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).