Peckham Rye Station Gateway
- 1 Gateway project key documents:
- 2 2014
- 2.1 Community model Station Gateway site June 2014
- 2.2 Election Planning Questions May 2014
- 2.3 Role of community in Station Gateway project May 2014
- 2.4 Peckham Rye station gets Access for All funding 27 April 2014
- 2.5 Station Gateway story as case example for London Plan April 2014
- 2.6 Community engagement brief for Station Gateway project April 2014
- 2.7 Letter from Network Rail to Harriet Harman MP 9th April 2014
- 2.8 New timeline for Peckham Rye station redevelopment 3 April 2014
- 2.9 Meeting with Harriet Harman MP in central Rye Lane 27th March 2014
- 2.10 Council-community partnership for station scheme 25th February 2014
- 2.11 Email London Mayor Boris Johnson to ask for more time 16th February 2014
- 2.12 Deputation to Community Council 12th February 2014
- 2.13 Council seeks more time 11th February 2014
- 2.14 Network Rail plans reveal total demolition 18th January 2014
- 2.15 Where and what is the station Gateway project? January 2014
- 2.16 Station Gateway consultation to be held 18th + 20th January 2014
- 2.17 Creative industries on the Gateway site 6th January 2014
- 3 2013
- 3.1 Station Gateway consultation 30th November 2013
- 3.2 Peckham & Nunhead Community Council 25th November 2013
- 3.3 BBC London TV report on Gateway project 3 November 2013
- 3.4 Network Rail’s ‘Preferred Option’
- 3.5 Deputation 22nd October 2013
- 3.6 Report from the summer public conversations October 2013
- 3.7 Public conversation about the design of the station developments
- 3.8 30th September 2013 - Public Toilets petition - Peckham & Nunhead Community Council
- 3.9 7th September 2013 - Peckham Rye Fete
- 3.10 Station restoration latest August 2013
- 3.11 24th August 2013 - Hush House Supermarket at the Bussey building
- 3.12 Arches Open Studios 28-30 June 2013
- 3.13 Revised map of properties in the station plans June 2013
- 3.14 Revised Council position on station plans June 2013 & Scrutiny meeting 20 May 2013
- 3.15 Opening the discussion about the possible changes on the site April 2013
- 3.16 PV Deputation to Cabinet to stop wholesale clearance of businesses on station site 16 April 2013
- 4 2012
- 5 2011
- 6 Gateway project key documents:
Gateway project key documents:
Some key official documents about this station redevelopment project have been released under Freedom of Information. These can be found here along with some commentary papers by Peckham Vision on the issues raised by the project. Details of all the stages in the development of this project are below in date order.
Community model Station Gateway site June 2014
The Station Gateway site is a complex one with commercial buildings nestled amongst railway buildings, viaducts and arches. The site is divided into properties with addresses on Rye Lane, Holly Grove, Blenheim Grove, Station Way, Dovedale Court, and Blenheim Court. So we created a site map showing exactly where these places are and how they related to the plans for total clearance that we were beginning to hear about. This aid to discussion proved invaluable as during 2013 we took two deputations to the Cabinet, attended a Scrutiny Committee, and took part in many community fairs, events and meetings, and discussion about the issues raised by the plans. Then Network Rail published their proposals to clear the site and redevelop it completely. To be able to have clear discussions, local people needed to have a model of the existing buildings and their layout on the site and also the areas around the site. We had suggested to the Council during the consultations last winter that a model would be very useful for this purpose. But the Council turned down the idea as too expensive. So Peckham Vision decided to ask local people on our networks if they would be interested in making a model with us for use in the planning discussions. Many people supported the idea and over 30 are now taking part in Peckham Vision’s model making group under the experienced guidance of local architects Benedict O’Looney and Clyde Watson. The model is at a scale of 1:100 and is slowly taking shape building by building. It should be ready for use in a few weeks.
Election Planning Questions May 2014
Planning policies created by Southwark Council have a major effect on Peckham. The policies are developed by the political party or parties that get control through the local elections. So the Peckham Planning Network (PPN), made up of people living and working in Peckham, put some questions to the political parties standing for election to Southwark Council on 22nd May 2014. One of the questions is about the Station Gateway project. It points out that **Officers from the Council, GLA and Network Rail worked closely together from 2012 to 2014 leading up to the presentation on 18 January 2014 of Network Rail’s plans for the Peckham Rye Station Gateway development. After the plans were met by widespread concern and opposition as the wrong kind of development, councillors said that they were not happy with the proposals either. ** So
- How was it that the relevant Executive Councillor Members did not know what plans were being developed in the discussions between council officers and Network Rail?
- How will you ensure this lack of information won't happen again on this or any other significant project?
