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Eco group launches petition to put solar panels on Streatham Hub

Your Local Guardian: A computer generated image of how the Streatham Hub could look. A computer generated image of how the Streatham Hub could look.

An eco-conscious community group is campaigning for developers to include solar panels on the roof of a multi-million pound housing and leisure complex.

Members of Transition Streatham are offering to finance the green additions to the Streatham Hub but are facing stiff opposition from officers at Lambeth Council, which promotes itself as the ‘co-operative’ borough.

The council told the group further delays to the project, which aims to provide 250 homes, a leisure centre and a Tesco store by 2013, would result in extra costs from contractors.

But campaigners maintain the changes will benefit the community in the long run.

They are hoping to drum up support for the proposals, which include plans for steam room and sauna at the leisure centre, through an online petition.

The group, a network of businesses and community groups, have established their own renewable energy company, Repowering Streatham, to provide the necessary alterations to the Hub.

Group member Scott Ainslie said: “The people of Streatham are not going to give up pushing.

“We are trying to talk about brokering a deal to see if we can do something about it. We are not going to settle for this.”

Jonathan Bartley, Green Party candidate for the Lambeth and Southwark seat at the London Assembly, who helped draft the proposals, added that the council had supported solar panel projects in Brixton but was refusing to back the campaign.

“Once again Streatham is being short-changed”, he said.

Liberal Democrat councillor Jeremy Clyne, who represents Streatham Hill ward, said the council was guilty of “dodging” the issue.

He said: “The issue of sustainability has been raised at several public meetings by Transition Streatham and the question was dodged by the council.

“As it has a massive flat roof, there is nothing stopping the council from putting solar panels on the roof of the leisure centre”.

But a council spokesman said sustainability was “at the heart” of the development and said it was “committed” to delivering a leisure facility which was powered by renewable energy.

He added that a sauna and steam room were never part of the development.

“Energy efficiency will be provided by a combined heat and power (CHP) based system which will deliver a considerable reduction in CO2 omissions and energy costs which draws on industry leading technology,” he said.

To sign the group’s petition click here.

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