Old Kent Road – Redevelopment of the area

The plans to develop the Old Kent Road through the opportunity area will impact on Burgess Park, green routes, cycling and cycle/pedestrian routes. Old Kent Road response to the area action plan which sets out the changes the Council want to see. One of the first sites for redevelopment is close to Glengall Wharf Garden/Glengall Road. FOBP have commented on the Berkeley Homes plans for Malt St.

Burgess Park West Planning Application

The planning application for the Burgess Park West project has been submitted by the Council. The statutory consultation period has begun, and you are welcome to submit comments by the deadline of Wednesday 14 September. FOBP will be reviewing the application.

You can respond by filling in the online form, or via email to or via post to Planning Department, Southwark Council, PO Box 64529, London SE1P 5LX. If you comment by email or post please remember to quote the reference number which is 16/AP/3165.

FOBP will be discussing the application at the Tuesday, 6 September meeting at 7.30pm, Sports Centre, Cobourg Road.

Library Square (Peckham Square) Planning Applications

The planning applications for Mountview Academy and the Peckham Arch/Peckham housing will have  substantial impact on the public square at the end of Surrey Canal Walk. FOBP have responded. Read the full response and the key points are:

  • Careful and thoughtful design across the whole area would improve the design of the public realm uniting the landscaping of Surrey Canal Walk and the square. We would like to see a high quality design which brings the green of Surrey Canal Walk into Peckham, provides a space for relaxation to enjoy nature as well as social events and active management of cycling and pedestrian movement.
  • None of the individual planning applications make an overall assessment of the impact of these changes on the square. Whilst this is not a planning requirement it would be helpful to understand and get the best from these significant changes proposed to the buildings in this small area of public open space.
  • Insufficient consideration has been given to:
    • The space available will be smaller than currently so less room for pedestrians/cyclist. We want to see reduced numbers of peak time commuter cycling on SCW and Peckham Square through the better promotion and design quality of an alternative route.
    • We are concerned at the proposed site plan for the Mountview Academy which shows encroachment on open space and Metropolitan Open Land (possibly tbc).
    • We are concerned about the impact of the Mountview Academy and the new housing on the Library Square and public realm: sunshine and shade, lighting and tree/greening.  
    • Further details on the design intentions for the square and the linkage between the current grass area of SCW and the paved square would be welcome.

Next steps for the Community Sports Centre 

Further consultation has just begun on the masterplan proposals for the sports centre, playing fields and Coburg Road. Meetings have been held with Coburg Road residents, sports clubs and interested stakeholders. FOBP consider that further consideration is needed on:

  • through routes for pedestrians and cyclists
  • fencing off the area
  • parking

Read our full response FOBP_SportstDevelopmentResponseJuly2016

New Playground Consultation

Burgess West playground consultation
Burgess West playground consultation

Update on the Burgess Park West scheme 

The scheme for the revitalisation of the Camberwell end of Burgess Park is progressing with a further set of designs, which makes some amendments to the 2015 proposals. Following two meetings with the landscape designers, LDA, with local residents FOBP have put in a response in June 2016 which asks for:

  • further consultation on the playground
  • more details about the cycle route Quietway 7

FOBP response on Camberwell West 6 June 2016. Further details about the previous consultation are below.

FOBP respond to the Old Kent Road opportunity area IIA

In March 2016 FOBP responded to the first formal planning consultation for the Old Kent Road opportunity area. There will be extensive redevelopment of the OKR and surrounding area. FOBP want to champion green spaces and promote the need for investment in Burgess Park the impact on the park to benefit local people.  FOBP response to the draft OKR IIA March 2016.

Map of the draft area
OKR Opportunity Area map

FOBP respond to New Southwark Plan consultation

Friends of Burgess Park wish to make a general point in response to the new Southwark Plan consultation about the height of buildings around parks.
We do not wish to see tall buildings on all sides of parks. We consider that this diminishes natural light, creates shadows and impacts on the open aspects and view afforded into and out of a park. It also potentially creates light pollution from the building into the park. Please see the London Wildlife Trust report which also makes this point.
With specific regard to Burgess Park we do not wish to see tall buildings along the south boundary of the park (St George’s Way/Parkhouse St). The eight story building “Camberwell Fields” on the corner/New Church Road should be the tallest along the western end of the park. Likewise the 10 storey on Trafalgar Avenue is infact six storey and then stepped back through the top four storeys, creating a less dominant impression. We propose that these buildings set the maximum height to appropriately frame Burgess Park.
Burgess Park is a very narrow park and this means that building height has a significant impact. The northern/Albany Road side of the park will have buidlings of significant height once the NHHT proposed plans for the Aylesbury estate are built.

