This is the restored Old Waiting Room at the station. What kind of use would be well used? What would make Peckham town centre an attractive place to visit? What would make the area more attractive for other commercial investment? What would be a good business proposal? Would you like to see:
This is the secret room above the ticket hall, brought back into life by a local community initiative funded by small grants, 2008 – 2011, from the Community Council CGS programme. The Community Council applauded at their 8th December 2010 meeting the latest reports and pictures, and started the discussion about suitable commercial uses to make the best of the wonderful space.
Further funds are being sought to continue the restoration to the external staircase, & to improve the station walkways. This would be the public entrance to the space and make it useable for public activities.
Local residents are developing a social enterprise project to bid for the lease from Network Rail for a multi purpose flexible venue. For more information, see briefhere, and blog here http://peckhamresidents.wordpress.com and .
A group of local residents, council people and others in the Peckham Town Centre Forum had a highly successful 2 hour walkabout of the town centre looking at urban design of the street scene, and also the large development sites and their potential. Discussion focused on:
* changes to the street scene design to improve the pedestrian experience – including widening pavements & removing street clutter;
* enhancing some historic buildings in prominent locations by cleaning and painting above ground floor level for some quick wins; funding to be secured through heritage sources once Conservation Area status granted;
* impact and potential for the major developments both sides of the High Street, and in central Rye Lane opposite the station.
This was followed by another enthusiastic energetic Forum in the afternoon. Open Space discussions focussed on:
Feedback from the walk – street scene, major developments and the PNAAP
Restoration of historic buildings and next steps following on from the walk feedback
Central Rye Lane – especially the multi storey car park and Copeland Industrial site
Food growing and mapping of sustainable initiatives
Peckham Festival in autumn 2011.
As a result, following the walkabout and discussions, the Council has organised two preview events of the Preferred Options of the PNAAP to give the public a chance to give some early feedback. These are excellent chances to make a contribution and become better informed about the revitalisation of Peckham town centre.
– Saturday 27 November 2010, 12.30pm to 3.30pm
– Tuesday 30 November 2010, 6pm to 9pm
both at the Bussey building, 133 Rye Lane, SE15
The Council says: “These will be informal sessions. People may come for part of the time if they wish. There will be displays and information on the key emerging preferred options for the Peckham and Nunhead area action plan (PNAAP). As well as an early opportunity to find out what direction the preferred options are heading in, this is a chance to give initial thoughts and reactions as an input into finalising the preferred options that will be consulted on next year.”
“Peckham … one of London’s best kept secrets with tremendous value waiting to be unlocked… a zone 2 town centre within easy reach of London’s main employment centres. … there are frequent services into Victoria, Blackfriars and London Bridge – the journey from Peckham Rye to London Bridge takes just 10 minutes. And from 2012 … Peckham will be on the Tube map when the second phase of the East London Line extension is completed…”Cllr Fiona Colley, Cabinet member for Regeneration, said on 7 October, at Tate Modern. “Our vision for regeneration in Peckham is … to build on the best of what we have. For imaginative developments which bring fine historic buildings back to life and alongside this exciting high quality new buildings…”
She was speaking at the NLA conference ‘Investing in Southwark’ and went on to say: “… we’ll be introducing a conservation area for central Peckham, not to prevent development, which is something the community and the council really wants, but to ensure that the quality of design we call for in Peckham is no less than we demand in other parts of the borough…
Of course regeneration isn’t just about buildings, it’s also about communities and perceptions… we have active community groups like the … Peckham Society and Peckham Vision – groups of residents and businesses who actively want to work in partnership with the council and developers to improve their areas, to protect the historic qualities of the area and to see high quality new developments. I know we have some representatives from those groups here today. They are helping us to change the perception of … Peckham…
Peckham [is] emerging as [a] go-to cultural destination… There are many opportunities for investment and development in … Peckham.”
Old Waiting Room – restoration.
