Revitalise Camberwell

So there was a fairly good turn out at the Camberwell meeting, about 40 local folk I reckon, including Mark & Barbara from SE5 forum for Camberwell as well as Nick Holt from Camberwell Society and Val Shawcross our local London Assembly member. There has been a lot of study over the last 5 months about how Camberwell is used – traffic, crime, noise, shops, pedestrian flows, accidents etc. All these stats have been collected by the council so that they can use the findings in future planning options for the town centre. There are no plans yet as they are still in the data collection stage but there should be three options on the table, which we will all be consulted on, in about another 5 months.

At the end of the session there were 4 workshops: Buses, wasted space, cycling and Danville Road. Perceived problems and suggested solutions where written onto maps in these four areas. The findings from this exercise along with the piles of stats will be used by planners to produce the three scheme options.

Its slow, massively bureaucratic and there is no fixed timeframe (talk of 2014 for possible delivery depending on complexity) but we are lucky in that the people working on this, Sally and her colleagues seemed to be enthusiastic and switched on. They are trying to understand the complex area and they seem to genuinely care and want it to be a success.

8 thoughts on “Revitalise Camberwell”

  1. “Magic” Nick the Vicar was there, also Mark “Pub Landlord” Dodds and “Millwall” Jes.

    Barrie Hargrove introduced the show — he is Southwark Council Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and is an all-round good egg, well, an egg-shaped egg, a long-serving and highly knowledgeable local Labour man of the old salt.

    The meeting was largely about details — removing phone boxes that no longer work, recording the chicken count where people cluck across the road to catch a bus, in front of the bus they want to catch.

    The council planning team were really on the ball about detail. Half of them were from a place called Australia and had a very sunny “can do” disposition.

    There was a brilliant “meeting jewel” moment when the loud-sirens issue was being discussed and an ice-cream van piped up outside like the Pied Piper of Hamelin on wheels.

    This session was not about big, Elephant or Canada Water regeneration. It was more a case of, “Why did the Camberwellian cross the road?” “To get a bus to Millwall, of course — there is actually going to be a large redevelopment there, where there is space for it, happening quite soon.”

    The council are to be congratulated for paving the way, so to speak, for any large change to happen in the future when there are funds from a better economy.

    It would seem that Camberwell is a large, busy, interesting crossroads where it is possible to be both a friendly villager and totally anonymous. We are lucky. We are a long way from the claustrophobic, petty-bourgeois, cloacal-nodal, social-noose kind of settlement — to give it its formal situationist name — that pepper the land with their moaning, stasis and inward-looking pong.

    If we want, within minutes, we can be on the way to somewhere entirely else — New York, Paris, Peckham, Dulwich, London.

    Camberwell would seem to be a thermometer or barometer of the economy, a sort of canary in the wharf. When times go well, so does Camberwell. The BBC2 programme about the Grove on 13 June will demonstrate that.

    So here’s to the people, as the Queen would say.

  2. How thoroughly uplifting all of that sounds. Here’s the Camberwell, the latest phoenix from the flames! Looking forward to hearing more opinions on whether the meeting was a success

  3. All sounds great thanks for the updates. Could I ask what the bbc 2 programme will all be about?

  4. It was like this Ben: I wrote a post about the meeting, read it through, thought better of it; rewrote it; read it, thought better of that too. Binned it. Gave up.

    Camberwell is as tied as if it were managed by a pubco.

    Less stubborn, more fruitful voluntary projects are around where spending time and energy will actually get something done.

  5. I’ve lived on Camberwell New Road since 2006 and most of us along the road have noticed that ambulance sirens have reached ear shattering decibel levels, presumably because car drivers can’t hear them. The noise is unbelievable. It’s now become so intrusive into our living rooms — even with double glazing! I know people who’ve had enough and are considering moving out just on this issue.

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