Free Film Festival, Camberwell Union, the Grove Bridge, Wine, and Bikes

Camberwell Free Film Festival is back for another year. Starting on Thursday 15th, there will be a free screening every night (bar one) for the next ten nights—plus a special bonus (more on that in a sec)—at diverse venues across the neighbourhood.

I can personally recommend Ben Wheatley’s fun shoot-em-up Free Fire (showing at Cycle PS) and John Carpenter’s capitalist-critique alien invasion film, They Live (at The Cambria), and am looking forward to seeing the much-heralded growing up tale The Florida Project (at The Crooked Well) and the hand-painted animated biopic Loving Vincent (at Cafe at the ORTUS), but there’s plenty in this line-up to cater to everyone.

The bonus feature is The Shed at Dulwich, in which VICE journalist Oobah Butler managed to make a non-existent restaurant into the highest-rated on Trip Advisor—and then decided to open it for one night only. It’s a short film with two screenings at The Phoenix on Sunday 18th, each followed by a Q&A.

The full line-up of the Camberwell Free Film Festival is online, and there are posters and leaflets at selected venues around Camberwell. Most (all?) films are first-come, first-served.

Other News

Plans have been (re-)submitted for a huge new housing and mixed-use development on the site of Burgess Business Park. Camberwell Union promises 505 new homes (35% affordable—although that’s already being disputed as ‘not viable’), new streets and public realm, and mixed commercial, creative, and retail units (including a microbrewery). You can see the developer’s brochure [PDF], and follow or comment on the planning application by searching for reference 17/AP/4797 at Southwark’s Planning Search (which really should provide shareable URLs).

The former Nape site, on Church Street, looks set to reopen under the name Good Neighbour. Same owners, new management, from what I can tell from their licensing application. @foodstories on Twitter says there’ll be “a wine bar, sharing plates, mini pizzas, and music downstairs” but I haven’t seen any confirmation of that.

The bridge on Camberwell Grove looks set to remain closed for a while yet as Network Rail have said it requires further strengthening work before Southwark can start their reopening work—sometime in the Summer. The bridge should reopen in more or less the same scheme as before it closed, pending a longer-term reevaluation.

Update On 14th March Andy Pryor on Twitter let me know that he’d “got a letter from Southwark and Network Rail saying the works on Camberwell Grove bridge are set for 14th May — 2nd August, due to reopen to vehicles under 3 tonnes on 3rd August”.

Finally, while there’s no news yet on getting Santander bike docks in Camberwell, it seems Southwark have decided on a multi-operator model and will allow dockless bike-sharing operators Mobike and Ofo to begin placing bikes in the borough. Camberwell and Rotherhithe have been earmarked as the areas of initial focus.

Many Changes to Camberwell Green

Some changes are coming to Camberwell Green from this month. The long-awaited new library is set to open on the 4th November, somewhat delayed after unspecified ‘contractual issues’. The former library will close on 31st October, so there’ll be a few days without a library.

New Camberwell Library

But before that, work begins on the transformation of the Green. From 5th October until sometime next year the Green will be closed while the changes – part of a wider £11m regeneration of the area – are undertaken. The full plan [PDF] is available online, and you can compare old with new in the image below.

A satellite picture of Camberwell Green alongside a plan showing changes

The big change will be moving the playground from the East to the North side, enlarging it in the process. There will be feature walls around four major entrances, and a long wildflower meadow will be planted along the West edge (near Camberwell Road). The South will remain largely unchanged.

Just outside the Green, there will be a new pedestrianised area on the North East corner by the new library, and the South East corner will also be pedestrianised and made into a permanent ‘market square’ — hopefully this will allow them to also serve cooked or ready foods. While the Green is closed, the market will move to Datchelor Place, outside the Pigeon Feed.

Across Camberwell Road to the West, the new ‘Camberwell on the Green’ development has gone on sale. There are 96 new flats, with prices starting from an eye-watering £446,000 for a one-bedroom. On the ground floor of the development, on the East and South sides, there will be a number of new shopping units.

All in all, there’s going to be a new look to the Green over the next year.

As a minor postscript, Southwark have announced that all shop units in the new development, and existing units from the Green to the junction with Coldharbour Lane in the South, and to the Hermits in the East, have had change of use rights from A1 to A2 withdrawn. In a nutshell, that means they will not be allowed to change use to become “financial services such as banks and building societies, professional services (other than health and medical services) and including estate and employment agencies” — although they could still become pretty much anything else.

London’s southern star

There was an article on Camberwell in Metro’s property section a couple of weeks ago, which featured a few choice quotes from yours truly. I’ve scanned it and put it online for your reading pleasure; you can see the scan on Flickr or a PDF on Google Docs.

London's southern star

Thanks to the author, Andrea Dean, for helping me obtain a copy (I got my days mixed up and missed the article when it came out).