Camberwell Town Hall: Have Your Say

Revised plans for the former Town Hall on Peckham Road have been released. They include an extension to the Theatre Peckham, a new cafe and art gallery, studios and workspaces for students and art businesses, and 120 student accommodation rooms and shared spaces. The main frontage will be preserved, except for the ground floor which will be opened up with glass.

Proposed front view of Town Hall

If you have any opinion on the proposed changes, there’s a public consultation open for the next few weeks.

Also, if you’re in the mood for giving your opinion, the London Assembly wants to hear your thoughts on London’s parks and green spaces.

And while we’re on the subject of participation, I’m still looking for volunteers to help out with a few posts on the blog. Have been in touch with a few people and have a few more to follow up on, but more offers would be very welcome. Email peter@​camberwellonline.​co.​uk or leave a comment.

Author: Peter

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

22 thoughts on “Camberwell Town Hall: Have Your Say”

  1. Looks good, includes sort of a local arts centre. Would be great if there were a performance space, which sort of looks like there will be. Not just a college admin block.

  2. I really hope it’s not more student accommodation — as Gabe said — there’s enough of that already. I don’t want to be living in the middle of a student campus.

    The theatre/ art space sounds excellent.

  3. I don’t mind students. At least I know how come the Peckham Pelican is busy.

    But yeah, more theatre and art is good.

    You kind of need students and all that vibez to have an art scene.

  4. Sir, if a man is tired of students, he needs a nice lie down followed by a nice cup of tea and perhaps a biscuit. If this does not revive said lacklustre fellow, sir, the special box of Quality Street must be fetched from the dark and dusty Sundays-only living room and he be fed his favourites therefrom. And if this does nothing for him, then, sir, there is nothing to be done.

  5. Yesterday 20303 and 20308 chugged through Camberwell pulling a flask. These gallant Class 20s, built between 1957 and 1968, are owned by Direct Rail Services who are owned by the authority in charge of disposal of nulcear waste, the NDA. The single flask was maybe on its way from Dungeness, which is running at half steam at the moment, so to speak, as an old Magnox reactor — to wherever nuclear waste goes. Chittagong?

    Class 20s were used particularly on the “Jolly Fisherman” seaside specials from Burton, Stoke, Derby and Leicester to Skegness. They are a good old carthorse, nicknamed “Choppers” by rail fans because of the helicopter sound they make on heavy haulage.

    Visibility is famously poor on Choppers, so there is often a video camera provided on board to help the driver see where he is gowing.

    There is a great little film of these two flask trojans, very slow-paced and atmospheric, like a scene from a movie by the great Tarvoksy.

    Some people are saying the flask contained Assad.–08/drs-20303–20308-passing-camden-road-station-16th-august-2013/

  6. Oh my days Dagmar!

    The suspense, waiting for 20303 and 20308 to come through Camden on the video was unbearable!

    Re Camberwell Town Hall, it could be brilliant. Very much like what we was campaigning for in the Camberwell Village Hall.

    Happy that there will be open access to it rather than it being made into part of Camberwell Arts School.

    If they call it anything to do with Peckham though rather than Camberwell I will start a revolution…(actually, I’ll probably splutter my tea out, mumble a bit and shake my fist in the general direction of Peckham).

  7. He has joined a sect? Or is the object of one?

    Victorian, yes, well spotted, you old be-hatted tweezer-wielder:

    “Timber seating will provide welcome rest bite for parents waiting to pick up their children from the theatre and the area will also benefit from improved lighting and cycle stands.”

    The splinters! Ow! I bet the bleedin’ architects didn’t think of that!


  8. Nice one Monkeycat.

    The Art College seems to be doubling in size every 24hrs at the mo and, whilst I love it, I’m no fan of monoculture. Seems to be heading that way though. Was gutted the Georgian ex-council buildings were made into halls and gobsmacked that the old Town Hall will be used for the same purpose to a large extent. I would have been all-for English National Ballet relocating there — they were interested in moving to the area when the Baths’ future was uncertain.

    And whilst Theatre Peckham is very worthy and log-standing I feel it has punched well above its weight to get the expanded new HQ. If it does move in it has to come up with a new name. Like Arsenal did. Feel bad for being so small minded but can’t help myself! Peckham BMX club at Burgess Park must be where it stops!

  9. Now that spelling correction systems have taken over meaning, it is indeed time we both embraced and embarrassed each other in the trouser department.

    Henry Blofeld the cricket commentator is known for his overblown colour palette in the pantaloonosphere or bloomerics, often pilloried for it by Aggers on TMS.

    There will be chance enough to embrace each other and compare shocking purple and giant plaid taste notes at SE5 FORUM AGM ON 25 SEPTEMBER 2013 AT 6.30pm TEMPLE BOWLING CLUB 1a SUNSET ROAD SE5 8EA.

    The very cream of Camberwell societair will be there, plus the 1% fat mob, the goats’ milk brigade with their whiff of the hills and the organics with their wind problems fore and aft.

