Development news

More news… what a busy couple of days it’s turned into!

First of all comes a report which says Councillor Peter John wants to spend Section 106 money from elsewhere in the borough on developing here. Councillor Richard Thomas goes completely ape-shit and says that’s a load of tosh.

Somewhat more interesting and less hysterical is the news that Camberwell Station could reopen — albeit at the expense of Loughborough Junction.

Imagine that: a train station, a cinema, and a public toilet — we’d almost be at the point we were 100 years ago!

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

42 thoughts on “Development news”

  1. To decide the station issue maybe they could organise a duel or some other means of a quick decision? The leaders of Lambeth and Southwark Councils could have a contest ‑pistols at dawn type thing- on Coldharbour Lane to see who had the most honour to host a railway station? Or maybe an arm wrestle if they didnt want any death?

    Or maybe the Mayor of London could take a strategic decision that was in the interests of the people of the two boroughs and decide that there is scope to have two railway stations quite close together as they would serve different communities both poorly served by transport and both with housing being built and planned?

  2. Interesting — I live on the corner of Camberwell Station Road & Denmark Road, so would quite like to see this station re-open. It’s currently an auto shop/car repair sort of place, but you can still see the main station entrance and the windows of what was presumably the station master’s office. Can’t help thinking that the comment about Camberwell being poorly served by public transport actually means “There’s no tube station!!! Shock horror!! How do they cope???” since we have a very good station and more buses than you can shake a stick at.…

  3. Section 106; unfortunately I haven’t time to peruse the link about section 106 money but Peter John is right – money from 106’s should be brought to Camberwell for local development where appropriate. The issue is simple: Camberwell has had its community assets stripped and neglected over decades and capital receipts from the sale of Council owned buildings in Camberwell have been put into Southwark’s general Capital fund and spent elsewhere. It’s now high time for this denuding process to be reversed.

    Stations; We should be pressing hard for another station in Camberwell just because it’s needed. Although myriad, bus services here are not brilliant because journey times — to and from Camberwell — are often so very long. Although it can take only twenty five minutes to get almost anywhere else in London from Camberwell — when traffic conditions are favourable; more often the same journeys take well over an hour. Too erratic. That’s no good.

    It’s also not clear that a new station would reopen on the site of the old on Station Road because Railtrack reckon the platforms are too narrow there for contemporary health & safety regulations — it’s likely to be further along closer to the Green.

    The major issue this brings up is how Loughborough Junction will be affected by this. It’s doesn’t take rocket science to know that closing Loughborough is totally wrong. A new station should be that – a station that adds to the area without robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    GOOD NEWS stretching the thread a bit – I dropped by the Jack Beards at the Station / Railway (I can never remember the name of the pub on the corner of Station Road and Camberwell Road) this morning – being decorated. The owner’s a very genial chap called Ollie – who seems to know what he’s talking about and what he’s doing. The pub is FREE of TIE which tipped the balance for him about the location. Perhaps he could be persuaded to stock a few fruit beers for Dagmar and the rest of us who like a bit of qualitah in our bevvies. I hope they do well there. We need as much new enthusiasm and energy coming into the area as we can get.

  4. Hi Mark,

    Is there any way of proving or trying to put a figure on our historical neglect, and so provide a counter argument to that of Richard Thomas?

    Fingers crossed for the rent review. Please let us know how it goes (and hopefully when the party is!)

  5. Unfortunately Section 106 money has to be spent on the things it was earmarked for in the legal agreement with the developer — eg, street improvements adjacent to the development. So it cannot be put into a pot and reallocated to “needier” areas of the same borough.

    It will be interesting to see the Mary Datchelor 106 when/if it’s available.

  6. Only the most cynical would point out that decommissioning one station and opening another = twice the work for contracting buddies!

    Interesting to see that one area is “poorly served by public transport” in a transport document, and “well served” in a planning document, where in another plot twist, they still granted private car parking spaces for 35% of the new flats on C. Station Road, well above the average for the area.…

    ..adding another 28 vehicles to the contingent over with Southwark has zero control in terms of discouraging “short hop” car journeys, which is the stated aim of the transport section of the Local Implementation Plan, thereby ticking the invirinmint box.

