Peckham Rye Park might be a place of leafy wonder, but the stretch of Peckham between Rye Lane and Queens Road is not exactly known for its bucolic qualities. Well, a new proposal for the ‘Peckham Coal Line’ seeks to change all that.
The idea is for a 1km ‘linear park’ to be created on top of the disused Rickett coal sidings, alongside the existing Queens Road Peckham to Peckham Rye railway. This greenway through an otherwise grim industrial area would also link up to other grassy knolls such as Holly Grove, Kirkwood Nature Reserve and a proposed new low-level walkway near the Bussey Building. Say the designers:
‘The area between the tracks, once a coal drop, is now occupied by a scaffolding yard. Coal was supplied via the rail lines above and the line sidings still exist on the viaduct. This green finger, above the town centre, is now disused and overgrown. It is a quiet, natural oasis that negotiates its way through Peckham’s contemporary chaos and industrial heritage. The viaduct has views towards the city and is an overlooked link corridor between the neighbourhoods green spaces.’
It aims to become a part of other plans to regenerate the area in front of Peckham Rye station, which involves creating a bright, open square in the area, but also poses a risk to current under-the-arches businesses such as Peckham Refreshment Rooms, Bar Story and even the fabled view from Frank’s Cafe.
What would it take to turn the Coal Line into reality? Architect and plan-originator Nick Woodford told the South London Press that the cost would be ‘in the region of £2 million to build – not much compared to the £175 million for the “Garden Bridge” across the Thames.’ Sounds like a deal.
Interested in other ideas people have had for versions of the High Line in London?
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