Freedom of Information Request on Cross River Tram Depot Plans


Freedom of Information Request on Cross River Tram Depot Plans

Peckham Business Park, which owns and manages a major part of the land affected by this depot plan in the heart of Peckham, has now (August 2006) made a request under the Freedom of Information Act for information about the split-site depot plans. They say

�� our attempts to rationalise activities on the estate and invest in Peckham Town Centre are currently being blighted by the broad brush allocation of a very large area of land for a tram depot� These proposals not only affect our own livelihoods and those of numerous local businesses and local artists, and hundreds of employees, but also the amenities of many neighbouring residents�. We remain troubled � that the published UDP reports contain no meaningful information as to the scale, scope and extent of the proposed split site tram depot or its potential impact � It is our view that no meaningful decisions can be taken on the depot without this information being made publicly available��

Read the full letter here

TfL urged to reveal their tram depot plans in Peckham


TfL’s new plans for the split-site tram depot in the heart of Peckham town centre could have devastating effects on homes, jobs, businesses, artists and other community uses, and blight the town centre for years. We just don’t know exactly what the effects will be because no information has been released about these new plans. We do know that the Planning Inspector has already rejected the original plan because of its devastating effects. There are indications that the new plans could be as bad.

There will be a Peckham Vision deputation to full Council Assembly
Council Chamber
Town Hall
Peckham Road, SE5

Peckham Vision will be urging full Council to press TfL

  • to reveal their plans for a depot on this huge site in the heart of Peckham town centre so that there can be a transparent and informed discussion about the effects on Peckham.
  • to conduct a full public review of all split-site options and alternatives.

On Monday the deputation to the Executive

  • recognised the technical Planning need to safeguard the site for the depot
  • asked that the UDP be modified to recognise that it was too premature to take the final decisions on the tram depot location in Peckham
  • suggested the UDP be modified so that the site would be: ‘safeguarded pending a full public review of all split-site options and alternatives’.

The deputation were dismayed that the Executive rejected this modest and practical proposal. The deputation on Wednesday will be drawing these important matters for the future of Peckham to the attention of the full Council, andseeking cross-party support to put pressure on Transport for London to release information about their latest plans and urgently conduct a public review of split-site options and alternatives. Only then can anyone assess what the effect would be on Peckham.

Eileen Conn
pp Peckham Vision

Peckham Vision is a consortium of local residents, artists and businesses, who have come together with the Peckham Society, to seek information about the development plans for Peckham Town Centre, including the tram and tram depot, raise public awareness of these issues and stimulate an informed discussion about the future of Peckham.


Peckham Vision leads two deputations this coming week to Southwark Council, Town Hall, Peckham Road, SE5:

on MONDAY 26 JUNE at 7pm

on WEDNESDAY 28 JUNE at 7pm

Peckham Vision will be asking the Executive to get a full review of the possible sites and a comparative evaluation of them before the final decisions are taken about a tram depot in Peckham. Otherwise this will be another ‘defective’ decision, as the Inspector called the original choice of Peckham for the depot.


The Executive is the group of councillors who make the main decisions for the Council. On Monday they will be agreeing the modifications to be made to the UDP.� The Inspector rejected the original proposal for the
‘single-site’ tram depot because of the loss of jobs, businesses, housing and community uses, and the disruption it would cause to the town centre.

Instead he recommended a ‘split-site’ tram depot, but, unfortunately, did not put any limit on the size and arrangement of the split-site depot. The indications are that the new split-site depot proposal will still be very big, and may have similar damaging effects on the town centre as the single-site depot.

Peckham Vision deputation told the Planning Committee last week that the decision to designate this site now for the tram depot, without having these details, was premature. Before a final decision, there should be a thorough review of the effects on Peckham town centre and a comparative evaluation with the other sites.

Peckham Town Centre “offered up as depot for tram”


At a Planning meeting on Monday 19 June in Southwark Town Hall, the councillors fresh from their election campaigns discussed the proposed Cross River Tram (CRT). At this meeting, it became apparent that the reasoned views of “Peckham Vision”, the local group campaigning for informed discussion, were being stifled. The Chair was more interested in closing the meeting than in listening to local residents’ views. Committee Members were also not allowed to ask the Peckham Vision deputation any questions.

One of the local Councillors discussed “Safeguarding” the site from future redevelopment and regeneration efforts so that this site can be used as a large single industrial use as a tram depot. This idea was encouraged by the Planning Officers.

