Shop rents rising to unacceptable levels

The Society has been shown a rent review letter sent to a shopkeeper in the village from Daniel Watney, the Dulwich Estate’s surveyor, which says that the Estate intends to raise the rent by 60%. This is very worrying as there is reduced footfall in the area and it could be a further threat to our independent shops.

To be fair, it appears that the Estate is not the only landlord looking to raise rents. A current article on the Herne Hill Forum confirms that the landlord on the north side of Half Moon Lane is trying to impose an 80% increase on the cycle shop Bon Velo.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:05

Quietway 7

Quietway 7 - Elephant and Castle to Crystal Palace via Calton Avenue, Dulwich Village, Turney Road & Rosendale Road. Public consultation will take place from Monday 15 February 2016 to Sunday 13 March 2016. Leaflet will be posted by royal mail delivery to residents. See also www.consultations.southwark.gov.uk. There will be 3 open drop in events as follows:

  • Tuesday 23rd Feb, Village venue
  • Saturday 27th Feb, Gipsy Hill/ College venue
  • Saturday 5th Mar, Village venue

Venues to be confirmed via the Council’s website and email updates and details will be included in the printed leaflets.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:05

42 Bus

TfL is consulting on the proposed new 42 Bus route. They are intending to use double deckers - which is good news for capacity along East Dulwich Grove. They are asking for comments on the route extension to Dog Kennel Hill here: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/bus-route-42

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:03

West Dulwich Dairy site

R Durtnalls have been appointed as the contractors for the work. They are reputed to be the oldest builders in the country and also worked on both the Dulwich Picture Gallery modernization in the 1990s and the reconstruction of St Barnabas Church. The contract is planned to last 70 weeks and, if everything goes according to plan the surgery and the pharmacy should open in the early summer of 2017, with the other shops, and flats, following on shortly afterwards.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:03

New pedestrian crossing at Burbage Road

Following an application by Dulwich Safer Routes to Schools, the Council has awarded £40,000 of CGS funding for a new pedestrian crossing at the junction of Burbage Road with Half Moon Lane.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:02

Landlord’s licence

Southwark is introducing a landlord’s licensing scheme for rental properties. There is a 6-month window which started 1/1/2016 for landlords to register. The initial license period is 5 years. Owners should contact their letting agent or
www.southwark.gov.uk/..

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:02

Townley Road Junction Works

Townley Road Junction Works: The phased cycle lights are now operational but further adjustment is needed as they do not leave enough time for cyclists to turn right. There is still no confirmation on the date for the commissioning of the other  facilities and Southwark has still not  responded to the concerns raised in a recent safety audit.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:00

Half Moon Pub Plans submitted

The Planning Applications for the Half Moon pub can now be viewed on the Southwark web site - references 16/AP/0167 and 0168. Fullers are likely to challenge the Asset of Community Value status as the ACV was awarded in relation to one of the pub’s previous ancillary functions as a live music venue and Fullers want to install a restaurant and kitchen in that part of the pub. The focus of the local Herne Hill campaign has thus switched to retention of the live venue inside the pub building. www.brixtonbuzz.com/...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 15:54

Closure of Just Williams toyshop - a watershed moment for Herne Hill?

It’s good to see the opening of the new “Poisson de Mer” deli in Dulwich Village and the brand new post office at Rumsey pharmacy but in Herne Hill things are less optimistic and many people are concerned about the future of their favourite shops in Herne Hill.  “Just Williams”, the toy shop on Half Moon Lane closed its doors on 24th January after 10 years “due to high rent increases”. The reason given initially was that that the Dulwich Estate, its landlord, had raised the rent level to renew the lease by 70%. 

There was a highly critical article on the Herne Hill Forum website and a considerable number of negative comments on other internet forums and Twitter - and an on-line petition asking the DE to reconsider the rent hike has already attracted over 1700 signatures.

The Dulwich Estate responded quickly with a factual note which suggested a rather different scenario, refuting the 70% increase claims. On 22nd January in an article in the South London Press, John Major of the Dulwich Estate explained “it is the policy of The Dulwich Estate not to discuss arrangements with its tenants since these are considered to be private. 

However, the facts of the situation in relation to the property occupied by Just Williams are that the tenant was offered in October 2014 a new lease from July 2015 with a rent increase equivalent to 5.8% per annum from that fixed for the five-year period from July 2010 to July 2015.

The rent from 2010 to 2015 was £22,000.  The rent for the new lease was £28,400.

The tenant failed to take this up but remained in occupation from July 2015 until January 2016 at an interim rent which reflected the then market level”

Vicky, the owner of “Just Williams” toyshop has robustly countered the Estate arguments online stating that Dulwich Estate representatives failed to respond to her emails and requests for negotiation. 

