As Winter sets in, it’s time for Camberwell to do what it does best: arts and crafts. Plenty of events happening throughout December, and plenty of opportunities to buy locally‐made Christmas presents. If you have news of any more events, leave a comment below or talk to @camberwellblog on Twitter, and I’ll update this list.
Some enticing news, some good news, some bad news.
Plans for Camberwell Yards, the box park / container village project proposed for the area behind Butterfly Walk, have been scrapped. An email sent to some local residents says:
As you are aware, we have been working on this project for most of the year and have gone through extensive public and tenant consultations.
We have received a huge amount of interest and positive support for the project where the majority felt that this would be a beneficial addition to Camberwell.
At the end of an extensive reach, where we have also undertaken various surveys and reports including Transport and Noise Reports (following consultation of the Community) in order to support a planning application for this temporary project, we had hoped to submit the application for planning during September.
Unfortunately, our discussions with one key Tenant has proven to be unsuccessful as they feel that the project will not be compatible with their operation.
Therefore, it is with regret that we have to inform you that we will not be proceeding with this exciting project.
We would like to take this opportunity to all the people who attended the Consultation, and to all those people who have shown interest, co‐operated and supported our team in endeavouring to get this project off the ground.
It’s fair to say that not everyone was behind this idea—some with reason, others less so—but I would have liked to have heard more about the plans, so it’s a shame this didn’t progress a little further.
More info if I get it.
I first posted on this blog 13 years ago and, despite some help from many people along the way, have been running it mostly singlehandedly. There have been an awful lot of changes to the way people use the web since 2013, not least the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and the amount of work to keep it going has increased greatly.
Lately I’ve been finding it a struggle to balance the work required to maintain a useful resource across all the platforms, as well as having a full‐time job and keeping some kind of personal life. While I’m not planning to give it up any time soon, I wouldn’t mind asking for a bit of help.
I’m looking for volunteers on all the social channels. The work involved isn’t onerous; keep an eye on local news, share/retweet interesting stories, perhaps post the occasional bit of original content. If you’re a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram user who can spare a few minutes every other day or so, I’d hugely appreciate it.
It’s strictly volunteer work, unfortunately; I’m long past the stage where I could usefully earn any money from this. There are occasional opportunities to get invited along to events, but I can’t promise anything.
If you’re suitable and interested, you can leave a comment here, email email@example.com, or message me on any social channel.
Hope to hear from you.
Before I get started with the latest news round up, a quick word of apology for some misinformation in my previous post. I read about the proposed Camberwell Yards temporary development (more on that later) and saw it described as ‘box park’, which I (mis-)understood to be the actual Boxpark rather than a similar concept. To be clear: Camberwell Yards is a box park rather than the Boxpark. I corrected my post shortly after publication, but some people had already read it and reacted to it before my correction was made. For that, I’m sorry. And from now on, I’ll be referring to it as a container village.
Now, on with the news.
Safer Camberwell Green
This week TfL opened a new public consultation on their proposed changes to Camberwell Green, aimed at making it safer after it was named as one of 73 junctions in London with unacceptable collision records. You can see the main proposals in the images below, or download a PDF for higher resolution.
Many of the proposed changes involve widening pavements—especially welcome for bus stop L outside London Food & Wine on Church Street—and pedestrian crossings. The traffic islands to the north, east, and south of the Green junction will be slightly shifted and expanded to accommodate the new wider crossings.
More substantial changes include the traffic lights at the junction of Church Street with Grove Lane / Artichoke Place, which will be removed and replaced with a signal crossing some 15m west, nearer Sophocles. The signal crossing at the junction of Denmark Hill and Orpheus Street will be moved north, nearer to Butterfly Walk (this was originally announced a few years ago).
There will be a new signal crossing on Camberwell Road, from the mouth of Camberwell Passage to the Green. This will involve moving bus stop E 35m to the north.
The bus stop on the corner of Vicarage Grove and Church Street will also be moved some 9m west, sort of opposite Lumberjack, to make it safer to turn left—especially for cyclists.
Cyclists will also benefit from changes to the Green junction, with early release lights and 5m advanced stop lines (which I can tell you from experience are barely obeyed by a not unsubstantial proportion of motorists). There will also be two‐stage right turns for cyclists turning right onto Denmark Hill or Camberwell Road.
Finally, there will be a new cycle lane on Church Street heading west across the Green junction.
I think these are pretty decent proposals, but I look forward to hearing what everyone else thinks—and hope that if you have strong feelings about any of the changes, you let TfL know before 3rd September.
Southwark News have reported that the report into the proposed reopening of Camberwell Station has been pushed back by a few months, with a TfL spokesperson saying of a meeting between Network Rail, TfL, LB Southwark:
They’ve decided it needs a bit of extra work. It was a consensus of opinion between the three at the meeting. It will take a couple of months. Then it will need signing off again.
An article in a recent issue of Future Rail magazine, The Fight For Camberwell, has some interesting background on the reopening campaign, not least that Denmark Hill station saw some seven million passenger journeys in 2015–16—almost double the number from 2010‐11.
Southwark News also have a little more information on Camberwell Yards, the container village proposed for the small car park / loading bay behind Morrisons.
The reaction I’ve seen on Facebook & Twitter has been mixed, with many against it on principle because “it’s gentrification”. Which, to me, isn’t much of an argument because we don’t have any idea yet of what’s going to go in it, and the idea that ‘container village = gentrification’ smacks of dogma.
As an idea of what it could do for the area, the new Peckham Levels—set to open in the former car park above the cinema on Rye Lane this October—will host 70 businesses / organisations, of which 75% are from Peckham itself, and a further 10% from across Southwark. One of those businesses is our own Nandine, the Kurdish cafe on Vestry Road.
If the (much smaller) Camberwell Yards also supports local businesses in that way, I wouldn’t be against it at all.