IMG_0968Following our first article earlier this Summer  by ‘MATT plants and gardens’ on the importance of improving the look of Turney Road through the ‘greening’ of front gardens, we have asked another local garden designer, Barbara Samitier to give us her ideas.  

Barbara is a passionate garden designer with 11 years experience of creating beautiful gardens.


First impressions do count! A front garden provides the first impression your guests will get as they walk to your front door. How lovely is it to be welcomed by the scent of a Wisteria and the sound of foliage being brushed by the breeze? Not so inviting when the car or/and the bins are the main focus point, wouldn’t you agree?

Still according to the London assembly it is estimated that in London the area of front gardens being paved over is equivalent to 5,200 football pitches or 22 Hyde Parks. Shocking, right?!

While paving over one front garden might seem of little impact, the difficulties start when neighbours on both sides of the street do the same, effectively tripling the width of the road. Here are some of the consequences that the loss of front gardens for driveways bring:

  • Most drains in urban areas were built many years ago and were not designed to cope with increased rainfall. Paving over front gardens increases the risk of flooding. Gardens can soak up rain, while paving, tarmac and concrete are less porous and increase the amount of rainwater that runs off by as much as 50 per cent. This additional water usually flows into street drains, which can’t always cope with the thousands of extra litres in a storm. The excess can then go back up people’s front drives to floods their homes. RHS Principal Environmental Advisor, Rebecca Matthews Joyce, explains, “The water has to go somewhere and, even if you are not flooded, it might be affecting your neighbours downhill.”
  • Hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt collect pollution (oil, petrol, brake dust, etc) that is washed off into the drains. Many drains carry rainwater directly to streams and rivers.
  • Hard paving can cause severe subsidence as it reduces or stops rainfall getting into the ground. This can cause the soil to shrink, especially as it is predominantly clay around here, which has consequences for structures built on it. Garden walls, paths and houses may develop severe cracks.
  • Hard surfaces absorb heat in the day and release it at night, making it hot and difficult to sleep. This is part of the ‘urban heat island effect’, which can also be responsible for poorer air quality and localised weather conditions, such as thunderstorms.

If all the above still doesn’t make you want to tear up the tarmac, maybe a financial incentive will? I believe that green front gardens (as opposed to grey driveways) increase the value of your property. Indeed a series of lush front gardens lining the road makes the street a leafy one, which in real-estate terms is synonym with desirable, which is synonym with expansive. Each time one of your neighbours plants a hedge or a tree in front of their house, hear: kerching!

The importance and impact of the front garden is a perfect illustration of how little things can make a huge difference. If we all put an effort into our front gardens this can transform a whole area’s landscape and increase the quality of life of the local community.

So come on beautiful people of SE21, let’s unite and let’s have more green! Let’s get into action and dig this ugly concrete and paving slabs out. Start planting even if it’s just one beautiful shrub or small tree, or even just a climber on the house façade! Every little helps.

Barbara Samitier


Later this Summer, we will publish Barbara’s tips and ideas for beautiful front gardens.

Turney Road news update – lots happening!

Dear Neighbours,

New Building on SCST Dulwich Sports Ground

After the planning hearing last Tuesday, and before the closure of the consultation period on Saturday 27th, several residents wrote to Southwark with new material objections.   A response from the Council is awaited.

Dulwich Car Park Public Consultation

Southwark Council are currently carrying out a consultation on parking proposals in the Dulwich Park car park.

The proposals include:

·         Making the existing blue badge (disabled) bays mandatory

·         Enforcement against dangerous or obstructive parking

   The introduction of a 4 hour time limit for parking (except disabled bays)

Southwark are not proposing any parking charges (but parking tickets will be issued for overstayers).
To view the proposed car park layout, please visit:
 For further information and to complete the online questionnaire, please visit:

 Southwark invites responses via their online questionnaire by 15 August 2013..

Contact is:

Paul Gellard
Transport and Projects Officer
Public Realm Projects (Parking Design)
Environment and Leisure
Floor 3, hub 1
Southwark Council
160 Tooley Street
PO Box 64529
London, SE1P 5LX

Thames Water Topographical Surveys for Surface Water Management continue in the Village Area

You may have seen the Survey teams out in Turney Road on Monday taking measurements and leaving their yellow hieroglyphics on the pavement.

Just a reminder esp for new people on our list:

Southwark in common with local authorities across the UK is now charged with developing plans to manage surface water flooding that in recent years has become an issue in many areas of the UK including London.  Storms and flash floods along with exceptional rainfall have led to episodes of surplus surface water which cannot be handled efficiently by the sewers and drains.  The Southwark Drainage and Flood Management team have taken a lead on this and sought funding from DEFRA for specific projects across the borough to alleviate flood risks arising from surplus surface water.

One such area is Herne Hill and Dulwich,  and Southwark has now been awarded DEFRA grant-in-aid funds to develop proposals for alleviation measures in our green spaces, specifically in the parks and some sports clubs to stop excess surface water flowing across the parks and towards Herne Hill.   Local sports clubs and park pitches endured weeks of waterlogging over the past winter which meant unplayable surfaces, lost revenues and serious impacts on the performance of local sports teams.

The Southwark team will now be working with local stakeholders on a detailed design of the alleviation measures and planning a public consultation on their proposals.    In the meantime teams of surveyors from Thames Water and associated consultant firms will be conducting topographical surveys of the Village area, parks and sports clubs, so don’t be surprised to see them around.

The work will continue for a few more weeks.

DEFRA Minister visits water management projects in the Herne Hill Area

Turney Road (Lambeth) saw a visit from DEFRA Parliamentary Under Secretary Lord de Mauley last Wednesday 24th July.  Lord de Mauley was hosted by the London Wildlife Trust who are co-ordinating community engagement on water management projects for DEFRA in the Herne Hill and Dulwich Area.  The minister visited Brockwell Park, some green projects in Herne Hill, and also the Rosendale Allotments where local amenity groups and Thames Water presented the Herne Hill Flood Alleviation projects which are proposed for the Dulwich Parks.

Network Rail – Bridge Closures.  NOTE FOR DIARIES

Neighbours should have received a letter from Network Rail advising of the replacement of railway bridges in Croxted Road and Rosendale Road 18-19 January 2014 and the Village Way Bridge from 15-16 February 2014.  Croxted and Rosendale Roads (bridge sections) will be closed to all vehicle traffic from Saturday 11 January to Sunday 26 January 2014, and Village Way closed to all vehicle traffic from Sat 8 February to Sun 23 February 2014.  There will be a consultation session on Thursday 7 November 16.00-19.30 hours at All Saints Church, Rosendale Road.  There will be a second session on 14th November 2013 from 16.00 – 19.30 hours (venue to be confirmed). Further information will follow on the arrangements for pedestrian access around the bridges during the full road closures as well as a traffic management plan for the area.    Some enabling works are due to take place in the next couple of weeks (July/August) which may restrict traffic during this time.

Link to maps and photos of bridges at

Kind regards

Sue Badman

For Turney Road Residents’ Association

Turney Road Surface Water Survey is underway



Friendly surveyors were out in Turney Rd yesterday measuring the levels of the street and collecting information on where surface water flowed when there is heavy rain.

Unfortunately they were delayed when the strong (and cold) easterly blew over their machinery and broke it.  They retired early to get a new one.  Look out for them.  They will be back again and welcome residents telling them about where street water flows.

The Council is working with residents to produce a plan to avert danger of high water when the rain saturates the fields and flows into the streets.  An Alleviation Plan is in preparation for our consideration.