Tram Depot need not be in town centre

Letter from Peckham Business Park (The owner of part of the site threatened with demolition for the tram depot) to South London Press

Peckham Business Park has been asking for a full and public review of all potential depot sites for the Cross River Tram Depot and its impact on Peckham. Without this we could see large areas of Peckham Town Centre knocked down to make way for the Depot. This does not need to be in Peckham Town centre for the tram to be feasible. In Croydon the depot is located outside the town centre. Before the tram is given the official go ahead a full pubic review must take place before regeneration in Peckham is stunted.

Yours,

Peckham Business Park

TfL Urged to Reveal Their Tram Depot Plans in Peckham

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 �simply not true�.

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.

TfL Urged to Reveal Their Tram Depot Plans in Peckham

Reply from Southwark News

Cllr Kim Humphreys deputy leader says� (Southwark News 29 June) we need to think about the economic benefits of a tram. This is so, but it is a major diversion from the different and important issue in Peckham Vision�s deputation to full Council on Wednesday 28 June.

Any decision now to allocate a huge site in the heart of Peckham town centre for a tram DEPOT is premature. The land now proposed to be safeguarded for a �Split-Site� Tram Depot is the same as the site previously identified for a single-site depot. There has been no reduction. No information is available from Transport for London on how big the Depot would be, and how close the noisy and disruptive parts of the depot would be to the hundreds of neighbouring houses, never mind the loss of jobs, businesses and creative cultural activities. These are all major economic benefits, without the depot.

It is vital that this information is supplied for an informed public and transparent assessment of the positive and negative effects on jobs, businesses, homes and disruption to Peckham. The information on which previous decisions were taken to locate the Depot in Peckham is seriously inaccurate, misleading and, as the Planning Inspector put it, �simply not true�.

During the recent election Cllr Kim Humphreys said “I hope the planning authorities can come up with a suitable location that does not blight the area for residents, so we will work with local residents to find a mutually agreeable solution.”

Will he now honour his promise? Will he now press Transport for London to get ahead urgently with a full public review of all possible sites for the new policy of ‘Split-Site� depots? Will he get Peckham included so that we can have these discussions?

TfL urged to reveal their tram depot plans in Peckham

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
WEDNESDAY 28 JUNE 7.00pm
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.

LATEST NEWS
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
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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 PRESS RELEASE

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

COUNCIL EXECUTIVE
on MONDAY 26 JUNE at 7pm

COUNCIL ASSEMBLY
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.
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NOTES TO EDITORS

INSPECTOR REJECTED SINGLE-SITE TRAM DEPOT IN PECKHAM
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.

SPLIT-SITE DEPOT
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.
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