It’s been a while since our last update and there is a lot to report. This blog includes updates on the stable yard development, the proposed Rotherhithe Bridge, a recap of some of the year’s activities and an update on the design feasibility study. As well as a ton of events, workshops, walks, school visits and pub meet up ups in 2017 we’ve made flags, painted walls, planted planters and generally been inspired by Peckhamites young and old. This has meant making new friends and learning more about where we call home, and yes we have been working towards making a park on a disused railway line. Finally we’ll share the latest on the Peckham Coal Lines exciting future.
Stable Yard update
Many of you are aware that earlier in the year part of the route was threatened by a new housing development. At 39b Consort Road developers ‘Bluecroft’ had submitted plans for a terrace of nine houses on the site of the ‘Old Spike’ and Victorian stables, a key part of the Peckham Coal Line’s ground level route. At the last minute your 400+ objections on the council’s planning website helped secure us with a meeting with the developers and their architect’s. Both sides have since worked hard to raise the ambition of the space to secure more for local people. After a consultation event in November, at the Cossall Estate hall, the developers have now submitted their new plans that now include the Peckham Coal Line. What this means is more publicly accessible open space with more planting as well as more ground floor workspaces with potential for more local jobs. You helped to preserve part of the Peckham Coal Line’s industrial heritage by saving the existing Victorian warehouse previously threatened with demolition. We hope the developers continue to work with us through the building process but it could mean that part of the route may become reality earlier than expected. You can read more about the new plans here.
Car free route from Peckham to the Thames
If you venture beyond the eastern end of the Peckham Coal Line it leads you along mostly car-free routes that link to Russia Dock Woodland in Rotherhithe. The Mayor of London is planning a pedestrian and cycle bridge from here to Canary Wharf and Transport for London (TfL) are currently consulting on the placement of the bridge. The Peckham Coal Line would benefit most from a bridge taking off from the existing pedestrian bridge over Salter Road before passing across Durdan’s Wharf and linking into the proposed Central or Southern bridge alignments. If you have the time to respond please get stuck into the consultation and let them know your preferred bridge locations here, they’re taking comments until the 8th January.
Like the Coal Line, the reForm/Elliott Wood bridge design was a self-start initiative, with no brief, client or fee. Like us, they just thought they had a great idea and a design which would benefit London. But TfL plan to appoint others to develop designs without assessing the popular one we show here. So, if you like this design please tell TfL in your consultation response. After all, if they don’t assess it with other designs how will they prove they have delivered the best technical and economic option.
Round up of 2017 activities
2017 has been a year of intense local activity. Starting with a Wassail in Kirkwood Nature Reserve in January, and since a model of the route has travelled up and down the borough. If you haven’t seen it at the Peckham library, under the Peckham arch, at your school or cinema you may have seen us struggling along the pavement with a ridiculously long cardboard box. Here are some photos of last years activities including making flags of your aspirations at the Peckham Festival and then hanging them over the bridge in Kirkwood Nature Reserve; also the beautifully painted planters created when we reimagined Bidwell Street and the mural created by a local street artist and kids on the Cossall wall.
Feasibility study and future
We are acutely aware that the ‘design feasibility study' has taken so much longer than we had first anticipated. Not a day goes by when we don’t think of our responsibility towards all those of you who backed the project and placed faith in the idea of the Peckham Coal Line. If you have been following the project you will know we went through a thorough tender process with help from Southwark Council and the GLA at the end of which we chose a team led by architects Adams & Sutherland; they got the ethos of the project and had the proven depth of experience to help us deliver. In reality the volunteer group has had to be more proactive through the process than we had initially anticipated. We had to work out what we needed to include, making sure the voice of the Peckham community is represented and with your help gather the information. Adams & Sutherland guided us but it was the local involvement that has helped us deliver. Together we have recorded what great things already exist here, what worries us about the future and establish what we think is important and demonstrating how the Peckham Coal Line help us, in part, to get there. We are currently editing the last few pages and we can’t wait to share it with you in the New Year.
But the headlines are – the project is absolutely feasible – in fact, you’ve shown it makes perfect sense. The project will likely be delivered in a number of different phases. Starting with the stable yard and the entrance from Queens Road we will work towards realising a section at a time whilst continuing to work-up in detail the whole route. There is a chance that two of these sections could be started as early as 2018, so please keep up what ever you’re doing to support it, get more involved and continue to watch this space!