Southwark Council’s December e-newsletter

East Dulwich Christmas Cracker – free event for all the family

Get into the festive spirit with the East Dulwich Christmas Cracker, Saturday 1 December from 10am to 5pm on Lordship Lane and North Cross Road.

Treat the family to a day filled with fabulous gifts, delicious food and local produce available in the local shops and at North Cross Road Market.

Cracking Christmas offers

Come down to the East Dulwich Christmas Cracker and check out some of the amazing offers…

  • Receive a 10 per cent discount in store on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 December at Hope and Greenwood
  • Oliver Bonas are offering a complimentary glass of fizz/juice from 12pm onwards on 1 December, plus every spend of £50 or more will be entered into a raffle to win a £25 Oliver Bonas gift voucher
  • Lordship Lane Carpets and Ed’s Warehouse are serving free mince pies and mulled wine
  • Karavan eco home will be handing out free grow your own packets of cress seeds to all children
Latest news
London Overground
From Sunday 9 December 2012, services on the new London Overground extension running from Clapham Junction to Surrey Quays will launch, completing London’s orbital railway network.
Winter weather
During the winter months the weather can be unpredictable, with sudden cold spells and snowfall. Check out our website for information about road gritting, schools and more during the coming months.
Sign up to My Southwark

Check out My Southwark – get access to your own personalised self service account. From paying your council tax and rents online, to viewing services and facilities closest to you, it’s safe, easy to use and available 24/7. We’ve also launched My Southwark mobile; now you can do it online and on the move.

A Christmas Carol
What better way to think about Charles Dickens’ famous tale than with a self-guided tour around the streets of Southwark using your smartphone. The free interactive app (Android) (Apple) is easy to use, illustrated with photos and drawings and provides a host of information about Southwark, with dramatisations and quotes from Dickens’ novels.
The 2013 London Youth Games
Team Southwark are now recruiting for the 2013 London Youth Games.If you live or go to school in the borough and are aged between 7 and 17 you can register your interest on our website today.
Do it online
Council services at your fingertips, easy to use and open 24/7. Go on, get clicking and do it online

  • Report it – report a problem such as abandoned vehicles, flytipping, missed bin collections and dog fouling.
  • Pay for it – use our 24 hour secure online payment service to pay your council tax, housing rent, business rates, parking fines and more online with your debit or credit card at a time that suits you.
  • Say it – leave feedback on consultations or make a comment, compliment or complaint about a council service.
  • Apply for it – apply for parking permits, library membership, replacement bins, housing, council tax benefit and much more.

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Southwark Council, PO BOX 64529, London SE1P 5LX

We protest to Southwark Council about centralisation of planning decisions

Southwark Council have taken planning decisions away from the Dulwich Community Council and moved them to a centralised process in Bermondsey in the north of the borough. We have been concerned at this and have written to the Leader of the Council as follows….

Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, Cabinet Suite, 160 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QH.

4 December 2012

Dear Councillor John,

We are writing to you about the current Southwark planning process as it impacts the Dulwich wards.

We have recorded our extreme disappointment and concern at a number of public meetings including the Dulwich Community Council about the Southwark planning process as determined by the Southwark Council Assembly on 23 May 2012 (revision to Part 3F of the Constitution).  In May, it was decided to remove from community councils their powers to consider and determine planning applications on a local basis, and introduce a central planning committee and sub-committees for planning decisions.

The new process centralises decision-making and makes it less accessible to individuals and groups in our community.

Our experience in recent months has borne out our concerns:

  1. The chair of the Dulwich Society Planning and Architecture Group , David Roberts, whose committee reviews all the planning applications arising in the Dulwich Estate Scheme of Management area has commented:

“The sub-committee meetings that I have attended at Tooley Street, to consider Dulwich planning applications, have shown me that councillors, always from other wards, lacked detailed knowledge of the Dulwich area, and what standards to apply.

Dulwich is recognised by the Borough as a special area, indeed it has the two largest conservation areas in the borough, Dulwich Village and Dulwich Woods, but with local councillors excluded the benefit of local knowledge is completely lost. By taking the planning sub-committee away from Dulwich, it is failing the local community.”

