PRESS RELEASE FROM PECKHAM VISION
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.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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.