Hello everyone, and Happy New Year! I can’t believe we are already mid-January, this year is shaping up to be even faster than the last!
You may have been wondering where Pocket Places had gone over these last few months and that is because we have been working hard behind the scenes. We’ve been carefully following all of the official processes to get some of the interventions we trialled over the summer made permanent.
Thank you to those who took the time to respond to the public consultation on two of our Pockets; Choumert Grove Car Park (Tower Cinema) and Bournemouth Close. The comments were overwhelmingly positive and constructive. We have listened to what you have said, particularly about concerns over anti-social behaviour. We are working with specialists in Southwark Council and other external partners to design the best solutions.
So lots of questions to answer;
What happened to the Bandstand?
Although the bandstand was a fantastic hit on the day of the Pocket Places Peckham Spaces event, the hidden away location and not much audience on normal days made it a difficult busking spot. Organising a business to hold the key also made this intervention more complicated than others.
But it’s not all doom and gloom! The Bandstand is currently in hibernation in a Southwark Council yard and we are hoping to arrange for it to be relocated to Peckham Square where it will hopefully see much more performances during it’s lifetime!
Will the trees stay where they are outside the Peckhamplex Cinema?
Rye Lane Orchard has also been a great success, making Moncrieff Place feel like a welcoming and social space, much improved from the empty feeling it had before.
Thankfully the benches didn’t attract any anti-social behaviour and provided a much needed resting stop in the centre of Rye Lane. While the trees were very much appreciated the height of the bins and then the trees above were felt by some to be too high. In such a long narrow space we felt that it might be more effective to create varying levels within the intervention.
Unfortunately due to uncertainty about the future use of the Multi-storey car park we were unable to to dig the trees into the ground as we had once hoped. The proposal therefore is to create a series of Parklets and use the trees to form an avenue feeling to connect the alleyway with the Rye Lane side of Moncrieff Place.
What is a Parklet?
The concept of a Parklet was developed in America where one or two parking spaces is temporarily hired to create a park inside. This has the effect of creating more public green space with additional seating and amenity in places that would otherwise have been occupied by a single parked car. The concept can be applied temporarily for a day or two as we did in the Copeland Park in Peckham with the Crossways Centre.
or in a semi-permanent way whereby the intervention stays for months or years.
There aren’t any parking spaces in Moncrieff Place but the concept fits well with what we want to achieve in the space. You can see an artists impression of how it might look below, although we will be employing designers to develop the final designs.
What is happening in Holly Grove?
Many of the plans for Holly Grove did not receive the level of support frrom the immediate neighbourhood to enable us to make them permanent.. There is also uncertainty over plans around the new station development and so as not to duplicate works or worse, install works only for them to be removed in the near future, we decided to simply commit to decluttering the area around the roads connected to Rye Lane.
When will work start on the permanent interventions?
Peckham Platform, Southwark Council, Sustrans and a local resident will select an artist at the end of January to install an artwork in the corridor leading from Rye Lane to Choumert Grove Car Park. The walls will be repaired before the artist gets to work in spring. Another artist is to be commissioned to carry out workshops with local residents and parking officers to design an artwork to go on the surface of the Car Park. This will be done in two parts, the workshops and the final designs in the first part and the selection and implementation of the work in the second part. This work should be installed by August 2015.
Landscaping the borders around the pedestrianised circular area of Choumert Grove Car Park will also take place in spring with long grasses replacing the shrubs to open out the space and hopefully deter people from using the area as a toilet. The charity Celia Hammond and concerned local residents have been consulted about the cats and they feel that the grass is a good solution as the cats will be able to access it and possibly be even more protected by this type of foliage.
In Moncrieff Place the Parklets are due to be installed towards summer time and lighting along the alleyway will be installed in early Spring.
The plans for Bournemouth Close are going through the planning process now and we will hopefully break ground on site in March, this is a large and complicated site so we can’t give definite dates on when this work will go ahead.
Sustrans are submitting two plans for interventions on Rye Lane to support the East/West movement of pesestrians and cyclists. The first is outside McDonalds and the other is between Choumert Car Park Corridor and Bournemouth Road. These will go through the Southwark Council Highways Quality Design process and will be implemented later in 2015.
It is very exciting that we have the opportunity to make some of the ideas that came out of the co-design workshops a reality. Since those workshops, the ideas have been developed further through two draft plans and then the trial last summer and yet many of the things that we are implementing remain on the unusual side. This is thanks to the creativity and imagination of the participants of the co-design events but also to all of those who contributed to support these plans.
Please do watch this space for further news and share the briefs for the Parklets and the artist for the Car Park when they come out.
All the best,