New Chairman for the Society
Ian McInnes, a former chairman of the Planning and Architecture Group has succeeded Adrian Hill as chairman of the Dulwich Society following Adrian’s retirement.
In a tribute to Adrian’s chairmanship over the past eight years, Michael Rich, president of the Society, praised Adrian’s judgement and courage in his handling of recent difficult issues such as the Herne Hill Velodrome and development plans for Crystal Palace Park.
The Society presented Adrian with some handsome gardening tools to assist him in his passion for vegetable garden on his allotment in Grange Lane. The Society will continue to enjoy Adrian’s services as he will remain on the Executive Committee.
Council overruled on Telephone Mast
The Planning Inspectorate has overruled the decision by Southwark Council’s planning committee to refuse an application by Vodafone to erect an 18m high replica cypress tree telecommunications mast in the grounds of the South Bank University in Turney Road.
In his decision the Inspector stated that the mast would be a long way from any significant building or public viewpoint and would not be intrusive when seen from any dwelling. The sylvan appearance and historic fabric of the locality would, he said, be unaffected and the impact on Metropolitan Open Land minimal. Radio frequency emissions, which were cited by some objectors as a case for refusing the application, were, the Inspector said, a small fraction of the radio frequency exposure guidelines.
The original application by Vodafone and supported by the Dulwich Estate was to locate the mast in the adjoining field in Gallery Road. The Dulwich Society objected to this on the grounds that it was obtrusive and within 200 metres of the nearest houses and thus within the beam of maximum intensity.
The policy of the Dulwich Society over the question of mobile telephone masts is to oppose applications to all masts near housing and schools but that it does recognise that blanket opposition to all masts is unsustainable and that there is a poor quality of signal reception in parts of Dulwich.
When the application was first made, John Ward investigated alternative sites for a mast and proposed to the Dulwich Estate and Vodafone that the installation of the disguised mast in a clump of trees in the corner of a large sports field in Turney Road was the most distant location from any housing. He also persuaded South Bank University to hold talks with the parties involved. His initiative was supported by the Society. However, when the application went to the planning committee of Southwark Council, the application was refused.
Adrian Hill announced at the annual general meeting that in his professional opinion an appeal in the High Court against the Inspector’s decision to allow the application was unlikely to succeed.
Traffic & Transport
We reported last autumn that a scheme had been developed to reconfigure the complex road junction at Herne Hill. Six roads meet there, at the border between Southwark and Lambeth. The present layout is agreed to be quite unsatisfactory, with buses having to make convoluted turns through side streets and pedestrians unable to get safely to Brockwell Park.
The new arrangement will close off and pedestrianise the southern end of Railton Road and enable buses to keep to main the roads and pedestrians to get safely to the park. In addition to these improvements related to traffic, the scheme will contribute to the regeneration of the local economy by making it a pleasanter and safer destination for shoppers and others.
To make all this possible, the boundary of the park has to be moved back a little to create a new slip road and a large pedestrian island. Lambeth Council needed to obtain planning consent (from itself!) for moving the park boundary and railings. Following widespread consultation and local support this consent has now been granted, but not without some opposition from the Friends of Brockwell Park and others.
Lambeth Council, in collaboration with Southwark Council, Transport for London and the local community, is now moving to implement the scheme. We hope to see it finished by the end of this financial year.
Traffic through Dulwich Village
We all love and admire Dulwich Village and its immediate surroundings. The village has its magnificent chestnut trees set in the grassy ‘manor wastes’, its restaurants and friendly local shops. College Road has the Picture Gallery and the charming cottage to which Charles Dickens envisaged Mr Pickwick retiring.
Approaching from the north, Sunray Avenue and Red Post Hill pass the well-equipped little park, Sunray Gardens, and the historic listed North Dulwich Station.
BUT, all this is being spoilt by over-dominance of through traffic. This is congested and polluting at peak commuting times; fast and dangerous at other times. The spine of Sunray Avenue/Dulwich Village/College Road has long been a favourite commuter route from Denmark Hill to the South Circular. Now, Satnavs, directing lorries along that route add to the pressure.
So, the Dulwich Society’s Executive Committee and its Traffic & Transport Committee have decided to press for measures to reduce traffic and encourage more local cycling. More people on bikes, for example school pupils, will reduce peak hour traffic. So the net effect of the type of measures we advocate should not increase traffic on neighbouring roads.
