Closures in and around Deptford

Screenshot 2020-08-28 at 09.05.32Screenshot from: https://www.tempworks-c19.com/

I recently received an email from Bojana Janković and Diana Damian-Martin, two immigrant writers currently in residence at The Albany and Deptford Lounge. They informed me about their project Temporary Works, an open access digital archive of real, imagined and potential closures and notices of termination in and around Deptford, and invited me to contribute something to the project and spread the word. I will contribute a couple of images of the New Cross Tyre Shop on Arklow Road which has shut down. It came up in conversation during my Deptford is Changing project, with one participant wondering what happened to it. The image on the left was taken in 2014, before the Anthology Development started and when the old buildings in the background were still intact. The image on the right was taken in 2018 when the building works had already started. The New Cross Tyre shop was still operating then but closed for good soon after that.

Bojana and Diana also invite you to participate. It can be a photograph, a letter, a drawing, a sound, a recording, or an image. It can be made by you, or it could be something you found. There is no immediate deadline, but the sooner you can submit something, the better. It is really easy to submit (see screenshot below), just follow the simple instructions on their website: http://www.tempworks-c19.com

Screenshot 2020-08-27 at 10.51.55Screenshot from their submission page: https://www.tempworks-c19.com/

Another new development in Deptford

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This image shows a summer festival taking place in the children’s playground in Charlotte Turner Gardens in 2018. There are now plans by developer Aurora Apartments to construct a three-storey block of flats at the top end (where the trees are – mid-centre of the image), which would completely overshadow this playground. The building would be a tight squeeze between an already narrow road (McMillan Street) where cars get stuck constantly due to lack of space and end up on the pavement endangering pedestrians, and the playground. It would block out light from flats in the opposite block only constructed a few years ago, it would block out the light from, and overlook from close proximity, the outdoor space of Armada Community Hall, which is often used by playgroups, it would block out the light from the playground, and it would allow the new residents to watch children playing at extremely close distance. During construction, neither the playground nor the Armada Hall yard could be used. Just for these reasons it seems crazy to squeeze in a block of flats in this small piece of land. I’m very pleased to hear that Greenwich Council have rejected the proposal for these reasons. But there are also other reasons, which are clearly outlined in the latest newsletter from Deptford Folk, a constituted park user group representing Deptford Park & Folkestone Gardens. Rather than me repeating their detailed newsletter, you can click on this link to their newsletter, where you can find all the information and also click to object.  You can also sign a petition here if you click on this link. 

I’ve signed the petition and objected to the plans for the reasons above but also because Deptford is so desperate for safe, green and open spaces, as well as playgrounds (and this one is on grass rather than the usual rubber flooring). This park has become particularly important since lockdown, with many families using Charlotte Turner Gardens as their only accessible green space. I have never seen the park and playground so busy as this summer and it’s really helped local residents trying to cope with the current situation. I myself have come to use this park much more and its open feel has really helped me through lockdown. The sunsets have been especially lovely, with the last rays still reaching the park due to its open design. The new building would overshadow this open feel by significantly narrowing the currently wide and open entrance, and park users and residents would feel much more closed in. Another reason why I object is that the proposed building does not meet any of the criteria for affordable housing or social housing, and as we all know, Deptford needs more of that and less homes for sale.

Below is a screenshot of part of Deptford Folk’s newsletter (the links on here don’t work as it’s an image. To object or read more, please click on the link above).

Screenshot 2020-08-17 at 14.04.55