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Southwark Council closed the bridge on Monday 27 January for safety reasons. It is currently reviewing the results of an independent consultation on alternative repair options that will not require the removal of the two old oak trees adjacent to it.
It appears that the London Mayor has changed his mind over the proposed redevelopment of the Dulwich Hamlet Football Ground and has said that Southwark should approve the latest revised scheme which provides more social housing. This will mean a series of blocks of flats being built on the existing stadium site while a new stadium is built on the adjacent Metropolitan Open Land – even though the Mayor acknowledges that an enclosed stadium does not comply with MoL policy. The Society and many local amenity groups objected to the loss of MoL but it is clear that the Mayor considers the provision of new housing more important than the preservation of public open space.
MINUTES of the 55th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Society held on 30th April 2018, 8pm at the Crown and Greyhound, Dulwich Village, SE21
Present: approximately 80 members
Apologies: Louise Wood (BRRA)
1. Introduction and Welcome by the President Dr Colin Niven OBE
Colin welcomed members to the meeting and thanked the Chair and the Executive Committee for their work over the past year. He welcomed Sir David Beamish and Patsy Bramble who had recently been co-opted as Sub-Committee Chairs for Trees and Licensing and were standing in the elections later in the meeting.
Colin asked the meeting to reflect on the sad passing of His Honour Michael Goodman who had been a Vice-President of the Society and had contributed so much to life in Dulwich and to the Society over the years.
Colin also highlighted that the upcoming series of events to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Dulwich Estate and Dulwich College.
2. Minutes of the 54th AGM held on 24th April 2017 were approved and signed.
3. Matters Arising - None
4. Reports on the activities of the Society in 2017-2018.
Written reports from the Chairman, Sub-Committee Chairmen and Officers had previously been made available on the Society’s website (www.dulwichsociety.com) and their oral presentations to the meeting were confined to key points, and to give an opportunity for questions to be asked.
4.1 Chairman (Ian McInnes)
The Society continues to raise the Scheme of Management performance with the Dulwich Estate via the Residents’ Advisory Group. The Society also had a meeting with the new CEO, Simone Crofton in early March. At the Society’s first formal meeting with Simone, she stressed the importance of improving communications with residents and making the Estate office pro-active and approachable.
The continuing vacant shops on local shopping parades is a disappointment. It is understood that a convenience store will be occupying 88 Dulwich Village but details will not be released until an agreement is signed.
The Chair also mentioned the future of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club now occupying a ground in Mitcham & Tooting while discussions take place about the Champion Hill site. The planning appeal has been withdrawn and there is no clarity as to the future of the club. It had been a worrying time for the club and supporters.
Also, the ongoing postal fraud cases in SE21 now exceed 100. Fortunately an arrest has now been made.
There were questions to the Chair about the poor condition of the former S G Smith site and the Grove Tavern, and whether the Grove could be subject to a compulsory purchase order. Both projects are on the Society’s radar. The Society held a public meeting in December to kick start the discussion on the Grove’s future but although most people wanted the pub to re-open, the reality of that happening is very unlikely. The Dulwich Estate and Southwark Council need to agree how to move forward.
The Society is a member of the residents’ liaison group which meets frequently with the developers of the Gilkes (former S G Smith) project. It is expected that the demolition will start in the summer.
4.2 Secretary (Sue Badman)
Sue mentioned the Society’s communication channels including the website and Twitter feed @dulwichsociety. A new noticeboard will be erected as soon as a site is agreed. The Society continues to revise its governance procedures and policies and new documents will be posted on the web site once agreed. We plan to hold a members’ party in 2019.
The Society has started to make grant awards to local charities and organisations for projects in accordance with Society objectives. Recipients in 2017 included Wheels for Wellbeing, Dulwich Park Friends, London Wildlife Trust and Safe Routes to School.
4.3 Membership (Diana McInnes)
Membership remains at over 1160 households. For the financial year 2016-2017 we claimed £2402.67 from HMRC for gift aid.
The eNewsletter is sent to 700 of our membership who have given us their email addresses. Members can request to be added to the circulation by emailing
4.4 Planning and Architecture (David Roberts)
Each month members of the Planning and Architecture Group visit the Dulwich Estate Scheme of Management office in the refurbished Old Grammar School to inspect and comment on licence applications. 199 licence applications were commented on - compared with 212 in 2017. There is a steady stream of applications to increase the amount of accommodation within both large and small houses.
The redevelopment of Beltwood on Sydenham Hill obtained planning consent.
