By the time this is published the work on the Townley Road junction should be almost complete and we will soon know what its impact will be on local traffic.
The Dulwich Estate and S G Smith were granted planning permission and listed building consent for the proposed redevelopment of the S G Smith garage workshop site on 14 July. The Council agreed to allow a total of 12 units, 4 of them ‘affordable’, and agreed a substantial Community Infrastructure Levy payment of around £800,000 - which should be spent on improvements in Dulwich. There were a considerable number of objectors; many residents who live nearby are very concerned over the impact of the actual construction work on the surrounding roads.
This is but one of the developments that will be happening in Dulwich over the next few years. Work on the West Dulwich dairy site is still expected to start in the autumn. This will provide a new GP surgery as well as a number of flats and additional shops.
The refurbishment of the Crown and Greyhound continues but there is now considerable doubt as to whether it will be open for trading by Christmas. Work on the new hotel unit at the rear has been delayed following a partial collapse of part of the old skittle alley. This has been compounded by Southwark Council’s conservation officers’ failure to deal with the problem in an appropriately timely manner. The Society has lobbied councillors to see if they can move things forward. The pub is a major Village attraction which brings visitors, and business, to the other shops and restaurants nearby.
On the Half Moon Pub, the Estate has confirmed that they have agreed heads of terms with a pub operator who will run it as a pub with rooms. Meanwhile on the former Grove Tavern site, which has been closed since 2012, it is working up a scheme for a large number of flats above one or more retail units. The Society understands that it will comply with Southwark’s current policy on social housing which requires a mix of 65% private ownership and 35% affordable.
It is now confirmed that the Village Post office will be moving into Rumseys Chemist at No 47. The existing shop will need to be refurbished so the transfer is unlikely to happen much before the end of the year. This will of course mean that the Estate will be looking for a new tenant in the existing Post Office - another coffee shop perhaps, or can we hope for something more useful?
Another potential development site is the land in front of the new Judith Kerr School which fronts onto Half Moon lane. While the school’s parents are looking to use it for a playground, it appears in Southwark’s plan as a development site. The Estate has prepared an initial residential proposal which was discussed at a pre-application meeting with the Council in July.
Recently the Council fitted chains to the final set of posts between the Picture Gallery and the South Circular. Budget constraints meant that they had to be plastic but they still looked the part. Regrettably there are a number of local residents who don’t seem to value this contribution to Dulwich’s historic character as most of them were broken within a week. Members of the Society refixed them but they were broken again within a few days.
Last but not least, Lightbox, the developer of No 1 Fountain Drive, at the southernmost tip of the Estate, has won an appeal against Southwark’s refusal to allow the demolition of the old house and its replacement with 5 new townhouses.