Where’s Your Canopy – Saturday Walk 16th July 2016 – meet at the Coronet 11am

Version 2

We have Lend Lease’s latest formal claims and plans to share with you on Saturday…

We will keep walking, talking, acting until Lend Lease are embarrassed into meeting their planning obligations from 2013 to restore the “public welfare values” of the urban forest that they were given by replacing the destroyed trees with 1200 in the streets around the site, “reconnecting the Elephant … with green corridors … (using) … 640 street trees” and hundreds more in parks, estates and schools too. So far they have failed utterly and Southwark Council and the GLA have shown themselves weak, witless and compromised by their money and have so far let them get away with it. We have the latest version of LL’s formal claims and plans to share with you on Saturday…

The other most notable characteristic of the “regeneration” of the Elephant and Castle “Opportunity Area” is the overt and well-documented social cleansing. Instead of regenerating the area for an existing community, that community was largely decanted, dispersed, de-housed, and destroyed in an ongoing process. The same is right now being planned for the overlapping Old Kent Road Opportunity Area. This is not what regeneration means…

William Fisher and his younger brother as well as the hapless driver of the vehicle that killed them both on Rodney Road exemplify the kinds of people being flushed out of this central London forest and Land of Opportunity -for global corporate raiders like the utterly unscrupulous non-delivering Lend Lease. We will memorialise William’s heroic self-sacrifice (as honoured at Postman’s Park, linked by the Millennium Bridge to this patch of forest) where he lived and died: on Rodney Road, in East Walworth.

The process starts on Saturday and we have no doubt that local Labour Councillors whose raison d’être is to champion the interests of people like William (against the massive profits of raiders like Lend Lease, cough, choke…) will support us in the coming months. Indeed, they have been invited to join us on Saturday and will no doubt prioritise such an important symbolic recognition of the people whom they profess to serve. We look forward to their sterling support in formalising the memorial in time but meanwhile join them and us on Saturday at 11!

RSVP here

11a.m. Saturday Walk 4th June meet at The Coronet | Where’s Your Canopy? #LondonTreeWeek @LDN_environment


another Opportunity-for-whom Area: OKR and Berkeley’s v significant Malt Street site exhibition 20/21 April

Malt Street Regeneration Berkeley Site_red_line

Berkeley Group’s Malt Street site. Opportunity-for-whom area?

Here is an image of Berkeley’s site, taken from their Malt Street project website (here), which we use in preference to a cropped version on their Malt Street Leaflet -also below.

The image of ‘Malt Street’ above shows the urban context of their historic site off the road to Kent (and Canterbury, in particular, given the medieval ownership of lands nearby), with it’s connectivity with and proximity to the greenery of the Friary Estate, Burgess Park and it’s westerly reach, Glengall Wharf and the green corridor to the heart of Peckham (and Persia) and cycling routes immediately north and then easterly to Rotherhithe and Deptford.

It will be the first of the OKR’s so-called ‘Opportunity Area’ developments, at present home to Travis-Perkins and other similar enterprises, but directly bordering the Friary Estate’s extraordinary greenness: maturing trees, open green spaces, play areas and gorgeously overgrown parts. The Friary Estate is just the sort of well planned and generously laid out, lively and accessible housing estate in Southwark (and beyond) that is vulnerable to social cleansing, demolition and privatisation for global corporations -as we’ve seen all too clearly in recent years.

For these reasons and more you might want to visit the exhibition advertised on the 20th and 21st  April and advocate for all the good things that regeneration was and is supposed to mean and bring for existing communities instead of the banalities, brutalising exploitation and contempt for people and place, public interest, ownership and access, already mixed communities and the ecology of Southwark, to date. If that sounds hyperbolic look at socially, politically and ecologically regressive Elephant Park -which turned a flourishing urban forest into a motorway service station (to come)!

