Thursday 7 April 2011 7.23pm
Whilst supporting the arrival of White Cube in Bermondsey Street
the residents of Royal Oak Yard would draw to your attention to the impact that this is bringing with it.
White Cube are awaiting planning approval and there is a planning committee hearing on 12 April. Yet - as anyone passing will see, the demolition has taken place, the roof has been replaced and the interior work is well underway. Today the foundations for a large workshop extension were being marked out no doubt ready to dig well before Tuesday without any proper notices being served.
It will all look very good from Bermondsey Street
yet White Cube have decided - after their presentation to the public in December - to do some other things. These include placing the largest 'compactor' possible in Royal Oak Yard, building a paint spray facility to the side into the yard and using the access to the yard for deliveries. In fact all the back end facilities that are rather unsightly, noisy and inconvenient.
Despite requests to consider repositioning these within the vast area available they have declined to consider the alternatives.
The excuses for their considerations are interesting:
They could not place the compactor in the larger space in lambs Walk as it would spoil their elevation.
They do not want deliveries off Bermondsey Street
as it will mean their staff walking too far.
It has left the residents, both offices and residential, about 50 strong concerned as to the disproportionate impact to the yard which has become a small local community.
The arrival of 8m delivery trucks with 5m long timbers into the yard presents a traffic hazard. There is only a narrow path for pedestrians at present opening off Bermondsey Street
and there are children and mothers with prams who need to use this entrance.
Despite requests for documents on 3rd March, these are still outstanding just 4 days from the hearing.
A request to Southwark for a postponement whilst reports from experts can be obtained has been ignored.
Reports showing traffic access were received today leaving no possibility for the residents to consult.
At a meeting with White Cube and their consultants DP9 a postponement was requested and was flatly refused.
There are substantial issues to this matter concerning rights of access which White Cube claim but have seen fit not to provide any evidence.
It is clearly a matter requiring more than arrogant posturing and has seen both the managing agent of the property, F W Gapp and the freeholder collaborating with us to highlight the unsuitability and disproportional impact of White Cubes actions.
All are now concerned as to how this application appears to have been taken for granted by White Cube who have carried out large a large proportion of the work before planning approval has been granted.
This is not a case of Not In My Back Yard - but it is a case of sustaining a community for longer than the 13 years that white Cube are offering the area.
Watch this space ...