Camberwell to be restored to its former Georgian glory with £11 million makeover
Southwark council is to spend £11 million helping restore a drab south London district to its former Georgian glory. Camberwell’s stunning period homes will be matched by a totally refurbished town centre and a new library, while scruffy Camberwell Green — often taken over by drunks in summer — will be relandscaped with new trees and flowerbeds, and a children’s play area will be upgraded.
Following residents’ complaints, the council says it will put a strict limit on the number of takeaways allowed in the high street, where it will also introduce a 20mph speed limit to make it safer for pedestrians.
An important feature of the revamp will be the creation of a Boris bike “superhighway” providing what is billed as a direct and safe route for cyclists from Camberwell to central London via distinctive turquoise cycle lanes. Similar routes have already been successfully established from Wandsworth to the City and from Bow to Aldwych.
Ben Plowden, a spokesman for Transport for London, which will help fund the project, said the superhighway would be a boon for commuters. “Since they were introduced in July 2010, the number of cyclists on all four existing routes during peak periods increased by an average of 77 per cent,” he said.
Work on the town centre is expected to be completed by 2014 and Stuart Baillie, manager of Haart estate agents, said he expected the revamp of the “tired” town centre would encourage buyers to the area.
At present a four-bedroomed Victorian terrace in Camberwell would cost from £500,000, although a sought-after Georgian townhouse – most notably one on Camberwell Grove – would cost £1m-plus.
“Camberwell is affordable. We have been seeing a steady stream of people moving in from places like Clapham and Wandsworth. The fact that we are now on the new East London Line extension has encouraged people to consider Camberwell,” says Baillie.
The nearest station is Denmark Hill, and as well as the London Overground line it also has services to Victoria in nine minutes, and direct links to London Bridge and St Pancras International in around 20 minutes.
Baillie said the influx of young professional singles and families meant new bars and restaurants are opening in the area, although on the downside, the area is busy with traffic and the streets are somewhat grubby. Schooling, however, is good with parents particularly keen on Dog Kennel Hill School and Lyndhurst School (both junior and rated “good” by Ofsted) and Charter School in Dulwich for senior students, which is rated “outstanding”.