Camberwell area plan

Overview

Southwark Council recognises that many people with a connection to Camberwell, whether they live, work or visit the area, enjoy the fantastic things the area has to offer. We also recognise that there's room for improvement.

In 2018 we received funding from the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund to conduct research and analysis to look at ways to improve the area. The aim of this high level study was to develop a plan and produce recommendations to help this area to maximise its potential for people who currently live, work or visit the area and for people who wish to come in the future.

We worked with the Mayor of London’s office and the Greater London Authority to appoint a consortium of professionals with the right skills to undertake the work required.

In late 2018, a consortium led by Gort Scott was appointed to work with us until May 2019 to deliver the following:

  1. Produce a Plan for Camberwell including a long term vision.
  2. Agree what we can do practically in the short term to support the vision. We'll be using these ideas to form a bid for future funding in order to deliver these short term measures.

Members of the consortium led by Gort Scott (Masterplanners) are as follows:

  • Carver Haggard (architects)
  • Daisy Froud (community engagement)
  • Graham Harrington (planning)
  • Uncommon (landscaping)
  • Buro Happold (transport)

Where are we looking?

This plan will comprise one small but important aspect of how we can improve the place we love. It won’t solve everything, but the area is changing already and we want to steer that change to support the existing communities as well as for the future.

You can see the boundary map (pdf, 492kb) here.

The focus of the study is Camberwell Town Centre and Camberwell Station Road and straddles both Lambeth and Southwark. The improvements will extend across and beyond the area, so it's important not to focus too much on the boundaries. We don’t look at any area in isolation but the boundary is necessary for data analysis.

What are we looking at?

Firstly, we look to see if there are ways to unlock the potential of neglected areas in Camberwell such as along Camberwell Station Road. We don’t want a piecemeal approach to development. That's why this vision needs to be agreed now and upfront, to influence good decision making further down the line. This means working with residents, businesses, land owners, Transport for London, hospitals, Lambeth Council, Network Rail, developers and others. At the heart of this is capturing the area's character with it’s rich history and heritage.

Part of this is also looking at how people move through the area, not just now but in the future. For example, there's strong local support for Camberwell station to reopen, but people will need to walk from the high street to the station without a long detour. We need to future proof this.

As part of this study, we'll be gathering valuable data to support the business case to reopen Camberwell Station.

We want to create a more vibrant town centre, for example, working with landlords to support temporary use in empty shopfronts. This could be pop up galleries which in turn support creative industries. This is just one example of delivering what we call “active frontages”, so when people walk down the street they feel connected to what's happening in the buildings they pass.

We think there may be a missed opportunity to get more people from the hospital sites into the town centre to support the local economy and small businesses.

We want to build further on recent works to the pavements and pocket places to encourage more pedestrians, which in turn generates more trade to support the local economy.

Over the past few months we've been speaking to people regarding the area plan to set out the longer term vision part of the work.

We also want to deliver short term, tangible wins to support this longer term vision.

We'll be setting out a range of ideas on how we can improve how it feels to be in Camberwell. Some people tell us that as much as they love the area, Camberwell can be noisy, polluted, and to some, parts of it can even feel threatening.

These shorter term wins will be improvements ranging from creating nicer pavements, more trees or other creative ways to engender a stronger sense of pride and place.

Where you come in

We want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to everybody who attended the consultation day on 16 February 2019 (pdf, 465kb).  We're so grateful to everyone who took time out of their day to come and tell us what they think and to give us valuable information to help produce the plan. Here are the boards that were displayed during the consultation (pdf, 4.7mb).

We need to keep listening to people who know the area in order to produce the best plan possible. Please look out for dates for future consultations by checking this web page or by emailing camberwellplan@southwark.gov.uk to be added to the consultation mailing list. If you have any queries or thoughts, send an email to the email address above or attend a future consultation event.

Page last updated: 09 April 2019