Picture by Benedict O’Looney
It is an understatement to say that quite a few urban planners and architects would like to keep local communities at bay during the process of developing the urban. Main reasons? Fear of NIMBY-behavior, fear of delays, fear of less-than-progressive ideas about what should be done and, in some cases, fear of people who are not part of the cozy inner-circle of architects, planners and designers. … Sometimes a dialogue of the deaf is the only result. … The Peckham Vision (UK) is an example where things went differently but with favorable results, as even architects in the Architects’ Journal acknowledge. Peckham Vision is a communal gathering in order to generate new ideas about the future of the Peckham town centre and its buildings. Read more at cityness.wordpress.com.
celebration of station Old Waiting Room restoration
The AJ article “…juxtaposes a top-down development in Elephant and Castle with ground-up localism in Peckham”. It says: Localism can, and does, improve the quality of the built environment by enabling professional skills and community ideas to coalesce. For example, Peckham Vision, a consortium of residents, artists, businesses and The Peckham Society, campaigns for a renewed Peckham town centre. The consortium is an important force for change…Read More
By Roger Williams | In Dulwich on View Photo: Benedict O’Looney
The Peckham Society and Southwark Council recently celebrated the beginning of the restoration of the Grand Waiting Room at Peckham Rye Station. Peckham Rye’s handsome Victorian station has been struggling to be seen since buildings were thrown up in the square in front of it in the 1930s. Stand and look at the station now, and you will see two extruding blocks, one on each side of the main entrance. The one on the south side contains a stone and iron spiral staircase, the timbers of its floors rotten, the plaster walls crumbling in chunks, and an arrow pointing upwards, graffitied in black, with the words “To the Billiard Hall”. The billiard hall operated here for 60 years until it closed in 1960, after which all was silence.
On Friday, July 16, after half a century in the dark, the “billiard hall” opened its doors to reveal the station’s Old Waiting Room, a magnificent space with a high vaulted ceiling and four open fire places that stretches the length of the building above the ticket office and is today accessed from Platform 3, on the Victoria line. Read more …
A waiting room left hidden on platform three of Rye Lane Station could be the key to unlocking future investment in Peckham.
Like something out of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, this enormous space opened as a waiting room in 1865 and was turned into a billiards hall in 1890 until it closed in 1960. Forgotten, over the years this space was left to fall into disrepair. It has only recently been opened to the public (albeit briefly), but for those wanting to attract future investment into Peckham town centre the space represents a way forward.
For over a decade the planners and officers at the council’s regeneration department have toyed with a multitude of ideas on how to improve Peckham as commercial hub.
In 2001 radical proposals to transform Peckham into ‘the Notting Hill’ of south London were being considered by Southwark Council’s Peckham Partnership. The head of this regeneration body, Russell Profitt, was looking at recommendations which would mean knocking down huge parts of the high street, pedestrianising large parts of Rye Lane, demolishing the dank and dark buildings around Peckham Rye train station and expanding the Aylesham shopping centre.
Years before in the 1990s, Peckham had undergone a huge regeneration programme, when £64 million (and £150 million in other funding) was given to the area, predominantly to transform housing in the north. As well as removing the notorious estates, some of the legacy from that money was the new Peckham Square and the iconic library within its boundaries.
Last year the council officers were back on the hunt for a way forward, producing a document entitled ‘Future Peckham’ in a bid to garner people’s opinions on what they wanted to see. This hefty 54 page document again suggested a myriad of radical changes in the area, including relocation of the cinema, the creation of three fifteen storey buildings for new homes and once more the redevelopment of the Aylesham centre and Rye Lane to produce a vibrant shopping environment.
But since the initial proposals from Russell Profitt for a ‘Notting Hill’ of the south much has changed on the ground in Peckham. Mr Profitt left the renamed Peckham Programme in 2008 and the subsequent abolition of a town centre management has left a vacuum in the council’s daily coordination on the ground.
In its place is a grassroots group, ‘Peckham Vision’, made up of local stakeholders including residents, community groups and business owners. It is becoming the driving force behind change and importantly they understand that in light of the present economic climate Peckham’s future relies on private investment. Read more…
Over 40 students from the 2nd year Canterbury School of Architecture came to Peckham on 28th May 2010 to show their designs for the area around the Peckham Rye Station. They met in the Old Waiting Room at the station.
For the last two years the school’s spring term design studio has focussed on Peckham’s town centre, in particular the open spaces in front of and behind the station. Many of the students come from south London.
