New cameras are being introduced in the Rotherhithe Tunnel to increase safety and deter vehicles that don’t meet the safety restrictions from using the route.

Vehicles that are more than two metres (six foot six inches) wide or two metres high, or goods vehicles weighing more than 2 tonnes, are not safe to travel through the tunnel.

From early February, enforcement will be carried out by the new cameras and people driving vehicles through the tunnel that do not comply with the restrictions could be fined up to £130.

The tunnel, which was built in 1908, was not designed to cope with modern levels of traffic. In September 2018 TfL carried out detailed analysis of the tunnel’s ventilation system, which would be used to extract smoke and other dangerous fumes in the event of a fire. This showed that new restrictions were vital to ensure road users could continue to use the tunnel safely, whilst TfL works on plans for the tunnel’s future.

By not complying with restrictions at the tunnel, drivers are putting themselves and others at risk.Enforcement officers have been present at both approaches to the tunnel since the new restrictions were introduced to assist drivers and prevent vehicles entering the tunnel that do not comply.

Officers have turned away an average of 600 vehicles a day since September. Drivers whose vehicles do not meet the restrictions are advised to use nearby Tower Bridge or the Blackwall Tunnel to cross the Thames. The congestion charge does not apply to either crossing.

Glynn Barton, TfL’s Director of Network Management, said: “Safety is our top priority and these restrictions are absolutely essential to ensure that people can continue to use the tunnel safely. People driving vehicles through the tunnel that do not meet the restrictions are putting both themselves and others at risk. I would encourage all users of the tunnel to check that their vehicle is below two metres in height and width, and that goods vehicles are less than two tonnes in weight, so that they are compliant when the new cameras are switched on.”

Proposals to rebuild Rotherhithe Primary School with expanded premises for an extra form of entry are now being considered by the council’s planning department.

The existing buildings date from 1971 and are said to be beyond viable refurbishment.

The new school – facing Hawkstone Road – has been designed by Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios.

The architects say they have drawn on the area’s history when developing their vision for the new school:

The ribbon of the garden wall wraps around the site creating a protected central courtyard evocative of the historic basins and dry docks which were once carved out of the Rotherhithe peninsular. The organic shapes and materials of the landscape flow into the ‘basin’ of the courtyard which is framed by the more rectilinear walls of the building, inspired by the retaining walls of the dry docks and Brunel’s engineering legacy.

See planning application 18/AP/3792 for further details.

Southwark Council is consulting on proposals to build around 8 new homes – to be let at council rents – on the site of the old area housing office on Abbeyfield Road.

Initial proposals – by Bell Phillips Architects – were shown at an event in December.

The display boards are available to view online and the closing date for comments is 24 January

With a year to go until the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Rotherhithe, a £140,000 fund has been launched to help local people to get involved with the commemorations.

The Mayflower set sail for America from Rotherhithe in July 1620. Captain Jones and many of his crew also lived there, making London central to the historic voyage.

global programme of events is being organised for the lead up to the anniversary, this will run from November 2019 to November 2020 and include a programme of activities taking place across the UK, the Netherlands and America.

Southwark Council, United St Saviour’s Charity and British Land have worked together to establish a Southwark Mayflower 400 Grants Fund, making £140,000 available to local projects celebrating the themes of migration, tolerance, enterprise and community, for the international Mayflower commemoration event. 

Cllr Rebecca Lury, Deputy Leader of Southwark Council, said: “I am delighted to open the first round of Mayflower 400 funding and welcome local people to join the global celebration of Southwark’s history with the Mayflower. 

“I believe the pursuit of the universal concepts of freedom, liberty and justice are just as relevant now as they were when the ship’s Captain, Christopher Jones, sailed the Mayflower from his home in Rotherhithe, carrying people escaping persecution to America in 1620.

“We hope this funding will help bring the story of the Mayflower to generations to come and that the community connections established throughout Southwark’s celebrations, will form the foundation of many friendships and future activities.”

The council is inviting community groups, tenant and resident associations, faith based organisations, schools and arts, cultural and heritage organisations in SE16, to consider how they could use the Mayflower’s heritage to create meaningful and exciting projects that enhance and highlight its stories for a local and international audience. Projects from groups in SE1 and those based outside the immediate area may also be considered.

People working on smaller activities and events can bid for up to £1,000, while bigger projects and events will be eligible of over £1,000. All initiatives must include a live event or activity to take place in the lead up to the anniversary of the Mayflower sailing in November 2020. They should also take place within the SE16 area or areas of Mayflower significance in the wider SE1 area.

