Peckham Town Centre Forum/meetings

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12th November 2012

Nearly 30 people - residents, community groups, artistic & creative enterprises, and businesses - attended the Peckham Vision workshop on the PNAAP (Peckham & Nunhead Area Action Plan). Jon Medlin, a professional Planning volunteer from Planning Aid for London, took us through the special ways that comments and objections have to be made for the latest and final stage of the consultation process. Several objections were made by the deadline of 4th December 2012, all linking to the development of aspects of Peckham town centre, including:

  • creative industries & their role in the local economy
  • tall buildings
  • energy and environmental sustainability
  • development of town centre sites

The next stage is the Examination in Public (EIP) which is likley to be in March 2013.

17th October 2012

[Peckham Society meeting about the historic buildings in the town cnetre and Peckham Vision exhibtion.]

2nd September 2012

[Peckham Rye Fete town centre exhibtion displays.]

2nd to 4th August 2012

entering the Old Waiting Room at last from platform 3

We had a non-stop stream of visitors to the 3 day exhibition, about Peckham town centre in the Old Waiting Room, as part of the Peckham Cultural Olympiad. Over 600 visitors all keen to know more about the Old Waiting Room, the station restoration, the new public square and the town centre generally. It is clear that there is great local enthusiasm for the planned changes. Here are a few photos to give an insight into the magical experience for three days. For more photos: OWR exhibition photos. For all the display panels and a full report on the exhibition see OWR exhibition.

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Peckham Vision OWR Exh 036.jpg
thumbOWR exhibition

14th March 2012

An exhibition and meeting about all aspects of Peckham town centre renewal was held in the CLF Art Cafe in the Bussey building. They were to celebrate and report on recent achievements including:

PTC Forum 14th March 2012
  • restoration of the Old Waiting Room in the station.
  • the restoration of the station square now finally on its way.
  • designation of the Rye Lane Conservation Area.
  • successful audit by local residents of every town centre building in support of the Council's application for a major heritage restoration grant.

See here for more details and here for an on-line discussion. The events were very successful with a steady stream of visitors to the exhibition from 4pm and over 200 to the meeting 7pm - 9pm. There was enthusiastic support for the latest news and a keenness to be involved in how it all develops. There will be a report later covering the latest on the conservation and historic restoration work, and also the Council's bid for Government's(Mary)Portas Town Team pilot and work to improve public realm maintenance

The meeting
The meeting started with an illustrated presentation from Benedict O'Looney, from the Peckham Society & Peckham Vision, of the history of Peckham town centre, and the community's initiatives and work to restore the historic buildings. This was all enthusiastically received. The meeting then heard from representatives of the railway industry and of Southwark Council - Cllr Fiona Colley Cabinet Member for Regeneration, and Simon Bevan Head of Planning & Transport. The picture, by Southwark TV, shows Tom Higginison, Head of Network Rail's national Town Planning Department, addressing the meeting. He said that his commitment to Network Rail's role in revitalising Peckham town centre was shown by him choosing to come to the Peckham Town Centre Forum meeting instead of a prestigous opening of new developments at Kings Cross. This was met with enthsiastic applause from the assembled Peckham.

Network Rail at PTC Forum 14th March 2012

He then read out at our request a message to Peckham Vision and to the meeting from Andy Savage, Director of Railway Heritage Trust,the independent charity supported by Network Rail:

My apologies for not being able to attend. I'm delighted with the work you've done on the station to date, and that we've been able to help with the re-fenestration project. We look forward to restoring and extending Driver's staircase with you in the next year or so, and to eventually contributing to a full restoration of the Old Waiting Room, formerly the Billiard Hall, as a community facility.

Paul Trevett, Southern Railway's senior manager for their 150 stations, also gave a brief report and their support for the community effort to revive the station and the town centre.

Following the meeting
Local Southwark TV said:

  • here is a short video report on Peckham Vision and Peckham Society's campaigning work for the betterment of Peckham town centre. The meeting was held at the Bussey Building - soon to host the Royal Court Theatre again, on 14th March. It was a packed meeting and a tribute to the people driving this campaign and to the people of Peckham who are similarly galvanised.

A local resident's report on the meeting:

  • This was a very lively meeting, with over 200 people from various walks of Peckham life and multi-ethnic communities, who all had a common purpose -to improve the town centre and make it pleasant to visit, work and live in. There was a wish to have a say in the town centre plans, and great enthusiasm for the proposed improvement of the station and the opening up of the Old Waiting Room for community use. The mood was good-humoured, though with an undercurrent of skepticism, which one has to expect from a community which has not had a happy experience of these matters for many years. The initiatives taken over recent years by residents themselves has given us more hope that progress can be made with new ways of collaborating between all concerned.

