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Open Letter to the Lambeth Planning Applications Committee and West Norwood Community

Ahead of the Lambeth Planning Applications Committee determining our application, we have written an open letter to committee members and the community in West Norwood, outlining the case for the application. You can read the letter, in full, below:

Dear PAC Members and the local community,

Proposed metal recycling facility at Windsor Grove

On Tuesday, a decision will be made about our proposed metal recycling facility in West Norwood. It is an extremely important decision that will determine whether the Borough is serious about providing the leadership required to deal with its waste needs, and whether it is willing to let well run, businesses like ourselves help you in doing this.

In all the rhetoric about this site, important key facts have gone unnoticed. Our family-run, south London based business is now 40 years old and we have a track record that is unrivalled in our industry. We are proud members of the British Metals Recycling Association, FORS and Mayor of London’s Safer Lorries scheme. Having started from nothing, we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved and what we do. Even the campaigners against the proposal, who visited a previous Southwark Metals site, could not find fault with the way we go about our business. We take pride in what we do and that will never change.

Metal recycling is at the very heart of what we do, and it is essential for the circular economy. We will not apologise for delivering a service which is absolutely necessary if we are going to face up to what needs to be done to tackle climate change. The work our team does means natural materials are left in the ground and carbon emissions are avoided. We’ve been delivering on the objectives of the circular economy since before the term became popular, and we will continue to grow our business on this basis as part of our country’s efforts to hit the Net Zero carbon target. If Lambeth is going to achieve its own ambitious target of achieving Net Zero by 2030, you will need business like ours. You won’t achieve this by outsourcing your waste capacity problem to Belvedere or Dartford.

I understand the decision is made more difficult by a well organised campaign that has published some creative figures about the impact of our proposal. However, this is about leadership. Waste sites are never popular when they are proposed. Everyone creates waste, but they don’t want it dealt with anywhere near them. The problem with placating that attitude is it creates the situation you now face, in which you are failing to deliver on your own waste targets. Windsor Grove is a safeguarded waste site and, most importantly, it is in your borough’s biggest Key Industrial Business Area. Your own officers recognise it is suitable for what is proposed. If not this site, where? And if not Southwark Metals, who?

We believe in Windsor Grove as a site. It has been temporarily closed as we addressed the issues, we inherited which, in our view, made it dangerous to our neighbours and unfit to operate from. Frankly, we were shocked at what we found. The site has an Environmental Agency permit to process 25,000 tonnes of waste. It will re-open in some form, either as its lawful use as a vehicle depollution centre or as a modern recycling facility. It lies with members of the committee to determine what form that will be, in the first instance. Our preference is to operate this as a modern, enclosed metal recycling facility, which will be run by one of the most respected companies in our industry. That is what is before you.

On Tuesday, we hope PAC will support the officer’s recommendation, so that we can get on with the job of delivering the best metal recycling service in the business.

Yours faithfully,

Tom Pratt

Managing Director

Southwark Metals

New site acquisition

Southwark metals have now aquired West norwood car breakers, we are negotiating with Lambeth Council for planning, updates to follow.


Following recent social media posts about our planning application for Windsor Grove, Southwark Metals has released the following statement:

“Southwark Metals is a 40-year-old, family run business with an impeccable track record of operating metal recycling facilities in south London.

Windsor Grove is an existing and safeguarded waste site which has operated for decades. It is in a Key Industrial Business Area, as identified in Lambeth Council’s Local Plan. The site has a permit to process 25,000 tonnes of waste per annum and temporarily closed in 2020 to undergo remediation works.

The planning application seeks permission for the enclosure of the existing open-air site, to facilitate the running of a modern facility that exceeds all the environmental and safety standards outlined in the regulations for metal recycling businesses.

We believe this represents the best approach for operating this existing safeguarded waste site moving forward.”

We have just taken ownership over a 7.5 tonne tipper

We have just taken ownership over a 7.5 tonne tipper with on board weigh and pay system. Our main focus was on cyclist safety and working with cyclists to create a safer London.

Congratulations to Bromley FC on getting to Wembley in May

Congratulations to Bromley FC on getting to Wembley in May. This is a big achievement for a small club, and we are very proud to be this seasons and next years sponsor.


We have renewed our sponsership with Bromley FC.


More news

Southwark metals is proud to have sponsored Gary Cornish in his fight against Anthony Joshua on the 11th September at the 02 arena. Also previously sponsored was Liverpool’s David Price.


Bromley Football Club are delighted to welcome Southwark Metals as the Club’s new main sponsors.

The two year sponsorship marks the start of what is hoped to be a longstanding relationship between the club and the local scrap recycling company, who were founded in the 1980’s.

Chairman Jerry Dolke said, “We’re delighted to welcome Tom and his Southwark Metals group to Hayes Lane as our proud new main sponsor.”

Nicola Pratt from Southwark Metals and their group of companies added, “We are really proud be sponsoring Bromley Football Club as they celebrate their 125 year anniversary. We are also celebrating an anniversary, 35 years in the recycling business, and are looking forward to a bright future working with the team at Hayes Lane.”


New Addition to fleet

Southwark metals purchase daf hookloader with special sign writing in ruby to commemerate our 40 years in businsess.

Southwark Metals spends in excess of £750,000 upgrading part of our fleet

Southwark Metals spends in excess of £750,000 upgrading part of our fleet, this includes – New Hook Loaders, new 7.5 tonne tippers and New artic & trailer

David Price

New weighbridge going into our new site - opening soon!