This month Surrey Docks Farm started work on Phase 1 of its Riverfront Development, thanks to funding allocated by Southwark Council from levies on local developments. By the end of the year the farm will be offering a range of new and enhanced community facilities with stunning riverfront views looking across to Canary Wharf, providing new activity spaces, lettable rooms and outdoor areas all year round.
Architects PUP have designed the development and act as contract administrator; John Perkins Projects is the contractor; and Hollybrook Homes have kindly funded two cabins for the duration so the Farm can continue to run its education programmes and classes.
The farm’s River Room is being re-designed, upgraded, refitted and extended with a glass orangery to provide a quality, flexible, multi-use space for a wide range of uses – for schools’ programmes, classes, meetings, conferences, birthday parties and events. The adjacent three storey tower, burnt out in an arson attack over a decade ago, is being converted. On the ground floor: a Farm Kitchen providing a training resource for all ages promoting cooking with fresh produce, good diets and healthy eating and a catering resource for events held in the River Room. On the first floor: an office to accommodate the farm’s growing staff team. On the top floor: a calm, flexible activity space with a fine view overlooking the Thames – for meetings, arts and crafts and therapeutic sessions.
To complete the development, the farm is currently fundraising for Phase 2 to open up its river frontage in its unique setting by the Thames. Its new main entrance will then be through the gates onto the Thames Path where the public will be led along widened, paved entrances into the Farm and its new riverfront facilities. There will be new paving, landscaping and gardens providing a special space for sitting out and socialising and for community events. Gates and a retractable trellis fence will be installed to enable all the new riverfront facilities provided in Phase 1 to be available for evening classes as well as day time use by securing the rest of the Farm and its animals.
Cllr Johnson Situ, cabinet Member for growth, development and planning commented: “This is really good news for the borough’s only city farm. Here in Southwark Council we are delighted to have awarded the Farm one of the earliest Community Infrastructure Levy (CILs) amounts to enable them to make all these superb improvements. This award is a great example of the council’s refreshed approach to local CIL which will see the development of Community Investment Plans to support growth across the borough. As part of the award, the Farm will also contribute to Southwark being an Age Friendly borough with further opportunities for older and younger people alike as well as new inter-generational projects”.
Cllr Jasmin Ali, Cabinet Member for children’s and adult services commented: “Speaking personally, I cannot wait to bring my family down there to see the transformation. We have also granted the Farm a new 35 year lease at a charitable rent so that these new education and community resources are secured for the long term and the Farm can enhance and develop its special offers for residents”.
As the borough’s only city farm, with its gates open seven days a week and free entrance, the farm will provide its 50,000 visitors a year with an enhanced visitor experience and renewed opportunities to learn about and engage with all aspects of a working farm.
The Bramcote Estate in South Bermondsey is one of 11 areas around the capital to receive a share of the Mayor of London and Transport for London’s £53.4 million Liveable Neighbourhoods funding.
Southwark Council bid for the funding from City Hall and TfL.
The scheme at the Bramcote Estate will reduce car use by make walking and cycling much easier for local residents and connect the area with the future Cycleway 4 and Old Kent Road.
Roads will be closed to through traffic, junctions re-designed and streets made easier to cross on foot. Links will also be improved to the Deptford Parks Liveable Neighbourhood, for which Lewisham Council was awarded funding last year.
Environmental expert and bee-keeping specialist Clare Street has won the TCV Star of the Future Award at Year at TCV, the community volunteering charity’s, Annual Awards.
Clare, who shares her time between working as a Volunteer Officer at Stave Hill in Rotherhithe, Dulwich Upper Woods and Railway Fields in Haringey, received her award in a celebration of TCV Heroes at the Barbican on Tuesday .
The Star of the Future Award recognises the achievements and future potential of TCV projects and staff, who have helped other people improve their confidence, skills, and prospects, through learning inspired by the outdoors.
During her time as a Volunteer Officer at Stave Hill Ecology Park, Clare has trained as a beekeeper and raised funds for an observational beehive to teach all she’s learned to the next generation of apian enthusiasts. Claire has also revamped the centre’s ‘bee classroom’, decorating it with her very own bee-themed artwork.
When she’s not helping to care for some of the planet’s most prolific pollinators, Claire works hard to engage young minds through the environment. She has designed and built two Vegetable Teepees for children to play and grow food in, one at Stave Hill and the other at St John’s Primary School in Rotherhithe. St John’s Primary School now has an extensive food growing site and hosts regular vegetable club get-togethers, where pupils can enjoy the fruits of their labour.
TCV teams across London love working with Clare and have been impressed by the substantial improvements she has brought to every site she’s worked at – she’s even earned the nickname of “Super Clare” amongst her fellow environmentalists.
TCV has received £400,000 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery as part of their Postcode Green Trust. With this money, TCV will be able to extend their work connecting people and green spaces to benefit both the environment and the health and wellbeing of the local community.