New Southwark Plan

FOBP have also responded to the Parkhouse Street consultation for a new residential development. Points raised relate to the height of the building and the integrtation of a new entrance o the park to be integrated into the new design for the wildlife area. Response to Parkhouse Street consultation to Southwark Regen February 2016

Phase 3 plans for Burgess Park

NO to the Southwark Cycle Spine Route through Burgess Park

Southwark Council have agreed the cycling strategy which includes the cycle spine route. A petition against the spine was presented by local residents at the cabinet meeting 2 June which approved the overall cycle strategy. The Leader agreed that a further report should be made to cabinet before the work commences with further details on the cycle spine route.

The petition against the spine route crossing Burgess Park is still open.  (The paper petition with 500 signatures has been presented to Southwark Council.) FOBP are focusing on one aspect of the spine route and cycling in green space. We are not against the cycling strategy aim to increase cycling and improve cycle routes.

1. FOBP do not support the proposed Southwark Council spine route cutting directly across Burgess Park. The preferred alternative is to direct cyclists through Wells Way – which FOBP propose as a greenway.
2. Commuter cyclists should be encouraged to use non-park routes, and these routes should be improved.
3. Greater numbers of cycling journeys are part of Southwark Council and Mayor of London’s strategy. However, the solution cannot be that Burgess Park is carved up into cycling routes to suit all cyclists’ needs or alternatively cycling and non-cycling paths to the detriment of other park users and the park environment itself
4. A pro-active approach to responsible cycling behaviour is needed which recognises that the park provides freedom of movement away from roads – an aspect which is essential to all park users.

Revised designs Camberwell southern entrance and New Church Road nature area

The Camberwell entrance/ New Church Road proposal designs published 19 May 2015. Consultation will be open upto 14 June with displays in the park; at the Old Library on Wells Way, Sports Centre and Tennis Centre. On Monday 18 May there will be a consultation event at Wells Way Pop Up, 6:30pm at Old Library, Wells Way, SE5 0PX. There will also be an additional exhibition at Chumleigh Gardens during half term (23 to 31 May) and at weekends during the consultation period. Respond online or via questionnaires at park exhibitions.

Southwark cycle spine route –  Southwark Council report on the cycling strategy and the spine cycle route has been published. This shows the spine route crossing Burgess Park “a new greenway will be carefully designed as part of the new master plan”. Local residents led by Addington Square TRA will present the 500 + petition against the route cutting through the centre of the park to the council cabinet meeting on Tuesday 2 June. The FOBP response to the draft cycling strategy (January) and proposed Wells Way for the cycle route (details below).

From November 2014 to March 2015 the council have been consulting about the next phase of work to Burgess Park. The revised masterplan will be coming forward during the summer. 

The council approach has been to set out a broad long term vision for future park enhancements; sports, heritage, ecology etc. FOBP are broadly supportive of the approach to look thematically across the park. More details in the FOBP masterplan response 13 March 2015 .  The council are committed to undertaking the Camberwell southern entrance/New Church Road and detailed plans for this are expected by the summer. New toilets also going ahead by the lake. But no decisions have been made yet about  other priorities.

One of the biggest issues of the consultation has been the cycle spine route through the park. Southwark Council wants to increase and support cycling. The big idea is a cycling corridor down the middle of the borough which is planned to cut across Burgess Park. FOBP is opposed to the route crossing the main park area and want to see Wells Way improved instead. A petition has been started: No Southwark Spine in Burgess Park petition The issue has been picked up in the pressFOBP have responded to the draft Southwark Cycling strategy (below) in January. 

Photograph taken at Southwark Council offices
Andrew Alston handing over the the ‘don’t close the underpass’ petition with 1015 signatures to Rebecca Towers, Southwark Council’s Parks and Open Spaces Manager

Underpass success

Local residents have also put together a petition with over 1000 signatures against closure of the underpass.  John Wade, Southwark Parks, has written in reply “…There is clearly strong feeling amongst local residents that this [subway / underpass] link should remain, and as such I can confirm that this will now be kept in place. …” 


FOBP have also responded to the new Southwark Strategy which is the planning framework.

