Sunday, December 5, 2010

Creekside Urban Park Consultation - your views required

Witherford Watson Mann Architects are looking for your feedback on their plans for Creekside Urban Park. Crosswhatfields promised to post about this for those of you who were unable to get to the consultation held on 27th November. Unfortunately we've been a bit tardy in this task, but there is still a week left for you to register your views.

The plan below shows the extent of the area to be improved, and below that is a close up of the proposed changes on Crossfields itself. Generally, we can't see much at all to object to. Download the plans here for a closer look.

The proposals for Crossfields are as follows (text taken from plans):

Sue Godfrey Gardens and Space around storage sheds:

Existing Memorial Garden with established herb and wildflower planting and established trees. Garden is not maintained. Existing storage sheds in poor condition. Estate planting pocket adjacent to estate entrance has low quality planting. Garden has no water supply.

GCDA (Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency) and CGS (Crossfields Green Spaces) organised for the existing memorial garden to be cleaned out and repaired on 08/11/10. Intention for this garden to be CGS managed space to include new growing beds and managed herb garden.
Extend Sue Godfrey garden into the poor planting pocket to give the garden a public front.
Construct new low wall to form edge to extended space with new gate.
New raised growing beds
Provide 5k budget for new planting
Refurbish storage sheds with new paintwork to woodwork (possible community arts project)
New rain water collection butts on Congers and Farrer House
Replace missing Prunus hedge planting to Deptford Church Street
Remove broken bollards and railings

Mechanics Path (the path alongside the railway opposite Holden House)

Narrow cycle path and footway along both edges of existing listed railway viaduct. To both edges are estate lawns and estate hedges. The southern arm is overgrown. Existing surfaces are poor quality asphalt with area below viaducts made up in broken rubble.

Form new wider Mechanics Path by removing existing estate hedges – move existing railings back by 2m
Plant new fruiting hedge including Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Boysenberry, Gooseberry, Raspberry and Worcesterberry.
Construct 5m width rolled asphalt and granite edges path.
3 new seats
Apple, Pear, Plum and Quince planting to gardens in front of Holden House
Improve existing lighting of pathway
Removal of 5 Robinia / Platanus trees in connection with LBL tree officer and Network Rail support.

(As regards the removal of certain trees, we are assured that they are either identified as unhealthy/dying or causing a hazard to the railway and removal is required by Network Rail. )

If you have any comments, please write them below or email Arthur Smart (WWM Architects) here

Arthur from WWM Architects braved the cold to exhibit the plans for Creekside Urban Park at the Bulb Planting Day on 27th November, which was organised by Lewisham Homes' Community Involvement officer Will Sharp. They were joined by Claire and Davey from Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency who provided refreshments and digging power.


  1. I'm glad they seem to be providing the missing link betwen the Ha'peney hatch bridge and Deptford High St. This will provide a cycle/pedestrian route to new cross. Once another couple of gaps are filled in we will have a quiet cycle route all the way to Peckham, avoiding busy roads.

    Joe R

  2. Not sure that they're doing that, Joe! I wonder what gaps you're referring to...

    You still have to negotiate crossing Deptford Church Street and coming through the awkward and bumpy entrance to Crossfields (bumpy because the paving was laid badly by council sub-contractors some time ago without full and proper attention to potential tree roots lifting the surface).

    The idea of a clear route was never very workable, and most recently the plan involved destroying a garden in an attempt to find a straighter route, but there was never going to be a straight forward way of crossing Church Street...

    It is still not clear what will happen at the Greenwich end of the Ha'Penny Hatch as regards what Greenwich plan to do with Norman Road – last news I heard it is to become a one-way by-pass heading back to Creek Road away from Greenwich, correct me if I'm wrong.

    WWM Architects are no longer having to deal with that problem. Their brief has changed considerably, along with the funds available, and the Route One cycle path has little to do with the present brief. They have been able to tinker with the landscape a little, bring Coffee trees to Coffey Street and fruit trees to Crossfields, and bring a few local people together, coincidentally.