  1. 2.     At a recent planning application committee hearing for a development in a key Dulwich road, Alleyn Park, there were three councillors and the chair, none from a Dulwich ward. When there are a low number of councillors, in the experience of the Dulwich Society, it often leads to poor examination of the key aspects of an application. The more councillors there are at a sub-committee meeting the more thoroughly a divisive application is questioned and a better decision emerges.
  2. 3.     Localism is completely lost by the process of not having ward councillors for the relevant area on the sub-committee.
  3. Planning committee meetings are held in the north of the borough at Tooley Street which has proved to be a deterrent for residents in the south of the borough to attend.  At one such meeting attended by two Turney Road residents to speak on one of the planning applications it meant waiting till 11pm and as late night travel back to Dulwich by public transport is not always easy or safe at that hour, we travelled home by taxi at our own expense.

All of those involved in co-ordinating responses to planning applications have observed that it has proved much harder to get people to attend planning meetings at Tooley Street because of travelling time and costs.

The centralised planning process is a backward step in our opinion, and a reversal of all the excellent achievements so far in terms of local democracy which we greatly value. Has there been a review of the effectiveness of the new centralised process and its impact on local democracy?

We request the Council to review the decision to centralise the planning process and consider reverting to the former community council planning process.  We also ask that planning committees considering applications for Dulwich are held in an appropriate south of the borough location.

Yours sincerely

Turney Road Residents’ Association

The Dulwich Society

The Dulwich Society Planning and Architecture Group

cc: Village Ward Councillors, College Ward Councillors

Police priorities remain robberies & burglaries

Latest news from Dulwich police is that they continue to prioritise robberies and burglaries but since the car vandalism culprit has been caught (noted on our website) the Southwark Neighbourhood Panel (SNP) which works with the police, agreed to the police making tackling drugs on Norwood Road a priority for the coming weeks.

More on this is available in the minutes of the SNP meeting this week including the latest on the East Dulwich police station closure and all the action being taken towards ensuring an appropriate alternative, crime statistics and the pressure to re-direct our Village police team to other parts of Southwark where the demand is higher.


Herne Hill Velodrome Trust

Logo of the Herne Hill Velodrome

The Trust’s development proposals can be viewed online at:

Infield works


Copies of responses from the public can be viewed on these web pages.  Our response is here:

The Burbage and Turney Road Residents’ Associations have the following reservations:

We have not seen a business plan for the planned increase in usage of the facilities following the addition of a MUGA and floodlighting. This has made it impossible for residents to ascertain accurately the concomitant loss of amenity due to noise, traffic,  safety, light pollution and security issues. We can reasonably expect that the facilities will lead to more intensive use of the site (greater volumes when open compared with present) and more extensive use of the site ( greater hours of opening) and are a foundation for greater development of the site in future.

On this basis we request that the following important concerns from local residents are enshrined in the present proposed planning approval:

1.      The site will continue be used for cycling related activities and associated social events, which are considered to have a low impact on amenity.

2.      The hours of use of the site will not be extended beyond typical summer usage currently. This is consistent with the stated focus on youth and disability based activities. In particular:

a.      The site will be cleared from 9pm onwards with lighting ceased strictly from this time and noise related activities ( PA systems and pacer bikes) ceasing at 7.30pm ;

b.      The site will not be open before 8am, with any noise related activities ( PA systems and pacer bikes) strictly forbidden before 9am.

c.       Usage of the site at weekends and bank holidays will be limited to a small number of larger events ( no more than 10 ). We strongly request these are pre notified to residents ( as this does not happen at present, to our great frustration).

3.      Within these hours of use, noise pollution will be managed considerably more effectively than at present. Specifically we request that the vintage pacer bikes, which produce highly intrusive levels of noise, are replaced by electric versions. We request that the existing PA system is improved considerably  so that it is focussed on the main track/MUGA and that it  is limited to information-based announcements, not continuous music.   We would like measures of noise levels (including pacer bikes) to be put in place and feedback on this issue to be collected after the first year of extended use.

