Burgess Park: fundraiser to work out how new tower blocks could affect wildlife

Kit Heren (09 June, 2021)

Friends of Burgess Park plans to commission the London Wildlife Trust to carry out the report

45192Image: Friends of Burgess Park

Activists are fundraising for an independent report into the natural environment in Burgess Park, in response to several proposals to build housing blocks next to the green space.

We have reported in detail on the proposals to build 32 flats on Southampton Way, on the south side of the park, in a building ranging from three to seven storeys. Council planners are due to make a decision in the months ahead, although no date has been set yet. All of the flats in this block would be “affordable”, although only six would be socially rented.
Four other housing developments could be built on nearby Parkhouse Street in blocks up to twelve storeys high, depending on decisions to be made by Tooley Street planners.
Community group Friends of Burgess Park objects to these plans on environmental grounds. Activists worry that the tall buildings will block out much of the sunlight, with potentially ruinous effects on the park’s plants and the animals that live among them.

Battle lines are drawn over Burgess Park development

Burlington, developers of the mooted Southampton Way homes, say that their environmental impact assessment takes into account the shadowing effects of the proposed buildings.
“Concerns have been raised by some objectors about the potential overshadowing of the proposals upon the park, and the impact this may have upon its biodiversity,” boss Philip Patrick said in April.
“It should be noted that where the highest levels of shading will occur, close to the building, species have been chosen that thrive in shaded conditions. All areas of native planting will receive sunlight for significant periods of the day and as many of the species are shade tolerant, will continue to establish.”
But Friends of Burgess Park argue that impact assessments like this are “dismissive” and not wide-ranging enough – which is why the activists want to commission their own for the Southampton Way site.
So far they have raised more than £2,200 – well ahead of the original target of £1,500. They plan to commission the London Wildlife Trust, which has already done a survey of Burgess Park in 2013. Friends of Burgess Park are also planning another survey for the St George’s Way woodlands on the east side of the park.


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