Dear readers, I was underwhelmed, when I should have been encouraged.
The model on display is entirely schematic - red and blue blobs to distinguish between commercial and residential areas, so you can't easily tell what the scale of most of the proposed development is likely to be.
I may have been unduly influenced by the attitude of the architect who was presenting it, who became overly defensive of the display when I gently pointed out that the boundary line of the "core area of opportunity and focus of regeneration" seemed to cut off the southern two bays of the Metropolitan Tabernacle.
And, to be fair, she in turn may have been p****d off, at the end of a long day, because a couple of elderly locals were turning to me, the articulate white thirtysomething man in suit and tie, as the obvious source to explain the plan. Most of the rest of her colleagues from Southwark and the various consultants present hardly seemed to be making an effort to engage passers-by.
I strongly recommend that you do try and catch up with the exhibition. If you are persuasive, they may even part with a regeneration newsletter and feedback form, and also a free CD-ROM of a PDF version of the 62 page "Framework for Development"
[This has large number of glossy pictures of squeaky clean aspirational urban developments across Europe set against the narrative. Unfortunately the darn thing is designed for large page format (but not large print) publication, so I wouldn't recommend trying to print it on A4 at home].
I'm still ploughing my way through it. Overall, despite the gloss this framework looks a lot more likely to be delivered than the SLR scheme of a few years ago. However, as MM suspected, it will be a good few years before the main project starts on the Heygate, shopping centre and station starts. We might as well start lobbying for a new lick of paint for the shopping centre in the meantime.
I was interested to see (page 18 in Section 4, that the owners of the London Park hotel (former Rowton House west of St Mary's churchyard) want to put a residential development on that site, and Southwark are looking at the opportunity for "a high quality 'gateway' development quite early on in the process of regenerating the area". The site is identified in the framework for "medium rise" (6-10 storeys), rather than "medium high rise" (8-12 storeys), with "high rise" (30 plus storeys) only being around the railway station. I wonder whether Southwark will manage to hold the developers to this if they are being spurred on by the Mayor to squeeze in extra housing.
It seems that car traffic will be banned from London Road. I can see that this makes sense, if the new tram route is to be accomodated, but how will this affect the businesses and people living in London Road. Shops and restaurants will need deliveries etc. Will access be possible 'off-peak'?
Yes, I saw the proposal to cut car traffic from London Road - which would mean turning St Georges Rd into a two-way road again. That's a bit of a shame, because with congestion charging, St GEorges' Rd is rather peaceful during the day now. On another matter, I haven't quite figured out where all the in-fill housing is due to be built, to relocate Heygate tenants. Surely that needs to happen quite quickly because they can't start demolishing the Heygate until there's somewhere for people to go.
From the "Framework for Development" on CD-rom - I don't write this stuff. The "South Newington Regeneration Cluster" mentioned appears to be the open spaces around Hanworth House (is it part of the Brandon Estate) at the junction of Camberwell New Road and John Ruskin Street.
" IPG 1.7HA: Housing: Relocation of Heygate residents.
Heygate Estate occupies a key area within the core site. It is proposed that as part of the redevelopment process that the buildings will be demolished and the existing social housing units (1,100 public sector) will be re-provided on key sites around the
Elephant & Castle.
As part of the Framework process a number of alternative sites have been considered. This information was presented to the Executive on 11 February 2003. As a result a list of key sites and locations have been confirmed as having the potential to deliver
new housing development to accommodate the residents transferred from the Heygate Estate (see Figure 6.4).
The majority of these sites are included within four new regeneration areas or clusters that have been identified as part of the Framework process (see Figure 6.4):
• Harper Road.
• St. Mary's Churchyard.
• Rodney Road.
• South Newington.
It is anticipated that the new housing proposed within each of these areas or clusters will be brought forward in the context of area based improvement strategies, each of
which will comprise a series of projects and initiatives designed to tackle issues including:
• Safety and security.
• Quality of the public/ private realm.
• Quality of existing open space.
• The upgrading of existing and the provision of new facilities.
• Traffic management and car parking.
It is anticipated that these area based strategies will be brought forward for consultation with local residents in the period to September 2003 and will be adopted within part two of the Framework IPG (see Figure 6.2).
In addition to defining the environmental improvement projects that will be brought forward in parallel with the implementation of the new housing development, each strategy will:
• Confirm the location and extent of each of the proposed housing sites.
• Contain building specific guidance for each of the proposed housing sites that will address issues including design, density, house type, tenure mix, energy efficiency, standards in terms of mobility, Lifetime Homes standards, treatment of the public/ private realm, and car parking."