Friday, 22 October 2010

Deptford Xtra/Bridge House Meadows

Every so often the freesheet 'The Gate Post' sponsored by the New Cross Gate Trust has a special insert called Deptford Xtra. When this happens, the monthly newsletter gets delivered round the Dame's neck of the woods as well as its usual circulation - presumably NX environs.

The insert of four pages is vaguely useful in updating us on what's happening around the area with the various developments and initiatives - although of course much of it is council puff pieces telling us what a great job they are doing.

I'm not sure how useful the update on that old chestnut known as Deptford Station redevelopment is. We are told that 'building work on the new Deptford Station is expected to finally get under way before the end of the year'. Notice that they are not committing themselves by mentioning an ACTUAL year. However we are promised that 'the new station will be operational before the end of 2011'...oh hang on, they've covered themselves by adding 'if all goes according to plan'.

There's quite a bit of information about things I'd already read about elsewhere, mostly in Lewisham Life; new 'public art' (I use the term advisedly) such as the Quill sculpture on Evelyn Triangle and the bits of cloth on sticks that are planned for the waterfront on Pepys Estate; the Deptford Lounge/Tidemill gets a mention (although no word of the ongoing furore); and an update on Deptford Green school along with a rendering that sent me off looking for something to show. The fly-through below is interesting if a bit scary at times (mind those girls' heads!) although I couldn't help thinking there were rather a lot of open balconies just begging to have someone's school books chucked over them.

Page 13 has something a bit more interesting - as well as a huge rendering of the 'centre for sporting excellence' that Renewal is proposing for Surrey Canal Road....

...the reason for a recent invitation to a consultation event about plans for Bridge House Meadows becomes clear.

Bridge House Meadows is a small park tucked away between north Lewisham's forgotten housing estates, somewhat equidistant between Mercury Way and Ilderton Road. I've only been there a couple of times, doing a recce on my bike - it's not really a place you would pass through on the way to anywhere. But I'm sure it's very much appreciated by the people living nearby, being more or less surrounded by blocks of flats with little access to outdoor space. There's also a useful footpath/cycle path that links through the park, across Surrey Canal Road and past Millwall Football Ground towards Rotherhithe.

Unfortunately it seems local residents are not going to be able to use their little 'green lung' for the next couple of years, and cyclists and walkers will have to find detours (very difficult in an area with so many rail lines). TFL is planning to take over Bridge House Meadows as a headquarters while they build the next phase of the East London Line extension.

I have to admit I'm rather gobsmacked by this. Considering the area is surrounded by industrial estates I cannot believe that TFL can't find anywhere more suitable to locate themselves. They are intending to close one of the area's few public parks and a cycle and footpath for two years.

In order to get permission to do this, it seems TFL have had to commit to improving the park after they have finished using it, but all the same it seems like a long period during which to expect residents to do without.

The most painful irony is that the new line will go through the meadows when it opens, but local residents won't even benefit by getting their own station at the end of it all!


mushroom diet said...

Thanks Dame, for posting about NewxGatePost. I was going to myself since I found it on the pavement last Sunday (ie not through my door). I was bloody outraged to think that New Cross would know what was happening in Deptford before we did.

Especially interested to see how the station deadline had been greatly relaxed...

The Deptford Green thing is quite scary in how it exaggerates the amount of space available. Unless I am much mistaken, this is not going to be an Academy school?

Your Meadows report is somehow painfully familiar. But you say little about Convoy's Wharf, or is the best to come?

Deptford dame said...

No, Deptford Green is being rebuilt under the council's Building Schools for the Future programme - a private finance initiative.

As for Convoy's Wharf, as far as I know there has been no significant progress since my last post.

buddwing said...

well the boardings have gone up and access to Bridgehouse Meadows was closed off to the public this week. I live on the estate that runs parallel to it and I'm feeling the inconvenience already. No where to walk my dog and feeling cut off from the rest of the New Cross

I heart cupcakes said...

Buddwing -I'm in John Williams -they've left a teeny portion our side to walk dogs (at the top of the steps) but not sure how long that's lasting. My neighbour went to some meetings about it (she's a dog owner, I'm not).
Yesterday I noticed a group of walkers broke through the fencing somehow to get across the park. I do wonder is this extension necessary -it's just going the same route as the train is'nt it -couldn't they have followed the train tracks like they did to Croydon. I've lived here 14 years - that was our only green area - now we'll be looking at /hearing trains all the time :(