Tuesday 16 August 2016

Surrey Canal linear park now open

A new route from the Pepys Estate through towards Surrey Quays has recently been opened up, linking Eddystone Tower and its neighbours, and the under-construction Timberyard development at Oxestalls Road with the various new residential blocks on Plough Way, most of which are named after one wharf or other. Along the route of the former Surrey Canal, it offers a much more pleasant and direct route for pedestrians and cyclists between the Deptford estates and the shopping centre at. Surrey Quays 

The same palette of materials has been retained across the full length of the route - which has been funded by money (presumably Section 106 payments) from the new developments at the west end of the borough.

The public realm is generally quite pleasant with granite edging intended to represent the position of the former canal, shrub and flower planting along the edges and some new trees proposed. At the far west end of the link, right in the middle of the new development, is Plough Way Cafe which is housed in a nice little modern building with outdoor terrace.

While the materials have been matched throughout the route, there's a notable difference between the facilities in each section. The new developments get logs shaped into cute little sheep for kids to play on, and poetry inscribed into the granite edging.

Down at the Pepys estate they have to make do with a couple of logs half buried in gravel and an expanse of timber decking.

Joking apart I am looking forward to the route under Oxestalls Road finally being opened to cyclists and pedestrians - and maybe even a link at the east end of the Timberyard development going under Evelyn Street to Blackhorse Road? The latter is physically possible now thanks to some hard work by Deptford Folk and Lewisham Cyclists to amend a planning application for Shurgard that would have blocked off this access.


Unknown said...

Some may say it is a way of passing through the Pepys estate, without having to engage with the largely social housing estate, for the new residents that will be located at either end. No consultation on the design, of course, with the local community. Presumably no acknowledgement that the route is the former Grand Surrey Canal?

S. Grapes said...

No wheelchair access from Windlass Place. Bicycle racks where there is traditionally a fly tip. No real play equipment for the kids.

Anonymous said...

I disagree about the play equipment. I was a little dubious at first but now I've been there a few times (before the Pepys but opened and twice since). It works really well. We were able to slowly stroll from DeptforfFolk Park School all the way to the cafe while the children played along the middle. Conceptually it's very good. Instead of a single generic fenced in playground it's a series of little open ended engagements. Also the children played longest in the sand pit and log/bark pit. "real" play does not have to be swings/slides/see-saw

I'd like to see the carpark by Eddystone tower removed and that big open park space integrated into the linear park with a clear rout to the cafe. People are precious about their parking. I'd even argue that the, once hidden, housing office on the south side of the tower should swap buildings with the current CAC2000 cafe. That would be a viable spot for a cafe.

There are loads of canal references. The canal edges are in stone. The poetry is water/canal/dockyard related and it's called Surrey Canal Linear park.

Lewisham LPA have made some bad decisions using section 106 money locally but I don't think this is one of them.