The St. John’s Greening Group are holding a series of talks on greening, climate change and how positive action and a possible reframing of planning and conservation issues could improve the neighbourhood we live in.  We have lined up several knowledgeable speakers who live locally, and from further afield.

We have described them as conversations, as we are keen to involve as many different voices, views and opinions from the neighbourhood as possible, so please turn up and bring your thoughts and ideas.  The events will be taking place on the first Monday of every month from November and be held at the upstairs function room at the Brookmill pub.  The dates are as per the poster below.

One aim of these talks is to develop how we can ‘conserve’ our proud architectural heritage but in ways that address climate change and the chronic shortage of affordable homes.  In the 19th century, when the term conservation was first introduced, existing buildings were being plundered to build new ones. However, since the 1960s, when planners introduced Conservation Areas the world has changed. Today, any focus on architectural heritage must also accommodate issues, such as biodiversity losses, food insecurities and the lack of affordable housing. Political activists are not alone in embracing this big agenda. In discharging its planning duties, Lewisham Council like many other local authorities now has a mandate to act in accordance with:

  1. The climate change emergency (UK government policy).
  2. The London Mayor’s mandate for urban densification.
  3. Lewisham Council’s own (2016) Biodiversity Action Plan.

If we are to address these problems adequately, we need new values, visions and terminologies.  The St. John’s Society are working towards a set of values or principles that we will use to assess and critique planning applications more holistically, but also to inform our work in greening the area, improving social cohesion and protecting and enhancing the local natural environment.

We will announce the speakers for each event closer to the time.  Watch this space!!