Major development Bournemouth Road / Rye Lane corner

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.

Historic Bournemouth Rd/Rye Lane corner as it was - these buildings are still intact there January 2010

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.

See other objection letters here, from The Peckham Society, and the Peckham Business Park.

PLANNING APPLICATION INFORMATION

See all the details on the Council’s website.

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.

Peckham’s art scene

by LAUREN HOUSSIN formerly on laurenetcaetera.blogspot.com  22 December 2009

From New York’s Meatpacking district to Berlin’s Mitte or Paris’ Montmartre, dirty corners of cities all face the same destiny: they are pioneered by young artists, and later colonized by the trendy bourgeoisie. The rents soar, and the starving bohemia has yet to migrate again.  Take the case of London. After Ladbroke Grove in the 1970s and Camden in the 1980s, the East End was conquered in the late 90s. By the early noughties, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, even Dalston were out of price. Artists soon decided to move south of the river, to Peckham. Known to most people for its gang warfare and knife crime rates rather than its culture, Peckham is home to a burgeoning art scene. Because of its empty industrial spaces and proximity to art schools, the bloody district is now an area of choice for young up and coming artists.

“An advantage of working as an artist in Peckham is that there is an audience for art in the area,” said 26-year-old Bobby Dowler, whose paintings are currently showcased at the Hannah Barry Gallery, one of the great pioneers of the area’s scene and one of the most dynamic new art galleries in Britain. “There’s an extremely good dialogue between people,” the young artist added, “and a seriousness about what they’re doing, a kind of belief that it’s important.”

Located in a former cricket bat factory at the end of an industrial road populated by factories, the Hannah Barry Gallery was invited at this year’s Venice Biennale to stage the first Peckham Pavilion. Ms. Barry founded her eponymous gallery in 2008 with Sven Mündner, and works with 32 artists, all aged between 21 and 35. Whether they are showing paintings, installations or photographies, their aim is to always show the work in-depth, in order to best represent the progress of the artist.

“Peckham is the land of freedom and opportunity,” said Ms. Barry. A hallmark of the area’s art scene is its large-scale and high-reaching projects: the spaces available can accommodate shows and works that could not take place in typical West End or East End galleries.

“Everbody has their own possibilities,” she explained, “and for us the space that we have here allowed us to do the shows that we wanted to do. It would have been a different price in the West End, and perhaps not the kind of price that a young gallery can afford. Being in Peckham has enabled us to do things on a scale that we wouldn’t have been able to do over there.”

Although East London is an established part of the city’s gallery circuit and houses the highest population of artists in Europe, it is no longer what it used to be. Its charm and character seem to be lost since property developers have taken advantage of its popularity. As rents have rocketed, many younger artists have in fact headed south of the river in areas like Peckham, where rents are more affordable.

Situated inbetween two of London’s leading art colleges, Goldsmiths School of Arts and Camberwell College, plenty of young, artistic and imaginative people are challenging the negative stereotype that is still all too-often applied to the area. “A lot of students live in the area and continue living in the area after they graduate. I have done so and I graduated in 1998,” said Emily Druiff, Director of the arts initiative Peckham Space.

Through annual commissions, workshops and public events, Peckham Space supports art practice that forges sustainable links between the arts and the local community in south east London, and aims to provide professional development opportunities for artists. The organisation is also plans to open an art venue in a raw space in Spring 2010, showcasing artworks made in conjunction with and in response to the locals of Peckham.

Peckham is home to 25,000 people from all over the world, and has the highest proportion of people born elsewhere compared to the rest of Southwark. One of the best metaphors of Peckham is the Bussey building, that from the outside looks like a run-down factory in a dodgy back alley. But penetrating the almost historic monument -it was built in the early 20th century- and looking closer, it is occupied by an aggregate of over 60 artists, faith groups, exhibition spaces  and small businesses, all existing and working happily alongside each other.

Turner Prize winner Antony Gormley and his fellow Royal Academician Tom Phillips, who both have their studios in Peckham, decided a few years ago with a clutch of others to do an artistic makeover of the run-down neighbourhood’s landscape. With this street art initiative, residents now enjoy some of the most original street murals, barcode-patterned pavements in the city and twisted or heart-shaped lampposts by the fashion designer Zandra Rhodes.

Just a step out of Peckham Rye station is a wooden sculpture of a phoenix with splatters of paint on it. According to legend, the Phoenix is reduced to ashes at the end of its life, from which a new, young phoenix is reborn to live again. Using the metaphor of destruction and creation, the sculpture aims to communicate a message of rebirth among the community and the role played by the young art scene in this rejuvenation.

Most people will hear the word ”Peckham” and they will just picture graffiti, dirty pavements and urinated phone boxes. But aside from the drama that the South London area evokes, a few pioneers have managed to raise up the profile and status of the place for everyone, bringing new audiences to the area, creating people of different ages and backgrounds mixing in the same place and causing the area to now easily betray people’s expectations.




Real life in Peckham town centre

On 26th November the Peckham Multiplex showed a one hour film called ‘Consume Peckham’, which consisted of 18 short films, each focusing on a different business based in Peckham town centre. The work of film students from Chelsea, the film wove together a tapestry showing the many sides to Peckham’s Rye Lane, and beyond. Its aim was to show the link between cultures and commercialism. There was a great turnout – the cinema was full – and a terrific buzz, to see the collection of short student films about some of the businesses in the town centre.

