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It was a particularly interesting visit for me, and my first to the area in around five years, because I was personally involved in the project throughout, initially on our bid to the Council and on selection as their Developer Partner in 1994 and then, over the following 14 years, in the delivery of around 2,000 new mixed-tenure homes, new parks and community facilities, alongside the delivery of the Peckham Pulse and Library and regeneration of Peckham Town Centre.
It was also a reminder that, in almost 23 years of working in estate regeneration the only estate that I have ever been frightened to visit was Camden, one of the Five Estates and notorious for having a so-called safe yellow line, or walking route, with CCTV coverage through the estate.
In contrast, my walk last week was very enjoyable and it was really satisfying to see how well the area looked and how, through joining up with the successful transformation of the town centre, it has become a really popular place to live in and to visit.
It reminded me that regeneration schemes must be judged over the medium and long-term to establish if they are truly successful. I believe that the Peckham Partnership is succeeding in terms of the physical transformation as the early phases are now nearly twenty years old - the old Camden Estate barely lasted twenty years before its demolition.
However, the Peckham Partnership also sought to transform the social and economic sustainability of the area. By 2008 very considerable and positive change had already been achieved across a wide range of areas, including educational achievement, employment and health. But I want to find out how the area is doing now. I’ll report back on this in a future blog.
Michael Hill, New Business Director
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