  10. Can red trousers make you posh and land you a job in a bank? Or is it the other way round? Aspirational minds need to know.

    The BMX track is nearly always busy when I ride by in the evenings. So, basically, it’s a resounding success.

    Edit: Camberwell has bowling lawns and a bowling club? 4 real, like?

    Edit 2: I saw there was a vegan meals club in the SLG café the other night. That’s the right sort of gentrification, I’d say.



    7.30pm upstairs at the CAMBRIA PUB,

    Lambeth Council will be there to discuss the future management of Ruskin Park, as they are setting up a cooperative parks programme with a question and answer session.

    find out more here;

    We also need new committee members so please do come along and find out what is happening in your park. Join us to help make sure our park is here for everyone to enjoy.

    Refreshments will be provided

  12. One has to say, the Friends of Ruskin Park are a great bunch of people and one of the most entertaining, affable and diverse pressure groups not just in Camberwell but on the wholemeal planet.

    Their AGM is must on TUESDAY 24 SEPTEMBER upstairs at the fabulous Cambria pub.

    Most of the attendees will be there the following evening on WEDNESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 6.30pm for the SE5 FORUM AGM at the ethereal TEMPLE BOWLING CLUB 1a SUNSET ROAD SE5 8EA.

    These gatherings will show why so many people over the years rejoice in the Camberwell vibe — the Camberwell Varieties, so to speak.

    Don’t sit alone in your room, come to the cabaret, old son, downtown!

  13. Went to the SE5Forum meeting on Wednesday at another local hidden gem of a venue at the Temple Bowling Club…

    There was a presentation from a couple of persons from the architecture firm regarding the redevelopment plans for the town hall.

    It was a little sketchy but the plans did appear to have been quickly put together as an afterthought and didn’t appear fully fleshed out just yet.

    Peckham Theatre will get a minor increase from 150 capacity to 200 and will get increased changing area/rehearsal spaces plus a fancy new canopy at the entrance on street level.

    There will be some artists studios on site in the Victorian part of the town hall in the basement.

    There will be a cafe/gallery on the left hand window/room at the entrance on Peckham Road.

    Everything else will be student accomodation (90%?) run by the same firm who have already converted all the other council buildings across the road and adjacent.

    Finally, the old town hall debating chamber at the centre of the building is to be demolished — according to the presentation the architecture firm consulted “countless” opinions but it was decided that it was impossible to retain and make it work within the proposed new use for the building.

    I don’t think the ex-Gala Bingo idea should be discarded just yet…it’s a totally different proposal — After many decades of decline, cinema provision is expanding…especially in the very few town centre sites which still retain an original cinema theatre building…

    Cineworld have purchased Picturehouse and are looking to expand 🙂

  14. The Town Hall developers sound like they’re engaging in consultancy-wash (< new term I just made-up).

    Is there really a bowling lawn in Camberwell?

    There’s a good piece in the Architects Journal about Peckham Library 15 years on. If you look onlinz you can read it for free. One point they make is that people find the council drop-in center much more approachable than a more formal building such as a Town Hall.

    And with that circularity, this post is over.

  15. Isn’t the Debating Chamber a listed room? I am pretty sure that I read/heard somewhere that it needed to be retained because of its unique features. I can understand why it might not ‘fit in’ with student accommodation, but that’s as maybe. Could this is be a topic for the much maligned Camberwell Society Planning People to investigate?

  16. Also, this is what was said about the Town Hall sell off in 2010.

    The cabinet stipulated certain conditions to ensure that the important functions previously provided by the town halls continue:
    Southwark Town Hall, Peckham Road

    1. New council offices to be created in the centre of the borough for staff relocated from town halls and other not fit for purpose buildings.
    2. Retaining the option of access to the chamber in Southwark Town Hall as part of any deal.
    3. Seek new community facilities in Camberwell, possibly as part of a Camberwell Pavillion. These facilities could include a new community space, library, cafe and access to council services.

  17. The orchard should be replanted in the council chamber under hydroponic lighting. That would be the best artwork in London for years — the return of natural empathy to politics, I’d call it. Genius.

    The commitment of the SE5 Forum was impressive at the AGM. The committee has been expanded to meet the future prospects of Camberwell.

    Eusebiomate, isn’t that bowling club bar room just a brilliant little local? Long may it continue just as it is.

    We were all seated in round-backed, armed wooden chairs, which had the feel of wheelchairs with the wheels removed. Nevertheless, the local knowledge and canny commitment of the Forum will continue to move things on in the area to retain the character of Camberwell, which in turn attracts new people — new people! — to the area.

    The primary schools around here are really good, but why isn’t there a proper Camberwell secondary school that is truly inclusive, diverse and doesn’t just serve the few?

    That’s what Camberwell town needs, not a provincial arts centre, a cinema or another pretend pub.

    King’s Hospital, the Maudsley and the Institute of Psychiatry, the Camberwell Art College — I mean, Camberwell is a top place!

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