Here are the other questions: http://www.peckhamvision.org/wiki/images/3/3f/Election_Planning_questions_final.pdf
Role of community in Station Gateway project May 2014
The local community played a significant role in initiating and championing the proposal to open up the front of the station. But when the public authorities – Council, GLA & Network Rail – brought the funding together (2011), the community was excluded for two years from the important stage of scoping the project - its purpose and scale, and its role in the town centre economy. This led to community rejection of the proposals for major redevelopment of the whole site. The authorities then agreed to adopt a ‘co-design’ process, which is about to begin. This story is beginning to stimulate commentaries on the role of communities in the future of their own neighbourhoods in an era of major redevelopments, and in the nature of organic change compared with major demolition and rebuilding.
- Six Stories High & Rising – Art, Night Life and Communities under Threat – The Monitors: keeping track of new music, media and industry news.
- The Spectacle Blog: on urbanism, human rights and social justice
- Peckham Vision submission on the London Plan consultation
Peckham Rye station gets Access for All funding 27 April 2014
Peckham Rye is included in the list of a further 42 stations to be included in the Department for Transport’s Access for All programme. This means that lifts to all four platforms will be included in the Gateway development project.
Station Gateway story as case example for London Plan April 2014
Peckham Vision's submission to the London Plan gives the story of the Station Gateway as a case example of self-regenerating medium-size town centres. This Peckham case illustrates the lack of understanding in the London Plan of the significance of self-generated organic change in medium size London town centres like Peckham.
Community engagement brief for Station Gateway project April 2014
We have now received from the Council, in response to our request, a copy of the community engagement brief for the next stages of consultation on the Peckham Rye Station Gateway development. This is out for tender now to eight firms who have to respond by 8th May. The winning bidder will be selected 14th May and will be appointed by the Council in partnership with Network Rail, GLA and Southern Railways who form the project team. The community engagement work will be launched in June following the 22nd May Council elections. The brief gives the timing for the submission of the planning application as ‘Autumn 2014’.
Letter from Network Rail to Harriet Harman MP 9th April 2014
Harriet Harman MP has released for information the letter she has received from Network Rail agreeing to her request to meet them to discuss details of the Station Gateway project and the further community consultation. She says she will let people know when the meeting is arranged, and asks local people “to keep in touch to let me know your views on this important issue.” The Network Rail letter says: “the extended period [of five to six months] will allow us to undertake further meaningful engagement and consultation and engagement with key stakeholders and others in the local community, with a view to submitting a planning application to Southwark Council later in the year.” To contact Harriet Harman, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. See Network Rail letter here.
New timeline for Peckham Rye station redevelopment 3 April 2014
Message from Southwark Council: "We have good news that the GLA has now confirmed that they are willing to extend the deadline for the delivery of the Gateway to Peckham project and that the £5m of funding for the scheme is secure. Network Rail and the Council have decided we need to appoint some community engagement specialists to ensure the next stages of consultation (via a co-designing process) are successful. These specialists will be appointed shortly and we're expecting consultation events to start in the summer with a view to developing submitting a planning application in the autumn. Please see the press release that has been issued today."
Meeting with Harriet Harman MP in central Rye Lane 27th March 2014
Harriet Harman MP today met several businesses affected by Network Rail’s Station Gateway plans; the meeting was in the office of Copeland Park (owners of the Bussey building). There was a useful discussion about the issues they face from the uncertainty that Network Rail are issuing notices for eviction by December, even though the recent decisions mean the plans are being reconsidered. We suggested a regular news email to improve information and communications. This was implemented swiftly by Harriet’s office, and an email news update was issued to their mailing list after the meeting. See copy below. They have promised to make this a biweekly update. Before the meeting we had a walk around central Rye Lane with Harriet to show key buildings and where they fit in the overall local economy.
Email Update from Harriet Harman’s office:
Southwark Council has now confirmed that the GLA has agreed in principle to extend the consultation period. The Council has also been looking at bringing in a third party to help facilitate or ‘co-design’ the process. We don’t have any more details at the moment but Cllr Fiona Colley should be able to provide an update shortly. Harriet is very keen to ensure that this extended consultation process is open, transparent and inclusive with the Council and Network Rail working together with the community to jointly agree the way forward. Since Harriet’s last email on the 13th March:
- 19th March - Harriet wrote to David Higgins, CEO of Network Rail, outlining her views on the re-development of the station area see attached.
- 24th March - She received a reply from the Mayor of London to her letter dated the 17th February see attached.
- 27th March - Harriet visited Peckham for a tour of the key development sites around the station area, arranged by Eileen Conn of Peckham Vision, followed by a meeting with local businesses and creative industries at Copeland Park Industrial Estate to hear their views on the plans and the process for consultation.
In the coming days and weeks, Harriet will:
- Meet the CEO of Network Rail
- Clarify with the Council the arrangements for the ‘co-design’ process including the timetable
- Reply to the Mayor of London’s letter (see above)
I will keep you all updated on any developments. But please don’t hesitate to contact me or Harriet at any time with your views, or to feedback ideas that Harriet can raise in meetings on your behalf.