There has been controversy over the use of the green space adjacent to the Judith Kerr Primary School as a site for the Dulwich Estate Almshouses. Southwark refused planning consent and the Estate will now need to review their plans and seek a fresh site.
The Half Moon Pub has reopened but the reopening of the Crown & Greyhound has been delayed.
4.5 Traffic and Transport (Alastair Hanton)
The Society has engaged:
• With Southwark Council over their holistic review of Dulwich traffic management conducted by consultants Steer, Davies and Gleave, and the Council kerbside strategy. The Society has also highlighted the car ownership and parking situation in Dulwich.
• With the Mayor of London and City Hall about transport strategy and their plans to encourage Londoners to switch from cars to public transport, walking and cycling.
• With the Train Operating Companies over franchise renewals and timetables and with Network Rail over accessibility at local rail stations. Strikes and disputes, and timetable changes have been very frustrating for residents.
The Dulwich Village junction revision for Quietway 7 has been completed, but there are concerns about its safety.
There were member questions on teachers and commuters taking up parking places in Dulwich Village which has affected parking for those who want to use the shops, and about the possibility of CPZs in the Dulwich area.
4.6 Licensing (Patsy Bramble)
Each month on average, the Society receives notice of one or two applications and submits objections or requests conditions to be imposed on the licence if it appears one or more of the licensing objectives may not be met and the amenity of some residents is likely to be adversely affected.
We have started to look at large commercial events planned in the Parks in 2018 specifically Brockwell Park and Peckham Rye Park, and challenge Southwark Council about their plans. In Herne Hill there are local groups crowdfunding to challenge Lambeth Council on their Brockwell Festival plans.
4.7 Gardens (Jeremy Prescott)
The Dulwich Open Gardens booklet has been circulated with the most recent journal to all members. Dulwich punches above its weight in London for the number of gardens that open for charity, a tribute to the generosity of all those involved. Our 2018 programme includes a talk by the Head Gardener of Sissinghurst and a visit to the Beth Chatto Gardens in June.
4.8 Wildlife (Angela Wilkes)
We are very fortunate in Dulwich to be surrounded by many parks, green spaces, woods and large gardens. Angela highlighted the huge army of volunteers who assist with wildlife projects and how the Society works with other wildlife groups. The loss and degradation of habitats in one of the major issues worldwide for wildlife and birds are a focal point.
There is also a drive for local authorities to seek to put on large events in parks to generate income. These could seriously affect birds during the nesting season, as well as bats year-round. The Society intends to highlight these issues with the relevant authorities and to help avoid problems.
1. Concern about potential damage by the GALA festival in Peckham Rye Park to nesting birds and bats. The festival is going ahead and it will be too late to put a stop to the event but the Wildlife and Licensing teams will continue to seek answers from Southwark Events and ensure that post-event surveys are conducted.
2. Concern about ducks in Dulwich Park being fed with the wrong food (e.g. bread). There are notices in the Park and the Friends of Dulwich Park continue to work on spreading the word.
3. Concern about people leaving out food for foxes. There is a note on the Dulwich Society web site about foxes. Food should not be left out for foxes. All rubbish and recycling should be safely stowed away in bins out of sight.
4.9 Trees (Sir David Beamish)
Sir David Beamish has recently taken over as Chair of the Trees Sub-Committee. The committee continues to advise residents on their tree problems via the email helpline, and continues the work on mapping and labelling the trees in Dulwich Park. With CGS funding, the Society has planted 10 new trees and hope to plant more.
4.10 Local History (Bernard Nurse)
Members of the Local History Committee contributed local history articles to the Journal and compiled an extensive history of Bell House for its website. The walks and opening of the burial ground organised for the Dulwich Festival were well attended. Research was undertaken for information boards to be erected by the Millpond and Tollgate in 2018. The web site generates many local history enquiries which often leads to new ideas for Journal articles.
4.11 Magazine (Brian Green)
Colin thanked Brian for the excellent work on the Journal. Brian remarked that he had a good many regular contributors but was always delighted to receive new ideas and fresh articles.
5. Presentation of Accounts and Financial Report for year to 31st December 2017 by the Society’s Hon. Treasurer, Russell Lloyd.
Overall, the audited accounts of The Society show a surplus of £2,489 for the year, compared to the previous year’s figure, 2016’s, of £8,031, a reduction of circa £5,542.
The main differences between the two years generally relate to lower total income in 2017, because of fewer donations received, also offset by lower operating expenditure and provisions made.