You can find the application criteria and apply for Mayflower 400 funding here: https://www.ustsc.org.uk/mayflower-400-grants-fund/

Plans to light up some of Rotherhithe’s landmark buildings to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower in 2020 have moved a step closer.

More than £30,000 has been raised to allow a feasibility study to be undertaken. £20,000 has been contributed by the Greater London Authority with the balance coming from local people, businesses and organisations.

WE HIT OUR TARGET TODAY – 3 DAYS BEFORE MONDAY’S DEADLINE – AND WE’VE EXCEEDED IT!  We never believed for a moment that it would be possible to raise such a significant sum in such a relatively short space of time, but thanks to YOU and all the other 176 generous pledgers we have actually managed to achieve our goal.  
 
We are now in overfunding mode!  This is a wonderful – and very unexpected – position to be in.  It will still be possible to make a pledge for the next couple of weeks, and as stated on our Spacehive project page all the additional funds will be held in reserve to put towards the cost of the installation of the lighting scheme later on, after the technical feasibility study has been completed.  

It’s been suggested that there is potentially funding available in another mayoral funding pot to cover part of the cost of the installation, and last week I was given a promise of corporate financial support for the installation, which is very exciting! But there is lots more work to do.

We want to move the process forward as quickly as we can now, and we are still hoping that there might be time for this legacy lighting scheme to be installed by July 2020 when the Mayflower 400 celebrations/commemorations begin.  We have already arranged to meet with the conservation architect and the lighting designer in January to discuss next steps.  And if you would like to learn more about the proposed scheme, evening lighting demonstrations will be available for local friends and neighbours – and for anyone else who’s interested – before design development.
 
Please help us by sharing this good news with all your networks and your social media.  
 
THANK YOU AGAIN for your support and for your enthusiasm and for making it possible for us to take our exciting vision forward to the next stage.
 
Festive greetings and very best wishes for 2019.
 
Clare and the Illuminate Rotherhithe! campaign team

Here’s the update that Clare Armstrong – who devised the project – shared with backers on the Spacehive crowdfunding site:

New plans to demolish the long-closed Albion pub at the corner of Albion Street and Neptune Street – and replace it with a four-storey block of flats  – have been submitted to Southwark Council.

The Albion pictured before closure
The latest proposals

A planning application for the redevelopment of the pub was submitted in spring 2017 but was withdrawn before a decision was made.

Now revised plans have been submitted to the council under reference 18/AP/3984 by George Macari of the Albion Pub Co.

In 2016, Southwark planners had advised that “the existing building carries certain architectural qualities that offer visual interest to Albion Street therefore the building is considered a non-designated heritage asset”.

Justifying their proposal to demolish the pub, Michael Trentham Architects argue that “the Neo Tudor style is a pastiche design and out of keeping with the overall character of the area”.

“The current public house was built in 1928 and is a typical plain example of the interwar Neo-Tudor public house design that was very common. It lacks the simple integrity of the surrounding buildings.”

Canada Water

Southwark’s cabinet this week approved the Canada Water Regeneration Charter, the first in a series of document setting out how the council will work with partners on measures to improve residents’ health and economic wellbeing in parallel with the major physical development schemes. 

“It is important when regeneration and change comes to our borough that key strategic partners are aligned with the priorities of the council and the community, and setting their sights high in realising a wide range of tangible benefits for existing communities,” sais Cllr Leo Pollak, cabinet Member for social regeneration, Great Estates and new homes.

“The Canada Water Social Regeneration Charter, developed with British Land, presents the results of a series of intensive consultation exercises reaching thousands of local people, and identifies a number of emerging priorities for the redevelopment – among them supporting new enterprise and skills development initiatives, creating new opportunities for young people, and spreading the benefits of new investment to neighbouring estates.”

You can watch the cabinet discussion on this page, and all the documents are available on the council website.

Plans to revitalise the Blue have received a £2.3 million boost from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund.

The funds will help Southwark Council, the Blue Bermondsey Business Improvement District and Community Opportunity continue their work to enhance the market and cluster of shops at the heart of South Bermondsey.

City Hall says that the grant will support efforts to “turn Bermondsey’s historic town centre and street market into a thriving area, building on the Blue’s identity as the ‘Larder of London’”.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “These projects aim to give Londoners of all backgrounds the opportunity to be actively involved in shaping how their city grows and delivering more places to live, learn, work and play.

“I’m so impressed by the range of bids we received – this is testament to the creativity and ingenuity in London’s diverse communities.

“I’m committed to supporting ‘good growth’ by building a city where all Londoners have access to the same opportunities and I look forward to seeing all the positive impacts these projects will have in the future.”