Less than two weeks ago we discovered that a planning application had been submitted for houses along part of the Coal Line route. We spurred into action to save it and your response has now helped us start a dialogue with the developers. Good work.
In just over 48 hours Southwark had received over 400 comments in support of the Coal Line as well as hundreds of emails. We now hope that this eleventh hour surge of local sentiment is enough to ensure that the final planning decision is made by Planning Committee (elected Council members and planning council officers rather than officers alone). A decision is due on the 4th September.
It has been really heartening to read all your comments that have been shared too. Many of these also support us as we make the case for the benefits that the Peckham Coal Line will bring because they line up with the benefits identified in the crowdfunded feasibility study: connectivity, heritage, community, innovation and local prosperity, greening the city and health and well-being.
Since our collective neighborhood action – Southwark Council have publicly reaffirmed their commitment to the project, and they have also agreed to extend the deadline for comments on the proposal until the end of August - so if you haven’t already shared your views, please do so here.
It was a constructive meeting; we were able to put into action some of the research that you have helped us with over the last few months. Its our hope that this wider ‘Peckham story’ inspires a more inclusive and socially aspirational approach that includes the Peckham Coal Line into a future design. Following your comments we set out a set of considerations (listed at the bottom of this blog) to aim for along side their needs for the site and we’ll be meeting with them this coming Wednesday to hear their response to this.
We’ve learnt that we have to keep a constant eye on what’s going on – the site changed ownership just last month in a private deal and we were caught off – guard. We also should have made a point of asking our stakeholders to ensure that all departments have the latest Coal Line maps which we have been circulating with you over the last six months and I am sure they have learnt from this as well. Finally the developers also gracefully acknowledged that they should have spoken to us sooner. We all need to be better at communicating and that is why it is so important to get out and talk. Please help the Coal Line letting us know if you hear of things you think we should know about.
Your collective energy has given us a potential chance to get something better for the neighborhood and we’ll work really hard towards this. Together we have demonstrated how the Peckham Coal Line can bring us together in resilient unity with a chance to collectively steer developments and articulate what we value. The Peckham Coal Line is more than a future shared, public space it is also a means to influence change and to protect those who live and work in Peckham today.
Finally last week also saw us finalising a series of events for the Peckham Festival in September – on Friday night three bands and a DJ will playing a fundraiser gig at the Nines, Saturday we will have a creative workshop stamping your aspirations into coloured flags and Sunday we’ll parade them down the line! Hopefully with some music (if you know any mobile musicians – let us know). We look forward to seeing you then so please keep your eyes peeled for more on these things soon.
Thanks again and keep up the pressure on Bluecroft and the council.
The PCL team
For information, this is the email list sent to developers (who bought the stable yard site last month) following the initial meeting with them. We are expecting their response to this on the Wednesday 26th July 2017 and we will let you know what they say.
Peckham Coal Line – objectives and aspirations for 39b
• We are not against development – just development that precludes the PCL or wider
• We want to help develop the proposal for the site in an open and transparent way,
with meaningful community engagement, which the Friends of the PCL are happy to
• Together, we can ensure the new development will fully enjoy the benefits of being
the first step in the physical delivery of the PCL.
Objectives and aspirations for the development:
- Open up access to Southside (NR arches) to act as a catalyst for better commercial use of the arches in the broader area.
- Maintain and showcase the original arches
- Preserve the Victorian building / warehouse to the east of the site
- A development that supports mixed uses, which provide social value and local economic multiplier effects – e.g. local jobs and businesses.
- Safeguard land and access connectivity to enable a future Coal Line extension to Nunhead.
- Unfettered 24-hour access that provides a public right of way, suitable and accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.
We welcome working with you to achieve these objectives by;
- Working collaboratively to refresh the design and engage local ideas and perspectives
- Being transparent with the public/community about what decisions are taken
- If there are opportunities for meanwhile use ahead of construction, we could use this to test and amplify some of the potential future programs.