In addition we ask the Planning Committee to consider and account for the following, before proposed planning approval is effected:

1.      Access to the site is extremely dangerous at present ( via a single track road, across a pavement used by parents and children on foot and bikes as a major local ‘Safe Route to School’ and  with severely  limited visibility for those entering and departing). It is our view that this site access cannot safely sustain any increased usage whatsoever, but especially for dark early evenings and for larger weekend events. Limited access causes parking congestion in Burbage Road currently, especially at weekends.  A road access and safety survey would be highly advisable and police coordination needs to be planned for larger events.

2.      Security for the many householders backing onto this site will be compromised by greater public access, particularly in the darker winter months. The entrance to the site is not supervised and a large amount of open land provides a threat to personal and property safety. A police survey of security risks would be advisable in our view.

3.      Existing drainage provision  for the site has been assessed by the Southwark Flood Risk Management Team as ineffective. Whilst the current plans are not considered to exacerbate local water run off risk to residents,  in our view either the freeholder (The Dulwich Estate) or the lessee (the HHVT) should be accountable for putting a  robust, environmentally friendly infrastructure in place before development takes place.   The responsibility needs to be clarified and an acceptable plan be in place.

We draw your attention to the fact that we are relying for our support on the commitments already received –  but not yet evidenced –  from the HHVT to:

1.      Provide an example of the type, size and strength of the lighting to be implemented for all residents before planning consultation ends.

2.      Work with residents to implement a voluntary Code of Conduct covering emergency contact points, regular review mechanisms for problems arising and general obligations on behalf of the HHVT and residents. This should be in place before construction work begins and cover the construction process. Such codes already operate successfully between residents and  other sports facilities in the area.

3.      Provide tree screening for those houses which are directly in the line of spillage from the proposed floodlighting.

The Burbage and Turney Road Residents Associations actively represent the vast majority of the 400 households in these two Roads and have consulted our residents widely and frequently on the proposed developments. We therefore request that our nominated representative speaks on behalf of residents at the Planning Approval meetings for the two planning proposals.

Police advice to residents to increase security

Local police made a presentation to residents recently on how to maximie security.

The key police messages are:

–          the importance of house security – windows, doors, esp back entrances, gates, gardens and sheds, and the importance of robust locking mechanisms, ensuring all fences are in a good state of repair and additional measures such as additional height to fences to deter potential burglars.

There is lots of sensible advice accessible from this Met Police page:

–          They advised householders to inform neighbours if they are away over weekends and holidays, and pass on details of alarm keyholders and contact numbers.  If neighbours spot any unusual activity – e.g. intruders in the alleyways or gardens – to phone the police on 999 in an emergency or 101 at other times.  This is really important as perpetrators have been caught like this but also crimes missed because of reluctance to call the police.  Even if it seems trivial, the police want us to call.

–          Virtually all robberies in Southwark involve theft of mobile phones and police advise that we store the IMEI number at home or elsewhere as this number can be used to stop a stolen mobile phone from being used.  The easiest way to obtain your IMEI number is to dial *#06#    The number will come up instantly.

Slides from the police’s presentation are below.

Turney Road RA 13.09.12


Southwark Council meets with Residents’ Representatives to discuss the Junction of Burbage Road and Dulwich Village

 An onsite meeting was held on November 12th to review safety concerns at the Burbage Road and Dulwich Village junction.

A council team, led by Councillor Barrie Hargrove, met with residents’ representatives to discuss ongoing concerns regarding the junction’s safety. The meeting had a number of positive outcomes, not least a recognition that the present situation is completely unacceptable to residents. We hope that there will be concrete proposals to show to us shortly, but in the meantime we are very keen that details of all near misses and ‘minor’ accidents are passed on to council representatives, as these do not show in the official safety statistics. One such incident recently involved a lorry going the wrong way, entirely around the roundabout.  If you see or hear of any such incidents involving pedestrians, cyclists or vehicles please pass these on to me and copy them to Eamon Doran at Southwark Council, who will be collating them.