Today I visited a Bee Urban open day at Kennington Park lodge site. The site is due to be demolished if current Transport for London plans for a permanent shaft at Kennington Park go ahead.
Current plans require demolition of the existing Kennington Park Lodge, shown here, and the closure/removal of a thriving bee colony. The shaft is required to provide ventilation and emergency access for the proposed Northern Line Extension. Although a community hall is to be built, it remains to be seen whether the site would be ever suitable for a bee colony again – large ventilation shafts and bees probably don’t mix.
Of the design, TfL have this to say:
“The designs of the head house and community building have been informed by consultation with the public, local community groups, the local authority and English Heritage.”
An interesting choice of words. The proposed design results in a loss of green space and builds right up to the boundary of the park. As design is a subjective matter, I will leave it to readers to check the designs.
Given the current state of public finances, I was a little surprised that TfL seem to have gone for the most expensive solution for this site. The main shaft is to be dug in the adjacent ‘dog walking area’. Instead of building the head house over that shaft, they are tunneling sideways 20 metres or so and then putting the head house where the Kennington Park lodge is. No doubt dog owners might not like the head house in the dog walking area but there may be better things to spend money on.
Here are some more pictures of the Bee Urban/Kennington Park Lodge site.