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Letters to the editor: 22/09/16

Let’s show a united front against Renewal

With regards Alex Yeates’ article on Millwall’s so called regeneration, ‘Fight like lions’, (Southwark News, September 15, 2016).

When you read what the Director of  Renewal states that it’s a delivery of New Bermondsey, what does that mean? Simple, the one you know now is finished .

The amount of flats going up I’ve never seen in my lifetime and I’m 63. But they are not for the working class people who live in the borough.

It’s a form of  social cleansing, how can a Labour council support this?

Everyone who supports Millwall and social justice  must form a united front. This should be the small business,  people and anyone else who will be affected by the Compulsory Purchase Order.

Kevin Barry, Blackheath


There’s free football at Docklands Settlement

In response to Mrs Heather’s letter (Southwark News September 7, 2016) I should reiterate that Docklands Settlement is already providing three free sessions a week for local kids.

One in partnership with Millwall Community Trust,  which helps to keep around 25 kids ‘off the streets’ on a Friday night. The free football sessions and youth club also run on a Tuesday and Thursday evening – Mrs Heather’s grandchildren are welcome to attend.

Our pitch prices have also been reduced from £50 to £30 per hour on Friday evenings and at weekends in response to local demand – that’s only £3 per person if you play 5-a-side.

I don’t know how old Mrs Heather’s grandchildren are as she has never approached me directly about her concerns, however if they are too young for the football sessions already on offer and I can find funding I will be happy to put on another free kids football session. Are there any local businesses who could sponsor a football coach for this?

I won’t publicise our charges to Ballers Academy,  but I can say they get a very generous discount because their football sessions are for young kids. They also pass this discount onto the parents and are much cheaper than other football sessions in London or other similar after-school activities.

Mrs Heather should also understand that we currently provide free football activities to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people such as adults with disabilities, elderly people with dementia and young kids at risk, partly paid for by the money we raise from private pitch hire.

Ben North – Operations Director, Dockland Settlements


Peckham’s heritage at risk by poor planning

A rash of proposals for development are coming up across Peckham.

Taken together, these threaten the nature and character of the town centre.

An important part of the town centre’s character comes from the buildings that are reminders of Peckham’s long and varied past, from 17th and 18th century village properties to adapted Georgian houses and substantial Victorian, Edwardian and 20th century shops and arcades.

In 2011, after many years of campaigning by the Peckham Society, Peckham Vision and other local organisations, Southwark Council designated the Rye Lane Peckham Conservation Area, to give protection to this heritage.  However, developers continue to submit proposals that are out of character with the area and planning officers lack the tools to enforce its conservation status.

At a recent meeting of the Townscape Heritage Initiative, a Council scheme to improve historic buildings in the Conservation Area, it was recognised that the council has not developed any Supplementary Planning Guidance to give teeth to the conservation designation.

The council is in danger of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Today Peckham is thriving, with its unique townscape providing the backdrop for commercial activities and creative enterprise from a rich mix of cultures and backgrounds.  There is no doubt that much could be done to improve the physical environment.  But if the buildings that give the town centre its character are dwarfed and smothered by poor-quality new developments, there is a good chance that the dynamism of the local economy will also be extinguished and local communities will be displaced.

The council should urgently issue Supplementary Planning Guidance for the Rye Lane Peckham Conservation Area and adjacent areas where inappropriate development could have an impact.

Simultaneously, planning officers should be asked to review the conservation aspects of all planning applications within the town centre, with advice from conservation experts.  This exercise would provide valuable examples to feed into the new guidance.

Paula Orr, Peckham Planning Network


Olley’s Macmillan coffee morning

Olley’s Fish Experience on Norwood Road in Herne Hill, is opening its doors earlier than usual on Friday 30th September as it joins in with Macmillan’s World’s Largest Coffee Morning.

The chippy will have the kettle on from 8am until 11am and is inviting customers to pop in, put their feet up and enjoy a cuppa and a piece of cake in return for a small donation.

Amongst the many sweet treats available on the day will be freshly baked cakes donated by local bakeries Mimosa and The Roome, and for those that can’t stay, there is even an option to get a takeout.

Harry Niazi, Olley’s Fish Experience



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