Councillors in Southwark have voted to release nearly three quarters of a million pounds from section 106 agreements to improve play areas in an estate in north Bermondsey. 

In the first phase, the Dickens Estate will get an upgrade to a space off George Row, opposite Fleming House.  

Developers pay extra money in the form of section 106 agreements when building in an area to mitigate their impact.  

The funds, in this case from two agreements relating to the Chambers Wharf development, should go towards improving community facilities.  

“Funding the measures to improve play provisions will improve the development of children within the area.  

“It will also help to motivate children to participate in physical activity which can only benefit in a number of different ways including mental health.  

“The redesign of the George Row multi-use games area has also been schemed in a way which would also help to potentially reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in that zone.  

“The redevelopment and improvement of existing council play facilities would also help to visually improve the area.  

“New equipment, facilities and ideas would brighten the community atmosphere and encourage residents and children to engage within these new spaces,” according to planning officers.  

The first phase of the works will cost £200,000 to £300,000, with the remainder of the money “still available to be used to improve other facilities in the area as part of a phased programme”, according to the report.  

A formal consultation is yet to take place on the use of the remaining funds, but officers are currently looking at the space around the football pitch by Scott Lidgett Crescent and a play area by Cherry Gardens. 

A time period for carrying out the works has not been set yet.