The event was held at the enormous former waiting room at the Peckham Rye Station, which has been unused for more than forty years. This remarkable, grand, space is one of the highlights of Peckham’s architecture and is being restored by the local architect Benedict O’Looney, with the help of Southwark Council. Benedict is a conservationist active with the Peckham Society and a design and history teacher at the Canterbury School of Architecture.
Southwark Council’s community-oriented ‘Cleaner Greener and Safer’ fund has put forward several grants to unblock the windows and restore the floor to the former waiting room, which was used as a billiard hall from the 1890s to 1960. This room was bricked up and closed off to public use when the station’s southern platforms were rearranged in 1962. The Peckham Rye Station was designed by the eminent Victorian architect Charles Henry Driver in 1865, and this large and lofty waiting room was the building’s principal interior space. The Peckham Society has been campaigning forthe restoration of this prominent local landmark and was successful in getting the station listed grade 2 in 2008. It is hoped that the former waiting room will one soon find a new life as a community meeting space, gallery or cafe. The large student gathering made clear the space’s excellent community potential.
Contact: Benedict O’Looney, architect, teacher, Committee, the Peckham Society 07981 – 785 950
Kristina Kolotov, Second Year Coordinator, Canterbury School of Architecture 07977 – 038 105
Latest news 6th March:Planning permission refused. See decision here. See planning report here.Meeting Thursday 18th March 2pm at CLF Art Cafe, Bussey buildng, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 to seek better planning from the developers and owners of the land on the Copeland Cultural Quarter site (see here for more).
January 2010 – Developers sought permission to demolish what remains of the historic Holdron’s on the corner of Rye Lane / Bournemouth Road. It looks potentially as inappropriate and poor quality in design as the Wandle housing block next door to it. Also its design with cramped flats might exacerbate the social problems already experienced from the Wandle block after only two years. It is not integrated at all in the thinking of the developments that can happen now on all that big site behind, now that the tram depot threat is fully lifted.
For those not up to date on this – TfL consultants finally a year ago reported that that site was completely wrong on all counts for the tram depot and another different and appropriate site was found. This news got completely lost in the news of the tram project itself being suspended. This was a shame as it fully vindicated everything Peckham Vision had said including that it would be bad for the tram itself if the tram depot location plan was not thoroughly re-examined ASAP. Once TfL did review it, they conceded everything Peckham Vision had said about why it was a defective decision.
In spite of the blight caused by the TfL plan to locate the tram depot here, organic developments have continued in the Copeland Industrial Park, resulting in the growth of important cultural and small business enterprises. These have demonstrated the significant potential for this part of Peckham Town centre in the life of the town centre as a whole. In response to the Issues and Options report, Peckham Vision asked that the Preferred Option Plan should include an overall framework plan for the part of site 71P which lies between Copeland Road, Bournemouth Road and Rye Lane, including the applicant’s site which is an integral part of it. We submitted an indication of the outline of such a framework. This indicates that considerable progress has already been made in developing such an approach.
Peckham Vision believes that this needs to be completed as soon as possible to provide the right planning context for a redesigned development on the applicant’s site. We know that two major objectors to the current application – The Peckham Society and Peckham Business Park – both of whom are members of the Peckham Vision Consortium, are very ready to cooperate in the development of such an overall plan with the owners of this applicant site, and in liaison with the Council as appropriate both in terms of meeting the objections to the current application and also contributing to the development of an overall framework plan for site 71P in the PNAAP Preferred Options report.
Peckham Vision has therefore asked the Council to encourage the applicant to withdraw the current application and to work with the other property owners and occupiers on the adjacent sites, and to liaise with the Council on its work on the PNAAP. This would enable a redesigned proposal which meets the Council’s UDP criteria for developments in Peckham and enables this site to fit within the overall plans which are emerging for this important part of the town centre and Rye Lane. See Peckham Vision letter here. Failing that we have asked the Council to defer consideration of, or refuse permission for, the current application to enable this discussion and collaboration to take place.
All documents can be downloaded and saved. The main ones appear to be:
Design and access statement – 1 OF 2 2009-11-25: There are 38 pages of pictures and diagrams of what the buildings will look like as well as details of design and access provisions, and of the site now.
Planning statement (1) 2009-11-25: This covers their case for how it meets all the Council’s criteria and requirements. First 21 pages are the key ones.