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2021 - Convoys Wharf
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Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, greener 2021. This year DeptfordFolk will be  ensuring your parks continue to be safe, resilient green spaces. We will also we will be campaigning for more publicly accessible parks and green spaces in Deptford. We will continue to support the Play Evelyn campaign for investment in local outdoor play areas.

More on that soon.

This message focuses on Convoys Wharf - the large riverside development site which already has planning permission for 3,500 homes.
 
We have provided easy-to-use click-through links for you to:

1. Respond to the developer's consultation on Plot 21 asking for a new park (CLICK HERE).

2. Message our MP Vicky Foxcroft and Lewisham Council's Cabinet Member for Housing & Planning Cllr Paul Bell to request the full unedited December 1st webinar recording is made available to the public. (CLICK HERE)

3. Read our Chair's letter, written in her capacity as Mayor of London's Green Space Commissioner, to the current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (CLICK HERE)

Read on for more details and some background.

Bear with us. This one is long...
 
Click Here to Email Vicky Foxcroft MP & Cllr Bell
Click Here to respond to the Developer's Plot 21 Consultation
CONVOYS WHARF
On December 1st 2020 Convoy Wharf Property Limited and their appointed Community Engagement consultants (Forty Shillings) held a webinar to discuss what could happen on Plot 21 (P21) on the Convoys Wharf Site. The understanding was that the recording of the webinar would be available for all to view at a later date.

The webinars replace face-to-face consultations. This is due to COVID-19. We were surprised to learn that the developer wants to build another 800-900 homes on the site. This would bring the total number of homes on site to 4,500.  P21 cannot currently be developed for housing. Questions could be submitted and were curated by the consultants.

During the webinar residents were informed that Lewisham Council and the developer had been speaking to the Mayor of London/GLA and the PLA (Port of London) to remove the safeguarding designation from P21 to allow more housing on the site. After concerns were raised by residents, Cllr Paul Bell, Lewisham Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, released a statement available HERE.

"We have been consistently clear to the developer that any planning application for Plot 21 would require a strong planning justification."
Cllr Paul Bell.


However, when the publicly available version of the webinar recording was published it had been edited to remove this information. Those interested in the site are invited to view the edited version of the developer's presentation and give feedback. 

To date there has been no indication that a plan to build more homes by the developer, LBL planning, and the GLA was being discussed. The new plan will not deliver any social housing. Given the need for 'strong planning justification' we can only look at two recent developments approved by Lewisham Council at Creekside and Blackheath. Both do little to reassure us that the Council's definition of a 'strong planning justification' sets the bar high enough for equitable, sustainable development.

Our MP Vicky Foxcroft said she was "excited" the community engagement was restarting on Convoys Wharf. We need our elected representatives to ensure that the consultations open and transparent and not subject to self-censorship by the developer.

DeptfordFolk have written to Vicky Foxcroft and Paul Bell to ask them to request the full webinar is made available to members of the public. You can write send a similar message by clicking the links below.

We also want to know which Evelyn Ward Councillors or, indeed, any other Lewisham councillors attended the webinar related to such an important strategic development in Lewisham.
Click Here to Email Vicky Foxcroft MP & Cllr Bell
Click Here to respond to the Developer's Plot 21 Consultation
CONVOYS WHARF BACKGROUND
The rest of the vast Convoys Wharf site was awarded outline planning permision for 3,500 homes 7 years ago in 2014. Not a single property has been constructed to date.

P21 is the Northernmost area of the site. It is currently a Port of London Authority (PLA) Safeguarded Wharf.

This means it can not be used for residential development unless that designation changes. The PLA's 2018 report recommends retaining this designation on P21. 

Many local organisations based in the area think P21 would make an excellent public park.

10,000 new homes will be built to or have been built in the Evelyn Ward across multiple developments. This figure doesn't include the 3,500 homes in Canada Water or the 3,500 homes planned for Surrey Canal Road/New Bermondsey.

Lewisham Council's total GLA 2015-2025 borough housing target is 13,847. Simply put Evelyn ward is delivering the lion's share of this target.

Residents in this densely populated ward can't be expected to absorb this massive increase in population with no increase in green space.

The ongoing COVID public health crisis has demonstrated the need for publicly accessible green and open space for all to benefit. 

We have seen the importance of green space to all our mental and physical well-being. 10,000 new homes without open space to support new residents will create a an incubator for the current and any future COVID-like pandemic. 

Lewisham Council's own Open Space Study published in 2010 recommends that 13.71ha of open space is required to maintain space per 1000 population i.e. to DOUBLE the amount of green and open space by 2025
Lewisham Council's 2010 Open Space Study recommended an increase of 13.71ha (twice the size of Deptford Park) for the Evelyn Ward. This was before many new developments were approved.
Mayor of London
Our Chair Trina Lynskey was appointed to the Mayor of London's Green Space Commission in 2019/2020 (Commission report available HERE).

In response to all of the above Trina has written to the Mayor of London to request that there is no change to the designation of P21 as a PLA Safeguarded Wharf and to look at the opportunity to create a new park for London in Deptford on Plot 21.

Read the letter HERE.
 
Click Here to Email Vicky Foxcroft MP & Cllr Bell
Click Here to respond to the Developer's Plot 21 Consultation
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DeptfordFolk is the constituted user group representing Folkestone Gardens & Deptford Park SE8. More information can be found on the website www.deptfordfolk.org. Email hello@deptfordfolk.org to be added to the mailing list. You can follow DeptfordFolk on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #deptfordfolk