Southwark Council has submitted a planning application to build 22 council homes on Lomond Grove in Camberwell, part of the Elmington estate, behind 61-91 Brisbane Street. Inside this walled-off area, currently padlocked and neglected, is a pocket of urban woodland with at least 20 mature trees – mainly sycamore but also ash, crab apple and cherry. All of the trees will be cut down for the new development.
We support the building of much-needed new council homes, but it has also been proven that living close to trees and green spaces is very important for people’s physical and mental health. And housing in the immediate area will soon increase due to other projects, with two development sites on Lomond Grove for up to 89 new homes, and up to 160 on the now-closed Camberwell magistrates’ court.
The council should be protecting and enhancing green space to meet the needs of this rising population, not destroying it. Take the padlock off the gate, clean it up and maintain it! This woodland should be opened up for local people to enjoy, as it once was.
The woodland is also part of the green corridor connecting Burgess Park and Camberwell Green, providing the opportunity for wildlife to flourish and for all to experience nature. Trees are vital for carbon sequestration in response to the climate emergency. In addition, this neighbourhood has been identified as at risk of flooding–the woodland will help absorb the water and reduce risk, while increased building will increase that risk.
Residents came away from consultations last year feeling that the development was already a done deal, and they had no choice in the matter. We are concerned that the council did not clearly give residents the option for their woodland to be restored and made accessible, before pressing ahead with its plans to build. We would like to see the trees protected to become part of a wildlife garden for residents, as well as an educational resource for children who have no garden of their own.
We call on Southwark Council to pause its plans to build on the woodland and begin genuine engagement with local residents about the future of the site.
Please sign our petition – already over 300 signatures as of 30 July 2021! at
And then go to
to make your comments directly to the council planning committee.