POSITION ON PLANS TO BUILD ON AND ENCLOSE PART OF GREEN DALE

Friends of Green Dale have transformed Green Dale in recent years and we are delighted that so many people are now visiting and appreciating this special natural place.

We want to achieve a secure and sustainable future for Green Dale, where our vision of a natural open space to benefit wildlife and people is fully achieved.  We also want to see a secure and sustainable future for Dulwich Hamlet Football Club.

We oppose the plans to build a new football stadium which would extend onto and enclose part of Green Dale.  The proposal includes significant encroachment beyond the area of the current astroturf pitch and would narrow the green corridor from Dog Kennel Hill Wood to Green Dale lane.

Green Dale is Metropolitan Open Land (‘MOL’), which has the same status as Green Belt and is protected from building and enclosure.[1]  The proposal would enclose a large section of MOL with a high wall or fence that blocks the openness and landscape value of Green Dale. It would also see the loss of the current astroturf, which is a place for the community to exercise and play.

In recognition of the ecological value of Green Dale as a natural open space, Green Dale is set to be designated by Southwark Council as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.  The development risks causing damage to the diverse ecology of the area by encroaching on green space, causing noise and light pollution, and removing protection to birds and bats provided by the tree line next to the existing AstroTurf. The associated increase in footfall to the area causes soil erosion, which is a key contributor to surface water flooding.

The proposals include plans developed by Southwark Council for the rest of Green Dale.  These plans would sanitise a natural open space, which local people value for its sense of openness and wildness. People describe watching birds, seeing hedgehogs and having their children explore a place in which they can have more freedom and adventure than a conventional park.

We want to see Green Dale managed as a natural open space, without constructed areas such as play equipment and ornamental gardens (except the existing astroturf pitch) and where wildlife can flourish without the intervention of people. We want the current mosaic of diverse habitats to be maintained and a light-touch management approach taken to ensure that biodiversity is preserved and enhanced.

Friends and anyone with an interest are invited to submit their views to the planning process. The published deadline for applications is now stated as June  12th. Link to the Southwark site here.



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Love ye the scenes of rural life –
the lawn, the grove, the busy mill,
Free from the noise of care and strife?
Then turn your eye to Champion Hill.
— Anon 1796