Campaign group calls for rethink of Old Kent Road developments after Bakerloo extension put on hold

Residents, business owners and campaign groups have come together to call for the council to rethink developments in the Old Kent Road area.

The area was designated an opportunity area by the GLA  and since 2015 planning permission for 8,000 homes has been approved.

But in March plans for a Bakerloo line extension which would have seen two stations in the Old Kent Road area were put on hold.

The Old Kent Road Community Campaign is hoping the council will review the developments in light of the update.

They are worried the developments will price out local people, push out businesses and damage the environment.

Hazel Flynn, a member of the Old Kent Road Community Campaign, said: “What we don’t want is a ghost town – and we don’t want the whole place to be bought by overseas investors who don’t live here.

“We want to be constructive. We’re just saying things have changed, so listen to us. If they did listen I think they’d get an awful lot more local people on side.

“This was all done in 2017 and 2018 and the world has changed – everything’s changed.”

The Old Kent Community Campaign is supported by a number of groups, including Southwark Law Centre, Peckham Vision and Friends of Burgess Park.

XR Southwark, Vital OKR, and Southwark Planning Network are also supporting the campaign.

The campaign group are hoping the council will consider changing the plans to suit the needs of local people.

Ms Flynn said: “Most of these properties are one beds and two beds. 

“What we want, if they’re going to do this, is to build bigger units, like three and four beds because that’s where the housing need is. 

“That’s what the huge queues on the waiting list are for.”

The council have said that the largest demand for council housing is for one and two bed homes.

They said these are important as they provide the opportunity to reduce overcrowding in existing households by enabling adult children to move into their own homes.

This allows older people to downsize, freeing up three and four bed homes. 

The revised December 2020 Area Action Plan is committed to providing at least 4,000 family homes within OKRD and developers are being encouraged to provide additional four bed homes.          

The council also said they have consulted with the community about the plans.

Since 2015, more than 2,000 people have given their opinion on the plans.

Last December, the council updated the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan in response to this input from the local community. 

This updated plan was subject to four more months of consultation this year.

In June 2020, a community review panel was set up, made up of 12 local people chosen for their knowledge of the area and for representing a cross-section of the local population.

This independent panel has met once a month for the past year to discuss the regeneration proposals and to provide advice and feedback on projects before planning applications are made.



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