- 28 May 13 Keeping Greenwich Smart and Legal
- 28 May 13 Royal Borough Honours for Harold Marchant
- 28 May 13 Greenwich Society Pub/Wine Bar of the Year
- 1 Feb 13 How would you improve Greenwich Town Centre for pedestrians?
- 29 Mar 12 Perception of aircraft noise
- 9 Mar 12 Greenwich Peninsual West Masterplan - the Society's response
- 1 Mar 12 Join us on facebook
- 16 Feb 12
Stockwell Street Talk
Hidden History of Stockwell Street
- 6 Jul 11 Town Centre Pedestrianisation
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- 20 Jun 13 Greenwich Society Executive Committee Meeting
- 22 Jun 13 Greenwich Open Studios
- 25 Jun 13 Cricket Match
- 16 Jul 13 Greenwich Society Chairman's Committee Meeting
- 21 Aug 13 Greenwich Society Executive Committee Meeting
- 12 Sep 13 Greenwich Society Chairman's Committee Meeting
- 14 Oct 13 Visit to Temple Place
- 22 Oct 13 Greenwich Society Executive Committee Meeting
- 3 Nov 13 Annual Lecture
- 20 Nov 13 Greenwich Society Chairman's Committee Meeting
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The 2012 Olympics now seem a distant memory but plenty of challenges still face Greenwich in 2013 not least the pressures from development close to the World Heritage Site and on the Peninsula.
This year the Royal Borough's Core Strategy and Development Management Policies, a key document which will shape development in Greenwich until 2028 has to be published and approved as sound by an independent Planning Inspector.
This comes at a time when the Society is increasingly concerned about the lack of clarity and focus in the Council's approach to major developments. We have seen a recent decision to allow a development close to the O2 to go ahead without the agreed affordable housing element and, worse, the previously agreed master-plan for the area is to be thrown out of the window and replaced by an architectural free- for-all. There is to be no mixed and balanced community, it seems, but instead a wealthy ghetto of random towers occupying a prime river frontage and no doubt to be heavily marketed to overseas investors.
So the Society has taken the opportunity to press the case for a stronger and more sound Core Strategy both with the Council and at the public examination by the Inspector later this year. We shall argue for more realistic and less ambitious targets for new
housing, for an updated infrastructure plan and, above all, more effective consultation with the local community, a vital process where the Council's machinery seems to have fallen into disuse.
Closer to home for many of us than the Peninsula is Lovells Wharf where the developer's ambition to turn a mixed use plan into a predominantly residential project has finally surfaced as a planning application. We set out our worries on the front page of the January Newsletter and we hope the Council will refuse to agree to many more flats and much taller buildings dwarfing Banning Street and the surrounding neighbourhood.
It is not just greedy over-development that concerns the Society and its members: the turnout at the launch of the Greenwich Line Users Group (to be known as GLUG!) showed how little effective communication there has been from Network Rail and Southeastern Trains about the forthcoming disruption and changes at London Bridge.
Yet another reason why Greenwich needs a strong and thriving civic society with a growing membership of concerned local people. So your Committee is working on plans to boost our membership numbers. More on this, and the part you can play, in the July Newsletter.
Station to Station?
Passengers who use Westcombe Park, Maze Hill, Greenwich and Deptford rail stations, either to commute into central London, to visit the West end or the City, or to travel en route to airports or other destinations are going to find their journeys affected by the re-development of London Bridge station. Whatever the reason for travel by train and at whatever time of day the journey is made, there will be some affect on every passenger’s journey – at some point while the work is underway and, potentially, for the foreseeable future after the re-development work has been completed.
A £6 billion investment in completely rebuilding London Bridge station, the fourth busiest in the UK, will unify the current two stations, provide new platforms, a new concourse, incorporate escalators and lifts, offer more trains to more destinations, deliver a link to Crossrail and improve tube and bus interchanges.
However, there will be some serious consequences for passengers: -
- Between 2015 and 2016, trains running into Charing Cross will not stop at London Bridge.
- Between 2016 and 2017 trains running into Cannon Street will not stop at London Bridge.
- From 2018, when the work is complete, there will be no link between the lines approaching London Bridge, so Westcombe Park, Maze Hill, Greenwich and Deptford passengers will lose all direct services to Charing Cross; trains will only run to and from Cannon Street.
The Greenwich Society is concerned about the affects on passengers of these changes and wants both to make sure that all local people are aware of what is going to happen and, together with the Westcombe Society and with help from the Charlton Rail User Group, to do its best to represent passenger interests. After a very well attended public meeting at the end of March, the local Societies have helped to set up – GLUG – the Greenwich Line Users’ Group to provide a forum and a voice for local passengers, organisations and businesses. GLUG aims to establish links with southeastern, Network Rail, London Travel Watch, Transport for London and the Department for Transport so that a proper dialogue can take place and the needs of local passengers are properly and persuasively expressed.
The GLUG Steering Committee has already met twice and attended a stakeholder meeting held by Southeastern rail. It will, as soon as the rail industry is able to suply answers to our questions, hold its first public meeting – to pass on information and to canvass views and opinions. It is apparent that, although southeastern now has an extended franchise and is aware of the disruption that will be experienced by users of the Greenwich line, they have –as yet – no answer to questions about how passengers will be able to gain access to London Bridge and its environs (including the major hospitals) when our trains do not stop there.
GLUG also has questions about the long-term loss of the link to Charing Cross, increasing pressures on Westcombe Park and Maze Hill stations and those station environments, the lack of ticket and oyster machines, short trains that stop at the ends of the platforms and many other issues.
GLUG can be reached by email at : firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have concerns about the rail service and the impact of the forthcoming developments and changes, please look out for and attend the GLUG public meeting and let the Greenwich Society know of your views (email@example.com)
Honorary Secretary (and Member of the GLUG steering committee)
A downloadable version of the above article is available here - Station to Station
Latest London Bridge Leaflet - 23 May 2013
London Bridge redevelopment leaflet (from Network Rail)
New volunteers needed for Newsletter delivery!
Can you spare an hour or two every other month to support the Society?
We depend on our stalwart deliverers to get the Newsletter out to around 500 member households each month – saving the Society significant postage costs – and we could use your help!
We would be particularly interested in new deliverers from the Ashburnham Triangle, Blackheath and East Greenwich areas.
If you’re able to help out please contact Franklin Steves by telephone on
0208 853 2390 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does Greenwich mean to you?
The Greenwich Society, which was born as a civic amenity group in the late 1950s, aims to work to make Greenwich a better place for all who live, work and study here – from Deptford Creek to the O2 and from the river to Blackheath. The Society has a special interest in thriving, long and sustainable businesses, the town’s commercial centres East and West, regeneration, traffic management, the natural and built environment and relations with the local authority and all the agencies who have to manage change. Whether it is the watchfulness that is required to protect the town’s heritage or the natural concerns of local residents to improve its amenities, the Greenwich Society welcomes members and gives a voice to everyone who cares about the past, the present and the future.