Overall, there has been a large decrease in Income between the two years ie £25,153 in total for 2017 against £42,043 for 2016, a decrease of £16,890. The main variance was income received from donations and grants in 2016 with no similar amounts being received in 2017.
Expenditure was lower in 2017 by £4,671, because there were some one-off costs in 2016 that weren’t repeated in 2017.
Our consolidated net bank account balances totalled £52,893 in 2017 compared to £54,564 in 2016.
The Treasurer thanked all those members who pay by standing order since this saves the Society money and reduces the heavy burden placed on our Membership Secretary.
The Treasurer also thanked Sally-Anne Jefferies for her support of the Society and for her auditing and accounts preparation services.
The accounts were duly approved.
6. Appointment of Hon. Auditor.
Sally-Anne Jeffries was proposed for re-election and this was duly approved.
7. ELECTIONS for 2018/2019
The following, having been duly proposed and seconded, were elected:
Chairman: Ian McInnes
Vice-Chairman: Kenneth Wolfe
Hon. Secretary: Susan Badman
Hon. Treasurer: Russell Lloyd
Membership Secretary: Diana McInnes
(b) Members of Executive Committee (including Sub-Committee Chairs where indicated):
Brian Green Editor of the Journal
Alistair Hanton Traffic & Transport
David Roberts Planning & Architecture
Angela Wilkes Wildlife
Jeremy Prescott Gardens
Bernard Nurse Local History
David Beamish Trees
Patsy Bramble Licensing
(c) Honorary Officers:
President: Dr Colin Niven OBE
Vice-Presidents: Dr Gary Savage
Dr Joseph Spence
8. Any Other Business
There was a question about Life Membership of the Dulwich Society. The Society doesn’t have Life Membership. Membership is £10pa per household. Full details are at www.dulwichsociety.com/membership.
9. Next Annual General Meeting
The date for the 2019 AGM will be confirmed in due course.
10. End of AGM Business
After the meeting there was a talk by Ed Malins about the Great North Wood followed by refreshments.
Minutes by: Sue Badman, Secretary, 31st May 2018
The Council is currently consulting over a food and music themed event planned for Dulwich Park over a three-day weekend 3rd-5th July 2020. Promoted by an events company, Brand Events TM Limited, it is called ‘Pubinthepark’, and will be hosted by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge. It is one of a series of ‘PitP’ events to be held at various locations across the country (there were eight this year in locations such as St Albans, Marlow and Chiswick). They plan to run a total of four sessions over the weekend in Dulwich, Friday & Saturday evenings and Saturday & Sunday afternoons, each session accommodating up to 3,500 ticket holders. There will be chef demos, food and drink tasting, trading stalls and a programme of live music. The website www.pubintheparkuk.com gives a taster of what could be on offer. If successful, the organiser will want to repeat the event in subsequent years.
This is the largest event ever planned in Dulwich Park and, whatever one’s views of what is on offer, there is little doubt that local residents who live near the park will be affected by noise, increased traffic and parking, and possibly road closures – the organisers say that they will tell ticket purchasers that access is best by public transport but they cannot insist. Tickets are £35-£45 per person per session (with some premium tickets at £95 each!) with food and drink on top of that. The choice of Dulwich Park is clearly because the organisers see the area as a relatively wealthy demographic who would not only be interested on the offer but could afford to pay for it. They say that there will be opportunities for local traders and businesses to participate but it is likely that current park businesses like the recumbent cyclists, the boats on the lake, and the park cafe will be adversely affected. And are the organisers fully aware of the extent of the flood alleviation works that the Council installed a few years ago?
But there is a more fundamental question, should a public park be used for private events of this sort, with their high entry cost, effectively locking out a large number of less wealthy park users many of them coming from elsewhere in Southwark and who would not be able to afford it, from a substantial area of the Park for over 10 days (including set up and take down) in the middle of summer. This type of restricted access event brings into question Southwark Council’s policy of earning additional revenue by permitting private events in what is a public park. The organisers will pay a fee, though we have not been told what it is, and there will also be a bond, amount unknown, paid up front to cover any damage to the park – many members will recall what happened in Peckham Rye two years ago. We are told that 10% of the hire fee will apparently be ring-fenced for projects in the park. However, The Society believes that as the park is held by Southwark on statutory trust under the Open Spaces Act 1906, any income it receives for the use of the park can only be used for the purpose of maintenance and improvement of the park and for no other purpose, - a fact which Southwark is choosing to ignore.
Deadlines for comments on the grant of either the events licence or the premises licence (i.e. for licensable activities such as the sale of alcohol and the provision of live music) are 11thDecember and 13th December.