May to September 2011

There were a series of public meetings aranged by the Council during this period for consultation on the PNAAP and the proposed town centre Conservation Area. Further information will be posted here on them in due course. In the meantime Peckham Vision's work to develop contacts with small businesses in the town centre continues. This confirms the point that has been emerging in the Town Centre Forum for years that the poor and deteriorating state of the streets in the town centre is a serious pressing issue. Much of the progress made with the Council's Peckham Programme through the Rye Lane & Station Action Group has been set back,and needs to be done again. The Peckham Programme was disbanded in 2008 leaving no part of the Council with an overview of Peckham town centre or responsibility for joined up working between a variety of daily operational maintenance functions, and enforcement and planning policy functions.

7th April 2011

  • meeting notes

PTCForum held a liaison meeting, in the meeting room at McDonalds on Rye Lane, on 7th April to follow up the very successful seminar on the local economy on 17th March. This liaison meeting brought together several council officers, police and businesses to exchange news and ideas about the problems and potential for the town centre. Each of the council officers was responsible for a different aspect of managing an important aspect of the town centre, and the police were responsible for the Police Safer Town Centre Team. A major problem now is that since the abolition of the Council's Peckham Programme team in 2009, there is no one place in the Council that brings all these different working responsibilities together to encourage joined up working, and also for effective liaison with the businesses and enterprises in the town centre. The successful liaison with the planning policy department on future planning policy under the banner 'Peckham Future' over the last two years, needs to be complemented by proactive working together between the enterprises, the police and the Council under the banner 'Peckham Now!'. The PTCForum would approach the Council to seek their agreement to this.

19th February, 17th & 31st March 2011

These very sucessful events were jointly organised by the Council Planning Policy team and the PTC Forum, arising from our discussions in the Peckham Town Centre Forum, in relation to the town centre and the PNAAP. For further information on these events see also Peckham Residents' Network blog

Thursday 17th March 5.00pm for 5.30pm-8.00pm : Local Economy Seminar in the Bussey building.

[pictures]
Over 50 people attended creating very lively group discussions - a mix of local residents, local businesses, architecture students, and council officers from several different departments. This was followed up by the liaison meeting for further actions held later on 7th April.

Thursday 31st March 6.30pm : Historic Architecture of Peckham' in the restored Old Waiting Room.

31 March 2011 Old Waiting Room (OWR)
OWR window

Standing room only in the Old Waiting Room when over 120 people crowded in to listen to fascinating talks from the experts, including English Heritage, on the history of buildings in Peckham town centre, and how much is at risk of demoliton. This is why it is essential to press ahead as soon as possible with a Conservation Area. The other powerful reason was demonstrated fully at the meeting by the inspirational venue at the Old Waiting Room, created by local residents through the Peckham Society and Peckham Vision in restoring it with Council CGS small grant support. The commercial and social life of the town centre could be transformed with a determined effort to integrate in their full beauty the historic budlings into modern uses and developments.

Saturday 19th February 12pm - 3pm : Sustainable Peckham - a neighbourhood event at the Peckham Settlement
This 3 hour event had a steady stream of local residents visiting to learn and discuss the way Peckham can become sustainable in the 21st century. Local groups - Growing Southwark, Peckham Power, Peckham Vision, Transition Town Peckham, Peckham Society, Living Streets, Peckham Settlement - joined with Council officers from Planning, Traffic, and Regeneration to offer information, advice and discussion.

The Council also held a neighbourhood event on the PNAAP in Nunhead on 19th March.

27th & 30th November 2010

Following the successful walkabout and Town Centre Forum meeting on 23rd October, the Council organised in the Bussey building two preview events - Sat 27 November & Tues 30 November - of the Preferred Options of the PNAAP to give the public a chance to give some early feedback. These were excellent chances to make a contribution and become better informed about the revitalisation of Peckham town centre.

The Council had said: "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."

There were very successful and useful discussions at both events, in spite of the arctic weather on Tuesday. See notes from discussions. Latest news is that the PNAAP Preferred Options report will not now be ready for consultation until May. There will therefore be some community and Council events before then to continue these discussions. Photos below from Saturday 27th November:

23rd October 2010

walkabout Rye Lane/High St
crowded Rye Lane
Bournemouth Rd - Rye Lane

We 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.

Detailed points are in the minutes. Pictures below show the Open Space discussions.