Charlotte Dunn. email@example.com
Constituency Office Manager to Harriet Harman MP
Council-community partnership for station scheme 25th February 2014
Thanks to everyone for a speedy response to Peckham Vision’s call: at the last count more than 100 local people wrote to the Mayor of London asking for the GLA's funding deadline to be extended, and it succeeded! Local residents, businesses and other stakeholders had told Cllr Colley that the initial plans for the redevelopment, displayed at a public meeting in January, had been rushed through, and that they had concerns about the size and scope of the project. Fiona Colley said “Plans are now being developed to make local people full partners in shaping the redevelopment.” See here for the full text of the Council statement, and the joint statement from the Council and Network Rail. The Council have agreed to explore the use of a co-design process to enable partnership with the community. This gives us the chance at last to move forward to a new era showing there can be real partnership between the community and the Council, for the benefit of our Peckham. This fantastic result is just what Peckham Vision had imagined and hoped would begin to happen two years ago, but better now than not at all.
Email London Mayor Boris Johnson to ask for more time 16th February 2014
There is a time-limit for spending the GLA grant from the Mayor's Regeneration Fund, which meant the money had to be spent by 2016. This date has meant that the development of an appropriate scheme has not been possible due to having to rush to meet planning application deadlines of March this year: far too short a time to work with the community to get the scheme that Peckham needs. See here further explanation for this. The Council is asking the Mayor and the GLA to extend the deadline on the GLA funding to allow time for the community to be properly engaged, and to make sure that the GLA funding delivers the benefits for the community that the London Mayor intended. Harriet Harman MP has written to the Mayor to support this request and has asked local people also to write to the Mayor in support of this extension.
Further information and download TEMPLATE EMAIL here.
Deputation to Community Council 12th February 2014
A deputation of local people and local businesses told the Peckham & Nunhead Community Council that the local community supported plans to create a new square in front of the station and improve the area around it. But it was not expected that this would be accompanied by far reaching redevelopment proposals for the entire station site. The deputation explained why the plans were unexpected and had caused a lot of dismay and concern locally, and asked the Community Council to arrange for a collaborative co-design process to develop a new plan. Deputation speech here. Cllr Fiona Colley responded by saying she had been appalled by the plans presented by Network Rail on 18th January and so was asking the GLA to extend the timetable for the submission of the planning application, and would get in touch about the community engagement process. spectacle blog report on the deputation.
Council seeks more time 11th February 2014
After a build up over the last few weeks since the Network Rail consultation event on 18th January, there has been a groundswell of concerned and anguished local voices shocked at the scale and type of redevelopment proposed by Network Rail for the station site. This got onto the London radar through ITN London News. Constituents began to alert Harriet Harman MP to the news. She has an additional interest in the issues because she is Shadow Secretary for Culture, and this redevelopment proposal would wipe out the creative and cultural industries that have already taken root on the site and they increase in number month by month. Harriet met with the Leader of Southwark Council, then with the Executive Member for Regeneration, which led to the achievement of some key points - especially the Council seeking more time for reviewing the plans. The letters are here:
- Letter to Harriet Harman from Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council.
- Letter to Peckham Residents from Cllr Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration.
- Note of actions and discussions from Harriet Harman MP's office; see below:
The note from Harriet Harman MP's office reported:
- Since the 31st January, over 60 constituents have contacted Harriet with their concerns about the proposals
- On the 5th February, Harriet met with Cllr Peter John, leader of Southwark Council
- On the 11th February, Harriet met with Cllr Fiona Colley (Cabinet Member for Regeneration), local ward Cllr Nick Dolezal and Sarah Green (Project Lead at Southwark Council).
From that meeting, Harriet Harman MP has proposed the following:
- There must be extra time for consultation and engagement with local residents - Southwark Council is calling on the GLA (who partly fund the project) to ask for more time and Harriet will write to the Mayor of London fully supporting the Council's request.
- Network Rail should include an estate management agreement that guarantees that local creative industries and small independent businesses in the area will form part of the plans and not be priced out by large retail chains or high rents, or replaced by betting betting shops and/or pay day loan shops.
- The 1930's building on Blenheim Grove that houses the Sunday Painter and Peckham Refreshment Rooms should be protected and excluded from the plans.
- The proposed height of the high rise residential buildings next to the station should be lowered.
- The plans should include public toilets.
