East Dulwich

News and local candidate information for the wards of Champion Hill and Goose Green.

Latest East Dulwich news and views

Part of Green Dale. Photo: Friends of Dog Kennel Hill Wood

Southwark Green Party has submitted an objection to the planning application to build a new stadium on Metropolitan Open Land on Green Dale. This Site of Importance for Nature Conservation is in East Dulwich, roughly between the large branch of Sainsbury's on busy Dog Kennel Hill and the pedestrian and cycle-path between Champion Hill and Dulwich that's also - very confusingly - known as Green Dale.

We were proud to give German MEP Terry Reintke a badge celebrating the long friendship between Dulwich Hamlet and the German club Altona 93, on her visit to Peckham this summer.

We support Dulwich Hamlet Football Club as a pillar of the local community, and celebrate its special character as inclusive and socially progressive. But we are not convinced that this plan is any more sustainable for the club than previous ones, and would rather see investment in the clubhouse, bar and sports centre to help support the club.

Where will the local footballers and fans of the future go for a kickabout, when the proposed Multi Use Games Area is just 5% of the size of the existing free access astroturf pitches?

Local resident and Green Party member Eleanor Margolies has written about the value of Green Dale for local residents here and the Friends of Dog Kennel Hill wood have written a thorough account of the many reasons for objecting to this proposal here.

We gave Southwark Council the following key reasons for our objection:

1. Undermining protection of Metropolitan Open Land

The loss of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) has become a worrying trend in recent years. The Council for Protection of Rural England's 2014 Green Belt Review notes the large volumes of open space that have been lost in London since 2009, with MOL accounting for the largest proportion of this.

Open spaces in general and MOL in particular contribute significantly to the physical and mental health of residents of Southwark and of London. The MOL designation, as you will be aware, is is intended to protect areas of landscape, recreation, nature conservation and scientific interest which are strategically important. Green Dale was designated as MOL for good reason, and twice previously developers have been refused permission to build on Green Dale fields. The intention to protect it should be upheld. The coherence of policy should thus be maintained, along with the integrity of protected designations.

This is a point that we have made before in previous applications (March 2017) relating to this site, so it's disappointing to see a further application that seeks to overturn this principle. We hope the council will not entertain  such backwards steps.


2. Loss of community and social benefit

The current use of the site adjoining Green Dale for Dulwich Hamlet Football Ground and the open astroturf pitch is part of an arrangement to compensate the local community for the loss of open space when the Sainsbury's supermarket was built. Again the recognition of this social contract needs to be respected rather than overridden by any new development, lest Southwark becomes a borough where the needs and amenities of local communities are constantly eroded.

The borough of Southwark has one of the highest levels of adult and child obesity in London, with more than 40% of children overweight and obese when they leave primary school, compared to 33% nationally. Nearby facilities for informal sports have been taken away (e.g. for building new blocks on the East Dulwich Estate) making the public 'turn up and play' pitches on Green Dale more essential than ever.

The proposed Multi Use Games Area MUGA is 5% of the size of the current astro turf pitch. This reduction in publicly accessible sports facilities goes against policies 2.1 'Enhancement of community facilities' of the Southwark Plan 2007, Strategic policies 4 'Places for learning, enjoyment and healthy lifestyles' and 11 'Open spaces and wildlife' of the Core Strategy 2011, and Policy 3.19 'Sports facilities' of the London Plan 2016."

3. Unique character of Green Dale scrubland

The London Wildlife Trust views Green Dale's area of unspoilt scrub and grassland as unique in inner South London. Southwark Council have designated it a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. At a point where the benefits of re-wilding parts of our environment are increasingly being recognised across London and around the world, the developers' proposals threaten to take Green Dale in the opposite direction. Southwark could lose a unique area that supports - according to ecological assessments - foraging birds, bats and small mammals including hedgehogs. The developers' 'investment' risks turning this into a sanitised identikit space of the kind already spread across the borough.

High numbers of Southwark residents live in flats with no access to garden space. Green Dale is adjoined by two large council estates (circa 1,500 flats in blocks) and provides a crucial opportunity for local children to experience the natural world through professionally led bird- and bat-watching walks, supervised conservation work and independent exploration.

4. Further policy conflict

We note that Southwark councillors unanimously declared a climate emergency in March this year, with the aim of making borough carbon neutral by 2030. Doing away with protection of MOL and green spaces would undermine efforts to meet that target.

5. Compensatory benefits are questionable

We support the growth and prosperity of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club. However, we do not see clear evidence that the new larger stadium would be more sustainable for them than the current one. We do not want to see the club bite off more than it can chew by taking on new overheads that it may not be able to afford in the long term.

 

See also

Friends of Green Dale The site includes reports on the wildlife and trees on Green Dale

Friends of Dog Kennel Hill Wood

Derwent Grove before and after the commuters go home – photo courtesy of @edstnparkingDerwent Grove before and after the commuters go home – photo courtesy of @edstnparking

If you live in Peckham West or East Dulwich, you will have received a consultation survey from Southwark Council, called “Parking zone and healthier streets.” The Peckham West consultation closes today; the East Dulwich one on 28 February.

