Update on Plans for Green Dale

Plans have been submitted to Southwark for the building of a new DHFC stadium on part of Green Dale. Details are online here.  At the time of writing there are 236 documents online, here. The timeline for submissions is not yet published as the submission has not yet been validated by LBS. 

Members are encouraged to focus their comments to local Councillors, including Ward Councillors and planning committee members. Planning Committee members here. Cabinet member for Public Health, Parks and leisure here. All Southwark Councillors here. The planning reference is 16/AP/1232.

FOGD will:

  • Liaise with local media 
  • Write to LBS and HPG
  • Raise concerns directly with Councillors
  • Prepare and submit a detailed response to the planning process
  • Ensure that all Planning Committee members are fully briefed
  • Provide information to members

FOGD will also continue to discuss concerns and possibilities with both LBS and HPG, including ensuring that the site continues to be kept free of junk, and that access for schools and local people is maintained throughout this period.

FOGD Committee Member Guy Haslam has taken on the role of Spokesperson on Stadium Development.

Position

Position on plans to build on and enclose part of Green Dale

The mission of the Friends of Green Dale is to protect, conserve and enhance the natural environment of Green Dale for the benefit of wildlife and people. Our members 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.

We will be objecting to the application for planning permission for the development.

5th  April 2016

 

[1] The Southwark Plan contains a presumption against inappropriate development on MOL that is not ‘essential’ or that does not ‘preserve the openness’ of MOL. Specifically, the Plan says that planning permission will only be permitted for development in limited circumstances including “Essential facilities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation…and for other uses…which preserve the openness of MOL and which do not conflict with the purposes of including land within MOL”.  We do not consider that the plans fall within these circumstances.