This decision is highly premature and a travesty of good decision making. It repeats all that was wrong with the original selection of Peckham by TfL for a tram depot, which the Planning Inspector described as ‘defective’ and based on ‘misinformation’ that the site was near derelict and vacant.

It seems that the case for the depot is that Peckham town centre had to be offered up to keep the other boroughs supporting the tram project. The case for it regenerating the town centre had been revealed by the Planning Inspector as baseless.

Under these proposals Peckham Town Centre will be blighted for years to come. Peckham Vision remains committed to campaigning for an informed debate about the future of Peckham town centre.


Next week key decisions will be taken by Southwark Council on the draft Unitary Development Plan (UDP). This includes the designation of the heart of Peckham town centre for the tram depot. The Executive will decide on Monday 26th June its recommendations to full Council Assembly on Wednesday 28th June. The Assembly’s decisions will be put to final public consultation for 6 weeks later this year, though the Council are indicating that they will not listen to any comments which show this to be the wrong decision for Peckham.

Peckham Vision is a collection of Local Residents, Artists, Businesses Land Owners, Local Amenity Society and other interested bodies who want to see a well informed proper public debate on the future of Peckham.

Local Community Unaware of Council’s Plans

On Saturday (21-1-06) about 200 people crowded into a small art gallery in the Bussey Building, just off Rye Lane. They were given a tour of the roof with its extensive views over London and were shown details of the proposed tram depot on Rye Lane/Bournemouth Road. This Peckham Society meeting was organised by Peckham Vision a consortium of local residents, artists and businesses.
For nearly everyone at this historic meeting, it was the first time that they had seen any plans for a maintenance depot for a tram from Peckham to Camden. Very few people at the meeting were aware of the depot proposal at all, let alone its enormous scale and impact on the Town Centre. Local ward Cllr Andy Simmons said they had not been told of the extent of Transport for London (TfL) depot plans, and too much was going on behind closed doors.
While some members of the public seemed receptive to the idea of connecting Peckham to Camden with a tram, they were surprised and concerned to hear that a very large, noisy engineering depot and marshalling yard, to repair and maintain the trams and work on them overnight, might be located in the heart of Peckham Town Centre. This would displace around 600 local jobs and 40 businesses, some 60 local artists, an entire row of Rye Lane shops, 9 established churches, and 40 brand new affordable homes.
Peckham is not the only location considered for the tram depot, nor was it the original preferred location. Yet no adequate public consultation appears to have happened in relation to Peckham or any of the 28 other sites examined. Nor, it seems, has there been an examination of the true impact and the economic, commercial, traffic and social costs of a tram depot in Peckham Town Centre.
There was overwhelming concern at the lack of information that has been made available by TfL and Southwark Council, and at being seemingly presented with a fait accompli. There were repeated requests for release of information now before the formal consultation period.
The adverse consequences for businesses, jobs, homes, traffic, planning blight, shopping and historic buildings need to be discussed now by people who live and work in Peckham. Only then will local people and the Council be able to have an informed discussion about the future of Peckham.


1. Plan of the tram depot. 2. Photos of the meeting (sent by separate email)
Contact Details:
Peckham Vision:
Notes for Editors

  1. The tram depot idea appeared in March 2004 in the draft UDP (Unitary Development Plan) apparently as potential mixed use combining a depot with new businesses, shops, housing, leisure and community facilities. The information secured by objectors, under the Freedom of Information Act in the course of the UDP public Inquiry in 2005, instead shows the very large site occupied only by a tram depot and a row of small shallow shops on Rye Lane the prime shopping street.
  2. The comparison of several possible locations for the depot implies that the Peckham site is mostly derelict with little significant activity on it. This is far from the case. In fact it is a thriving industrial park (CIP) providing a flexible and adaptable space for a variety of small businesses and community uses, a new social housing development of 40 flats just nearing completion (owned by Wandle Housing Association), and two large commercial buildings on the Rye Lane/Bournemouth Road frontage which have been refused planning permission for redevelopment, conversion and rehabilitation for shops and over 60 flats (owned by MacNiven & Cameron).
  3. An artists community of some 60 artists has established itself on the site and last October launched an art gallery with a month long exhibition as ‘Ruthless Peckham’. The success of this has led to the second exhibition running for a month from 19 January. This use of the site illustrates its potential for contributing to the recognised emergence of Peckham as a south London hub for creative entrepreneurs. The Peckham Society has a 30 year record of championing developments which celebrate and encourage the new alongside preservation of Peckham’s extensive historic heritage. Peckham Vision is a consortium of local residents, artists and businesses, who have come together to promote awareness of the issues.