Rebeka Clark, Site Manager at Stave Hill Ecology Park said:
“I can’t think of anybody better suited to this work than Clare – you need to be precise, calm, and orderly, and that’s her all over. She goes about her work beautifully, and no little detail is ever missed. Working with Clare, nothing is ever about her, but instead it’s all about the project itself and how she can move things forward.”
Clare Street, TCV Star of the Future Award Winner, said:
“People need their green spaces. It’s really important to me that children are getting out and involved in looking after the natural world around them, and reaping both the physical and mental rewards.”
Professor Tony Crook CBE, Chair of the Conservation Volunteers, said:
“These awards reflect the core of what TCV does. Our staff and volunteers not only help create and enhance green spaces but through this work help to build more human and social capital, thus supporting the communities involved in looking after these spaces. The need to improve spaces and enhance communities is immense which is why I and my fellow Trustees are keen to engage with more partners to work together on these challenges.”
Darren York, Chief Executive of TCV, said:
“At TCV we’re passionate about creating healthier and happier communities for everyone and we’re immensely grateful to our stars of the future like Clare for their hard work and creativity.”
Princess Astrid, sister of King Harald V of Norway, opened the new St Olav’s Square in Albion Street on Sunday 17 September.
St Olav’s Norwegian church, which stands near the entrance to the Rotherhithe tunnel, formerly a mission to sailors in nearby Surrey Docks, now serves Norwegians living throughout the UK.
The church has worked over several years with Southwark Council to improve the area in front of the church. This involved the removal of the disused public toilets and a car park and opening up the space in front of the landmark church, newly visible to traffic approaching from Jamaica Road.
After a church service led by The Revd Torbjorn Holt, the Princess and invited guests gathered in the new square for the unveiling of a new bust of King Haakon VII, which is based on a full length statue in Oslo. Haakon’s biographer, Tor Bomann Larsen, spoke about the King’s life in wartime London when having refused to abdicate in face of demands from Germany, regularly attended St Olav’s Norwegian church and attended to Norwegian government business in exile.
Leader of the council Peter John, past mayor and local councillor Kath Whittam and cabinet member for regeneration Mark Williams were presented to the Princess in recognition of Southwark’s partnership in the creation of a new public open space as part as the ongoing regeneration of the Albion Street.
Wreaths at a restored war memorial were laid by veterans of the wartime Norwegian shipping fleets, including Donald Hunter who served as radio officer on three Norwegian merchant ships carrying dangerous cargoes to allied forces.
The small fountain in the garden was donated by a Norwegian family in memory of their daughter.
The CGP community allotment in Southwark Park is to receive a grant from the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ scheme – but shoppers will determine how much cash the garden receives
Tesco has allocated £30,000 to community projects in and around Southwark in the second round of its Bags of Help scheme, funded by the proceeds of the mandatory 5p charge for plastic carrier bags introduced in England last autumn.
The amount each project receives will depend on where it is ranked in a public vote against two others: £12,000 will be granted for first place, £10,000 for second and £8,000 for third.
Customers in Southwark stores will receive a token at the checkout and be asked to place it in the box of the project they favour the most.
The three contenders are:
Melior Street Garden, SE1
CGP Community Allotment in Southwark Park, SE16
Somerville Kitchen Garden, Lee SE12
Voting continues until Sunday 6 March in the stores listed below.
Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said today: “I can now confirm we have issued the High Court with an application for a Judicial Review into the Secretaries of State’s decision to approve plans for the super sewer in their current form, because of the devastating impact the work will have on the lives of the thousands of people who live, work and go to school around the proposed Chamber’s Wharf tunnel drive site.
“Our position was supported by the findings of the five individual planning inspectors who, after six months of hearing from experts and residents alike, concluded that using Chambers Wharf as a drive site would have very significant impacts on the lives of residents and that Abbey Mills would be a more appropriate site with far less impact. This point was ignored by the Secretaries of State who did not even consider the alternatives put forward and simply felt the need for the project outweighed our concerns about the way Chambers Wharf was being used.
“We have discussed this with legal counsel and believe we have a strong case, but we are under no illusions, we are very much David taking on Goliath. However, unlike the Secretaries of State, we can not simply ignore the devastating impact this work will have on the people living, working and going to school around Chambers Wharf and we are prepared to take this to court in order to get the best possible outcome for them.”
Barney Holbeche, chair of the Save Your Riverside residents’ campaign group, said: “It is very surprising and disappointing that ministers chose to ignore advice from the planning inspectorate and therefore go against the national policy statement on waste water which states that the tunnel should only be given consent if significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life from noise have been avoided. The credibility of the planning process is in doubt because of this decision on the tunnel and we therefore welcome the decision of Southwark Council to question the legalities of it.”