It was a very good show from first year students. And it was recognisably the place we know! It showed the people of Peckham in a true light, and that the town centre does have a lot of life in it in its various forms, though with lots of space for improvement. For those there, many really interested in the revitalization of the town centre using all our assets – people, buildings and commerce – it will have stimulated further thoughts on how to do this and about the nature of thecommercial dynamic, and its potential. Click here for more reports. http://www.laurieeggleston.org/2009/11/consume-peckham-culture-commercialism.html   and here  http://helengraves.co.uk/2009/11/ozzies-cafe-peckham/

There have been a number of requests for another showing and the producers are looking into that. So if you couldn’t make it there may be another chance. Email info@peckhamvision.org if you want to join the mailing list.

Emerging Artists Find a New ‘Blank Canvas’ in London

Special Report: Contemporary Art New York Times  By Alice Pfeiffer: October 14, 2009
Peckham, a run-down district of London, south of the Thames, is said to have the capital’s highest concentration of knife crime, hairdressers and gospel churches.
Now, add up-and-coming artists: in easy reach of some of the capital’s leading art schools, the area’s low prices and vast, empty industrial spaces are attracting experimental avant-garde collectives, studios and galleries — a countercultural challenge to the established North-of-the-river world of the Frieze art fair and the gentrified East End.
“Peckham is the land of the free. It’s like a blank canvas,” said Hannah Barry, an enterprising 26-year-old who founded her eponymous gallery last year in a warehouse of a former cricket bat factory.  At the end of an industrial road populated by factories and faith groups, Ms. Barry and her co-director Sven Mündner, 31 — both graduates of Cambridge — put on 15 to 20 shows a year, showcasing young emerging artists. Ms. Barry and Mr. Mündner have also put on an annual sculpture show since 2006, on the roof of an abandoned parking garage nearby. “We felt there was room for an ambitious sculpture park in London,” Ms. Barry said. In June, she and Mr. Mündner took Peckham to a global audience, with a show, the “Peckham Pavilion,” on the fringes of the Venice Biennale.  read more …

Peckham challenging Hoxton for art

From Evening Standard By Tim Burrows 20.08.09

When Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas opened The Shop in 1993 in what is now Redchurch Street in E2, they probably didn’t realise that they were leading the cultural shift that would hit its peak in 2000 with the arrival of Jay Jopling‘s Hoxton Square gallery and result in a decade of the East End’s dominance over art, music, fashion and all things trendy. But 10 years is long enough and a Peckham collective of artists, writers and musicians called Off Modern think it’s time to challenge that monopoly… … the current focal point of the Peckham scene is not a shop, but a café. Behind a defunct Woolworths, on top of a neglected 10-storey car park and multiplex set back from the main drag of Rye Lane, is Frank’s Café and Campari Bar. Designed by Paloma Gormley (daughter of Antony) and Lettice Drake, the visitor-friendly pop-up café-bar is actually one of the exhibits in Hannah Barry Gallery’s Bold Tendencies III show.  Read more http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/arts/article-23734817-details/Peckham+challenging+Hoxton+for+art/article.do

An enchanting evening in Peckham

From blog: http://www.intoxicatingprose.com/2009/08/on-site-parking.html

an enchanting evening

On one of the wettest evenings outside a rainforest, I had come to ‘Bold Tendencies’, the third summer showcase from the local but far-reaching, ‘Hannah Barry’ gallery. Through sculptures, lighting and curious sounds, the otherwise derelict top tiers of a Peckham car park have been transformed into polished decay and dreamy decadence.

Architecture graduates, Lettice Drake and Paloma Gormley (daughter of Anthony Gormley OBE) took two months to build the star of the show. For the first time in the short history of this annual exhibition, the result is an amusingly titled pop-up restaurant, ‘Frank’s Café and Campari Bar’. Sturdy but tactile, its timber counter and communal tables are tinted in the cochineal tones of the famous bitters by a tarpaulin awning. Stretching over and under the tenth floor deck, securing straps were put to the test by a downpour so torrential that London’s landmarks melted into the mist. Armed with hope and broom-handles, dedicated staff prodded away the most threatening bulges pooling above us.

Read more…

Copeland Cultural Quarter – two art exhibitions in parallel

Bussey Artists: “Plagiarise” 19-24 June, 1pm-6pm
“… devised to question originality and newness within fine art…”
Opening reception: 18 June, 6.30pm-9.30pm. Amy Smyth will perform “Suite” at 8pm.
Entrance: Bussey building, first floor, 133 Rye Lane, SE15
Read more

Hannah Barry Gallery: “The Making of Ashes” 16 June-5 July, Thursday-Sunday 12-6pm
James Balmforth’s exhibition of four sculptures selected works
“… a very mesmerising show…”
Opening reception: 16 June, 6–9pm
Entrance at 133 Copeland Road, Peckham, SE15 3SN
Read more

Old Billiard Room comes back to life!

Daylight now floods, just as it used to, through large Victorian windows into the magnificent huge Old Billiard room above the ticket hall at Peckham Rye station. This is the successful result of collaboration between The Peckham Society, Rye Lane & Station Action Group, Southwark Council, Southern Rail and Network Rail. The Peckham Society have now proposed the next stage – to restore the wooden floor and make the room fit for community and public use again. This is a significant contribution to the transformation of central Rye Lane (see here).                                                 

Read more here and here.

Transforming Central Rye Lane

In 2008 the Council published an inspiring report on the business case for change at Peckham Rye Station. This would see over several years, the original square in front of the station restored and opened up, and the land between the railway lines on both sides of Rye Lane transformed into spaces for creative enterprises. Over the last few years, ideas have also been evolving for the development of the emerging Copeland Cultural Quarter on the other side of Rye Lane, right alongside the railway line. This site has already been meeting some of the increasing need for flexible spaces for creative and cultural enterprises, and fits exactly with the new plans for the station transformation. See how the two masterplans could come together to transform Central Rye Lane. Read more…