Thursday, 30 January 2014

Local news round-up

Lots is going on in and around Deptford, as per usual; much more than one blogger alone can cover. Even if that blogger doesn't have a life outside blogging. So here's a brief round-up of all the other stuff you might want to know about that's happening, happened and about to happen in SE8 and around - if you are keen to keep up to date on such stuff, I do recommend you follow our other local bloggers and tweeters, you will get a much broader picture of what's happening.

Thames Tunnel site visit and public hearing
Don't dump on Deptford's heart campaign and Crosswhatfields have both covered two upcoming events which offer the opportunity to protest against the plans to build a tunnel shaft on the green space next to St Paul's Church. The post on Crosswhatfields in particular highlights the impact of traffic from the site - an estimated 140 vehicles per day - and puts it in the context of other developments on Creekside and around, many of which are expected to be in progress at the same time.

(Pic; Don't Dump on Deptford's Heart)
The air pollution monitoring tubes that were put up in January are due to be collected and sent off for analysis next week, so we will expect to see information about existing levels of air pollution in SE8 emerging in the near future.

Convoys Wharf application - in safe hands?
With the planning application for Convoys Wharf now due to be determined by the Mayor of London, it's interesting to hear reports from those involved in the campaigns for community projects Sayes Court Garden and the Lenox Project - both of which are linked to umbrella organisation Deptford Is..

'Heart and lungs'; the alternative vision for Convoys Wharf

I strongly recommend following these websites to keep updated with what's happening with the area's most significant development; indications are that although the mayor's planners seem to be making every effort to resolve the outstanding issues, they are coming up against exactly the same intransigence and lack of imagination that thwarted efforts by our own planners. The mayor originally said he would speed up the decision-making process, suggesting that he would decide in February, but this is looking increasingly unlikely at the moment. The profile of the site has rarely been higher, and as the blogs report, the heritage aspects of the site were raised by local MP Joan Ruddock in an adjournment debate in the House of Commons last week.

Meanwhile the issue of the mayoral call-in, which was exercised again this week on the controversial application for redevelopment of Mount Pleasant Post Office, is discussed in unflattering terms by the Guardian's architecture and design blog. Convoys Wharf gets a mention, but the general thrust of the article is entirely applicable to the situation in SE8.

Deptford Project finally starts construction
My recent post about the second phase of Creekside Village drew comments from the usual moaners about the 'eyesores' of undeveloped land (many of which are just developed into a different type of eyesore) and how the council should 'do something about it'. Naturally I pointed out, in my kindly way, that many of these 'eyesores' of derelict land had already got planning permission, and they only reason they weren't being developed was because the owners were waiting for land values to go up so that they could flog them off to others/make more money out of the residential units!

The Deptford Project is a case in point - it's now nearly two years since planning permission was granted for this site, and it was only this week that there were signs of construction starting; the train carriage was removed and taken to Morden Wharf, another Cathedral-owned site on Greenwich Peninsula, and the obligatory site hoardings were put up around the boundaries. I anticipate the arrival of the usual feel-good photography or local school project decorating aforementioned hoardings.

Other developments in and around Deptford
New hyperlocal site the New Cross blog is doing a great job of keeping an eye on developments west of Deptford, mostly as the name suggests, around New Cross. I haven't had chance to go on there and start slinging in a few comments, but I intend to do so in due course. In the meantime don't let that stop the rest of you - it's great to see someone else focussing on planning, public realm and redevelopment stories in the area, and some of them such as the car park site at the top of Watson Street, and Goldsmiths College redevelopment, are pretty close to home.

If your interest lies east of Deptford, the fertile lands of Greenwich, Charlton and even Woolwich offer some excellent blogs about redevelopment and public realm - in Charlton the proposals for the riverside redevelopment are taxing local campaigners at the moment, not to mention the Silvertown Tunnel. Both schemes seem to have in common dubious claims about the impact on air quality.

And finally..
..on a cheerier note, don't forget the first weekend of the month approaches, which means the Food Fair will be back in Giffin Square on Saturday. It's also Chinese new year and there's no need to go up to Chinatown for the dragon dancers, you will likely see them on and around the high street visiting the many Chinese and Vietnamese shops to offer good luck for the year ahead.

The Albany is also launching its Yam Yam food festival which kicks off with Chinese-themed day on Saturday and runs for six weeks with pop-up restaurants, cooking workshops, culinary tours and other food-related events.

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