31 August 2021
To Tim Bostridge
Head of Development
New Homes Development Team, Housing and Modernisation
Dear Mr Bostridge
New council homes on Lomond Grove, SE5
Thank you for your letter of 29 July in response to our objections to Southwark
Council’s planned development (21/AP/1981) and the petition* against it.
While we welcome plans for new landscaping and an improved children’s play
area in the Lomond Grove/Caspian Street area, we are very disappointed that
the council still intends to destroy invaluable urban woodland, and has failed to
take into account public opinion in Southwark, which is overwhelmingly against
this and other proposals to build infill homes on community green space. Our
petition now has over 300 signatures, and 28 of the 29 public comments on the
planning application are objections.
• We would refer you to the council’s recent community consultation on
Linking Accessible Green Spaces within Camberwell, which showed strong
support for the enhancement of the green corridor between Burgess Park
and Camberwell Green.
• The proposals to build on the Lomond Grove site are non-compliant with
Southwark Council’s own policies, and pre-date both the council’s climate
emergency strategy and action plan, and the New Southwark Plan policy Trees
P60, which states: “Development must retain and enhance the borough’s trees
and canopy cover.”
• Trees lost to development cannot be replaced, as your letter suggests. A small,
newly planted tree, which may not survive, will not provide the same value as a
mature tree in terms of carbon storage, flood risk abatement, reduced heat island
effect, and natural habitat.
• Southwark Council has removed over 2,000 mature trees since 2018, and
canopy cover in Camberwell Green ward is only 14.1% – well below the London
average of 21%, according to data from the mayor’s office. The council’s
ambition to increase tree canopy as part of its response to the climate and
biodiversity crises can succeed only if remaining trees are retained and
protected at the same time as new trees are planted.
• Your inference that only category A trees are worth protecting sets a very
worrying precedent, as it would imply that up to 95% of Southwark’s trees are
eligible for removal. Surely none of us would want to see Southwark going down
the same notorious road as Sheffield City Council?
Southwark Nature Action Volunteers strongly support the building of new
council homes but we reject the idea that people must choose between social
housing and protecting trees and green spaces. It should be possible for the
council to modify its plans for Lomond Grove and retain the wooded area as a
nature garden. Our members would be very happy to work with you to achieve
We look forward to hearing from you.
With kind regards,
(On behalf of Southwark Nature Action Volunteers)
CC Cllrs Kieron Williams, Dora Dixon-Fyle and Tom Flynn; planning case officer,