Former S G Smith Site
Following the demolition of the existing buildings the developer carried out further investigative work on the location and size of the underground tanks which served the former petrol stations on the site. As of the end of January, no further work has been carried out and despite being asked several times, the developer has not given any further information on when building is likely to start. The site is surrounded by a very basic security fence and is an eyesore in the centre of the Village. Many residents are coming to the view that there is no intention to start work anytime soon and that Gilkes Crescent should be re-opened and a proper hoarding erected around the site.
Local Residents’ Associations Parking Surveys
Together, Turney and Burbage roads represent about 400 households and, in response to increasing resident concerns, the Burbage and Turney Residents’ Associations designed a short anonymous online parking survey which was completed by 10th December. There were 240 responses, representing a response rate of 60%.
Two thirds of respondents felt that parking difficulties had become significantly worse over the last year. Not everyone experienced parking difficulties but 30% of respondents did sometimes, and 32% experience them frequently or all the time. Parking problems were acute during the week but also during the weekend on Saturday and Sunday mornings (when the four local sports facilities are in use).
Burbage Road car ownership was analysed by comparing the number of cars per household against on and off-street parking in Burbage. 50% of Burbage residents have one car and 38% have two giving an overall average is 1.5 cars per household. Nearly 90% of houses in Burbage have off-street parking. Looking at car ownership and spaces combined, it was reckoned that on any day there should be between 60 and 100 spaces available for non-residents in Burbage road. This was rarely the case.
In the Southwark part of Turney Road, approximately 88% of houses have off street parking, the large majority for one car. Like Burbage Road, 50% of households have one car and 36% two cars. The estimate was that there were 113 parking spaces on the road, of which about 23 are needed by residents who cannot park all their cars on their drive or do not have a drive. This leaves 90 spaces for non-resident parking which can, at times, be fully utilised leaving difficulties for some residents as the parking spaces are not spread evenly along the road.
Responders felt that parking problems were exacerbated by school pick up and drop offs, commuter parking for Herne Hill and North Dulwich stations, visitors to the village shops, gallery and park, tradesmen, builders and visitors to the sports clubs and intermittently large events at Brockwell Park and the Velodrome. Medical staff, employees of local business and teachers also needed our spaces.
Many detailed responses give a lot of other information on inconsiderate parking behaviour and high speeds and intensive use of roads which is dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. That data has not yet been analysed.
The request for comments on the CPZ’s found that residents would need far more information on how this would work specifically. However, there was a significant body of residents who expressed strong support for CPZs, but also a similar proportion who felt equally strongly against. The polarisation of opinion in this way gives the RA’s some concern. There was also a strong view that any solution to the two roads’ particular problems must be found in the context of the wider Village situation so there is no displacement of the problem to other neighbouring roads.
Crime and Policing
There was a spate of street muggings in Village Ward in November and December and this resulted in a substantial increase in reported robbery crime, 32 incidents in total, a substantial increase over the same period in 2017. The good news is that several arrests were made and that two of the criminals have appeared in court, with a third pending. Over the same period the overall number of burglaries was down but motor vehicle crime was up considerably - there are reports of over 50 parked cars having their windows smashed, the thieves looking mainly for spare cash.
At January’s Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting the police confirmed that Southwark and Lambeth police were being combined as ‘Central South’ on 21st January and that the local SNP cluster, Dulwich Village, Dulwich Hill and Dulwich Wood, would be based at Gipsy Hill Police Station shortly afterwards. The cluster will also have a new sergeant as Tricia Edmeades has moved to Bermondsey and she will be replaced by Jonathan Adams.
Local MP Helen Hayes and Councillors met with school heads and the local inspector just before Christmas to discuss ways of combatting the rise in youth on youth crime. There was a positive outcome and we have been told that three school’s officers will be returning to work in the Dulwich area from late January - one will cover Dulwich College/Dulwich Prep/Kingsdale, the second will cover both Charter Schools and the third will cover JAGS and Alleyns.