Reply from South London Press
Thank you for drawing attention to the proposal to locate the Cross River Tram Depot in the heart of Peckham town centre (SLP 30 June). The Planning Inspector rejected the original proposal to locate the whole of the depot in Peckham because of the potentially destructive effects on the town centre and on jobs, businesses, churches and homes. He said that the choice of Peckham in the first place had been defective as it was based on the Peckham site being near derelict. He reported that this was ï¿½simply not trueï¿½.
The problem is that any so called Split-Site Depot in Peckham may in practice be the main (if not the only) Depot and could be almost as huge as the original proposal. This might have as many adverse effects as the original proposal rejected by the Planning Inspector. The key point is that no-one knows what the plans might be. The Split-Site Depot is in fact a new policy at the last minute in the Unitary Development Plan process. There is, for example, no information about its size, how many jobs, homes, and other activities would be displaced, where the trams and heavy engineering workshops would be in relation to neighbouring homes; and there has been no consultation about it at all.
It is urgent that TfL release this information. It is urgent that they get on with the review of the site options for the Split-Site Depot and get Peckham properly compared and evaluated alongside all the other options for the first time. The issue is the lack of transparency, and the rush to premature decisions based on defective information. Peckham Vision was formed to campaign precisely on this point (not as a preservation group). Information needs to be publicly available now about these plans so we can all have an informed discussion about the future of Peckham Town Centre. Then we can have sound decisions on where the Tram Depot should be located.