  7. I’m not sure that re-opening a station in Camberwell is a viable option, folks. The line that the old Camberwell Station is on is the First Capital Connect Thameslink route to Blackfriars/Kings Cross Thameslink. I ask myself “how often have I used the existing service from Loughborough Junction” and my answer is once in the last 15 years. I think we’re just too near to Central London and have a bus service that is (pretty near) second to none.

  8. Transport in Camberwell is not great. There are lots of buses, but it can take nearly an hour to get in to central london on occasion, and the journey is not pleasant. Also, the number of buses crawling along Denmark Hill chugging out diesel fumes does not do much to make the ‘high street’ more appealing. I would actually love to see the number of buses reduced, the pavements widened and some trees planted as is happening in Walworth. Maybe a new train station would make this a more practical possibility.

  9. I agree with Mushtimushta — never mind the “station”, the important thing is the line that runs through it. Does anyone know what line is proposed?

    It probably won’t help many people if the line simply goes to the E & C and then on to Farringdon or Blackfriars. London Bridge would be good.

  10. It may not practically help many people (but do not underestimate the number of people who need to go to Blackfriars/Farringdon/Kings Cross by rail for work purposes or travelling on to other areas, nor the number of people who would get off the train to take the tube at Elephant) but it is good for the towncentre and the ‘branding’ of Camberwell.

    To some extent places become what the station name is — ie Lambeth (the area just by the riverbank) is now largely known as Waterloo, bits of Westminster are known as Victoria, people refer to living in “Oval”, “Clapham South” etc when in reality these are only station names. So we need somewhere named Camberwell for the purposes of the town centre and wider area so that people know where Camberwell is and what it is.

  11. @Mumu Good point about branding. One of the reasons the Council is getting away with treating Camberwell as a principality of Peckham, treating investment in Peckham as investment in Camberwell, is this lack of local id. The other is that they’ve realised we are more interested in the best places to dine and the various ranges of boissons on offer locally than in more wide-ranging social issues so there is unlikely to be any middle class electoral uprising — but I digress.

    Camberwell fans of the most conscionable form of transport to Paris will also appreciate the link to King’s Cross/St Pancras…

  12. I think the service into London from LJ is brilliant. It takes 12 minutes to get to Blackfriars from where you can walk to St Pauls in 5 mins. The Kings X link is great

    The route is London’s only cross rail at the moment.

    If it’s Camberwell’s best kept secret I’m happy with that!

  13. Them suggesting closing Loughborough Junction can only mean that they have the same line running through them. After all, Denmark Hill and East Dulwich are possibly closer but coexist.

    Spot on with the branding issue. I moaned ages ago that when we lost the Routemasters “Camberwell” which featured so prominently on their livery was also lost.

    The Thameslink line is very useful. As mentioned, it’s a great way of getting to Kings X, and connecting with the tube at E&C comes in handy when you need to be somewhere in less than 2 hours (make that 3 when they’ve finished narrowing Walworth Road).

    And I can’t see what’s wrong with a quick nip to Farringdon. I have to go there every day 🙂


    Radio 4 programme (with listen again) by the excellent Winifred Robinson on the February Peckham killings …

    Also don’t underestimate how useful Thameslink can be — it also goes south to East Croydon, Gatwick and Brighton — It also goes north to King’s Cross … I used to use it a lot when I lived in Brixton

  15. I agree Thameslink is very useful because it links up with lots of other places in the London area and further away either directly or by an easy change saving the need to go to a central London terminus to set off (and the additional tube/bus cost that involves) The other day we went to Guildford — easy walk to LJ, train to Wimbledon, change and then train to Guildford

  16. (I was just giving that as an example of the ease of the Thameslink system — I’m not advocating everyone should go to Guildford! Its equally good for places like Streatham, Tooting, Kentish Town, West Hampstead etc which although close in distance are hard to get to quickly from Camberwell requiring changes of modes of transport)

  17. One of the main reasons for me moving to here was Denmark Hill station. It’s 8 mins to Blackfriars, 12 to London Bridge or Victoria. It’s regular and reliable. Denmark Hill is a lovely station. I can leave home at 6:55 and be at my desk by 7:25.

