Start the New Cross Neighbourhood Plan

Florence Road: The group wants more of this sort of thing please
Two New Cross residents are hoping to build a local coalition of locals, to establish a Neighbourhood Forum and Neighbourhood Plan, to influence Lewisham planning policy and create pilot projects, including a social enterprise and a Community Land Trust.

There's a detailed article here, setting out their manifesto, but the group's primary aims are to improve the public realm, boost the local economy and "ensure" provision of "truly affordable" housing in perpetuity in the area (perhaps through a Community Land Trust), particularly aimed at people who have been evicted from social housing or cannot afford affordable or private rents in the area. They also want to improve the retail offer (music, book shops and galleries, natch) in New Cross.

In the last few years, New Cross has done a pretty good job sorting out its own problems organically, refurbishing local pubs to make them commercially viable, opening new shops, cafes and venues like The Allotment, Sainsbury's, The London Theatre, Number 178, Birdies, The Particular and Chinwag and making marginal improvements to the public realm, such as Goldsmiths' recent makeover. The big problem is of course the road system, and there's little any Neighbourhood Plan can do about that. But the more people get involved and make a difference, the better and a coherent vision for the area would be welcome.

The first meeting is on March 6th.