Friday, January 4, 2013

Faircharm Creative Quarter – deadline 7th Jan!

Happy New Year! You have until Monday 7th January to comment on Workspace's plans for Faircharm.

The application (DC/12/82000) can be viewed on the Lewisham Planning Portal here. All the plans and statements are listed under Documents (greyed out on the menu, like they don't want you to see them). The most useful documents to read are the Design & Access Statement (Parts 1 & 2 at the bottom of the list) from which the above drawings have been taken, and the Environmental Statement (MAIN TEXT). An easier read is the Environmental Statement (Non Technical). You might also be interested in their Affordable Housing and Viability Statement.

Email your objection to: and include the application number DC/12/82000 and your name and address. Please also copy your objection to Joan Ruddock who has been following this development closely (

You may also wish to copy in the New Cross councillors:
and the Crossfields Tenants & Residents Association Chair:

See further posts here and here for comments on the plans and objection points.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Gemma Barnes,

    I write with reference to the proposed development of the Faircharm Trading Est. I am a professional artist and have been a tenant of the Estate for 12 years. I also live in Deptford and have done so for 20 years.

    I wish to object to the application.

    The current (and historic) creative vibrancy of Deptford has been recognised by Lewisham council and Lewisham Planing dept, in the designation of Creekside as a conservation area.

    One very large reason for this area being of special and significant interest is the large number of artists,
    designers and craftspeople. They have been in the area in significant numbers from the 1970's onwards. This is highlighted in the councils own report.

    Artists and designers are attracted to areas primarily by affordable rent. By definition, overdevelopment and the resultant higher premiums particularly of commercial spaces, drives away the very people who have done much to help change and enhance the character of those same areas. They are forced to leave and seek cheaper rents elsewhere.

    The proposal imagines a scenario where a large number of flats are for sale or for rent in a development with commercial units. Crucially the applicant has applied for a designation of Class B1, this is a designation reserved for business and those activities that can be carried out within a residential area. This will not be suitable for most artists and craftspeople, many of whom will be using processes, materials and solvents and making the kinds of noise and waste not covered by this designation. This change of Class Designation was never spoken about to me by workspace management, even though I have been practising on site as a sculptor for 12 years and even though I was assured I would be able (should I wish to pay the higher rent) to re-locate to one of the new units. As with many small creative businesses flexibility in terms of access and working is paramount. Sometimes being able to work round the clock, at weekends and late into the evening is a base requirement for small businesses. I remain unconvinced that this will sit comfortably with owner occupying residential tenants who will almost certainly come to
    think that their expensive apartments and the right to a quiet life on the creek should come before someone working late at night with hammers and power tools.

    I would also like to add that a meeting was chaired by Joan Ruddock MP on the 17th of September to address
    many tenants concerns about Workspace managements handling and lack of communication regarding the redevelopment plans. It was suggested by Joan Ruddock and agreed by the workspace management then present, that workspace should correspond hence forth via email, cc'ing in all tenants (a paper was circulated amongst those present who all added their addresses)

    Workspace has, to date, failed to do this.

    This proposal entails huge changes within a designated area of unique and historic interest.
    It would be a tragedy if the council simply allowed Faircharm to become yet another faceless business park with an attached high density living block with little or no connection to the huge number artists, designers, musicians and craftspeople that Deptford has hither too done so much to foster.

    Yours Hopefully

    Jonathan Callan

    Unit A120
    Faircharm Industrial Est
    8-12 Creekside
    SE8 3DX

    PS As Workspace Management has failed to directly email and cc' current tenants I would be happy for this letter
    to be forwarded to any interested parties.