The debate continues but has widened to include other local landlords such as Network Rail.  There will be a protest march on Saturday 30th January from 3.30pm outside Herne Hill station in support of the “Save our Shops” campaign.  The petition can be found here - www.change.org/..

It is no secret that the Estate is looking to raise its shop rents on review; there are rumours of substantial increases in the northern part of Dulwich Village and West Dulwich.  Given the substantial reduction in footfall due to the Herne Hill Flood and the temporary closure of the Crown and Greyhound in the Village, increasing rents would seem counter intuitive.  But then both Dulwich and Herne Hill are attractive and popular areas for families and young professionals, and it is therefore no surprise that there is increasing competition for commercial units.  It is worth remembering too that The Dulwich Estate seeks to manage its endowments in the long term interests of its beneficiaries which include several state schools & almshouses, and its contributions to the Foundation schools help to support bursaries.

There are plans afoot to set up Neighbourhood Forums in both Herne Hill and Dulwich which will give both areas more teeth on planning and community issues.  With the live music campaign at the Half Moon Pub, concerns about the green space at the Judith Kerr Primary School and now with local shops the Herne Hill campaigners are urging The Dulwich Estate to consider the long term impact on the community of the decisions they make.

What do you think about the range of independent shops in Herne Hill and Dulwich?  What would you like to see in the area and is the mix right?

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 16:43

Half Moon Pub

The Dulwich Estate have confirmed that they have signed a lease on the Half Moon with pub operator Fuller Smith & Turner Plc (Fullers) It is hoped that the pub will re-open in the late summer of 2016.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 January 2016 12:56

Garden Talk - Let’s Be Front Garden Proud

7.30pm Wednesday 9th March 2016
Lecture Theatre, Alleyn’s School, Townley Road, London SE22 8SU
 
Our expert panel of three speakers discuss what we can do to enhance our front gardens.

Tickets are £7 each, including a glass of wine. For details and an application form, see the Gardens section.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 January 2016 13:18

Letter to Cllr Andy Simmons

Dear Andy

Townley Road Junction:

There has been a variety of correspondence on the matter of the outstanding safety concerns at the Townley Road junction since its redevelopment.  The current situation has been discussed in some detail at recent Dulwich Society Transport Committee meetings and the Society is now looking to Councillors to take action on behalf of the local community to remedy the ongoing safety issues.

We are aware of the communications between individual Councillors, Southwark and TfL since the junction re-opened in September but, so far, this has not resulted in a commitment from TfL and Southwark over a clear timetable for the work to be completed. These issues continue to be observed by users of the junction and are specified in Southwark's own Safety Audit reports.

Deficiencies:

  1. There is an apparent random functioning of the traffic light filter controlling vehicles turning right from East Dulwich Grove into Townley Road. This leads to vehicles being stranded in the middle of the junction when the lights turn red and has led to potential conflicts with vehicles and cyclists. This danger was highlighted in the Interim Stage 3 road safety Audit; problem 3.6, page 15. This dangerous situation has already been allowed to continue for almost 3 months. See monitoring observations in December under point 1 below.
  2. Matt Hill of Southwark Council stated in October that "the UTC/Scoot signalling system will be commissioned on 3 November.  We will be following up with TfL this week about implementation of ‘early release’ phasing for cyclists". There has been no update from Officers, Councillors or at the last DCC on the status and/or success of this commissioning. See more detail at point 2 below.
  3. There is a known conflict of large vehicles, such as coaches, turning left at Townley where they penetrate the Advanced Cycle Lane on the east bound side of East Dulwich Grove.  This is predicted and reported in the series of the Safety Audit Reports and there is no clarity on when this will be remedied.
  4. The exposure of cyclists heading south from Greendale to Townley Road remains due to lack of clear signage. A collision of a young cyclist with a car has been reported to Southwark previously.

Given the time elapsed and the safety issues that remain, we ask our Councillors to take appropriate action to ensure that TfL and Southwark remedy the situation with urgently.

Yours sincerely

Ian McInnes
Chair Dulwich Society

Last Updated on Monday, 04 January 2016 12:28

Southwark Plan consultation

The preparation of the New Southwark Plan has now reached the ‘Preferred Option’ stage. The confirmed dates for the public consultation are Monday 26 October 2015 until Friday 12 February 2016. All responses must be received by 5pm on Friday 12 February 2016. http://www.southwark.gov.uk/info/856/planning_policy/3315/the_new_southwark_plan

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 November 2015 19:54

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The Dulwich Society - Registered under the Charities Act 1960, Number 234192

Our objects are to create the sense of community that one would hope to find in a good village, to increase awareness of local history and the character that make Dulwich special, to foster an appreciation of open spaces and trees, to introduce the people who live and work here to each other, and to help them to enjoy the atmosphere and life of Dulwich.

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