Party in the Pavilion :The Society held a very successful summer party in the Pavilion at Dulwich Picture Gallery in June. One hundred and fifty members who applied for tickets were able to enjoy the evening and to go on conducted walks in the Gallery grounds led by Ian McInnes who talked about the architecture of the Gallery and Daniel Greenwood who spoke about the surprisingly large number of different trees in the grounds.
On Monday 18th September, the eighty members who applied but were unable to get tickets (the event was limited to 150 attendees) will be entertained with a different programme in view of the fading light. Brian Green will give an illustrated talk in the Pavilion about Dulwich’s former farms, Ian McInnes will lead a further walk and there will be a barbershop singing group.
Crown & Greyhound: The pub finally re-opened in the middle of June and there was a well-attended opening party on Thursday evening, 29 June. The interior is much as people remember, though cleaner and brighter, and with new furniture. There were some initial negative comments about the kitchen but hopefully the food and service will improve as it settles down. The rear garden is very pleasant and the hotel section, run under the ‘Inn keepers’ Lodge’ brand, appears to be popular - it was full within a few days.
Scheme of Management Office: Eve Shepherd has now joined the SoM office to assist Nina Rees. She works mornings 5 days a week and will be in charge of registering and progressing building licence applications. The SoM has also changed its policy over non-contentious applications. If there are no objections, and the licence goes through under delegated powers, Estate Trustees will no longer have ten days to comment. They will have to respond within the initial 21-day consultation. This should mean that these applications are dealt with in 4-6 weeks rather than 6-8 weeks as at present.
Inappropriate Commercial development in Ryecotes Mead: Despite a large number of objections from the residents on the estate, and from the Society, the Estate appears to have agreed to allow one of the maisonettes to be used as a private gynaecological clinic. This will seriously impact on the limited parking on the estate and cause considerable inconvenience to residents. It also sets an unfortunate precedent in allowing a commercial development on a private estate. The Society had hoped that the Estate’s expressed desire to improve its relations with residents would have led to a different outcome.
Grove Tavern Design Charrette: Now that the Half Moon Hotel and the Crown and Greyhound are open, only one pub on the Dulwich Estate remains closed, the Grove Tavern - on the corner of Lordship Lane and Dulwich Common. It has been shut since 2012 following a fire. The tenant, Stonegate, has around 8 years left on its lease and is still paying rent, rumoured to be in the order of £100,000 per annum and it is now pretty clear that they have no intention of reopening it. The Dulwich Estate did have some discussions with Southwark Planners but they could not agree a way forward and, although the site is identified as a development site in the new draft Southwark Plan, the planners have also said that they want the old pub to remain - impasse! An application to designate the pub as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) was rejected and the site is vacant with the building gradually deteriorating – a real eyesore at one of the major entrances to Dulwich.
The Society has obtained some funding from Southwark Council to run a design charrette – a workshop where local residents and other interested parties can discuss different options for the site – should it remain as a pub or should it be redeveloped? Hopefully the event will be held in late September or early October, look out for more information in the eNewsletter or on the Society’s website.