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p.s. LONDON’S NEW GREYEST PLACE TO LIVE #ElephantPark #LendLease


This is the greenest possible version of the devastation Lend Lease have wrought, reducing a 500 tree urban forest to this. Remember that they wanted to destroy even the trees that remain and would have done if it were not for us -us here and you there.

They were supposed to reconnect the Elephant with green corridors linking their site with green spaces in the neighbourhood in 2014. And in 2015. That included a legal commitment to plant over 200 replacement trees in that way, over 100 in the streets in both years (106 each year for six years to total in their words “640 street trees”). They should be well on their way to a further 100 by this point in 2016 too… If they -or the planning system- had any credibility whatsoever.

Instead, there are perhaps as many as 11 in or near the street and others scattered from 400 metres up to over a kilometre away in neighbouring Wards. Instead! All of which is a total breach of their planning commitments from January 2013. A total breach despite their endless repetition of the words above: connecting, green corridors, neighbourhood and all of which sits under their farcical claim to be building ‘London’s greenest new place to live’.

This WAS one of the greenest places to live in central London. Now it is as grey as the M4 or M1. Thanks entirely to Lend Lease Group, who have meanwhile profited in the millions from fast bucks at this development and report profits in the hundreds of millions worldwide. They (and all their little helpers) are an obscenity.

Londoners should join forces to stop them ripping of this city and the people who live (work, study, etc.) here: you, me, we, us, our neighbours, families and friends and further…

We can achieve that, between us, if we try, if we can be bothered! None of this was or is inevitable. We have years in which to force Lend Lease to replace the forest they destroyed and restore its public welfare values to the people of the place.

Lend Lease only aim to be in and out as fast as possible with as much swag as possible. Let’s make it hard, as hard as we possibly can?

Look out for our Tree Week walk/talk -a refresher of the old Saturday Walk called Where’s Your Canopy?- late May/early June, more details announced soon. Come! Join us?


on putting #LendLease’s excessive profits (here extracted by a fine) to good GREEN use: manhattan parks #GreenBranding

Outline Planning Application from Lend Lease March 2012, showing the Heygate Forest, now the Elephant Park Greybelt

Read on here

RESEND06 To a Stones Roses’ Loving Cabinet Member Responsible for a socially, politically, ecologically regressive regeneration #growsome

RESEND06 To a Stones Roses' Loving Cabinet Member Responsible for a socially, politically, ecologically regressive regeneration

GMA’s latest attempt to encourage Cllr Mark Williams (Cab Mem etc.) to find the decency or … something to reply to the email he wanted to have six or seven weeks ago… Open, transparent, accountable they say, with a firm grasp on the meaning of those words evidently. A good job for him that we confine our efforts to kindly comprehensive (original) emails to him and the odd tweet, isn’t it?! Williams is not the worst, just a bog-standard version of the type: confused, cowering, complicit… He’ll never find the character to respond with any substance obviously, we just felt like sharing… 

contra Councillor Williams blarney, it is #LendLease who profit in the 00s of millions, but can’t restore the public welfare value of 00s of street trees

hundreds of millions #ElephantPark #MarkWilliams #BoyRacers

Hundreds of millions #ElephantPark #MarkWilliams #BoyRacers

Christina Murray’s piece in the Architect’s Journal is a must read, we link to it here and below. If access is restricted and you are not a subscriber, do spend a few seconds subscribing for free which will give you access to quite a lot of free content…


It contrasts with the offensive absurdity below by Councillor Mark Williams, Southwark’s Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Regeneration, etc. and the man who voted against an established car-free policy and clear public interest to push through 20% cars and a gated community at Trafalgar Place: the first phase of Elephant Park, which resulted in 245 private ‘units’ being stuffed there in place of 105 Council homes. Of the two and half times new units built, 8 were partial equivalents to what stood there previously…

Councillor Williams is responsible for that socially, politically, ecologically regressive obscenity.

Read his fantastically witless delusions here or below: Read more of this post