As the days get longer and spring stirs we are coming out of PCL newsletter hibernation with blooming exciting news.
We’ve been busy over the winter sifting through the applications sent in by the talent of 19 teams supported by 80 organisations all pitching to help guide us through the next stages of the journey.
This ‘Design Feasibility’ is the critical tool that will test how and when the Coal Line could be built. Commissioning this study has only been possible through your incredibly generous crowdfund donations and we continue to be humbled by the responsibility you have placed in us to get this right.
We are thrilled to announce that a team led by architectural practice Adams & Sutherland will be steering us through this process. With a proven track record and tenacity of spirit, the team will be working in collaboration with Arup (engineering), Rider Levett Bucknall (cost consultancy), Counterculture Partnership (business planning) and JCLA (landscape/planting design) on this phase of the project.
You can read more about the selection process here. Helping us navigate through this process were Peckham Vision, Kirkwood Nature Reserve, Southwark Council, the GLA and Network Rail. It was not an easy decision but there was a clear consensus among those involved.
We were all looking for someone with expertise in similar projects. This is a job that involves working alongside live railway lines, across two levels of local government and Network Rail, on something that has to incorporate new and existing infrastructure, while showing an understanding of how the Coal Line could be financed.
Adams & Sutherland have carried out similar projects: The Olympic Greenway connecting parts of east London to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Bow Riverside have proved successful projects against a backdrop of many challenges. They have helped re-energise existing communities by creating stronger physical and social links.
One of the lines from Adams & Sutherland’s pitch reads: ‘We will demonstrate how to achieve the vision [of the Coal Line] with hard facts and great ideas to bring people and funding to the project, proving that a community-led idea can really work.’ So we are happy to have got the right people for the job. You can read their full pitch here.
But it bears repeating. It was a strong field. Proof, we think, of the special opportunity the Coal Line presents.
Over the summer we will be hosting more walks and events, attending local fairs and fetes, testing and broadening the network as we go. We'll be running volunteer events in April too for those of you that want to get stuck in. Recently we have been inspired by the involvement of local schools, John Donne and Rye Oak, and there are plans to investigate and document the unique heritage of the area. But more of that next time.
Finally if you follow Peckham Coal Line on Twitter you’ll know that in January we had our application passed to be incorporated as a charity, ensuring that in the future Peckham Coal Line will always reinvest everything into Peckham.
For now, it is worth ending on the fact that we have reached an incredible milestone in an incredible project. So a huge thank you, once again, for taking part and making it possible.
The Friends of Peckham Coal Line