Network Rail plans reveal total demolition 18th January 2014
The shocking news at the architects’ exhibition was that they plan a full clear out of buildings and enterprises on the Gateway site – the whole of Network Rail’s land around the station building. http://goo.gl/9ny4kD This would destroy that part of Peckham’s creative economy that has rooted there. How can this be? Have Network Rail understood anything about the micro life behind creative industries? They are trying to fix something that seems to be repairing itself in a way which promises self sustainability and economic diversity fit for the 21st century economy, in the creative industries sector of the UK economy which is the strongest. Since last April at the first deputation to the Cabinet, the council has said the plan was definitely not to clear out all Network Rail buildings around Peckham Rye station. Why did they say this and continue to say it?
More than 250 locals crowded into the 18th January event. All keen citizens, wanting to cooperate and take part. Why have they all been excluded while this plan has been devised between the Council and Network Rail? Why have the local community been treated like infants? How does the plan the local community has welcomed, to create Peckham Rye station public square, become a full redevelopment of all land, with the new public square such a small part maybe just around about 5%?
- Some feedback responses to Network Rail's design proposals are available here.
- report on January Network Rail consultation.
What went wrong? Was it because the Council and Network Rail prevented any public discussion about the implications and potential of the dynamics of new local economy developments and ways of creating the new square? This is what is of such great concern and so perplexing. A new strand in the local economy in Peckham town centre has been stirring into life slowly over the last 8 years, but increasing in pace more recently. While the effect has begun to get onto the London radar and noticed by the authorities and the big corporates like Network Rail, the nature of it seems to have escaped them. This is why good intentions might kill off the exciting potential that Peckham has to regenerate itself into a thriving self sustainable new form of economy for the 21st century. There needs to be more serious examination of how that alternative of the original idea of creating the square in front of the station and improving the environment around the station together supporting the new creative economy, might be all that is needed. As a recent commentary has said there is no need to fix things that are not broken. Ideas about alternatives will be posted here. Because of the lack of information from the Council and Network Rail, during the course of 2013 Peckham Vision facilitated a public conversation at community events.
Where and what is the station Gateway project? January 2014
Click on each of the maps to enlarge them and download.
Map 1 shows a cluster of four sites in central Peckham. These sites are identified on the map as A = Peckham Liberal Club, B = Multi-storey car park/cinema, C = Peckham Rye Station Gateway, and D = Copeland Park/Bussey. Together they are at the heart of the new creative industries in Peckham. This has caught the attention of the artistic, creative and cultural world who now refer to it as the latest creative ‘hotspot’ in London. The co-location and close proximity of the four sites, and the interaction this enables, is a key characteristic of the dynamic nature of the creative industries in this central area of town.
Map 2 shows the station Gateway site. It is the land and buildings owned by Network Rail, that surrounds Peckham Rye station between Rye Lane and Bellenden Road. It includes the commercial buildings in front of the station (blue on this map) and alongside the station building in Holly Grove and Blenheim Grove (pink), and behind the station (in green) the railway arches and forecourts in front of them along Blenheim Grove & Dovedale Court. The map shows the location on this site of the individual businesses currently operating there as a part of the new creative strand of the town centre economy. Bar Story was the first to arrive about 10 years ago, after the long established Arches Studios (yellow); others have located there since then, and with a quickening pace recently. Further details of these enterprises can be found here.
Map 3 shows the ‘initial thoughts’ produced by the Network Rail architects at the 30 November 2013 consultation event, and based on the 'preferred option' as in Map 4. This was the first step in preparing for the planning application to be made ‘in the Spring’. The 'initial thoughts' map shows the removal of the buildings in front of the station to create the new public square. This has wide public support, and so was expected. In addition, however, as in the 'preferred option' map, it shows that the ideas were also possibly to develop all the land and buildings on this site to the sides and the rear of the station. This overall plan if it went ahead looks as if it would need the removal of all current businesses, including those spearheading the growth of the creative industries on this site: those alongside the station building (pink in Map 2) and behind it (green in Map 2), although the Council has said that this is not their intention.
The architects presented their proposals at the consultation event on Saturday 18th January. This showed that redevelopment, involving total demolition and new buildings were planned. They gave a presentation at 3pm during the consultation event attended by over 250 people. This was the first opportunity for a public discussion about the future of the total site.
A key question in considering and appraising the proposals is what effect they will have on the young growing creative economy in central Peckham –
would the development encourage and support it, or would it seriously or terminally jeopardise it? The overwhelming response at the meeting was that the scale of the plans was unacceptable, and that the plans were likely to terminally jeopardise the growing creative economy. This has been acknowledged by the Council and an extension of time to develop the plans is being agreed with the GLA.
Station Gateway consultation to be held 18th + 20th January 2014
- Saturday 18th January at Rye Lane Baptist Chapel, 11am to 5pm drop-in exhibition
- Saturday 18th January at Rye Lane Baptist Chapel, 3pm public meeting presentation & discussion
- Sunday 19th January on line: http://www.peckhamryestation.com
- Monday 20th January Peckham Square, 2pm-4.30pm drop-in opposite Rye Lane junction
- Monday 20th January Peckham Library, display in lobby, feedback forms 4th floor.
