17 December 2017

Planning Application: 4 Dartmouth Road

An application has been submitted for the conversion of a basement below a shop to a one bedroom flat:

DC/17/103834 | Change of use and alterations to the existing basement including provision of lightwells to provide a one bedroom self-contained flat at 4 Dartmouth Road SE23. | 4 DARTMOUTH ROAD, LONDON, SE23 3XU

The Forest Hill Society object to this proposal on the grounds of:
1. Lack of light to the living accommodation;
2. Insufficient provision for emergency egress.

Both these grounds are based on the proposed unit being created in a basement with natural light and outside space being provided by a lightwell that will, in effect, be two storeys deep.

daylight assessment has not been provided with the application but it is clear that very little natural light would enter the unit.

The existing basement has no natural light and it is proposed to excavate part of the back garden to provide a light well.  The distance between the windows in the living room to the proposed 1-storey high retaining wall appears to be about 1 metre.  Above the proposed retaining wall there currently exists the wall of a 1-storey high building which appears to be set back about 1.5-2 metres.  In effect, a double-storey lightwell would be created.

The kitchen window and external door from the living room lead into an underground passageway which will not provide any light into the accommodation.

There is no provision for an external staircase in the lightwell which means the 'patio area' would not provide a means of emergency escape from the unit.  The only way out is through the unit into the staircase leading to the ground floor.

The proposed unit would provide sub-standard accommodation and the application should be refused.

23 November 2017

22 November 2017

Planning Application: 62 Sunderland Road

There has been a new application for 62 Sunderland Road (DC/17/103895) which can be viewed on the council website. This follows a previous application for this site which was opposed by the Forest Hill Society and was rejected by the council.

The Forest Hill Society has objected to this application and our detailed response can be read here.

It is our hope that the council continue their work on creating a conservation area in this area, which would protect some of these historic Christmas Houses - including this building.

19 November 2017

Christmas Tree Lighting and Carols - Saturday 2nd December 2017

The Forest Hill Ward Assembly, Forest Hill Society, and Churches Together Forest Hill and Sydenham present Christmas Tree Sparkles!

Join us at Forest Hill Station from 3.30pm for singing, music and refreshments, at 4pm count down for the tree light switch on - led by Ellie Reeves MP.

Gems Performing Arts will then lead a procession by the children up Dartmouth Road to: Kirkdale (meet at The Journey Café on the Old Woodman Pub site).

The singing and festivities will continue and at 5.15pm the Christmas tree lights will be switched on!

A second procession will start at 4.45pm in Baxter Field led by Friends of Baxter Field. There will be a lantern procession down to Kirkdale and the lighting of the Christmas tree!
(bring a glass jar with a tea light).

Kirkdale Traders will be hosting their annual Christmas Late Night ShoppingEvent from 6-8pm

Come and join us, this is for all to enjoy and the more the merrier!

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Christmas Card Screen Printing

Forest Hill Library will have a free Christmas Card Screen Printing Workshop for kids on Saturday 2nd December, 2-3pm at Forest Hill Library

13 November 2017

22 September 2017

Outstanding planting in Forest Hill Town Centre

We did it!   Today we were awarded OUTSTANDING again for our planting in Forest Hill town centre and in and around the station.
Many, many, thanks to all those who contributed their time, strength and handiwork to making this possible.
Now we can all be inspired to go forward towards Saturday 14 October from 2pm to spruce up those planters and get them looking in a good condition to get through the winter.

18 September 2017

Little Italy in Forest Hill

We are almost reluctant to share this Forest Hill secret with you as we quite like having it all to ourselves!

We have a new hidden gem on the Perry Vale side of the Forest Hill station where you can enjoy a fantastic pizza or pasta and the best tiramisu I have tasted, all in a beautiful outdoor setting.

Piazza della Cucina at 15 Perry Vale is the venue, and it has recently replaced Cinnamon, which was a very nice Indian restaurant. It has proved to be a very welcome addition to this stretch of Perry Vale, which has seen several establishments open in the last few years, especially: Waters fishmonger and greengrocer; the Perry Vale restaurant, which is doing well; and the newly opened Clapton Craft and popular and well-stocked Crafty Beer shop, each of which have an astounding range of craft beers.

But back to Piazza della Cucina, which a group of us recently visited for a ‘quick’ after-work pizza, as the freshly baked pizzas straight from the pizza oven are marvellous. It was a warm night and we were, on entering the restaurant, asked whether we wanted to sit in the garden! Garden? “What garden?” we asked.  We were not aware that it had a garden, let alone the delight into which we walked. Walk along the upstairs corridor, down some wooden steps, and you are in Italy!

The garden is huge, beautifully designed with the most amazing timber-roofed and decked area, resplendent with geraniums and planters and an outside bar. There are tables under cover in the decked area or you can sit on the uncovered part. There are lovely metal tables and the whole garden is full of authentic Italian touches. All of the timber for the wooden structures was imported from Italy since the restaurant's owner, Jacob, really wanted to embrace his heritage and create an authentic Italian ambience.

There are few eateries in Forest Hill where you can sit outside, and the outside garden of Piazza della Cucina is the perfect place to sit, talk and eat with family and friends.

We would include some pictures here of the outside area but, to be honest, it is so special that I want you to have that WOW feeling as you enter; and a photo here would ruin the experience for you.

Go, sit outside, have a pizza, have a glass of Italian wine, have the tiramisu and talk to the owner, but don’t tell anyone… Let’s keep this hidden gem of Forest Hill as our secret…  OK?

Article by Belinda Evans

16 September 2017

Come Rain, Come Shine!


What a summer this has been: first drought, and then torrential downpours, more drought, and even more torrential downpours! But through it all, a trusty band of volunteers has kept planters thriving around Forest Hill town centre; and the ‘tyre towers’ in Perry Vale continue to impress people with fresh green Cordyline plants.

Earlier this year, Groundworks/Energy Gardens planted a new herb trough and apple trees on platform 1 at Forest Hill station. In July and August their com-munity gardener, Victoria Robinson, held three meetings at the station in order to explain the project’s role in creating community gardens and sup-porting gardening activities in primary schools across London. As part of Groundworks/Energy Gardens collaboration with the Forest Hill Society, Victoria committed her final Saturday at the station to weeding, cutting back overgrowth and removing the accumulated debris, helped by local volunteers.


Our annual autumn tidy-up of the planters and station forecourt area will be on Saturday, 14th October, meeting at 2:00pm. Community gardening can be fun so why don’t you join us?  Many people might then admire your handiwork! (Because of the proximity of the South Circular and the station car park, this event is not suitable for children.)