Revised Foundation School coach routes
The works required at the College Road/Dulwich Common junction to enable the implementation of the revised coach routes through the Village were completed ahead of schedule thanks to pressure from Helen Hayes MP and local councillors on TfL. Coaches should be using the new routing by now.
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
The Council held two well-attended consultation meetings on 12th and 16th October. There were more younger people/families than older residents present but, unfortunately, hardly any traders. There was considerable debate in the workshops about problems and solutions but there will be no definitive responses from the Council until all the feedback is assessed.
It appears that traffic congestion in Dulwich Village is now substantially worse than when the Council did the consultation for Quietway 7 and concerns remain over the benefits of the new Calton Avenue/Court Lane junction layout and whether the new Foundation school coach routes will improve matters overall. There was definite interest in controlling parents driving their children to school via street closures or school streets. There is a groundswell of opinion about Calton Avenue and Townley Road congestion, and the impact of the Foundation School coaches - local state schools tend to have a narrow catchment area while the indepeno9dent schools under pressure from competition from those schools, are having to draw their pupils from a wider area across London.
Two new campaigning groups, ‘Clean Air for Dulwich’ and ‘Mums for Lungs’ are gaining traction on air pollution. Clean Air has put up banners at many locations proclaiming that air pollution is worse for children in cars than walking on pavements. There was also a change.org petition for a School Street along Dulwich Village between Turney Road and East Dulwich Grove: https://www.change.org/p/southwark-council-school...
Southwark Planners have not been on the ball recently. Without consulting either the Society or TfL, they have granted an application for a new house in part of the garden of a property on Frank Dixon Way which included direct access on to the South Circular. The Dulwich Estate has yet to comment, and it could be that it will object to the partition of the garden of the existing house, but Southwark should have known that TfL does not allow any new access onto the South Circular.
Alleyn’s School have also applied for planning permission to expand the current Junior School on the main site by an additional 35-42 pupils in Reception Years 1 & 2 - plus 6 staff. There are considerable local concerns over the potential impact on traffic in the immediate area as young children are probably more likely to be driven to school rather than take public transport or cycle. The current low traffic neighbourhood consultation being undertaken by the Council includes the roads around Alleyn’s and it might appear contradictory if on the one hand the Council is talking about reducing traffic and pollution, and on the other allows a development which could lead to a potential increase in traffic. If the council allows this expansion, knowing full well that it will further contribute to increasing the already illegal levels of pollution, then it could arguably be complicit in harming its residents.
Dulwich Park Car Parking Charges
By now you should (or will shortly be) be paying to park in Dulwich Park, £2 per hour, and the impact of parking displacement on adjoining roads, College Road, Burbage Road and Court Lane will become clearer over the next few months. But you will still be able to park for free in Belair Park - as far as the Society is aware, no progress has been made in discussions between the Council and the Dulwich Estate over the interpretation of the 1960s lease provisions which requires the public to have free access to Belair Park at all times.
Crime and Policing
Recent Society eNewsletters warned about the number of recent burglaries with a common theme - access to the house being obtained via ‘slipping’ the night latch on the front door (the owner having forgotten to use the mortice lock). Of 18 burglaries reported in the summer, 12 used this method. During August and September some residents were targeted by a ‘climber’, an old-fashioned cat burglar who made an entry via first floor windows, generally when the houses were occupied and the alarm was off. If you have a burglar alarm it should be on downstairs at night - & any keys to doors or cars hidden.
Car crime is also rising, both theft from vehicles and actual theft of the car - some models in the Landrover range appear to be particularly vulnerable (7 out of the last 10 thefts) and the police are recommending the use of old-fashioned steering locks or ‘Faraday Bags’ which block the electronic car key’s signal. Catalytic converter thefts have also returned recently, 18 in Dulwich Wood ward in the last two months - targeted cars (often hybrids) are jacked up in broad daylight by men wearing hi-viz jackets and the exhaust pipes removed with an angle grinder, very noisy but the deed is done in just a couple of minutes.
In the North Dulwich Triangle, there are reports of a burglar alarm salesman knocking on doors implying that he represents a company that has been retained to provide private security in the area. This is not the case and house owners should not be fooled into thinking that it is anything but an aggressive sales pitch.
The Dulwich Society is on Southwark Licensing’s alert list to be notified of all new premises licence applications in the Dulwich Village, Dulwich Wood and Dulwich Hill Wards. Unfortunately, little substantive information is given on the Licence Register other than the name of the applicant, the hours sought for the various licensable activities and conditions attaching to the previous premises licence! To find out more, it is necessary to make an appointment to view the file at Southwark’s Tooley Street offices - not always convenient for those who work! In order for a representation against the grant of a premises licence to be considered, it must be relevant to the four licensing objectives set out in the Licensing Act 2003: public safety, prevention of crime and disorder, protection of children from harm and prevention of public nuisance. If a representation is made - for or against - then the application is set down for a Hearing by a Licensing Sub-Committee - even if the only representation is one in favour (unless that representation is withdrawn!) Whilst the number of representations for and against an application are shown on the Licensing Register, unhelpfully, the representations are only made public 5 days before a Hearing when they are contained in the Hearing Agenda papers. So much for open government!
In the case of the recent application for a new premises licence for Belair House, the new owners, Belair Mansion Limited, applied for a licence in broadly similar terms to the licence held by the previous owners. There were 51 representations against the licence, mainly on the grounds of public nuisance, and 16 in support. The Hearing was held on September 30th and after a lengthy meeting a licence was granted, subject to numerous conditions including: opening hours to be limited to 00.30 except Fridays and Saturdays ( when opening hours are until to 02.30) ; no licensable activities ( ie., music, dancing and provision of late night refreshment ) is permitted outdoors after 22.00 and a limited number of “DJ led promoted events” each year. However, it appears that not all of the conditions agreed at the Hearing have been incorporated into the Hearing Notice and Cllr Margy Newens, who attended and spoke at the Hearing, is taking the matter up with Southwark. Hopefully the matter will be cleared up shortly!
Dulwich Society Grants
The Society has made the following grants from its funds as its contribution towards the community and furtherance of its aims.
- Books for Primary School Children Dulwich Wood Federation. £500.00
- London Wildlife Trust, Sydenham Hill Woods £2330.00
- Defibrillator for public use - Bell House £500.00
- Bench repairs £520.00
- Exit Burbage sign £505.00
- Safe Routes to School meeting expenses £200.00
- Dulwich Village Infants School anti-pollution Green Screen £3000.00