- Sunday 26th January deadline for comments.
Creative industries on the Gateway site 6th January 2014
The Government Inspector at the PNAAP Public Hearings highlighted the significance of the creative industries for the local economy and the future of Peckham in the Peckham& Nunhead Area Action Plan (PNAAP), and the need for changes to the PNAAP to reflect this. The PNAAP refers to Peckham’s growing reputation as a creative ‘hotspot’ and the Council’s aim to build on that in its planning of Peckham town centre. Consultation on the Inspector’s suggested changes to the PNAAP closed on 6th January 2014. Some local responses are here. Peckham Vision’s response describes the nature of the creative 'hotspot' in central Rye Lane located on four main sites and the links between them, with the station site as a key part (see map to the right), and the need to safeguard all four sites.
Station Gateway consultation 30th November 2013
Network Rail's architects held a consultation in the Old Waiting Room on 30 November 11am–3pm. Deadline for comments is 7th December. Some of the points to think about in all this are in the short briefing note we produced for visitors to the consultation. This consultation appears to be testing the public response to the ideas presented by previous architects and adopted by Network Rail as a preferred option. The consultation boards from Saturday’s event in the Old Waiting Room (see photo) are now up on the architects’ blog: http://peckhamryestation.com. Do look at the boards there Perhaps the key one is Board 4 which identifies the significant questions about the architects’ thoughts for redevelopment of the Network Rail site all around the station. These would require as expected the removal of the buildings in front to create the new square. But they also extend to the buildings alongside in Holly Grove and Blenheim Grove and behind the station. These buildings currently accommodate in Holly Grove the newly opened Hannah Barry Gallery, and in Blenheim Grove The Sunday Painter, Peckham Refreshment Rooms, Bar Story, Peckham Springs and the soon to open microbrewery, as well as other small businesses. Do they really need to be demolished when they are regenerating the area themselves in the existing buildings? These and some of the other points to think about in all this are in the short briefing note we produced for visitors to the consultation. A commentary on the issues is provided in the consultation response by Eileen Conn as Peckham Vision coordinator.
The architects will hold another event in January to present their detailed ideas as the basis for the planning application in the Spring. It has been a disappointing wasted opportunity to leave the public engagement so late in the process, and then leave just a week to absorb and comment on the design ideas being used. Aware of the lack of engagement, over the summer we facilitated a public community conversation. But none of us knew then the large scale of development ideas that are being considered.
Peckham & Nunhead Community Council 25th November 2013
The Peckham Community Council meeting focused on the Council's work to regenerate Peckham town centre. It included a report on the Peckham Townscape Heritage (THI) proposals for a £1.6m grant, Rye Lane Conservation Area Peckham Management Plan, and the Peckham Rye Station Gateway project. The architects Weston Williamson, commissioned by Network Rail, explained that they would be developing the planning application for the redevelopment of the station surrounds to submit in Spring 2014, and that they would hold a consultation event on 30 November 2013 with a deadline for comments by 6 December. There would be a further consultation on the planning application proposals in January 2014. There were a number of comments from residents and businesses that the consultation period was unacceptably short at just a week. In addition, the Peckham Planning Network, made up of local people working on planning issues in Peckham, submitted and read out a statement to the Community Council of the poor community engagement process which had wasted time in the lead up to this point as the Council and Network Rail, for more than a year, had refused to engage in any public discussions about the design concept for the proposal.
BBC London TV report on Gateway project 3 November 2013
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-24786785 - “A number of businesses have been told they may have to relocate under a £25m redevelopment plan for Peckham. Plans include transforming Peckham Rye Station and its surrounding area, creating a new square and encouraging cafes, bars and art shops to open. Southwark Council, which is working with the Greater London Authority and Network Rail on the project, says a business support team is in place to help those affected.”
Network Rail’s ‘Preferred Option’
In the brief for the architects seeking tenders for the work, a ‘preferred option’ was included. A map outlining this was produced in 2012 by Landolt & Brown, architects commissioned by Network Rail. It was received by Peckham Vision in October 2013 following a Freedom of Information request in August 2013 for the architects’ brief for the development. The ‘preferred option’ map is shown here: This is now being used as a basis for the concept design being produced by Weston Williamson, the architects commissioned to produce the planning application. Their consultationfrom 30th November to 7th December 2013 used the ‘preferred option’ as a basis for posing questions for comments, especially on board 4 in the display boards. They say they are not bound by the preferred option, but it raises key issues about the scale and extent of the re-development which there has been no time for the public to understand, think about, dicuss and comment. These include the demolition of the buildings hosting the new small creative businesses in Holly Grove and Blenheim Grove.
