25 November 2006

Meeting with Jim Dowd MP

Pat Trembath and Barry Milton from the Sydenham Society joined me last night to meet with Jim Dowd to discuss the potential cuts in services to London Bridge. We had a very positive meeting and were able to explain our concerns to him regarding the proposal to reduce services from Sydenham and Forest Hill to London Bridge by 33%.

Jim will be meeting with TfL and the Secretary of State for Transport over the next week so our timing in meeting him was fortuitous. We hope that he will make the views of our societies and our members known to those making the decisions regarding services to London Bridge.

23 November 2006

Review of Rail Services to London Bridge

Len Duvall (GLA Member) provided the following information on SE23.com on 21st November (London Overground thread):

TfL say "whilst initial studies by TfL indicate a possible reduction by 2 trains per hour to London Bridge, these are actually Network Rail services and they are the appropriate body to contact on this matter. Network Rail are currently undertaking the Southern Route Utilisation Strategy, looking at service provision in the area as a while."

At the meeting on Friday there was a real commitment not to cut services - it is too premature to say there will actually be a 2 train reduction. TfL said that we are about 2 months away from a decision on the London Bridge trains.

The Forest Hill Society is opposed to any cuts to the London Bridge service from Forest Hill and related stations. Although the East London Line will provide additional transport options it is clear that with limited carriages and seating, as well as fewer useful transport connections to the city and West End, the London Bridge service will continue to be vital for our areas of South East London in 2010.

Creative use of Thameslink upgrade (utilising interchange potential and New Cross Gate) and the opportunities for interchange that Crossrail in 2013 will provide additional opportunities for interchange from the East London Line, but not in 2010. For this reason we believe it is important that no reduction in service is contemplated prior to 2013.

10 November 2006

Increased Accessibility at Forest Hill Station

Good news for Forest Hill from the Department for Transport. We are in the next round of funding for increased accessibility at stations. Work will be carried out by Network Rail and completed between 2009 - 2011.
The press release can be seen here.

Horniman to stay under the control of DCMS

Back in September there was a consultation on transferring Horniman Museum to the control of the GLA. This was opposed by Forest Hill Society and many local residents and societies.

The results of the consultation can be read here.

130 responses (out of a total of 157) were solely concerned with the issue of the future sponsorship of the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

"Having considered the views of stakeholders concerning the sponsorship of the Horniman and Geffrye museums, the Government has decided that responsibility for these two institutions shall remain with DCMS."

Finches Site

Last night the planning committee granted permission for this development. I believe that the objections raised by the Sydenham and Forest Hill Societies, Tewkesbury Lodge and other objectors have resulted in an improved development than was originally proposed.

CGI of developmentKey changes included solar panels on the roof, lift access to all flats (including affordable housing), slightly improved views of Christ Church, change of designation for one of the retail units to A3 only (cafe or restaurant), a recognition of the issues around noise levels and improved ventilation for the flats facing Perry Vale. I believe our objections have helped secure a better development for a key site in the centre of Forest Hill that was in dire need of redevelopment.

08 November 2006

Tyson Road Objections Template

Local residents around Tyson Road and Honor Oak Road have put together the first draft of an Objections Template to help people who are planning to object to the development. The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the views of the Forest Hill Society, however, we are happy to help any residents' group in the local area.
If you wish to get more details on this campaign by the local residents you should contact se23openspace@hotmail.co.uk. (This is independent of Forest Hill Society).

06 November 2006

Tyson Road Planning Application

A planning application has been submitted for 84 flats on the site behind the Christian Fellowship Centre and Tyson Road. Full details can be read at Lewisham Planning site.

Members of the public are welcome to comment on these plans before 20th November at http://www2.lewisham.gov.uk/lbl/planning/planningform.asp or by emailing planning@lewisham.gov.uk.

The Forest Hill Society would also be interested to hear your comments. You can email foresthillsociety@gmail.com This will help us best represent the views of the local community.

Update: As of 23rd November there are 102 objections to these plans and there is a petition against the development. The Forest Hill Society have objected to the this development.

Committee Meeting - 26th October

Full minutes of the committee meetings are distributed to members of the committee and are available on request to members of the Society. However, below are a few notes from the meeting which cover the key points discussed in the meeting:
  • Review of Inaugural General Meeting
    • Went well with a good turn out
    • Guest speaker was very useful and gave a good focus to the evening
    • Not enough time to discuss other issues of interest to members
  • Membership for the Society is approaching 300 members. It was confirmed that £5 is an annual membership fee.
  • Sub-Committees were setup on five topics. These will be able to focus on specific areas of interest:
    • Transport
    • Planning
    • Leisure and Amenities
    • Communications and Events
    • Constitutional Review
  • We intend to print and distribute a newsletter to members at the beginning of December
  • We intend to have general/public meetings more than once per year and intend to have the next meeting early in 2007 (possibly February or March).
  • Planning issues:
    • Some improvements have been achieved for the Finches site and the latest plans are available on Lewisham's Website today (26th October)
    • Honor Oak / Tyson Road development is likely to need some scrutiny later this year
  • Transport issues:
    • We have the answers from Nigel D'Souza to the remaining questions from the General Meeting. Transport committee will look at these responses and prepare feedback for Lewisham Council Sustainable Development Committee.
    • Transport issues include roads as well as trains. There are plans to have traffic calming in Dartmouth Road which will help reduce traffic speeds