From Martin Heath (Chair, Friends of Belair Park):
“On January 31, 2014, I met with Cllr Barrie Hargrove at Southwark’s Tooley Street headquarters. We enjoyed a wide-ranging candid and constructive discussion about the future of Southwark’s green spaces.
I raised the question of whether a new green space could replace the Camberwell Orchard which was recently destroyed to make way for a new Library. I was informed that there are plans to incorporate areas adjacent to Burgess Park (which have served as a police car park and scrap yard) into the Park. These might be the site of a replacement tree-covered area. I suggested that it would be a nice gesture to invite the individuals who, as children, had planted the Orchard, to ceremonially plant trees on the new site. This would send out a message that those who devoted time and effort to making a civic contribution had established a truly lasting legacy. This is a possibility that we should raise with the Friends of Burgess Park.”
Friends of Burgess Park invite Southwark Council to explore new uses for the Passmore Edwards library and the public baths and wash-house.
From Susan Crisp (Chair of the Friends of Burgess Park):
“The Grade II listed buildings on Wells Way SE5 are within Burgess Park. Over the last sixty years the park has been developed around the library and bathhouse. Today much of the building is unused and in a poor state of repair.
The Friends of Burgess Park has put forward a community asset application to formally invite Southwark Council to make a commitment that firstly the building is not sold and secondly not rented on a long lease. This period of grace will enable the local community to develop some alterative ideas, feasibility studies and if necessary legal and financial structures to provide a long-term viable future for the buildings as part of Burgess Park.
An integrated approach across the built and the natural environment would make the most of the location, within a park. These buildings in Burgess Park have that potential, and are thus a key distinctive asset which can make a unique contribution to Burgess Park and to this area of Southwark.”
Susan Crisp, Chair of the Friends of Burgess Park said “ We want to work with Southwark Council and others to develop a long-term plan for the future of the Passmore Edward library and bath-house buildings to make a vibrant contribution to Burgess Park.”
The building comprise Grade II Listed Building, built as a Public Library, together with a Public Baths and Washhouse, with extensive basements.
Current occupants of the building support this application
Sporting Boxing Club: Lynn AC Boxing club is the oldest amateur club in continuous existence in Britain, which was founded in 1891 and moved into the baths and washhouse building in 1981. Lynn AC is open every evening to seniors and juniors, and provides an excellent community service.
Church: The church is run by Pastor Elizabeth Oluwasemo, and caters for a wide age-range of local people. They open every day of the week, and also provide a computer suite with IT training sessions.
Vacant: the library and the extensive basement
For further information please contact
Susan Crisp, Chair, Friends of Burgess Park