markings are inadequate and representations must be made to the landowner Shiriyama to improve these according to an agreed scheme.
Should Shiriyama decline to make the suggested improvements, an alternative route may be considered via currently underutilised Forum Magnum Square, which is owned Galliard Ltd, and through a cycle lane created alongside the bus lane at Addington Street."

I sense that the South Bank Employers Group and Lambeth Council are frustrated by the company - as no doubt are many people who happen to ride bikes. In fact, page 32 of the report says £4000 has been allocated with Lambeth Approved Cycle Route Complementary Measures 2009 to 'negotiate with landowners on removal of obstacles in Belvedere Road'. I bet that's Shirayama they're talking about.

A quick Google search throws up the following sort of comments since Shirayama bought County Hall:

Lambeth Council Overview and Scrutiny Cttee minutes of Thursday, 12 July 2007 7.00 pm
"£100,000 from the development in County Hall Riverside Building which is the final payment from developers Shirayama Shokusan Co Ltd in relation to the employment and training obligation in the agreement signed back in 1993. This brings to a close a long and arduous pursuit by the Council."

Lambeth Council Finance Scrutiny Cttee re S106 monies, 26 Sept 2001
"Other Outstanding Significant Planning Obligations

As can be seen from the S 106 Schedule the implementation of Section 106 Agreements, there are a range of direct obligations to be implemented by the developer that need to be monitored and pursued with developers. In terms of the County Hall Riverside Building S106 Agreement, there are a number of outstanding obligations to be undertaken by the developer, which I would bring to your attention to give a complete response to your queries.
• Under Clause 3.3 a Child Care Facility was to be provided, principally for the
use of children of persons employed on the site. Despite some initial discussions with Social Services on the requirements to run an operational nursery, this service has not to date been provided. I understand there have been issues in relation to the provision of necessary information to Social Services, and whether the County Hall riverside Building can provide a suitable nursery location in line with latest nursery provision guidance.
• Under Clause 3.10 a Children’s Library was to have provided within the County Hall, Riverside Building. Although a room has been designated for the Children’s Library to go into, no Library provision has been made. In discussions with the former Head of Library Services, David Jones, it was agreed that the Council would specify and cost out the implementation of a library facility, The specification costs identified would be used to either to pursue the owners Shirayama to implement as in the agreement or alter the agreement for some form of alternative provision. The location of proposed Children’s Library is not ideal in terms of access.
• Under Clause 3.15 and 3.16 of the agreement the owners Shirayama were
suppose to submit a proposal for a traffic management scheme for Belvedere Road (adjoining County Hall), and implement them subject to the Council approval. A scheme was submitted after the completion of the North and South Block residential schemes. However, the Council has not approved the details.

Planning is currently co-ordinating the actions of a number of departments on the
outstanding issues for the County Hall agreement. This will require further corporate response and action on how best to deliver the original objectives behind the Section 106 Agreement, and possibly some alterations to original agreement. It is proposed to establish a cross-directorate officer group to coordinate implementation in future for major Section 106 Planning Obligations."

I wonder what the original S106 and planning conditions were for County Hall when it was sold to this unattractive company.