30 July 2007

Archaeology in Forest Hill

On Sat 25th and Sun 26th August (8am - 6pm) the Great War Archaeological Group are organising an exploratory dig around the WWI gun emplacement at One Tree Hill (sometimes erroneously called the bandstand). They want to encourage community involvement in the first instance by inviting people to come and watch the dig (and there will be someone to talk about their work) and possibly contribute local family recollections of the time. If this study reveals findings of interest there will be further explorations when they would hope to involve local groups (such as schools) and individuals.

If you need any further information please contact:
Sandy Pepperell
Chair, Friends of One Tree Hill
Tel: 020 8699 2812

29 July 2007

View from Forest Hill in 2012

We all know that some of the best views of London are from Forest Hill, but this view may seem just a little unfamiliar. A recent article in the Evening Standard had this picture to show what London's skyline could look like in 2012.

Update 13/3/08: Since this is one of the most popular entry points to this site I felt I should provide a link to an even better picture from Skyscrapernews.com this is again taken from Forest Hill looking across all of London - what a great view!

Planning News from Forest Hill

There have been a number of planning developments in Forest Hill in which the Society have been taking a close interest.

The redevelopment of Pizza Hut and the Red Cross shop on London Road DC/07/65320 was rejected by the council planning department on the grounds that there was 'insufficient design quality for this prominent location and would not preserve or enhance the Forest Hill Conservation Area'. We are pleased that the council took account of the objections by us and others.

William Hill will be moving from their current location to the site of Blockbusters on London Road, as was mentioned in the last newsletter. This follows approval from the council.

The site of McDonalds is being considered for redevelopment with a proposal (DC/07/65749) for demolition of the first floor and construction of three additional storeys at first, second and third floor levels, incorporating balconies and roof terraces, over the commercial shop units. Comprising 2, one bedroom and 7, two bedroom, self-contained flats, together with the installation of a new shop front.

The Forest Hill Society has written to oppose the current plans on a number of grounds:

1. The design of the proposed development may compliment the design of the Sainsbury’s store, but it does nothing to preserve the character of the high street within this conservation area. This building will significantly change the balance of architectural styles in the centre of Forest Hill, further detracting from the character if this conservation area.

2. Unlike neighbouring sites on London Road, the proposed design has residential upper floors directly above the shop front, rather than stepped back from the pavement. This reduces the light on the pavement and again alters the character of this road in a negative way.

3. With the increase height of this development and the increased profile along the side of the site, there will be a negative impact on the alleyway between this site and the Sainsbury’s site. This is an important pedestrian route from the council car park to the high street and it is our concern that with the reduced daylight to this area it will attract anti-social behaviour and discourage people using the high street for their shopping.

4. There are further concerns from the Society over the impact of any construction work on the site and would seek assurance that the passageway from the car park to the high street would remain accessible throughout any period of construction. We also ask that consideration is also given to the impact of construction on pedestrian and vehicle use of London Road during this period.

Finally, we have recently heard that two appeals have been received by the council regarding their rejection of plans to build 84 flats behind Tyson Road (DC/06/63803) and 10 flats on Sunderland Road, on the site of the old Conservative club (DC/06/63172). The Society believes that the council were right to reject both of the proposed developments and will be closely watching the appeals process.

If you are aware of any other planning issues that require the Society's attention then please let us know about them.

03 July 2007

Tyson Road in the Local Development Framework

Under the proposals Lewisham’s preferred option for the Tyson Road/Christian Fellowship Site is for residential development. If you agree or disagree with this view you have until 2 August to submit your comments.

It is not easy to navigate the documents on the Lewisham website and so if you want to find the references to the Tyson Road/Christian Fellowship Site here are some directions:

Document name – Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment - Preferred Options Report - Development Policies and Site Allocations.

This looks at various plots of land in the Borough and, in Appendix C, sets out the Council's preferred development option for each site. The Tyson Road/Christian Fellowship Site is listed as Site 20 and discussed on page 239 (numbered 541) of the document.

Document name – Development Policies and Site Allocations - The Preferred Options Report

This summarises the Council's preferred development option for each site. The Tyson Road/Christian Fellowship Site is again listed as Site 20 and discussed on page 281 of the document.

Local residents have prepared feedback to this proposal asking for the area to be designated as public space. This will protect biodiversity on the site, avoid over-development on the site, avoid issues of drainage and flooding to surrounding properties, and protect the trees on the site. If you would like to back their campaign you can send your views to planning.policy@lewisham.gov.uk

Two sample letters have been written which you may wish to use in whole or part. There is a long version as well as a summary of the key points.
(The views in these letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Forest Hill Society)