Deputation 22nd October 2013
There was a deputation to the Southwark Council Cabinet on 22 October 2013 to seek clarity about the plans of Network Rail, the Council and the GLA on the concept design for the station developments. The deputation was led by Bar Story and Sassoon Gallery, with The Sunday Painter and Peckham Vision.** The plans all started years ago with a proposal to recreate the square in front to the station. But documents, produced by the Council and Network Rail over the last year, available through Cabinet papers or FOI requests, indicated what seemed like the clearance and development of the whole of the land and buildings alongside and behind the station. The story up to the developments these last few weeks is recorded below on this web page.
For several months Peckham Vision had been seeking information about the design concept for the developments without success. A Freedom of Information request in early August finally produced some of this information in mid October including the Council agreement with the GLA on the £5m grant towards the station square, and the brief for the architects about to be commissioned to prepare the planning application and to design and conduct public and stakeholder consultations. At the same time Cabinet received a work progress report and update on the issues raised by the deputation and Scrutiny hearing last April and May from Cllr Fiona Colley. These documents seemed to indicate a number of discrepancies in what was being said about the scale of the developments, so Peckham Vision wrote to Cllr Colley seeking clarification; see email exchange.
In parallel some of the businesses on the station site who would be destroyed by the kind of plan in the architects’ brief decided to seek clarification through a deputation to Cabinet on 22 October when they were receiving the report on the development. The deputation’s speech to the Cabinet raised five points for clarification and quoted the Council statements in the past that seemed inconsistent with the current plans, including the intentiomn to build on the success of businesses like Bar Story. We were told by the Cabinet that the intention is to develop a planning application for recreating the square and necessary works directly related to it and that there is no intention to do major redevelopment beyond that.
The planning application is to be submitted next February. The Council said that the consultation leading to its submission will also be able to cover other options as well as the one called the 'preferred option' that the architects bidding for the contract were asked to use as the basis for their bids. We have been told that the preferred option plan is just a technical management device for financial appraisal and achieving authority to go ahead, rather than the basis for the real design of what is going to happen.
The architects will be appointed in the next week and start immediately by 4 November. We are looking forward now to a constructive collaboration with them on devising really interesting and effective ways of involving and informing people in Peckham about the ideas, the practical issues and encouraging many people to take part in the discussions and conversations.
- While the deputation was in the Council’s meeting rooms waiting their turn to speak, Hannah Jones one of our Peckham networkers was at the entrance to the Council offices in Tooley Street with a solo pop-up performance singing an operatic lament for Peckham facing with uncertainty the impact of these big developments. Let us hope that next time it can be a song of joy. http://vimeo.com/77552278
Report from the summer public conversations October 2013
Over the summer of 2013 Peckham Vision encouraged a public community conversation about the Gateway project through postings on Peckham Vision Facebook, twitter and the email list, and posted some of the results here: Gateway comments. We also took our mobile exhibition to several community events and talked to hundreds of local people about the plans for the town centre especially the developments in central Rye Lane around the station. We invited people to put up their comments about the station Gateway developments on post it notes and in comment books. About 120 comments have been transcribed and are recorded here: 2013 PV summer events - PRS Gateway comments.pdf The comments covered small details through to generalisations and are not amenable to simple summary. They are similar to those posted on the social media sites. There is wide support for the re-creation of the square. There is a feeling that there is a special nature to Peckham town centre which needs to be nurtured and protected while it is adjusting to changes in the wider economy and to the developments around the station. Small organic change favouring small independents rather than national chains is preferred rather than large developments at once. There was concern at the potential loss of independent small businesses, including creative enterprises, if rents became unaffordable. A variety and mix of retail shops is wanted rather than more of the same kinds of shops which is viewed as an unwelcome current feature, with the multiple hair, nail, meat and phone shops. More business responsibility is wanted for the effects of their businesses. The storage facilities of the arches behind the station are valued by town centre businesses. Some locals value the mix of light industry and commerce behind the station, and are concerned at the loss of residential amenity with the expansion of the night economy. There were pleas for newsagent, letter box, coffee shop and public toilets near the station.
Public conversation about the design of the station developments
The Council did not release any information about the conceptual discussions, and so Peckham Vision has encouraged a public conversation about these aspects:
- Front of station: A new square is being created in front of the station. What kind of square? What would you like to see there..?
- Back of station: The plan is to create a new area at the back, linked to the new front square. What would you like to see there..?
- Blenheim Grove: What would you like to see happen in the arches with fronts on Blenheim Grove..?
These different areas of the station development site are explained below with a map
Comments are posted up here.
