Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tidemill redevelopment 'consultation': Saturday 18th July, 2-5pm, Deptford Lounge

Frankham House residents were given under two weeks' notification of the 'drop-in' being held this Saturday at the Lounge, where the plans for the redevelopment of the Tidemill school site will finally be revealed.

Tidemill consultation: Saturday 18th July, 2-5pm, Deptford Lounge

Frankham House sits on the corner of the site, and residents will be affected by building works which are scheduled to start in Autumn 2016. Presumably those also living close to the site in Frankham Street and Reginald Road will also have been notified. The gardening group, Assembly, who have had meantime use of the school garden area have not. Concerned that there will be a considerable loss of green space (the garden is one of the very few 'lungs' in the area), they have long been requesting site of the plans without success, and have even drawn up plans of their own that maximise use of green space.

Most affected by the proposals are the highly concerned residents of 2-30a Reginald Road whose building will be demolished. 

Others not notified will include those who will be affected by pollution and congestion from construction vehicles using Deptford Church Street (the rest of Crossfields, for instance), and Deptford High Street traders who will be troubled by the loss of parking space in Frankham Street.

The plans have been in development for a very long time amidst huge secrecy, and are fully backed by the council and local councillors, as the proposals are said to include a large amount of affordable housing for rent, shared ownership and private sale, with (apparently) relatively low building heights. A planning application will be submitted later this year.

The consultation notification (dated 7th July) came from Family Mosaic & Sherrygreen Ltd, the Council's selected partners, who will also be redeveloping the former Deptford Green School at Amersham Vale. Family Mosaic said (rather ungramatically), "The events will provide an opportunity for you to update you and receive your feedback on proposals for the development, the design and layout of the new homes and provide information about the construction programme and timescales for completion".

The last time there was any form of consultation was about five years ago when a board was displayed in Deptford Lounge, and information was available if you knew where to look – as Marmoset reported on this blog in September 2010.

Plans have since changed. The Council's website presently says: "A previous proposal incorporated the demolition and rebuilding of two blocks on Giffin Street (no’s 22–80 and 82–150), one block on Reginald Road (no’s 2–30a) and the conversion of the old Tidemill School buildings. However, after carrying out further investigation over the past year including in-depth technical surveys of all the above buildings, we have had to re-evaluate this scheme. Recent information about Lewisham Homes’ planned programme of works and the housing market conditions in the area has also led to us investigating a revised scheme which incorporates the following:
    •    demolishing 2-30a Reginald Road
    •    converting the old Tidemill School buildings into residential properties.
Under the current proposals, 22-80 and 82-150 Giffin Street and Frankham Street parking boulevard would be retained."

UPDATE: post consultation

Unfortunately, there were no pretty pictures to bring away from the exhibition and we forgot to take photos! We were told there will be a website soon. Areas on the plans that were debated were:

– an eastern extension to the old school building would, at five storeys, greatly infringe on the north end of Frankham House, whose residents presently look out over the small two-storey school-keeper's cottage. This would be demolished to be replaced by a sheer brick wall (no windows to overlook Frankham). Really bad for Frankham!

– an area of green space in the south eastern part of the site that would be walled off from Frankham House and paid for by new residents through service charges. It was suggested this should not be walled off and the area used for community growing. Oh but people will want a private area, said the architects, who would like to put a children's play area here "so that parents can see their children playing". Why must it be private? Why so exclusive?

– a wide pedestrian avenue would run from north to south in the centre of the development. The only reason for this, apart from opening up the estate, was some old tosh about it meeting the pathway through the blocks on Giffin Street that in turn would meet the gap between Wavelengths and the new Tidemill school/Lounge. There was apparently an earlier vision to open up one of the arches in 'Resolution Way' to lead through to Crossfield Street on the other side of the railway. Well, what a naff reason! The arch will never be opened up! The avenue is welcome, however. It was suggested the children's play area could go here rather than in the 'private' green area. Oh no, they said, we can't have a children's play area in a public space. What planet are these people living on? Inclusivity makes for a better community than fear-ridden security-driven exclusivity!

More soon...