Council unveils new masterplan for consultation to 13 March 2015

The council have published the revised masterplan. Exhibitions are being held at Burgess Park Community Sports Centre and Chumleigh Gardens between 11am and 3pm on weekends. Both venues will also be set up on weekdays during half term (16 to 20 February) again from 11am to 3pm every day. There will also be an exhibition at Peckham Library from 3 to 8 March, open between 11am and 3pm. The exhibitions will be displayed until 13 March.

Cycling – in the park.  FOBP have responded to the Council borough cycling strategy and have also produced a WELLS WAY discussion document as a park road (rather than a road which splits the park).

Consultation takes place to 31 December 2014

From 2 December the consultation display about Phase 3, the cycling plans plus the southern entrance/Southampton Way designs and toilets at Chumleigh Gardens and the fishing clubhouse are on display in the Sports Centre and will also be put up in the Tennis Centre.

Plans for Southern entrance and toilets  plus link to the consultation questionnaire

See the outputs from the Wells Way Pop Up creative consultation event . Join the conversation on the blog:

Cycling routes through Burgess  Park

Southwark Council is consulting on the new borough cycling strategy. The big idea is a cycle route down the middle of the borough which needs to cross Burgess Park. Consultation taking place on line, at events and through an inter-active map where people can comment on cycle related issues across the borough. The cycle consultation runs to the end of January.

Burgess Park Phase 3 Consultation launched

Launched 18 November, consultation is taking place over the next month to the end of December.  An exhibition will be available for public viewing in Burgess Park Community Sports Centre and outside the cafe at Chumleigh Gardens, from 22nd November until the end of December. Plus exhibitions at Peckham Library and outside the Tennis Centre .

27th November – Cycling Strategy Consultation
A chance to view and discuss proposed cycle paths in Burgess Park
Old Library, Wells Way, Burgess Park (no disabled access)
29th November – ‘Open Space’ event
A creative ideas-generation event hosted by Just Jones &.
Old Library, Wells Way, Burgess Park (no disabled access)
2nd December – Southern Entrance & Toilets
A chance to view and discuss toilet provision in the park and proposed improvements to the southern entrance
Burgess Park Community Sports Centre
Cllr Barrie Hargrove launches the consultation
Cllr Barrie Hargrove launches the consultation

Revitalisation 2014

Southwark Council have agreed further £6 million funding for Burgess Park. The funding is for a number of projects which will take place over the next three years including: Southampton Way entrance and taking out New Church Road. Further consultation will take place as the plans move forward to implimentation later in 2014.

Burgess Park forums

Pedestrian bridge over Burgess Park Lake
Picture of people walking on the new steel and wood bridge over Burgess Park lake.

Are you passionate about Burgess Park? Do you think there are things that can be improved or do you have a brilliant idea that you’d like to suggest? Later this month the Burgess Park director will be chairing a series of forums on sport and play, arts and events, volunteering and biodiversity to give you an opportunity to keep up to date on happenings in the park and also put forward your opinions and suggestions. Further information about the Burgess Park forums and dates are on the Southwark website.

 St George’s Gardens

The fences are now up in readiness to complete the St George’s Gardens scheme. The design, which depicts the gardens of the original Victorian houses on this site will be planted in two stages with the herbaceous planting commencing in June 2013 and the sowing of the prairie meadows from September onwards.

The area will be fenced for a minimum of one year in order to protect the plants. Local residents with an interest in gardening will be invited to volunteer and help with some of the herbaceous planting.

Lake planting

Additional plants will be planted later in May 2013. The planting will be protected in order to give them a chance to establish and also to protect them from the wildfowl in the lake. Further planting will also be undertaken in the wetlands adjacent the lake.

Wildlife survey

The London Wildlife Trust (LWT) is currently surveying the areas of biodiversity in the park with the aim of understanding the extent of species growing in these spaces. They will then use this information to specify what management techniques  should be implemented to enhance species richness. If you want to find out more come along to the Friends of Burgess Park meeting on 4 June 2013, 7pm at Burgess Park Sports Centre, Cobourg Road when LWT will be discussing their findings.

Surrey Canal

New bins are being installed along the Surrey Canal Walk (June 2013).


Burgess Park was the first of Southwark’s parks to have a designated barbecue area. These proved immensely popular throughout the summer with friends and families coming for morning breakfast, lunch and relaxation after work, right up until the late evening. However, late last year some of these were badly vandalised.