These began on Tuesday 19 November. Coach timings in the morning have been brought forward by 10 mins to allow sufficient time for pupils to make the different school registration times. Pupils of Dulwich College and Dulwich Prep are dropped on College Road north at or close to the P4 bus stop between 0750 to 0805. College staff manage the crossing of pupils over the South Circular. The coaches will continue north along College Road to JAGS and Alleyn’s, where the drop-off locations are unchanged. The afternoon run will be the same in reverse, except the coaches will pick up College boys on the South Circular.
Dulwich & West Norwood constituency candidates are:
- Jonathan Bartley (Green Party)
- Helen Hayes (Labour Party)
- Anthony Hodgson (Christian Peoples’ Alliance)
- Jane Lyons (Conservative Party)
- John Plume (UK Independence Party)
- Julia Stephenson (Brexit Party)
The Dulwich Estate has submitted a planning application to convert the former Park Motors unit on the corner of Boxall Road into a yoga studio. Planning ref: 19/AP/6544
London City Airport
On roughly 40% of days the airport flies a low altitude (under 2000ft) concentrated path over Dulwich, controversially introduced in 2016. The airport wants to almost double flights over SE London, fly more planes early morning and late evening, and remove the 24hr ban on flights from midday Saturday to midday Sunday. The airport claims that its aircraft will be quieter in the future, but there is recent clear evidence from measuring the so called 'new generation' aircraft noise over Lambeth that on their low flight path over SE London homes the difference will not be perceptible.
London City Airport Masterplan consultation: www.londoncityairport.com/..
This sets out their perspective and consultation is open until 18 Oct. A simple letter supporting or opposing the Masterplan is all that is required.
The London Assembly environment committee has published authoritative and very accessible reports on the issues: www.london.gov.uk/..
The Heathrow third runway arguments will be better known to Dulwich Society members, and it is London Heathrow planes that disturb many from 4.30 am and end at 11.30pm, sometimes later, and these are much larger aircraft. Heathrow expansion is represented by some as effectively building a new airport the size of Gatwick alongside the current Heathrow airport. Concerns are that this will massively increase plane numbers over all parts of London with consequent additional noise and emissions.
Heathrow's own website contains plenty of information on the Airport's perspective.
For those interested to understand different perspectives the Teddington Action Group (TAG) has developed well researched information focused on Heathrow noise, aircraft emissions over populated areas and environmental issues. http://www.teddingtonactiongroup.com/
Climate Change, emissions and air travel
Many Dulwich residents will be noticing the recent tone of debate changing concerning air travel with debate opening about stopping airport expansion, reducing demand through taxation on fuel, flight shame, holidaying without air travel and so on. The voices of those concerned about carbon, particulate emissions are adding very much to the concerns of the overflown about increasingly intrusive noise as the aviation industry continues to pursue expansion. For many, the climate emergency is reason alone to oppose expansion of airports. For Londoners, the two in plain sight are Heathrow and London City. Claims by both to be heading towards carbon neutral businesses only go as far as the airport's ground operations and do not account for aircraft emissions. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has recently advised the Government that aviation will become the biggest source of carbon in the UK by 2050 and that expansion at Heathrow leaves very little room for growth at any other airport.
The No 3rd runway Coalition also holds excellent information. LB Southwark is a member, but not Lambeth or Lewisham. https://www.no3rdrunwaycoalition.co.uk/
AirportWatch, concerned about unsustainable aviation http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/
The response from the Forest Hill Society is here.
The response from campaign group HACAN East sets out reasons why expansion should be resisted. documentcloud.adobe.com/..
Most Councils that are affected by aircraft noise have written opposing the airport's plans. Waltham Forest’s reasoning drive.google.com/..
Following a public consultation, the new health centre on the site of the Dulwich Community Hospital will be named the Tessa Jowell Health Centre.
Good progress has been made on moving forward with plans to designate the area either side of Sydenham Hill as
a Neighbourhood Forum. Since the area is covered by two Councils, the consultation is being managed by Lewisham. To comment (by 31/10/19) go to: consultation.lewisham.gov.uk/..
The introduction of charges in Dulwich Park is likely to be during October but there is no further information on the position at Belair Park where the Dulwich Estate has objected to the proposed charging on the basis that the original lease required the Council to give free access to the park all times.
The latest information is that the new Foundation School coach routing will start after half-term in November. The alterations to the Dulwich Common/College Road junction are complete and work is currently ongoing on sorting out the traffic light phasing.