Burgess Park Latest

Following public consultation, the plans for the regeneration of Burgess Park have been modified. You can read the full results of the consultation on southwark.gov.uk, but here are some of the key changes (taken from the press release:

  • adjusting the locations of the reshaping of the park’s landscape
  • keeping the cherry trees along Canal Walk
  • keeping the trees along St George’s Way and Cobourg Road
  • changing the location of the BMX track
  • retaining the dry grassland near Canal Walk.

You can also read Southwark’s response to the Burgess Park Action Group.

I think it’s good that people are holding the Council to scrutiny, and good that the Council are listening and responding. I hope this way we’ll end up with a park that caters to everyone’s tastes.

Update: The following text is from Ruth Miller, Burgess Park project manager, and was left as a comment. I thought it deserved more prominence.

Throughout July we’ve been gathering your views on the latest proposals for Burgess Park, and incorporating them with the extensive consultation we’ve been doing over the last 16 months (more than 25 events and over one thousand responses in various forms). Some proposals have been supported, but there are others you were concerned about, and we have listened to you.

We’ve proposed some changes and you still have until the end of this week to have your say.
Tell us what you think by Friday 30 July.

Send comments to: des.​waters@​southwark.​gov.​uk

View the proposed amendments set in the final consultation here: http://www.southwark.gov.uk/downloads/download/2418/burgess_park_presentation.

Author: Peter

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

111 thoughts on “Burgess Park Latest”

  1. While I agree that local poeple should be heard and there was plenty of furore over the LDA scheme for Burgess park by many groups and individuals some who posted on here. It looks like a lot have time has been spent dispelling myths that have been brought up by these objectors.
    It would be interesting to know what cost this has added to the project and will take away from the project costs. This sort of democracy costs highly with redesigns and officer time to sort out all objections raised. All because some of them got the wrong end of the stick and did not understand the project, they and are determined that their view is heard and implemented. Bring on the BIg Society so we can get more of this “efficiency”.

  2. I’m not so sure ‘demolishing myths’ is what they’re doing, so much as ‘replying to objections’. The biggest myth that was demolished was the suggestion that an amphitheatre to host huge events was going to be constructed — and it was the developers own wording in the master plan that caused this to be circulated.

    I think some of the BPAG’s points were very valid, some less so, and I agree that their language was too emotive; but I’m glad that they’re involved.

    I hope the tunnel under Wells Way stays and that a section of the canal is reopened, because I believe that heritage is important; but if someone tells me they’re dangerous, I’d have to concede the point. With compromise, we’ll get a better park.

  3. Canals cross the East End, they are great in every way. Only if they are filled with vitriol will they deflesh the tumbler-in as cleanly as a school of pirhana.

  4. eek, were you there, peter? sorry i missed you, i came straight from a fun ‘core strategy examination in public’ afternoon at tooley street

  5. Unfortunately with compromise we often get a diluted design. The millennium dome was compromise over design. Having pedestrians going over Wells way instead of thru the tunnel was part of the original proposal way back last year when LDA were appointed why did it take until May for objections to be made? I am concerned that the costs incurred by the vocal minority will not give the park any significant enhancement.

  6. Closer to home we have the Mary Datchelor redevelopment, which would have been an overcrowded nightmare of plastic and glass had it not been for the Camberwell Society; so a concerned local interest group can do good. I’m sure of it.

    I believe in the innate goodness of people, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

  7. Peter you are right to believe in the innate goodness of people. Unfortunately, by and large, people are guided by THE WAY IT IS and the way it is is, by and large, very stupid.

    This brings us neatly to the activities relating to public consultation going on all around us. Public consultations which, if you’re honest about it, actually contrive to making live in a stressed inner city environment even MORE stressful. This is not rational. Public consultation processes wolf up cash and human resources while leaving a trail of dashed aspirations and deep disillusionment in the participants and labyrinthine outcomes that are impenetrable to all but the geekiest and least imaginative people in society with loopholes and defects which the next least imaginative people in society, DEVELOPERS, are able to run a cart and horse through to the applause of planning officers up and down the land.

    From the ‘core strategy examination in public’ reports coming back that I’m reading it sounds more like ‘core public mass executions’ going on. We should, no MUST, APPLAUD the extraordinary people in SE5 who are finding the precious time in their busy lives, the energy and vision to take time off work, and finally the will to live through current ‘core public examinations’ for the benefit of generations of people to come.

