Padlocks At Dawn In Southwark

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 99 months ago
Padlocks At Dawn In Southwark

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Photo / Homemade
Anger in Southwark yesterday morning, as locals discovered that the gates to All Hallows Church and Community Garden had been locked. The garden has been looked after by residents for the past forty years, but is a privately-owned piece of land that belongs to Southwark Cathedral, who put up a sign saying that the park would be closed "on occasion".

However, there are sinister undercurrents here. The park has become a point of contention in the local community: the Cathedral has for years been trying to redevelop it by knocking down a disused church on the site and building flats on top. An ongoing campaign to save the garden, which was recently featured in the Guardian's push to save Britain's natural world, has fought the JCBs and cherry-pickers off twice before, but the Cathedral is determined to plough on regardless, and will submit plans later this year.

Matters between the two sides have turned ugly in recent times, hence it's not surprising that many in the area have attributed the decision to lock the garden as a petty form of revenge by the Dean, Colin Slee. No date for re-opening has yet been given.

Last Updated 17 August 2010