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Neighbourhood forum consults on future of Long Lane

Opportunities for future improvement and development of Long Lane have been set out in a consultation document from the Bermondsey Neighbourhood Forum.

The consultation document Long Lane: Opportunities for the Future looks at the history, environment, heritage and character of the street and the opportunities to improve and develop the area.

In particular it looks at 22 sites along the road including derelict and vacant plots – and also how to tackle traffic problems and make the area better for pedestrians.

The neighbourhood forum launched the consultation process on Saturday with a drop-in event at the former housing office on Long Lane – a site which has already been earmarked for new council housing.

Further consultation events will include a presence at the Bermondsey Street Festival on 22 September and work with tenants' and residents' associations during the autumn.

"We know there's a big push for development in Southwark, particularly our part of Borough and West Bermondsey," said John Corey, chair of the Bermondsey Neighbourhood Forum.

"We want to get as many people's views as possible on how Long Lane should evolve in the future, taking into account the history and overall context of the area.

"Our aim is to answer the question 'What could be done along and around Long Lane?'. We want to prompt further debate and consultation by identifying particular issues at sites along Long Lane and to suggest various options for each site. We are also interested in general views concerning Long Lane as a whole.

"We've been making the most of the opportunities given by the new Localism Act to put planning in to the hands of the people who live and work in the area. The Government has supported our work by making Bermondsey Neighbourhood Forum a 'frontrunner' planning group last year and we are the first such group in central London.

"We've grouped the neighbourhoods that the forum covers from the river down to Bricklayers Arms into nine different action areas. We started looking in detail at Long Lane as our first action area because it lies at the heart of our neighbourhood and captures so many of the issues facing this part of London."

The Bermondsey Neighbourhood Forum recently began the process of seeking formal recognition from Southwark Council of its status as a neighbourhood forum as defined by Localism Act.

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