Members of the Wells Way Triangle Residents Association have organised informal workshops to help local people look at the plans for redevelopment of Burgess Business Park on Parkhouse Street. The proposal, dubbed 'Camberwell Union' by the developers, would create 505 residential units. The developers claim that with target profit margins of of 17.5% for private residential, 16.67% on commercial, and 6.0% on affordable units - agreed as 'reasonable' by the council's 'viability consultant' - they would not be able to provide 35% affordable housing.
We would like to see a mixed use development here, with residential and workspace. But we have concerns about areas including:
- the precise details of any genuinely affordable housing - the viability statement in the application conflicts with the aspirations of the 'statement of community involvement'
- the capacity of local transport - buses along Wells Way cannot cope with current demand
- the height of buildings (some at 14 storeys) and the impact on residents in neighbouring streets through loss of daylight
- the impact on Burgess Park, overshadowing the nature reserve area
There also seems to be a lack of joined-up thinking from Southwark Council in terms of transport for the Wells Way area. Highways officers leading the Burgess Park South 'Healthy Streets' workshops in January and February were unaware of the planning application for 505 new homes adjoining the streets they were considering.
Huge thanks should be extended to the members of the residents association who organised the drop in workshops. It's a great contribution to local democracy. The planning application is very hard to navigate as an individual: it comprises 212 documents and if you download a named document it unhelpfully saves as a pdf with a mysterious title like The98c8.pdf. At the workshops, people looked at print outs together, and helped each other to work out how the plans were orientated.
You can consult the application by searching for reference number 17/AP/4797 at planbuild.southwark.gov.uk. Responses must be submitted by 9 March 2018.