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Southwark’s draft plan is a builders’ manifesto, claim Greens

Campaigners have recently been fighting the council over the future of Paterson Park, Canada Water and the Downtown area green space. People in Southwark still have until the middle of February to respond to the council’s Supplementary Planning Guidance on open spaces.

Southwark has one designated Local Nature Reserve, at Sydenham Hill Wood. The Greens want the following areas to be Local Nature Reserves , which will give them ongoing protection and proper management:

• Dawson’s Hill,
• One Tree Hill,
• Camberwell Old Cemetery,
• Nunhead Cemetery be proposal sites for Local Nature Reserves

These Local Nature Reserves will have a presumption against development and Jenny believes that the a further list of areas of Borough Open Land should be given similar protection on the proposals map (listed below).

Jenny Jones said:

“Southwark is in danger of being over run and over shadowed by concrete. As the surrounding residential and business population increases, the pressure on these spaces increases. They are important for public health, wildlife, and childrens’ play space and as areas of relaxation, socialising, and recreation. The lack of protection in the Southwark Plan leaves them vulnerable, as they are not protected specifically by the policies on Borough Open Land.”

The lack of identification leaves them vulnerable, many of these sites have previously faced planning proposals, or attempts to sell them by the Council or their other owners. The omission of these sites, will be detrimental to their protection and their public recognition and management.

Many play spaces and community gardens will be threatened because of the failure of the plan to sufficiently provide for the protection of Grounds within housing estates and residential areas: including verges, playing fields, and hard-surfaced recreation areas. This is because these areas are going to come under increasing pressure to be developed with infill developments, or lost to redevelopments. An example of this is the 25 ‘early housing sites’ which have been identified in the Elephant and Castle area (most of them green, play and community spaces near to council estates), for the decanting of tenants from the Heygate Estate.

Southwark Open Land that should be protected includes
the Bricklayers Arms Ecology Area; Paterson Park; Galleywall Road Nature Garden; Goldsmiths Road Nature Garden; Aspinden Road Nature Garden; Nairne Grove Nature Garden; McDermott Road Nature Garden; Coburg Road Nature Garden; Dickens Square; Elba Place nature Garden; James Alleyns Girls’ School Botany Garden; Centre for Wildlife Gardening; Lettsom Gardens; Benhill Road nature Garden; Leathermarket Gardens; Mill Pond; Countisbury House Lawns; Belair Park Lake; St James Road Allotments; One Tree Hill allotments; Friern Road Allotments; Sydenham Hill Allotments

ENDS

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