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Building over anything green at the Bricklayers

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Tuesday 1 May 2001 8.08pm
The "site" I am talking about is just one street off se1's Searles Road, just between New Kent Road / Old Kent Road (Darwin / Chatham St). Amidst the urban surroundings, there is a large area of grass (not even a park really) that really adds an element of character to the surroundings, and is also the only place within any kind of distance where local children can actually play on the swings or kick around a football within what is otherwise a true inner city area.

Unfortunately it has transpired that the council have decided in their eternal wisdom to try to build housing on this remaining bit of grass, apparently in order to accomodate the overspill from the redevelopment of E&C... What is the sense in proposing to redevelop an area and then destroy the surroundings for the local residents!? This is partly to raise some awareness - but does anyone else know any more in terms of this? I know some residents have already been round getting signatures for a petition and most people in the immediate area have posters proclaiming "Save our Park"...
Monday 7 May 2001 7.55am
Hi Vad,
are you talking about the large triangle of grass open space opposite the old Globe Pub? I hope the council don't succeed in their plan, I lived nearby many years ago and was told that there was a large well behind where the old dairy was, opposite the Oil and Parafin shop,This if my memory serves me well (it does sometimes!) would be about seventy feet from the apex of the triangle. I hope their planners fall down the bloody thing.

I have seen the results of enthusiastic planners over the years, the destruction of the Bricklayer's Arms which consisted really of a whole community, not just a host of shops,two cinemas, (the old Globe commonly known as the flea-pit, they sprayed it regularly ) the other possibly called the Old Kent Road Cinema, pubs, and our beautiful library. ( I wonder what happened to the glorious stained glass windows, and inner stairs and shelving?)

By destroying the 'Brick' they ruined the Tower Bridge Road market, in Tower Bridge road they had wallpaper shops,clothing stores, jewellers and that very important part of cockney life the Pawn shop!

In effect they created the equivalent of the Berlin Wall.....
I know progress can't be stopped and is essential for human development, but visually green grass is far more appealing to the soul than bricks and mortar!

The children in London get a raw deal, they are deprived of open spaces to play, they cannot do what children outside of London take for granted and play outside in the street. If children are reared in a harsh unyielding environment they too may become the same.

Alterations to green space at the 'Brick'? yeah, more seats for people to sit, more beautiful trees planted, how about teaching London children more about nature and planting apple trees, pear trees, plum trees, chestnut tree, more wild flower planting so children can discover simple pleasures of picking a flower and enjoying the beauty that despite the planners still exists, albeit in smaller and smaller quantities....

sorry I did not mean to 'waffle' on! where's the petition!
Sunday 13 May 2001 5.29pm
Dear Vad,
I totally sympathise. I used to live around the area when I was very young and there is a real lack of greenery
and small parks for children to play in and for people
in general to relax in, in an area which is dominated by
flats and apartment dwellings green spaces are really important. I now work as a script writer (when I'm lucky enough to get paid work!) and have been mulling over the possibility of writing a drama set against the back drop
of the re development of Southwark. I'd really love to hear any other readers opinions on the development of the area.
How are the re-developments improving the quality of life of the local residents?
Any responses gratefully received and of course will be credited on the final script. If anyone would like to be interviewed let me know and I'll come along and tape the interviews.

Best Regards
Sarah MacGregor
Monday 14 May 2001 5.22pm
Does anyone know whether a petition has been started and if so where it is? I go past this triangle regularly and would love to support the residents. It has a tranquil air to it - amazing when you think how close it is to the Kent roads.
Wednesday 16 May 2001 2.35pm
I'm moving to that immediate area (hopefully!) soon, and would like to get involved in the fight to save the park - as it would be a real shame for it to get paved over - surely there's some brownfield space they can use nearby!

any details on petitions/public meetings anyone? (the street posters are a bit out of date).

Thursday 17 May 2001 8.52pm
I will try to find out what is going on with regards to the campaign / petition, and post details on the website as soon as I can. I agree that the area does have a tranquility, and I for one want it to stay that way.

Of course the area will undergo change, and it is encouraging to see some of the sensible development within the area (e.g. converting the old pubs on Chatcham, Mason Street), but one of the reasons I moved here is because of its genuine mix of people. Also, although way before my time, Jan's point about impact on the area from the "creation" of the Bricklayers Flyover should be enough for the council to learn from past mistakes - although I very much doubt it is an issue for them since it is unlikely any of them live in the vicinty...
Monday 28 May 2001 11.57am
Lambeth is no better than Southwark. We have just lost Albert Embankment Gardens, which is to become a hotel lobby, and Spring Gardens, Jubilee Gardens, and Lambeth Walk Open Space are all under immediate threat. We have fought off South Bank Employers Group proposals to build a private tennis on Archbishops park - justification was that according to MORI only 3% of people in the area use public open space, and most feel that there is no need for additional facilities for children and most people prefer 'built' leisure facilities!
We are now expecting Sports Action Zone to propose a full-sized Astro-turf football pitch plus two practice pitches with floodlighting to be placed right in the centre of the park. great for City workers, but no use to local residents who wouldn't be able to afford it. (And can someone tell our local MP that no everyone plays league football!) And I am still reeling from the shock of discovering that a group of consultants have apparantly submitted a report to Lambeth Council with plans for our park claiming to have consulted us, when we have never met. (Cross River Partnership who funded the report are equally surprised as the report was meant to cover Green Spaces around the new Vauxhall transport interchange, certainly not parks in SE1. )But where there is money there is greed.
If you are setting up a Friends Group I would be happy to give you a host of good contacts. The Government has just launched a task force on urban parks, and I think it is time that those of us living along the riverside regeneration belt drew attention to what is happening.
Thursday 26 April 2007 11.56am
This small park is still there and it's very nice. I hope there are no plans to build over it.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a contact at Southwark Council to enquire about this?
Thursday 26 April 2007 1.14pm
redshoes wrote:
This small park is still there and it's very nice. I hope there are no plans to build over it.
Does anyone have any suggestions for a contact at Southwark Council to enquire about this?

Hi Redshoes - As far as I know the Park and the adjoining bits of land were re-designated a couple of years ago, including the small corner which is set aside as a wildlife area. Certainly the local Tenants & Residents association (BATRA) take active interest in new planting and developments. There are also community gardening days from time to time to keep everyone involved.

if anyone would like to be involved in the next gardening day - a bit of light weeding, some new planting, possibly overhauling and re-designing some of the beds and some form of liquid & edible refreshments for your pains - then PM me and I'll keep you posted.
Thursday 26 April 2007 9.45pm
Is this the semi-circular patch of green that fronts on to the NKR, backing on to Searles Road? Ever wondered why it is semi-circular?

Until the NKR was widened, it was a glorious Georgian crescent of large houses with enormous gardens fronting onto the NKR. Paragon Crescent rings a bell, but may not be quite right.

Sorry, it's not that area at all, but I'll leave it anyway, for interest.
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