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Village or Neighbourhood?

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Saturday 26 January 2013 8.55pm
In the Southwark and Bermondsety News there is an application to designate the Bermondsey Neighbourhood Area which needs to be defined. But Bermondsey Village Action Group is proposing a smaller more select area it seems.

The Neighbourhood Planning Regulations do not allow different neighbourhood areas to overlap, so through this consultation the council will decide which neighbourhood area(s)is most appropiate for n'hood planning.

Being a bit thick, who every gets the accolade of being a n'hood area by southwark council, will this excercise cost the ratepayers of southwark any money, especially in such financial straits we seem to be in?

Will they get grants etc.,?
Monday 28 January 2013 12.01am
I'm glad you posted that question.. because its been something concerning me too since I saw the agenda for next wednesdays' meeting of Bermondsey Community Council. There seems to be rather a land grab going on for Bermondsey at the moment. Of course under the Localism Act these organisations are perfectly entitled to put a case forward for designation but whilst I know that Southwark Council is under an obligation to support the process, the designated organisations and presumably their objectives there are all sorts of vagaries.. e.g. it may be 'inappropriate' for some areas to be designated. ( what is appropriate?) . At first I thought that the designation was principally in order for the organisation to have a heavier weighting on planning issues in their area but I now suspect that it is more to act as a conduit for the localism agenda at a local community level. Not necessarily such a bad thing ( in my opinion) were it not for the fact that it seems very unclear to me whether neighbourhoods and communities in non designated areas are to be cast into the shadows as a result. Will Southwark Council be channelling more resources into these 'designated' areas at the expense of other areas?
Over here in South Bermondsey, there is already some considerable consternation that we are being marginalised ( the Boundary Commission under its recently published proposals, consigning the ward of South Bermondsey to a neighbouring parliamentary constituency does not help confidence greatly!)
Monday 28 January 2013 9.11am
what is 'Bermondsey Village'? We live slap bang in the middle of town and Bermondsey (at least the 'real' Bermondsey which, shock horror, includes quite a lot of SE16) is certainly too big to be classified as a village; unless, that is, those gentrified folk of the Village are planning to erect some sort of fence around the 'Village' so as to designate it as such?
Monday 28 January 2013 9.22am
I received an email from Southwark Council about this last friday....highlighting the 2 differnet but overlapping areas....and telling me that although there was going to be consultation the final decision will lie with the council to decide with whom it wants to work with....hopefully the consultation will be better than what usually happens when planning decisions are taken.
Monday 28 January 2013 12.19pm
urbanite - are you able to share the contents of the email? Be interested to know where the overlapping areas are. I guess the issue should be somewhere on Southwark's website, but I just find the whole subject of sub-local government bewildering, so am not sure where to look. Thanks.
Monday 28 January 2013 12.23pm
Details here, Richard:

There'll be a write-up on this site this week, too.

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Monday 28 January 2013 12.41pm
Thanks as always, James.

As I live a few yards east of TBR both groups don't seem to speak for me. Not having Bermondsey tube, Grange Road, Abbey Street etc does seem a bit limiting on any claims to speak for Bermondsey. But guess you've got to draw the line somewhere...
Monday 28 January 2013 12.59pm
what about the rest of Bermondsey-seems to me neither can claim to represent the area
Monday 28 January 2013 1.05pm
In anybody's mind, does Bermondsey stretch as far as Borough High Street? I thought the area to the immediate east of BHS would be "Borough" neighbourhood or similar. L:ikewise, I find it had to see how "St Thomas Street" is the centre. I would have thought it might naturally centre on Bermondsey Street with Weston Street as a western boundary with someone more knowledgeable to suggest an eastern boundary. NKR/OKR might seem to be suitable southern boundaries and I can't see it stretching to Tower Bridge itself although I imagine Bermondsey Walls east & west would have to be included together with Bermondsey Spa and the old town hall!
Monday 28 January 2013 1.11pm
I've no brief for either neighbourhood plan group, but like the previous thread on this subject nearly two years ago, people got rather hung up on the Bermondsey name. This is a red herring, IMHO.

The issue isn't about defining where Bermondsey begins and ends - they are not saying 'if you're not in our neighbourhood plan area you are not Bermondsey' and I don't believe they are trying to claim the Bermondsey name for all time to the exclusion of all others - it's very much about defining an area that makes sense for a specific purpose.

If you feel that you want a neighbourhood plan for your area, you are as entitled to apply to set one up as anyone else.

The neighbourhood plans proposed in Bermondsey, Bankside, East Walworth (and more tentatively for Waterloo/South Bank) have the potential to be pioneers which make a real difference to the way planning policy is set - and to the Balance of power between residents and planning professionals of in inner-city areas like ours.

There's plenty of potential for a whole range of problems and unforseen consequences along the way too, though, and the whole process needs a lot of scrutiny and attention.

I certainly think that names are important, but I worry that by getting fixated on the 'Where is Bermondsey?' question there is a danger of losing sight of other important pros and cons of what is being proposed.

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