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Contractors start work on controversial Peckham Green housing development

Contractors started working on the site of Peckham Green’s controversial ‘infill’ redevelopment on Monday.

Protestors were out in force at the park near Sumner Road, known historically as the ‘Flaxyard site’ as hopes faded that Southwark Council would u-turn on its decision to go ahead with the new homes.

Southwark Council, which had purchased the site in the 1990s and earmarked it for new housing while temporarily designating it as a public park.

The local authority now plans to build 120 new homes on the green, of which 96 would be for social rent and 24 sold as shared ownership.

Campaigners, uniting under the banner of ‘Save Peckham Green’, have criticised the decision to build on green space both in terms of tree and biodiversity loss but also for the impact on residents. By Wednesday (August 11) trees, including the beloved ‘twisted tree’ have already been felled. Activists say more demonstrations are planned over the coming weeks.



Last week Southwark Council’s new council homes boss Stephanie Cryan said where to build new homes was ‘always a difficult decision’ but she and the council had to balance the needs and wants of residents against developments with the very pressing housing crisis which has left 15,000 households languishing on its waiting list.

Campaigners say a greater focus on bringing back empty homes into use and holding developers’ affordable housing pledges to account would help alleviate these pressures without creating densely packed new housing.

An open letter signed by more than a dozen campaigners, backed by CPRE London – the countryside charity – was sent to council leader Kieron Williams on Monday.

It noted: “Two global emergencies are severely affecting Peckham communities right now, COVID-19 and climate change. Both have emerged years after planning permission for development on Peckham Green was granted. This is especially true in a borough ranked fifth-worst in London for access to green space. The current pandemic is far from over, and it would be foolish to act as if COVID-19 will be the last pandemic Southwark has to face.

“Southwark’s 2019 declaration of a climate emergency means the Peckham Green development must be reassessed for health, well-being and climate resilience.

“It’s imperative the Council recognise our limited green space as part of its promised strategy for climate adaptation.

“Concreting over Peckham Green will only worsen flooding and the urban heat island. The potential for more trees to keep cool in heat waves would be lost forever.”

On Tuesday, Cllr Stephanie Cryan told the News there were 270 households on the housing waiting list in Peckham ward alone who could benefit from the new houses being built on the site, which had previously been ‘privately owned derelict residential land’.

“We have worked closely with residents and other stakeholders in the area to create the designs for the new development and we are confident that it will enhance the surrounding area as well as providing high-quality new council homes for local people,” she said.

“We know how important green spaces are for our residents, which is why we carefully assess the local area when we plan any new developments.

“Sumner Road Park and the start of the Surrey Canal Park are both within easy walking distance of the site, and all of the new homes will have either balconies or garden spaces.”



  1. Are these new properties that are going to build for people in southwark or will they be give to people that don’t live in the community. Because everyone one on the housing are waiting for a place and been on there a long time ,more then others .

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