30th September 2013 - Public Toilets petition - Peckham & Nunhead Community Council
Peckham Vision and the Rye Lane & Traders’ Association joined together to present a petition with 4,273 signatures to the Peckham & Nunhead Community Council on 30 September. They said that Peckham is a busy major shopping centre in Southwark thronging with shoppers and visitors. Unfortunately public urinating has become a very unpleasant feature of our town centre, because of the lack of public toilets. Local residents have for many years campaigned for public toilets. Now it is even more urgent as cultural life in central Rye Lane has taken off. There are many more pedestrians at all times, and it has extended the problems through the evening and into the night.. There are increasing problems day and night with urinating and worse in the shopping and residential streets as a result of the lack of decent public toilets. Central Rye Lane is due for a major reshaping to recreate the public square in front of the station and make major improvements in Network Rail’s land around it. The petition asked the Council and Network Rail to take this opportunity to provide for public toilets in these developments. This is maybe a once in a lifetime chance to ensure that these changes include good quality public toilets that are well managed. The Community Council agreed that there were problems through the lack of public toilets, and that their provision should be considered in the developments in the station area.public toilets Council response
7th September 2013 - Peckham Rye Fete
Peckham Vision's mobile exhibition returned for another year to this popular summer fete, where more discussions about the town centre and station developments were had.
Station restoration latest August 2013
The Council is developing plans for the design and development of the new front square and new commercial spaces at the back of the station. There is not yet satisfactory information about how the public can contribute to these ideas. The Council say they can release no information about the conceptual discussions between the Council and Network Rail. Their current plans are to submit the detailed planning appication by December 2013. This would pre-empt some issues, and give only the usual limited few weeks for consideration and none for conceptual and design discussions. The Council are not clear yet if they can secure agreement with the GLA to give more time for this. The need for a community public conversation now therefore continues.
24th August 2013 - Hush House Supermarket at the Bussey building
Peckham Vision's exhibition was a feature in the new Hush House Supermarket, which was visited by hundreds of people. There were many discussions about the town centre and the station developments.
Arches Open Studios 28-30 June 2013
Peckham Vision's mobile exhibition was there all weekend at The Arches open studios. We leafleted all residents and businesses in Blenheim Grove in advance. Several visited the stall over the weekend, and learnt the latest information about the station area development, and discussed the issues in Blenheim Grove for residents and for businesses.
Revised map of properties in the station plans June 2013
The map attached to the Council June report (see previous news it) gives further details of the position relating to the possible plans for properties adjacent to the new square and to the station building. This latest news is reflected in this revised Peckham Vision map
. The colours refer to:
- Station Arcade (deep blue), and the buildings (paler blue) on the other sides of the rail lines there.
- Holly Grove & Blenheim Grove (pink): the buildings fronting these two streets & fronting the station forecourts under the rail-tracks adjacent to either side of the station building.
- Rear of the station (green): the rail arches, their forecourts and access road from Blenheim Grove.
- The Arches (yellow): the rail arches beyond the potential rear market with separate access from Blenheim Grove.
The agreed plan is to remove the buildings in Station Arcade (deep blue) to recreate the public square, and to create a path from front to rear of the station at ground floor level within the station building to connect the new front square and a possible new rear market. The buildings (in paler blue) may need to be removed because of the way they are connected through the arches to the Arcade. The buildings in pink are less likely to be affected. The paler green shade indicates the arches with forecourts on Blenheim Grove; and the darker green those arches between the railway lines. There is no information about the plans for any of these arches behind the station. The Council and Network Rail say they will consult the public on the plans for the whole site in 2014. Because there are no Council plans to enable public discussion about design ideas of all this before that stage, Peckham Vision is continuing with the public conversation about the possibilities. The information was displayed by Peckham Vision at the weekend Open Studios in The Arches over the weekend of 28 – 30 June [see photos above]. We leafleted all residents and businesses in Blenheim Grove in advance, and several visited the stall over the weekend.
Revised Council position on station plans June 2013 & Scrutiny meeting 20 May 2013
Following the deputation the Cabinet decision was ‘called in’ by the Overview Scrutiny Committee see pages 2-7 of meeting verbatim report. As a result of that a further report and map was made to the Cabinet by Cllr Fiona Colley. This is an extract: “This report follows up a number of issues raised regarding our Gateway to Peckham cabinet decision in April. Unfortunately the original recommendations of that report indicated that the council intended to buy out all interests across a far larger area than we in fact intended. Although this was clarified at the meeting and the recommendations amended, some confusion remained and the report was called in to scrutiny.
I'd like to thank Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their decision not to refer back the decision to cabinet and for their constructive recommendations. We are through this report taking the opportunity to clarify the extent of the area in which the acquisition of all interests is required. We also recommend agreeing the other two recommendations and that cabinet should receive a further report and recommendations when investigations of models of partnership arrangements is complete.
Since the last report I have taken the opportunity to visit a number of the cultural businesses who were concerned about their future. I hope I have provided them with a level of reassurance that far from wishing to evict them from the area, that the Gateway to Peckham project is an opportunity to build on the best that Peckham already has to offer and create an arts, culture and leisure hub that will create jobs and business opportunities and be an exciting new destination in London.”