Building works have now started on the new national standard BMX track and are due for completion by the end of July 2013. The site will be floodlit until 9pm and there will be a dedicated park attendant on site during the summer. Additional facilities include CCTV, toilets and a drinking fountain.

Chumleigh Gardens

The World Gardens at Chumleigh were created in 1992 and consist of the Mediterranean, Oriental, Afro-Caribbean, Islamic and English gardens. John Wade, Burgess Park Director and Mark Cox, the head gardener have now started a programme of redesigning  the English Garden with a new planting scheme that they feel is in keeping with the past and reflects the botanical heritage of Chumleigh Gardens. The first phase is complete (June 2013) including 4000 plants.

BMX Phase 2

Southwark Council is holding a public consultation event at the Adventure play area (on the corner of Wells Way and Albany Road) on Tuesday, 15 January 2013, from 2pm to 7pm. The project design consultants will be showing plans, sections and images of the additional facilities which will aid integration into the wider park. Southwark is inviting comments about how the new BMX site should be used. The scheme includes the following key elements: national-sized BMX track, open access with a few closed dedicated sessions, Integration into the park, planting 98 new trees in the park and floodlighting until 9pm.

More information about the BMX track is available on the Southwark website.

Detailed design images for the BMX track proposed for Burgess Park can also be found on the Southwark Council website.

Burgess_Park_Parkwide_Tree_Planting_Dec_2012 (pdf).

John Wade, Burgess Park Director, announced that improvements to the drainage in the hard standing areas in Burgess Park East began on Monday 3 Dec 2012. It is expected that the work will take a minimum of seven working days.

John Wade spoke at the FOBP AGM in November 2012 about his priorities for Burgess Park for the next 12 months. Initially, he is focusing on problems with drainage as well as reseeding areas of grass. He is hoping to complete St George’s Garden planting early next year with Mark Cox, Quadron Head Gardener, developing the design.

Phase 1 – Burgess Park has been officially marked with a commemorative plaque.

During an official opening on Friday 12 October, Councillor Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for the environment at Southwark Council, unveiled the plaque which thanks all those involved in the revitalisation.

Run the 5km route in Burgess Park. BURGESS_PARK_MAP_A4_running

From Sunday, 2 September 2012 Burgess Park West from Camberwell Road to Wells Way will reopen.

This will be in time to host the Burgess Park Banquet, part of the Elephant and the Nun annual festival.

It will then be possible to cross the park from the Camberwell Road entrance to the Old Kent Road via the underpass at Wells Way.

Burgess Park East opened on 21 July 2012

There was a community event with local park groups and other local organisations. FOBP had a stall. Thanks to all who helped and to all who dropped by.

There are three areas of the park where grass seed has recently been planted and require time to develop. Depending on the weather these areas may have to remain protected for a short time after the park reopens to give the seed a chance to grow. Map of areas opening on 21 July 2012

Barbeques in Burgess Park The park has two new designated locations around the lake where users can  light barbeques and enjoy a picnic.  More information about the barbeques.

Additional works funding by Southwark Council of about £2m will bring the total cost of the Revitalisation up to £8m.

Underpass: As part of the enhanced work Southwark will be putting in more varied planting on the underpass slopes before the park opens, this should visually open-up the spaces. Pictures courtesy of Mike Kerr.

To celebrate the Jubilee a rare black poplar tree has been planted in Burgess Park, between Old Kent Road entrance and the lake. The Lord Lieutenant for London and Sir David Attenborough presented a tree to all London boroughs. Read more about black poplars:

The new play area and car park next to Chumleigh Gardens opened on 31 March, 2012.

Planning application BMX Track Burgess Park  11/AP/3764has been successful. The council hope to open the facility at the beginning of 2013. Construction will probably start in the autumn.

Southwark planning application for the BMX track in Burgess Park


The BMX planning application meeting was held at Planning Committee on the 27 March at 160 Tooley Street.

Virtual tours of the revitalisation site

See pictures from the tour on Saturday, 11 February 2012 including the new bridge courtesy of Davis Landscape Architecture

See pictures from the complete tour around the site guided by Balfour Beatty and Ruth Miller, project manager, on the 26 November 2011 posted on Fllckr courtesy of Evolution Quarter.

Two disused industrial tanks were discovered in the ground. Council chiefs said there was no danger to the public from the tanks and that any contaminated waste will be removed as quickly as possible. It is expected that the removal of the material will mean a delay to the park’s opening but the council said it was confident that the new site would be ready by summer next year. Read more on the Council website published on 16 November 2011.