    The train is much more crowded than it was three years ago but that reflects the number of proffesionals who have moved to SE London. If you’ve ever had to spend 30+ minutes to go a similar distance on a hot, filthy tube will understand what a boon the overground is to our area.

    Oh and it only costs me £12 or something a week.

  18. Interesting points about Camberwell’s identity through its transport services. I don’t understand why people big-up Camberwell’s bus service and offer it as a reason not to lobby for the train station or a new tram service. I guess it just depends on where you travel to.

    I take the train from Denmark Hill myself, even though getting there is a bit of an expedition. Whenever I’ve taken a 45 to work I’ve had a brimful of hassle. You wait 15 minutes for it, the bus driver swears at you, someone smells of wee, teenagers try and rob you and then, God forbid, if you’re standing up because you won’t be for long. Those drivers are hell-bent on hurling you across the floor with random lurches forward and violent jabs of the brake pedal. And don’t get me started on the Walworth road again.

    Yes, the bus is Hobson’s choice. Just thinking about it has given me the fear.

  19. The 45 is a remarkably egalitarian place, with no social or class reproach from one segment of the community to another whatsoever. I used to travel with my portable CD player (unused of course) in my open exterior coat pocket, unabashedly displaying a kinetic watch and with my wallet poking out of the back of my trousers, and not once did I experience a hint of pickpocketry.

    Additionally, there was absolutely no routine ethnic tension between Jamaican and African segments of the community on the 45. It was a multicultural paradise, everyone had bathed recently, and we all seemed to get along just fine.

  20. In contrast I have a very pleasant journey to work on the 436 or 36 from Camberwell to Edgware Road. But whats good for one route isnt necessarily the best for others so we need a variety of different transport options available as whats good for one thing is not so good for another and this can vary according to person, time, weather, other reason. I

  21. Changing the subject totally can anyone advise us what to do do with a 16 year boy this weekend?

    He is Australian and not been to London (indeed never been outside Australia) before this trip. We were with him for a few hours last weekend and took him to walk around Buckingham Palace/ Westminster/ Trafalgar Square etc and then on to Camden market but this weekend we have him for a day and a half so I would welcome any suggestions for things to do that will interest him especially in South London. Any ideas?

  22. what about Greenwich on Sunday…there is a lot to see/do and the boat/river taxi is fun too.

    Failing that perhaps a slum tour of Peckham, New Cross & Deptford- that should open up his antipodean eyes — you could send him back with
    fierce crack habit !

  23. You could start the slum tour in Camberwell: the housing and crime’s worse there than in any of the three you suggest.

  24. Changing the subject again. I just wanted to let you know about the sweet sound I wake up to each morning now. The Co-op on Camberwell New Road are blasting the kids with classical music to stop them congregating outside the shop. I’m not sure it’s working to well but the sound of Griegs Peer Gynt seems to cool the atmosphere.

    So as he is only 16 maybe you’ll want to avoid a trip to the C‑oop.

  25. A walk along the South Bank, a day at the Horniman, Greenwich market & the observatory. Not S.London, but I like the Tower of London very much.

  26. The Imperial War Museum. The Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret. Tate Modern. The Founders Arms.

  27. The only time I had to entertain two sixteen year old lads was when my flat mate’s brother came to visit us in Angel. He and I were only 22 at the time.

    We took them to Browns in Shoreditch and gave them £40 each.

    Whilst, on reflection, I wouldn’t advise this I have to say that even the lad who spewed up still claims that was the best night of his life.

  28. Well thats a thought — maybe not Browns but the Queen Anne, Vauxhall.

    Although perhaps on reflection not the greatest of ideas — we have our sophisticated, urbanite educated reputation to consider (thats what they think in rural Victoria)

  29. What would Ferris Bueller want to do? It’s got to be wreck a sports car, go to a baseball game and have your very own ticker-tape parade.

    Just think back to when you were 16 what did you want to do.

    That’s the rule we applied and it reaped dividends.

  30. Millwall are away this weekend. Now that would have been nice. Charlton have got their last home game against Spurs, but not until Monday evening. It’s a VERY important one, but too late I presume.

  31. Thank you for all the suggestions — a trip to Greenwich on the river does appeal as does the Tower of London, I will suggest stringly these options to him.

