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Bulletin No. 29



The recently published "WATERFRONT" newsletter contains a comment to the effect that – and we quote:

"The Canada Water Campaign Vision is contrary to any planning policies issued by London Wide and Central Government".

This is a blatant lie and a flagrant attempt to undermine the positive way in which the Canada Water Campaign is approaching regeneration of this important and sensitive part of Southwark.

The Canada Water Campaign seeks sustainable development, retention of Canada Water as an environmental attraction, a safer, socially included community and sensible transport infrastructure. All of these aims are within planning guidelines and policy both current and projected within future Urban Development Plans. We reject inappropriate high density or high rise offices to the extent that overdevelopment detracts from the overall vision. But there is nothing wrong with this.

Forcing developers and planners to think of the future impact of their sometimes grandiose ideas is important. We don’t want white elephants or too many buildings catering for peak time office use. The Jubilee line even if improved will barely be able to cope with Canary Wharf traffic – never mind housing expansion in North Greenwich. We don’t want Surrey Quays road turned into a petrol fume filled racetrack further extending the air quality problems of Lower Road. We do want a sustainable waterside village centre that, to the maximum extent within planning guidelines is "LOW, CLEAN AND GREEN".

We know that developers have to make profits and that land values have to be maximized. Our planning team contains planners, architects, bankers and other professionals to make sure that we understand exactly what central and local government aspires to. We intend to contribute to those aims and not be put down by developers or others whose short term financial or political gain demands selling out to the highest bidders.

The Canada Water Campaign vision was supported at the General Election by EVERY major political party in Southwark.

The vision is supported by Tenants Associations, Residents Associations, the Voluntary Sector, Faith Groups and is central to the Community Role on the Canada Water Consultative Forum. We believe that as a non-political body the Canada Water Campaign has articulated the active aspirations of over 40% of voters in Rotherhithe – a rather better level of voter support than all three main political parties combined. Our campaign is supported by all colours, ages and creeds and has set out from the start to give a voice to the community. Our vision was arrived at after many public meetings and many months of debate. Only last night (23rd October) a well attended meeting including councillors, local residents and 15 Tenants Associations of the Cherry Garden neighbourhood forum yet again voiced its support.

In our view undue haste to publish and sloppy management processes have yet again undermined progress in building trust between the community and the council.

We find it offensive that Canada Water Campaign should not have had the opportunity to comment on the content of "Waterfront" prior to publication despite prior assurances dating back over 9 months.

We find it intolerable that lies about the vision should be published in an official Southwark publication and demand an immediate apology and retraction.

David Brunskill
Canada Water Campaign

24 October 2001

Gary Glover
Vice Chair
Canada Water Campaign

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