London is fortunate in having many green Parks and open spaces – this gives an opportunity for residents and families to escape their sometimes crowded homes; to find peace and recreation.
But there is another stakeholder in the open spaces of London – the wildlife and plant life of England benefits enormously from these green pockets, to the extent that these days the city itself is home to many species which are under threat in the heavily farmed countryside.
In our own area we are lucky to have Sydenham Woods nearby, in addition One Tree Hill. But also important to our wildlife are the three pockets of undeveloped land which are not parkland, so undisturbed. These are the former track of the Crystal Palace Railway, below Horniman Gardens, the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve and the Metropolitan Police Telecoms site adjacent to Horniman Drive. It is this type of land which provides corridors for nature to exist in a way that it did for the centuries before London expanded into the countryside.
Lewisham has put forward a development proposal for the Telecoms Site, but the question we at TLERA are asking is – why ? We can understand that Lewisham is under pressure from the Government to meet targets for new housing in the Borough, but surely the preservation of the Green Space is also a target ? There is still under-developed brownfield land in our local area. The Lewisham plan identifies 4 areas near the Station that could provide over 300 homes for residents without destroying a wild sanctuary for the sake of just 30 units