  32. We all know what you used to get up to when you were 16, Alan — near the Grimsby fish market
    where would you go about seeking the same adventure in SE London?
    MMcG — nah mate Camberwells dead posh innit?

  33. When 16 I stayed in and made incredibly detailed scale models / dioramas. From scratch.

    It wasn’t all military. I built a harbour and docks and sat on the edge of the bay.

  34. Now you have made an incredible detailed pub. Mumu, Barnet are playing Wycombe at 3pm. This event may be reached stringly on the thin black Northern Line, through the allotments of north London, a fascinating sight to an Auusie youth, surely.

    Alan why did you ask whether I were on Question Time? We have bought a new telly from the Old Kent Road Curry’s and were watching Albert Kahn’s photographs of the Balkans which, on the new box, looked as real as anything round here.

    What else is there to do on a Bank Holiday, does anyone think?

  35. Interesting to read the varied and various posts on the possibility of re-opening Camberwell Station at the expense of Loughborough Junction. As a regular user of the latter station, and possessor of a very old anorak, it seems worthwhile pointing out that once upon a time there were three sets of platforms at the station:

    the existing platforms,

    platforms that served trains running from Brixton to Blackfriars (these are no longer there)

    platforms that served trains from Denmark Hill to Blackfriars (the trains continue to run and the platforms are in situ, albeit in a poor state).

    In my humble opinion thought might more usefully be given to the re-opening of the platforms at Loughborough Junction rather than the re-opening of Camberwell station.

    As a footnote to my first post of this blog, one of the reasons my then partner and I moved to Camberwell in 1983 was its excellent public transport. There are no conductors anymore — the biggest deterioration in the service — but better train services from Denmark Hill and Loughborough Junction and a much improved night bus service.

  36. Blimey Mumu, wake up matey. 16 year old lad. In London. He wants to go drinking. Take him to Jungle Cafe for breakfast, force him to do some more cultural stuff if you must then get bck on it. The football idea is good if he’s sporty.

  37. By the time I was 16 I was working 12 hour shifts on the docks. Of course you are going to get thirsty. With £12 in my pocket there was nothing I couldn’t do in those days. But the docks got shut down and we were left packing processed food for Findus. Riby Square died and the girls moved on.

    Dagmar- there was an eloquent Danish Lady in the Question Time audience asking some pretty searching questions about the future of the NHS and prevention vs cure. She made me think of you but what are the odds really? Small world but not that small.

  38. Fish that are very quickly frozen appear fresh on thawing. This was the finding of Clarence Birdseye as a field naturalist in Labrador. He was posthumously inducted into the Food Engineering Hall of Fame in 2003 47 years after his death at the age of 70.

    I once had dealings with Birds Eye Fish Grills. I thought they were called Fish Girls! Whole shoals of mermaids!

    Findus is Swedish. The name stands for Fruit Industries and is nothing to do with Finland, as in Finn Forest, for instance, who used to sponsor Boston FC who were relegated yesterday into the Conference after 5 years in the 4th Division.

    Christian Salvesen were once the biggest whaling company in the world.

    Some deep-sea fish have a form of anti-freeze in their systems.

    Every month the number of cran landed was reported and recorded with great interest all up and down the east coast.

    Now, the most famous product of Lowestoft is The Darkness.

    I have seen conger eel, once the lovely temptress of the North Sea, labelled “Congo Eel” at the Chinese fresh food market in Camberwell.

  39. Thanks for all the suggestions on here — we thought a proactive approach was best and took him to things that were of educational benefit to him, no fun here we’re British!

    So on Saturday we went to the Natural History Museum and Science Museum before heading off to Notting Hill and then on to Shepherds Bush where we were prevented from going in to the Walkabout by a bouncer because he was too young (we wanted to show him an ‘Australian’ pub and he wanted to catch the Australian Rules football match but it was not to be) We then took the full route of the 148 bus Shepherds Bush — Camberwell highlighting such cultural gems as Elephant and Castle and Walworth Road on the way.

    On Sunday we went to the Tower of London and then for a walk along the river to the London Eye before a curry at the new Dewanian.

    Then on Monday it was the London Dungeon — educational experience dressed up as fun.

    And all he really wanted to do was go on the internet…

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