    There is something FUNDAMENTALLY wrong with ‘core public examinations’ that are in essence accessible ONLY to people who are either:

    1) working in planning and doing it as a job
    2) working in other associated areas and doing it as part of their job
    3) living off a trust fund and looking at getting into preperty development
    4) in property development and doing it as part of the job
    5) a journalist with a spectacular passion for ennui
    6) on benefits with little better to do
    7) homeless needing somewhere to keep out of the heat or to keep warm depending on the season
    8) very interested, highly committed individuals having to take time off work to take part
    9) officers being paid to sift through tonnes of unintelligible paperwork and admin and all the gobbledigook getting it trussed up for public scrutiny
    10) able to understand a Planning Idiom which reads to be a seamlessly unintelligible blend of Latin, Russian, Chinese, Double Dutch, Greek and Technical Jargon all rolled into one.

    There’s no evidence anywhere that any serious thought has been put into how to make public consultation actually EFFECTIVE. Public consultation processes actually seem to throw up a barrier to engagement with the public which is why we see dreadfully planned urban environments all around us. Where public engagement HAS been effective in planning development, it hasn’t been taken as a model and used elsewhere.
    It’s not helpful to point this out but it is pretty desperately OBVIOUS that a HUGE shakeup needs to be done in the whole set up of our planning legislation because as is is, strategic area plans, blah blah blahs and all the other blahs simply doesn’t deliver good quality outcomes as a matter of course. We need environments that work for creating enjoyable, sustainable communities not that work for a developer’s balance sheet and desire to get in and out fast.

    That was useful wasn’t it.

  8. Urinate goodness of people? I collect my misreadings and put them in a little wooden box. Trouble is, I can’t find the box afterwards. So I start putting fresh misreadings in a new little box. And so on.

  9. saying that, one of the things i brought up today was how ‘we will continue to promote creative character of camberwell’ (from core strategy) translates into a planning application which provides less artists’ studios (wyndham road/camberwell road). or how ‘provision of community, arts & cultural spaces’ (again core strategy aspirations) in reality mean eviction of established community/arts etc groups (area 10 in peckham being the most recent example)
    today we heard a few more times, just in case we is thick, how ‘core strategy is an overarching strategic document’ so it can’t have any details in it, nor, as it is at present, any strategy, because for a lot of the policies, strategies will be developed within area plans. so the idea of cohesion goes out the window.

  10. Mark

    The legacy of 19th Century economics still underpin everything that is being practicised today — Their rationale being big is beautiful (and cost-effective) when in reality the exact opposite always occurs…but then it’s all part of the masterplan which is to make sure things are in a confusing state (and cycle) of flux so nothing actually gets done apart from a lot of cap-doffing to the property developers 😉

    Which is why I have regularly proposed that there are some councils in London which should be divided into 2 seperate authorities once again…I have always though that Southwark was one such borough which would benefit from this…

  11. eusebiovic

    it used to be laissez faire bit is now Friedmanism — he gets paid for it. ironically it was the time of the chainsaw and scalpel — hand saw & scythe, the luddites, chartists and peterloo all happened during this period.
    the 20c has also had the same problems with this economic policy — shah to ayatallah in persia/iran, various and sundried in s america and many of the ‘civil’ wars in africa.
    Ian Tomlinson & the G20 war, kingsnorth and the stop’n search have undermined what little trust the law had — they are also going to cost a fortune in compensation and legal fees and the bunglers in blue complain about spending cuts.
    when will we learn? history says not

  12. Re the former Castle/Castle/Snug/Snug/Babushka/Pacific Bar/Stirling Castle on Church Street. Another bunch of suckers going to have their shirts torn off their back under the gaze of Enterprise Inns Plc.

  13. I’m not being weird in saying this. I REALLY hope The Recreation Ground works really well — for Camberwell and for the new owners — a really good music venue is really needed all round and will be a really good addition to what is becoming a really good area. REALLY.

    The new business will need to be reliably turning over £15K + a week to make it work for them. If they are tied and if they are paying the kind of rent I expect they will to Enterprise Inns, it will be tough for them. I really hope they manage it.

  14. ari

    It seems that all we are here for whether in life or death is merely to create landfill…anything else is uneconomic…


  15. J Mark Dodds@

    Now all somebody has to do is take on The Grand Union pub on Camberwell Grove and run it like a country pub (a good example of one of course!)