The council explains the reason for the consultation: they have received many requests for permit parking from residents in East Dulwich since 2015 and they expect parking pressure to increase.

Please respond to the consultation. Here are some points you may wish to consider.

david_jennings_green_screen.jpg

The playground of Goose Green Primary School in East Dulwich is full of activity: there’s a water area where children can create rushing rivers or meandering streams and a music station with percussion and wind instruments, as well as plenty of joyful running about for no apparent reason. But the playground is adjacent to a very busy road carrying 5 bus routes, a main route between Camberwell and the South Circular. It’s one of 1,148 schools in London within 150 metres of roads carrying 10,000 or more vehicles per day.

In 2017, David Jennings and Eleanor Margolies, members of Southwark Green Party, measured nitrogen dioxide levels outside the school as part of an area-wide study.

A new secondary school for our area has been approved by the government after two years of hard campaigning by local parents, with over 1500 choosing the Charter School to be the provider as opposed to national academy chains. But the shortage of school places continues to be a major concern for local parents.

East Dulwich local candidates

Below is information about the Green Party 2018 local election candidates for East Dulwich wards.

Champion Hill ward candidates

The Green Party candidates for Champion Hill ward in the Southwark Council elections on Thursday 3rd May 2018 are Michael Millar and Alex Howard.

Michael Millar

Michael Millar is a retired NHS hospital doctor, who has lived in Camberwell for 18 years. His support for the Green Party comes from a desire to ensure that the natural world that our children inherit is rich and diverse, and that the potential to live well is not constrained by environmental damage. Cycling is his main mode of transport and he strongly supports further development of the cycling network in London. He continues to support medical research in a variety of ways and has become increasingly concerned about the relationship between inequality and ill health. He favours those social, housing and educational policies which help children develop their full potential, and which reduce inequality of opportunity.

Alex Howard has lived in Southwark for 20 years, in Camberwell and East Dulwich. Alex is a manufacturing systems engineer and management consultant, specialising in sustainability. He also runs a social enterprise, Engines for Good that seeks to promote retrofitted electric vehicles as a low cost, low carbon transport solution. Alex is committed to living sustainably and building green communities for all. He has school-age kids and is actively working with the new local secondary school, The Charter School, East Dulwich, promoting sustainability issues. He has campaigned for solar panels on local schools, and helps run monthly Play Street road closures. He is also a committed cyclist. Alex says: “Like many of us, I am shocked and ashamed at our country’s lurch to the far right; the Green Party is a truly progressive, inclusive party that seeks to address the biggest issues, which affect us all, locally and globally.”

Goose Green ward candidates

The Green Party candidates for Goose Green ward in the Southwark Council elections on Thursday 3rd May 2018 are David Jennings, Dale Latchford and Rose Ades.

David JenningsDavid Jennings has lived in East Dulwich for over ten years. He has played a key part in Southwark Green Party’s campaigns on air quality. Most recently he coordinated the monitoring of air quality at Goose Green Primary School — in support of the successful campaign to install a ‘green screen’ between the play area and the road — and the public playground. David wants to ensure that open spaces like Green Dale, which function as lungs for the community, retain their protected status as Metropolitan Open Land. David is an occupational psychologist and creates online learning courses for trade unionists and teachers. Follow David (@GooseGreenGP) on Twitter...

Dale Latchford writes: "I have lived in East Dulwich since 2012, having moved to be nearer family and enjoy the cleaner air, lovely parks and open spaces. I have been pleased to discover a brilliant, vibrant and compassionate community here. How lucky we are! I began volunteering at the Copleston Centre in Peckham, where I started as a support worker engaged on mental health and wellbeing projects. Primarily my role was to run the café and spend time with local residents. I was then invited to join the Management Committee as a trustee and became an active member of the Fundraising Committee. I hope to develop a social enterprise model to deliver community-based early intervention programmes targeting early stage depression, anxiety and stress within a community setting. I am an Executive Search Consultant and Coach by profession, providing recruitment services and structured advice. In my spare time I have studied Psychotherapy and Counselling at Birkbeck, University of London, and qualified as a Cognitive Behavioural Coach. As a Green Party member I have a passion for improving the wellbeing of local people. I am acutely aware of the role that our physical environment (pollution) and political and social systems (housing and education) play in our lived experience. I feel it is important to battle on all fronts, and demand the best lives for ourselves, our children and every member of our community."

Rose Ades came to live in Southwark nearly 30 years ago. A journalist and solicitor, Rose has been active in a variety of community projects and campaigns in south east London that bring people together in conserving the environment, making the most of natural resources and improving transport, accessibility, and public health. As Head of the Cycling Centre of Excellence at Transport for London Rose helped to make cycling a popular and practical form of transport for adults as well as children.


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