Opening the discussion about the possible changes on the site April 2013
We have produced, as a discussion aid, this illustrated map of the station. It is based on the map in the Cabinet report. The colours are broad brush indications of different parts of the site and not precise boundaries. They show how the different parts might relate to the regeneration ideas, so it can help us all to know what we are referring to in discussion. The colours refer to
- Station Arcade (blue): the buildings between the rail lines in front of the station building.
- Holly Grove & Blenheim Grove (pink): the buildings fronting these two streets & fronting the station forecourts under the rail-tracks adjacent to either side of the station building.
- Potential rear market (green): the rail arches, their forecourts and access road from Blenheim Grove.
- The Arches (yellow): the rail arches beyond the potential rear market with separate access from Blenheim Grove.
The agreed plan is to remove the buildings in Station Arcade to recreate the public square, and to create a path from front to rear of the station at ground floor level within the station building to connect the new front square and a new rear market. There is no information on ideas or plans for other buildings or parts of the site. We had understood that there would be public consultation and discussion about the design of all this before decisions on design and final plans are made. But the process is currently not known.
In the meantime lots of people want to know more and discuss different aspects of it so we hope that the map we have produced will be useful for that, and for clarifying what the range of possibilities may be. We will be glad to respond to any queries to help the discussion along.
PV Deputation to Cabinet to stop wholesale clearance of businesses on station site 16 April 2013
We had a shock in discovering a Council report for 16 April 2013 which seemed to recommend a total clear out of the businesses on Network Rail land around Peckham Rye station between Rye Lane and Bellenden Rd. See the report and map It had been expected that some businesses would be displaced by the plans to recreate the station square and reclassify the industrial land behind the station for town centre commercial use, and that for the rest there would be an organic process of change. No one expected that everything would be swept away to create a sterile place which would have to start all over again.
Peckham Vision took a deputation to the Council Cabinet meeting on 16 April at Council HQ 160 Tooley St, for clarification, and if it was a plan for wholesale clear out to seek a postponement for urgent discussions about a different approach. The room was packed with supporters from Peckham. It was nerve wracking but we won! The report had said the Council was working to secure 'vacant possession' across the whole site. After our reprsentations, the top councillors said they had no intention of clearing the whole site and going for ‘vacant possession’ of it all. They said the report was not well drafted. Council had wanted the blanket authority to do what they wanted. They didn’t get it. The community was united to protect the key local enterprises of the future. So it was a great result, with a united community, and the drastic plan appeared dead. Our vision of an integrated sustainable Peckham is still alive. But there is much hard work still ahead to keep watch and to nurture our Peckham.
While the deputation was presenting its case to the Cabinet meeting, young artists supporters from Peckham created a pop-up art performance in the lobby of Southwark Council. This was a tasteful inspiring illustration of the free independent spirit of the creative economy in Peckham which needs gentle nurturing and not a heavy handed regeneration site clearance.
See media reports:
- Southwark News 25 April 2013
- South London Press 23rd April 2013
- ARTWEEKLY website post
Original station square to be restored November 2011
On 23rd November 2011, the London Mayor announced that Peckham would receive between £4m-£5m from the Mayor’s £70m Regeneration Fund, which was set up to help repair the damage caused by the August 2011 riots. Southwark Council has said it will match fund the project to restore the open square in front of the station, and transform the spaces around the station in the middle of the town centre. Read more comment and Evening Standard The proposal for this project was able to be put together by the Council to meet the GLA's very fast timetable immediately after the riots because of all the work that had already been done by Peckham Vision, the Peckham Society and the Rye Lane & Station Action Group in collaboration with the Council over several years. The Southwark News reported it as recreating the 'Grand entrance’ for the Victorian station. Read the article here. The Council are now working on the details of the plans, and discussing with Peckham Vision the way the community work on the station and surrounding area can be aligned with those.
Gateway project key documents:
- Peckham Vision comments on issues raised by the Gateway project
In the absence of any information about the design concepts, Peckham Vision presented the Council with a paper in July 2013 commenting on some of the issues which needed to be addressed:
Key information was still not forthcoming so a Freedom of Information request was made in August 2013. A further paper was presented to the Council in November 2013 with further questions and comments as a result of that information which was received finally in October 2013(see next paragraph):
- PV briefing note on points to think about in the consultation on initial thoughts about the development.
- description & location of creative 'hotspot' enterprises on the site - see map below.
- Main official documents for the design of the Gateway project
These documents were received in October & November 2013 as a result of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests in August 2013:
- Agreement between Council and GLA (not provided in digital form)
[to be uploaded]
- Architects’ brief to design the planning application
- Preferred option for the design: see 'preferred option' above -
(received Oct 2013, scanned by Peckham Vision from a hard copy)