Nowhere to play in New Cross


The Guardian has shone a spotlight on one of the campaigns London Play is supporting through the Communities United for Play initiative: in Lewisham,  parents and children are angry that developers have firstly taken over the only playground in the area, and then failed to reopen it as promised.

The story was picked up by ITV London News as shown in the clip below.

And from the Guardian:

Peabody yet to restore park after finishing construction work in 2020, leaving children with no green space.

Families in south London are demanding that an award-winning developer reopens a park that was boarded up in 2018 for the construction of new homes.

Hatcham Gardens sits in a densely built part of Lewisham next to a school and surrounded by flats. Peabody was given permission by Lewisham council to close the park temporarily for use during construction.

The homes in the Pomeroy development – most of them for private sale – were finished in 2020 and people moved in during spring 2021 but the park is still boarded up.

Keith Barr, the headteacher of Kender primary school, which overlooks the park, is angry that local children – who live sandwiched between two heavily polluted main roads – have missed out for so long.

“This was a very well used space in an area where many of our children live in flats. Parents and children used to just head straight over there after school – on summer days like this, they stay there for hours playing,” he said. “Our year 6 children – who are 11 – have not been able to play there since starting school in 2016. The nearest park is now a 20-minute walk away.”

Read more on the Guardian website, here.

And The Sun has also covered the story here.

Current work
This two year project sees London Play working alongside local play campaigners, supporting them to successfully challenge threats to local play spaces or services; and influence decisions relating to play.
Play news
Southwark residents marched on council offices to protest against proposed infill developments that they say will rob existing residents of space for play as well as natural light and recreation opportunities.


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