Southwark News this week has understandably and rightly focussed on the Urban/Suburban dispute with the Secretary of State and Mayor in areas like East Dulwich and Rotherhithe.
There is course is political consensus about protecting green areas in the centre of London but there is also a reality of an expanding population which cant be ignored and is at the centre of the Mayor's plans. the bigger picture is relevant to the debate but at the moment the focus is on the party politics with the Lib Dems chasing a few political point scoring against the "evil" Labour Government which has given Southwark Council more resources that it has ever had before to provide decent home, modern schools and inner city "urban" regeneration on a scale which you are unlikely to see on a similar level anywherer else in London (Olympic site obviously excluding!)
My concern, as a Camberwell Councillor, is that the protection at all cost of "suburban" areas does rather force the Council into ever greater over development of densly populated areas in the middle of the borough, ie Camberwell and Peckham. Perhaps as a consequence I have been. and stl am fighting with Planning Officers over a number of over developed proposals in my Ward. There is still a lot of anger in the Grosvenor terrace area over the Urlwin Street development, opposed by local people, rejected by the planning committee and then overturned by the Planning Inspector, due in no small part in what appeasr to be a deliberate policy of not defending the Committee decision adequately and allowing the decision to be overturned.
There is currently a large high rise block being built on Wyndham Road in opposition to local peoples views and out of proportion to the area and we are seeing a flurry of applications to over develope in Camberwell, all with Planning Officers apparent consent!
Rusia Docks Woodland and our Parks are real assets for ourselves and future generations but I wonder if at some stage the reality of a rapidly expanding City will force compromise in other areas where the pressure for housing gets overwhelming?
I attended a very full meeting of Brandon residents upset at the problems of AMR pupils , stimulated in part by a serious disturbance last week. Nooe from the school appeared so the Police and myself took most of the flack! The South London Press reported the meeting.
We agreed to send a delegation to the school to discuss short and longer term resolutions to the problem.
Hopefully when the new Head arrives, the fourth in 2 yeasr there will be a degree of stability which may produce a longer term benefit long with the plans for an Academy on the site.