    All rather a by-product of providing "the missing link" that you speak of, Joe, since it was there already. But maybe now it will have better lighting, though I understand this is up to Lewisham to sort out, so I don't expect much.

  3. BTW, Joe, if the new plan had been stuck to, you might have been diverted to Resolution Way (eg away from Giffin Street) to get a straight run to Ha'Penny Hatch from Deptford Station (not from Peckham then!) alongside the new development that will be part of the Deptford Lounge and Tidemill School (with new artists/crafts shopfronts on Resolution Way that will take ages to fill).

    Whether you were a cyclist from Peckham or a tourist off the train from the STILL TO BE BUILT Deptford station you would be stopped anyway at the dual carriageway. As a cyclist, you hit a blind corner at Creekside, so there's another stop.

    A lot of time and money was wasted in consultant's fees pursuing the goal of a straighter route, not to mention some distress to those affected by the potential plans (the only party not to be paid in this blue-sky thinking).

    Plans to run the route straight along the railway through someone's garden were going ahead before they were halted by non-co-operation from Network Rail, who own the land beside the railway. NOT because it would demolish a garden, then. (Awaiting citation, as they say in wikipedia).

    Plans progressed to the extent that sweetners were offered to compensate for the loss of the garden with focus on developing other areas of the estate that are neglected by Lewisham Homes in their contract with Glendales (a loose contract to say the least, the TRA have never received a proper answer about whether the land belongs to the estate and should therefore be maintained).

    Whilst there were funds in the offing and blue-sky thinking abounded, we contemplated turning the nettle wasteland beyond Cremer House into community gardens whilst preserving Jude & Joe's self created BMX run. Not in the offing now though. It'll be up to Jude & Joe to discover yet another dead homeless person in the small forest surrounding their clearing.

    Meanwhile, the focus on greenery was embellished by the introduction of the GCDA whose (well) funded remit is to get us to grow our own. No doubt we'll all have more enthusiasm for that come the spring.

    As for cyclists, I can't see much improvement.

  4. I think you're being a bit naive, Sue.

    Two metres is quite a lot to shrink the Holden House green by, I think. It's already wide enough for cyclists and as you say, this is not much of an improvement. No doubt we'll soon get used to what will be the equivalent of a new road through the estate, similar to the old Mechanic's Path.

    It really annoys me they're calling our path Mechanic's Path when it never was ever ever called that. And the real Mechanics Path is now Resolution Way. OK I suppose roads and streets are renamed all through history, but it's really annoying when it happens in front of your nose when you're not looking.

    It makes me think that is what they want. Not a cycle path at all, but a new little road like Bronze Street. John's garden will go, no doubt about that! And then they'll want to put shops and stuff in the arches...It's clear as day to me! Architects don't waste all this time on nothing!

    Network Rail are already on the case I bet. When they chucked all the mechanics out of Mechanics Path and created Resolution Way, it took ages, but now all the new developments are going up around, it's time to invest in what was always the plan for Creekside.

    The estate will be split (not that it isn't already). If Lewisham council is willing to reduce the green space in front of Holden by 2 metres for a public path/cycle path, what do you think they might do with the other 20 metres?

    I agree there ain't nothing to object to, but that's because we're not being told the whole truth. This is a siren call I reckon, of a huge change.

    The change will take a while, but most of these plans have existed for 10 years and longer and there ain't nothing you can do.

    I'd be really worried about how long those new fruit trees on the Holden lawn will last if they ever get planted at all. But I'm not worried cos I'm pretty sure there's nothing I can do to stop it. The time I spend worrying about it and doing something to stop it I could be having a life.

  5. oh i wanted to say it would be lovely to have some more fruit bushes but now I'm wondering why when we've already got tons of blackberries over in the wilderness bit so why isn't that bit being sorted a bit, it only needs a couple of day's labour so it makes this new thing look like nothing really.

  6. I think Joe R's 'gaps' have been spotted...

  7. I hate the way this blog has already said what I wanted to say.