- The founder of local venue CLF Art Cafe is among those challenging Tiger Developments and Southwark Council South London.
The Peckham community is petitioning Southwark Council over Tiger Developments' plans for the Aylesham Centre on Rye Lane.
Led by local South London group Peckham Vision along with Mickey Smith, the founder and director of CLF Art Cafe, which houses Bussey Building, Block A and Rye Wax, the aim at this stage is for the council and Tiger to "work with local people to develop a meaningful consultation process and give people the information we need and enough time to understand what is proposed." In an email, the campaign says the "the developer has pulled a fast one and done a public consultation in August (during holidays in the middle of a pandemic) to avoid scrutiny and now intends to put in for planning permission at months end and ram the project through."
Tiger Developments' plans, which can be viewed here, include constructing four buildings at six, eight, 11 and 20 storeys high. "If successful, this would destroy [the] Peckham skyline, with buildings towering 14 storeys higher than the top of Frank's [Cafe, part of Peckham Levels]," Smith said in an email. "It would also be a greenlight for gentrification, and we are fighting desperately to stop this."
The campaign team says they are not against the idea of development on the centre. Their main concerns are the planned development "is out of character with its community," that it "does not meet local housing needs" and they want to correct the "very inadequate" consultation.
"To be clear, we/most people in Peckham have no problem with the idea of a new community-sensitive build across the Aylesham Centre," the campaign says in an email. "One that improves the area, taking into consideration what Peckham is and what it wants to be. However, this 'plan' does not do that, far from it, and frankly put, is an absolute slap in the face to the entire SE15 and Peckham community and must be stopped!"
Find the petition in support of further consultation among the local community, Southwark Council and Tiger Developments here. At time of writing, it's fewer than 20 signatures shy of its goal of 1,000.
This petition comes as the landmark Elephant and Castle shopping centre is set to close at the end of this month in order to begin controversial redevelopment of the hub for Latin communities and nightlife. (The planning application says the developer will provide Corsica Studios £125,000 to go towards soundproofing the club, while Latin venues Distriandina and La Bodeguita will be forced to close.) Those plans were approved by the London mayor's office in December 2018. Read Vice's in-depth report on the human cost of the £4 billion "regeneration" scheme.
Earlier this summer, the Brixton community successfully rallied to fight the Brixton Market eviction of Nour Cash & Carry by landlord Taylor McWilliams, who runs investment firm Hondo Enterprises. McWilliams is a member of the London-based DJ group Housekeeping.
See a model of the planned development for the Aylesham Centre and a graphic on how the new building plans compare to current structures.