    That is all that site needs…no brands,no chains,no gimmicks — just a rural country pub in the middle of the place where you would least expect it — the urban metropolis

    I’m sure if the wealthy residents of the Grove gave enough of a shit they could all band together and buy the freehold to liberate it?

  16. The last thing we need is another pub. If you want to go to the pub, you go to the Hermits Cave. That’s it.

  17. Dagmar

    I agree

    Yes, The Hermits Cave is great

    However, the last thing we need is another grocery store given a licence to sell alcohol — that’s a problem, I prefer the consumption of alcohol to take place in public houses

  18. Some may remember I flagged up a few TV programmes about African evangelical churces and the issue of ‘witch children’.

    C4 Dispatches looks into what’s happening here in the UK. What’s the betting that Camberwell and Peckham will feature in the filming?

    C4, 8pm, tonight (Monday).

  19. Mark are you facilitating dodgy Labour loans? Isn’t that your pub there? Hot bed of Labour iniquity aka the Sun and Doves!


    Actually it looks like the Mail has put 2 and 2 together to get 3.14159265 or 7 or whatever vomit they are spouting today.

    Funnily enough the comment section is less damning… but the comments after are great…include words like “balderdash”.


  20. We were down at Le Petit Parisien last night for a sneaky mohito. The place was packed, with diners and drinkers spilling out over the pavement chairs, relaxing to the sound of live jazz. Pretty impressive for a Sunday night. And at the Bear on Friday, we couldn’t even get a table and had to sit at the bar. Both places had really nice, laid back atmospheres. Earlier in the week we were in the Tiger, which was also quite busy (though we personally continue to object to being denied a wine glass from which to drink our wine). Camberwell’s pub scene seems pretty good at the moment!

    And as for that ping pong table that’s been temporarily installed on Camberwell Green, let’s hope the council is inspired to install one as a permanent fixture. We have tried to play on it about 20 times and it’s always busy with groups of locals crowded around, playing with much cheery enthusiasm. If Camberwell has been lacking free, healthy entertainment for the post-playground generation, it seems to have found it in ping pong! I just dream that one day I’ll get a turn…

  21. We went to LPP a couple of weeks ago on a Friday and it was also impressively busy. I have to be honest, I didn’t think it was going to survive — but it seems to have turned a corner. BTW: their steaks are truly excellent. Pro Tip: The chef seems to cook them for British taste (that is, a little too much), so if you want yours nice and pink order it rare rather than medium.

  22. @MCat. Liking this hilarious quote!

    Last night when confronted at his five-bedroom home in Lewisham, South-East London, about the allegation of illegal workers, Mr osaseri said: ‘Get the hell out of my house.’

    Le PP. Yeah, I wondered if it would last too. It was empty for ages. Seems to be going OK at the mo. Mind you it did last summer as well, cos of the outside seating. Nice staff too. Wish they’d change those awful bucket seats inside though, which are also badly worn.

  23. Apropos of food (is that a word or have I just spoken Spaglish?) went to Love Walk cafe again.
    Still unimpressed. I find don’t understand a. why milkshakes and smoothies HAVE to be served in plastic.
    b. why when I ask if I can have it in a glass there is a vacant look on the waitresses face and of the manager’s too.
    c. How can you make a cup of normal tea taste awful? By using really cheap teabags apparently…

    Not really impressed.

  24. Throughout July we’ve been gathering your views on the latest proposals for Burgess Park, and incorporating them with the extensive consultation we’ve been doing over the last 16 months (more than 25 events and over one thousand responses in various forms). Some proposals have been supported, but there are others you were concerned about, and we have listened to you.

    We’ve proposed some changes and you still have until the end of this week to have your say.
    Tell us what you think by Friday 30 July.

    Send comments to: des.​waters@​southwark.​gov.​uk

    View the proposed amendments set in the final consultation here: http://www.southwark.gov.uk/downloads/download/2418/burgess_park_presentation

  25. Further to Eusebiovic’s comment, re: The Grand Union –

    Has anyone been in there recently? We were in there at the weekend, going to eat and get some drinks, ten minutes later we were still standing at the bar while the understaffed bar-persons tried to deal with cocktail orders, very slowly, and without acknowledging new arrivals at the bar.

    We left. This is the second time in a row that’s happened. That’s enough. I hope it shuts down.

