Following the Public Meeting with the Dulwich Estate in September, the Society had a follow up meeting where some progress was made regarding our proposal to make the Scheme of Management applications, and results, available to everyone via the Estate’s website. Hopefully this information will be in the public domain shortly.
The Society is also pressing the Estate to make sure that the Post Office remains in the Village and we have been assured that they are keen to keep it, whether with the current tenant or a new one.
There is no definitive news on the empty shop in Dulwich Village although we now know that it will not be let to Oxfam, and the Estate has advised us that they have had some serious interest from other parties. Regrettably, there are now two empty units in West Dulwich where the ‘Wine Rack’ has closed, as a result of their parent company going into receivership, and the curtain shop has decided not to renew their lease.
The Society is keen to set up a small ‘shopping group’ to look more closely at the Dulwich Estate’s shop letting policy as outlined at the Public Meeting. If any member has relevant expertise in the legal or letting side of commercial retail, the chairman would be very keen to hear from you.
There has been some positive progress on the Herne Hill Velodrome. A meeting was held with the Velo Club de Londres (the current tenant), and the local residents’ association, to review VCdL’s current proposals and we are hopeful that a revised scheme and financial proposal will be sent to the Estate very soon. Also, at the recent meeting of the Advisory Group (the three times a year meeting between the Dulwich Estate and the Dulwich Society), the Society made it clear to the Estate that we are looking for them to take a more proactive stance to resolve the current impasse. There is concern that the track is starting to deteriorate (it has not been maintained since it was built in 1990) and there is a real possibility that, if money is not spent soon, the track may become unusable and the site will have to close. This would be a bad outcome for users, the Estate, and their beneficiaries, as no viable use means no rent and thus no income.
The Society has been watching with interest the draft proposals to set up a new version of the Civic Trust (see the following article). We have two major concerns, whether we actually need a centralised ‘managing bureaucracy’, given that we can easily contact each other by email, and the suggested costs - which for many societies will be around 30% of their income (compared with a fee of £100 per society previously). We have been liaising with other local amenity societies and will have attended a meeting in February where supporters of the proposal will be putting forward their case to us.