Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) is money that developers pay to councils. This money is to ensure communities see the benefit of development in their neighbourhoods. Lewisham Council has built up a few years worth of NCIL.
Lewisham Council wants communities to help decide how to spend NCIL. Read more about this HERE. The sheer scale of development in this area means there is £500,000 to spend in the Evelyn Ward. Residents can influence how this is spent.
DeptfordFolk want to see NCIL spent on playgrounds. Child poverty in the Evelyn Ward now stands at 49%. Approximately half of children in his area live in poverty. Our playgrounds are terrible and young people, who are the largest demographic in this area, deserve better. Many children do not go on summer holidays or get to go to after school clubs. Children need safe places where they can interact with their peers, play, learn and have fun. Parks and green spaces matter.
Over the last few years Residents were told "the only potential funds which are available to support large scale landscape and play spaces improvements are Section 106 receipts". However, we now know the council has been collecting millions of pounds in CIL payments which could have funded new playgrounds across the Evelyn Ward.
In 2016 Lewisham Council started their "Skate & Play" project. The council installed a Skate Park in Folkestone Gardens. To do this SEN play equipment was removed. Other equipment was relocated. This would not have matterd if the promised playground had also been built.
Lewisham Council assured residents that "Phase 2" of their 2016 Skate & Play project in Folkestone Gardens would include a new playground. Residents were subsequently told there was no funding available. During this time the council was collecting and accumulating CIL money from developers. Money that should be used to improve the area.
With NCIL there is funding available to upgrade the playground in Folkestone Gardens. A new Playground was the highest priority in DeptfordFolk's 2016 Park User Survey. DeptfordFolk also ran workshops with Sirfrancis Drake Primary School to get their ideas for a new playground.
A playground for Folkestone Gardens is long overdue. There are 10,000 new homes coming to the Evelyn Ward. Let's ensure children and young people have the chance to mix with their peers as equals at play.
SAYES COURT PARK
"Here comes a suggestion to how you can lose your park painlessly". - London Mayor Boris Johnson 2014
Lewisham Council were right to push back against Boris Johnson's suggestion that Sayes Court Park could be "amalgamated "into the Convoys Wharf Development (See page 36 of the Convoys Wharf Hearing). The council was aware then that the Convoys Wharf "scheme is of such a density that we rely quite heavily on ... public parks".
Sayes Court Park has been severely underfunded for years. DeptfordFolk have successfully applied to Lewisham Council's Greening Fund for benches and bins. DeptfordFolk also planted trees here as part of Evelyn200.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson asked Lewisham Council "to look at the space in the existing park" to make Convoys Wharf Development business plans viable. Sorry, Sayes Court Park is not available. Local residents need this space to make our community viable.
Sayes Court Park desperately needs a new playground. In Phase 3 of the Convoys Wharf scheme £560k from the Convoys Wharf Development is allocated to this park and surrounding greenspace.
That won't happen for another decade. Childhoods are happening now.