  26. Norman Maine

    There is another branch of Grand Union on the corner of Brook Drive in Kennington (opp. Imperial War Museum) and the service is much better there and the place always seems to do a brisk trade…especially on friday & saturday…the one on Acre Lane in Brixton mirrors this, I’ve been told by a friend who lives around the corner from it.

    I can’t believe they took on the Grove though — their concept is an absolute disaster for such a location…Where do they get these people who make such bad decisions?

    As mentioned before, I believe that place just needs to be run as a good solid local along the lines of a country pub — it’s a no-brainer and no I don’t have a “qualification” to enable me to come to that conclusion!

  27. @Monkeycat: It wasn’t that busy. It was relatively early on a Saturday evening. That’s why we left. We thought there was no point staying around till it got busy. If it ever gets busy.

    @ Eusebiovic: Funny, I used to live on Brook Drive. That’s where they filmed the video for “Come On Eileen”.

  28. I’ve got a great idea for the Grove but not the 4,000,000 smackers to buy the place and make it work the way it oughtta.

    And YES it was at S&D that the fund raiser happened. Say No More.

    A serious plea for help: We have two Old Spot pigs being grown up to slaughter for The Sun and Doves. I wanted to do a butchery class, which seemed like a good idea six months ago but I’d not thought it through enough. That’s a lot of pig. More pig than we can hold.

    Does anyone know somewhere local where we can hold the sides in cold storage until they’re butchered? It would be for about ten days…


    And we’re going to do a wine and cheese evening for everyone interested in buying their pub http://www.flickr.com/photos/thesunanddoves/4437179086/lightbox/ excuse the hair

    When would be best for this? Saturday? Sunday? What time? Is August silly? Should it be mid September?

    I’ll give the story and where we’re up to.

    Remember Geno? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnoUlZnwYy4

  29. Anytime is a good time for the wine n cheese. I like August as it feels quieter. It’s a bit more of an autumnal thing though isn’t it if you have reds n things.

    Olympics a coming! But once you’ve seen the 2012 logo for what it is — Lisa Simpson sucking someone off — then it’s impossible to unsee it.

    Just think, some cretin got paid a lot of money for that logo, and a board of idiots approved it.

  30. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo!

    now I have images of a cartoon character performing fellatio in my head and it won’t go away…

    So very, very wrong.

  31. @ Mark, Maybe the Crypt under St Giles has a cold store.. if not perhaps the morgue at Kings?.. lateral thinking if slightly morbid.

  32. Oh Yay thanks Nick.

    Another little bit of fame comes trickling out of SE5. Anyone know this man:


    I do. Paul’s been a regular attender of SE5 Forum public meetings for several years. And of most other fora where nibbles can be found.

  33. I forgot to mention that Paul and I are facebook friends and we share the honour (admittedly along with lots of others) of being Community Champions for Southwark.

    Elevation indeed. Any more err, more practical suggestions for cold storage locally?

  34. Peter

    I saw that article in the H&P of the Evening Stagnant…And taking into consideration the latest core strategy shenanigans this paragraph stood out like a beacon:-

    “Shopping is not one of Camberwell’s strengths. The shops are clustered around Camberwell Green, Denmark Hill and Camberwell Church Street. There is a big Morrisons supermarket in the Butterfly Walk shopping centre; Sophocles is a Greek bakery; Cruson sells a wide range of fruit and vegetables; Pesh is a lovely flower shop; while Cowling and Wilcox claims to be the biggest art shop south of the river”

    Hmmmmmm (strokes chin)

  35. “There are people who live in Camberwell who could afford to live in Kensington, but choose to live here because of the quality of the architecture.”

    Pfffffffffff! Yeah right.

    Or does he mean they could only get a studio flat in Kensington so choose a house in SE5?

    God I hate estate agents. They really are the pits. Haart on Camberwell Green especially.

  36. BurgerWatch update.

    I tried a burger n chips at The Phoenix. It was OK. A bit too well done (doubt it was fresh mince anyway), not bad value considering the fries were included too, just a bit unremarkable.

    Prior to this we went to the GU recently. It was a good effort for sure, and my partner rated it higher than S+D, though I’m not sure why.

    For me it goes thus:
    1. S+D
    2. GU
    3. Tiger
    4. Phoenix

    4th was by no means bad though. We’re doing OK for pub burgers here.

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