Cycling Quietways As many will know, construction of the proposed Quietway along Calton Avenue and Turney Road has been delayed by extensive local consultation. Southwark Council has resolved to build it, but not before carefully considering an alternative design for the crossroads in the Village proposed by a group of local people. This design is based on three mini-roundabouts. The Council has also recently announced another proposal for a Quietway: this time between Peckham Rye West and Dulwich Village. It would run along Woodwarde Road. The Council does not yet have specific proposals on this route. At this stage, general concerns and ideas are being sought. Based on this the council will formulate proposals and initiate consultation.
‘The Gilkes’ Development Stalls: Local MP Helen Hayes and Village Ward Councillor Jane Lyons have set up a small monitoring committee comprising representatives from Resident Associations close to the site and the Dulwich Society. Despite being told by Council planners that it was essential that they engage constructively with local stakeholders, McCullogh Homes, the owners of the site have done so in a very half-hearted way and the aim of the group is to encourage them to be more proactive. Some basic site investigations have been carried out but none of the detail planning approvals, including the construction management plan, have yet been submitted. It seems unlikely that work will begin until at least 2018 and there is growing concern that the site will be left vacant.
Judith Kerr Primary School, Half Moon Lane:
The closing date for public comments on the Dulwich Estate’s planning application to build new almshouses on the open site next to the Judith Kerr Primary School was 16 April. The site is currently used as the school’s playground and many local residents are concerned over the potential impact of the development on the school’s pupils. While many agree that the historic almshouses at the Old College are no longer fit for purpose, they question whether this is the right location for a new building.
Dulwich Estate Creates a P.R post: Following an advertisement at the end of last year, the Dulwich Estate has appointed a part time media relations and communication manager. This is a new departure for the Estate, and a welcome one. Karen Wood, a local resident, has been appointed - she has extensive experience in public sector and charity communications and comes from a central Government marketing and media communications background where she worked on a wide range of UK public policy issues.
East Dulwich Society Closes Down: At an Extraordinary General meeting held on 21st February the East Dulwich Society was wound up. The Society had been inactive for nearly five years, its membership had been dropping and many of its committee members had moved away. More recently, its bank had informed it that they were going to close its account as it was considered to be dormant. About ten members were present and all agreed to the winding up and suggested that all the remaining funds should be transferred to the Dulwich Society which already has around 60 members in the area.
The Dulwich Society is happy to extend its remit into East Dulwich but needs more volunteers from the area to keep it informed of particular local issues and concerns.
The Historic Bus Shelter South Croxted Road
At the southern end of South Croxted Road, on the corner of Alleyn Road and almost opposite the Paxton Green Medical Centre, stands a unique oak framed bus shelter. Although the No 3 bus has been running down this road to and from Crystal Palace since Edwardian times, the shelter did not start life here.
The 1959 Dulwich Estate Board Meeting Minutes describe the negotiations with Camberwell Council to relocate the shelter (originally a tram stop) from elsewhere in the borough, though they do not tell us where it used to be. The actual land for the shelter was acquired from the adjacent property, No 1 Alleyn Road, as part of negotiations over a lease extension on an older house that was demolished in the late 1960s - the current house on the site dates from the early 1970s.
Southwark Council is supposed to be responsible for the shelter’s maintenance but has not made a particularly good job of it. Despite appearances, the structure is solid (though it does lean slightly), the main problem is that some of the cedar shakes on the roof have disappeared and left the roof structure exposed to the elements. The Dulwich Society has received Cleaner Greener Safer (CGS) funding for basic repairs but there is a concern that the Council just want the shelter removed. Local residents have made an application to Historic England to have the building listed - it is an attractive feature in this part of Dulwich and one well-used particularly by children at the Kingsdale School.
Blooming Good! Belair Park is looking a great deal better since it was criticised in these columns a few issues ago. Maintenance has improved, the lake is looking splendid and the wetland proving to be a fascinating area for all ages to study. The ‘dog-walkers’ path and hedge, the inspiration of Angela Wilkes and the late David Nicholson-Lord and part-funded by the Dulwich Society to provide a screen to the railway embankment and a wildlife corridor is firmly established and proving of great benefit. The recent public meeting at Belair voted to maintain the height of the hedge to around head height. Even the groundworks by Thames Water have produced some unexpected results with the blooming of numerous wildflowers on the new banks.