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Opens Spaces Strategy

by James Barber on 6 April 2012

Southwark is currently consulting on the future of all our open spaces - how can we make them more cherished?

Our local East Dulwich input has been:

East Dulwich ward has no green space. So its an important subject to us down here.

Generally we need to open up the river frontage to ensure the Thames Path is contiguous there and all along the river in Southwark. Great destination string of open space for us from down here!

The draft strategy talks about greening streets. Many of our local street in ED are called Groves because they were originally completely tree lined. Bringing trees back to all our groves would mitigate the lack of accessible open space in the ED area.
We’ve used significant proportion of our annual CGS spend for this and more recently cherry blossoms to bring real colour for at least a few weeks of the year as well as green.

Children”s Play Areas are included in this strategy but no specific mention of naturalistic play which children learn so much more from. Goose Green playground is a good example – not completely naturalistic but certainly in that direction. We’ve just locally awarded another £5,000 to help with this.

What quality standards should we hold our open spaces to? Increasing the number and variety of open spaces achieving Green Flag status is a useful measure of this. We should also aim for all our cemeteries and crematoria, which are such significant open spaces, to achieve green flag awards. As part of this burial and crematoria charges should include an element used to fund endowments tp pay for high maintenance standard of our cemeteries and crematoria into perpetuity.

St.Francis Park used by so many ED residents is maintained by Sainsbury’s but to a minimal quality standard. We should expect more from Sainsbury’s and the S106 and have the focus as an authority to extract better quality from this S106.

Green Dale playing field and artificial pitch. The current abandoned patch would make allotments or new park and would go someway to relieving ED lack of open space.

Overall the Dulwich area is described  but this fails to spell out that much of East Dulwich ward has no ready access to open space. A large proportion of certainly ED houses have been subdivided into flats which usually restricts access to gardens. In this section it would be useful to spell out that the only potential for open space in East Dulwich ward is the Dulwich Hospital site and some open space should be included in any development.

If you’d like to contribute to this draft strategy please book a place via Kate.johnson@southwark.gov.uk for a workshop Monday 16 April, 5.30pm-8.00pm  at Dulwich Library, 368 Lordship Lane, SE22 8NB.

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