13th July 2010

PTC Forum 13 July 2010
PTC Forum 13 July 2010

Emerging themes by July included:

  • creativity, entrepreneurship & commercial regeneration
  • local energy and food production
  • town centre physical fabric revitalisation
  • how it all relates to health & well being (linking to New Peckham Experiment, and following up the stimulating seminar held on 22 April)

This provided a good base for the July meeting, which was another successful and stimulating gathering with lots of energy and ideas for connections. The Open Space process enabled in-depth discussions on several topics leading to several new actions. These included:

  • arranging a Town Centre walkabout with local residents to look at urban design issues
  • setting up a virtual Steering Group for the New Peckham Experiment project
  • organise a two day October Peckham Town Centre Festival
  • Meeting with Council Cabinet members on several aspects flagged up
  • publicising to local businesses an Open Space business group at each Forum.

22nd April 2010

PTC Forum & PHF seminar 22nd April 2010
PTC Forum & PHF seminar 22nd April 2010

A joint seminar was held with the Pioneer Health Foundation (PHF) on the modern application of the Peckham Principles from the historic Peckham Experiment, linking especially to the now urgent need for community, economic and environmental well-being and sustainability. An introduction to the Peckham Experiment was followed by brief presentations from some local community initiatives demonstrating important links beteeen them and Peckham Principles. These included residents' information networks, social support networks, community energy production, participative art, and nutrition in schools. There was also a brief account of the nef project to establish in Peckham a New Peckham Experiment, to demonstrate the key factors and links between social and economic well-being and environmental sustainabilty. There were lively small group discussions for more than 50 enthusiastic participants looking at how the Peckham Principles relate to modern issues and life. It was agreed to bring the ideas at the seminar together with the work of the Town Centre Forum to see how they could be mutually supportive. The ideas continue to inspire a number of community projects in Peckham, especially those to revitalisie the town centre. Links with the Pioneer Health Foundation (PHF) continue to be nurtured. and led to the recent social event on 15th October 2011 in The Montpelier on Choumert Road, Peckham, to present the 2011 Mary Langman essay prize.

18th March 2010

PTC Forum 18th March 2010

Peckham Vision teamed up with the Peckham Society and the University of Canterbury Architecture School for a Town Centre Forum meeting. 45 second year architecture students joined in to hear about local aspirations for the town centre, the key urban design issues and the need for an integrated vision for the town centre in terms of archticture, innovation and energy potential. The students were about to start their project in urban design and architecture, using Peckham as their case study. [pictures] The meeting coincided with the news that the historic Holdron's building on the corner of Bournemouth Road and Rye Lane was soon to be demolished following an unsuccesful planning application. The owners had been invited to join in the discussions at the meeting but they declined to attend. However, representatives of the owners of the adjacent Copeland Industrial Park, and of the Council buildings stretching along Bournemouth Road, did attend. These will be useful contacts to build on for further discussions about the evolution of the Copeland Cultural Quarter. There were also some participants from the previous Forums and some new participants from some of the creative enterprises in the Copeland Industrial Park site.

24th February 2010

The Council Planning officers were not able to participate in this meeting as it was deemed not a priority by their Department. Their absence was regretted by those present because the whole point of the new Forum was to enable continuing discussion and deliberation which needed to include Council planning officers. However, the meeting was well attended by 27 participants and as full of life and energy as the first. The discussions included the connections and links between the nef project, to establish a New Peckham Experiment, and the initiatives of interest to all at the Town Centre Forum. The meeting process from the first Forum was used again, and the Open Space enabled many connections and sharing of ideas, and the Action Checklist was updated. There was unanimous commitment to continuing with the Forum. [pictures]

16th December 2009

PTC Forum 16th December 2009
PTC Forum 16th December 2009

This first meeting was held just six weeks after the idea arose at the Rye Lane and Station Action Group (RLSAG) October 2009 meeting. It was arranged in collaboration between Peckham Vision and the Council Planning officers for the PNAAP. This continued the momentum stimulated at the RLSAG meeting. There were 29 participants. The meeting heard the background, and some of the needs for revitalisation and indications of participants' interests. Then moved into Open Space where all present decided who they wanted to talk with. For the last half hour all came back together and reported on issues and actions. The key conclusions are detailed in the checklist (updated) for Discussion Questions, Actions and Ideas, under these headings:

1. Revitalising Commerce

  • Landlords/property owners
  • Improve shop fronts & displays
  • Choumert Street Market
  • Public Realm & Heritage
  • Leisure/Evening/Night Economy/Creative enterprises
  • Town Centre Management
  • Town Centre Brand
  • Local Economy

2. Other Factors

  • Multiple / parallel communities
  • Other ideas for Peckham generally