The Camberwell Society

Society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell

Land for the people


Dr Miatta Fahnbulleh, chair of the Southwark Land Commission

Southwark Land Commission puts land at the centre of local debate and explores how it can be freed up for the benefit of all. Tom Harvey of the Societys Planning Committee explains

The council has launched the Southwark Land Commission (SLC), the first commission of its kind in London, and only the second in England following Liverpool City Region’s in 2020. This forms part of Southwark’s Council Delivery Plan (2022-26) “Fairer, Greener, Safer”. The SLC will be an advisory body convened to undertake investigations and make recommendations on how more land can be made available for the public good.

Topics of interest include genuinely affordable housing, active travel, food growing, community participation, health and wellbeing, community wealth building and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The members of the SLC are from a diverse group of people with local knowledge and a wide area of expertise. They include architects, economists, urban planners and academics as well as active citizens and a church representative. The chair is Dr Miatta Fahnbulleh, chief executive of the New Economics Foundation and prospective Labour Party candidate for the Camberwell and Peckham constituency.

The SLC will look to work with major landowners in the Borough including the NHS, Transport for London, the Port of London Authority, Dulwich Estate and local faith organisations. A key aim is to exert influence over land in the Borough outside the council’s ownership.

The Commission is being assisted in its delivery by consultants PRD with support from We Made That and PMV Planning.

The programme of work and engagement for the commission has four key elements.

1. Three meetings between members of the Commission between February and April this year

2. One to one engagement of council officers across departments

3. Four area-focused community workshops,including one for Camberwell and Walworth which took place in March 2023

4. A limited number of one to one external stakeholder engagements

There is active discussion to extend the programme with it potentially expanding to further meetings between commission members and additional public engagement.

The recommendations and action plan are intended to be formally proposed to the London Borough of Southwark’s Cabinet sometime in Summer 2023.

The Society looks at all planning applications within the SE5 area. The website has invaluable quick links to all applications

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The Camberwell Society was formed in 1970 and is the recognised amenity society for those living, working or interested in Camberwell.

The Society’s objectives, as defined by our constitution, are: to stimulate public interest in Camberwell, to promote high standards of planning and architecture in Camberwell, and to secure the preservation, protection, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in Camberwell.

We are a charity and raise money for local charities. In the past we have raised money for Southside Rehabilitation Association, St Giles Trust, Cambridge House, the CamberwellCommunity Choir, the HollingtonYouth Centre and the Camberwell Arts Festival