The measures envisaged by the Society are:
For Red Post Hill
(a) A weight limit and narrowing of the road over the new bridge (notwithstanding the current expensive reconstruction to comply with EU safety regulations)
(b) Changes to the junction of Sunray Avenue and Denmark Hill
(c) More effective humps
For Dulwich Village
A streetscape which:
(a) is worthy of this historic road, in a conservation area
(b) retains Dulwich Village’s iconic historic forest trees and grass verges
(c) is less dominated by through traffic, clogged at peak periods and dangerously fast at other times
(d) retains adequate car parking for shoppers
(e) is safe for cyclists, including pupils going to and from schools
(f) is quieter, safer and most pleasant for pedestrians, residents and visitors.
For College Road north of the South Circular
(a) Reduce speeds on this wide road
(b) Arrange the car parking for the Picture Gallery to reduce danger from fast moving traffic
(c) Improve cycling routes.
Bill Higman and Alastair Hanton, Chair, Traffic and Transport Committee
Dulwich Society gives further cash to Park
The Dulwich Society, which has already given large sums to Dulwich Park towards the play area, the car park and tree planting has given a further £1500 towards the £6000 cost of new reed beds and shrubs around the lake and further £1000 for more planting.
Landscaping of Post-War Estates
At the last Consultative Committee meeting of the Scheme of Management, of which the Dulwich Society is a member, the Dulwich Estate as Managers were asked to consider having a general policy to maintain original landscape design features on some of its post- war estates as some leaseholders were thought to be changing the original open-plan design integrity by introducing fencing around their properties. The Managers replied as follows:
There is nothing in the Scheme of Management which permits the Managers to insist that the original landscaping is retained: the Scheme focuses on external changes to buildings or structures and works to trees. The Managers have policy Guidelines to cover boundary treatment (Guideline 2) and Guideline 13 covers garden structures. Structural changes to a garden (hard landscaping) which can be seen from outside the boundaries of a property do require consent from the Managers.
There are certain developments within some estates (built in the 1960’s) where the plan was for an open aspect (such as the Woodhall Estate). There was an absence of fencing between the properties and the Managers are not in favour of fencing off the gardens. However, owners have, inevitably planted boundaries (which does not require consent). Unfortunately there is a general movement to fence off boundaries. Thus, it is not a question of the Managers having a weak policy but more of owners exercising their rights to fashion their gardens how they wish.
Arbitration is underway in regard to the refusal by the Dulwich Estate, as Managers of the Scheme of Management, to permit a hard standing in a road in Dulwich. The Estate has issued this notice in respect of hard standings.
Freeholders are reminded that under the Scheme of Management, any proposal for a hard standing for off-street parking requires the prior consent of the Managers. Generally, these will not be permitted where more than half of the original front garden would be lost; the remainder of the garden must be retained as a planted area. Residents considering forming hard standings for car parking must consider the impact on the streetscape.
The setting and architectural character of a group of are major factors which will influence the decision of the Managers; hard standings will not be approved where it is considered they would have an adverse impact. For example, a recent application in regard to a property in Druce Road (where there are currently no authorised hard standings) was rejected with overwhelming support of neighbours: 14 individual objections and a petition signed by 32 neighbours.
If a proposal is acceptable, the materials forming the hard standing and drive, and the associated landscaping must be in sympathy with the design of the property and adjoining streetscape. Careful consideration should be given to the means by which surface water will drain from the hard standing.
As a condition of the licence for a hard standing, the planting scheme approved as part of the application must be fully kept in order to provide adequate screening of a parked vehicle – when plants and shrubs die off, the freeholder is expected to plant replacements.
Further information can be obtained from: www.thedulwichestate.org.uk or the Scheme of Management Office, The Old Grammar School, Burbage Road, SE 21 7AF Tel: 020 8299 5666
The programme of Sunday afternoon visits to members’ gardens is now well underway. If you are not on the mailing list of the Garden group and would like to participate in these visits, please contact John Ward (020 7274 5172) to receive a copy of the programme.
Dulwich Society Events in June and July
Garden Group Coach Outing to Nymans Garden and Squerryes Court. Thursday 26th June, leaving Dulwich Picture Gallery 9.30am. Tickets £28 from Mrs Ina Pulleine tel:020 8670 5477 after 11.00am
Local History Group – Historical Walk. Sunday 29th June – Find out about Byron, the Somme, lost railways and garden follies – all in 1_ hours! Led by Brian Green, Bernard Nurse and Bernard Victor. Meet at the bottom of Cox’s Walk (opposite the Harvester) Dulwich Common 2.30pm
Wildlife – Bat Walk Thursday 31 July at 8.30pm (bring torch) in Belair Park. Meet in the car park at Belair Park. Led by Colin Higgins of the London Wildlife Trust. Bat echolocation detectors will be used to identify different types of bats from the radiowave frequency. Daubenton’ (which hunt over water) and two kinds of pipistrelle bats are known to use the park to hunt flying insects at dusk