27 February 2012

Going Postal

Forest Hill Society members, and everybody else, are invited to the opening of the Sylvan Post.

A message from Antic Pubs:
We are thrilled to announce that Antic Pubs will be throwing open the doors of The Sylvan Post on the 28th February at 6 pm, in the Old Post Office building on Dartmouth Road.  

Lovingly restored with many of the original features preserved and complimented by Antic’s inimitable approach to interiors, we are sure you will be pleased with the changes we have made. In a nutshell, we are really excited to be bringing our unique approach to Forest Hill.  

With a hand picked selection of Ales, Premium Lagers and Wines, we will be offering our guests the chance to sample our wares, meet the team and in return you can let us know what you would like to see happening at the pub, be it Business Jelly’s, Games Nights, Music or Book Readings, we are open to all suggestions.  

We’re confident that the Sylvan Post will become a central feature of the local area and we’re very keen to meet with local community groups to extend our welcome and make sure we’re giving locals exactly what they want from their local!

24 February 2012

Portas Pilots - Urgent!

We have just heard from Lewisham that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is inviting partnerships to pilot the idea of ‘Town Teams’ set out in the Portas Review.

The Portas Review believes that Town Teams can help drive innovation in the way the high street is managed, and develop a strategic and collaborative approach, and should be made up of a wide range of local interests including landlords, developers, retailers, local authorities and local communities.

DCLG are looking for 12 pilots and are offering successful bidders grant funding of up to £100k each. Given that only 12 pilots will be funded across the country, and in order for Lewisham to have the best chance of success of having one of these pilots in the borough, the Council will support one application. Forest Hill has been offered the chance to submit an application to Lewisham as the Town Centre is one of the ward priorities.

If you feel that would be interested in putting together an application for our town centre then please let us know by Monday 27 February, with some of your initial ideas so that we can submit an initial bid to Lewisham by Friday, 2 March. We can be contacted on (07833) 315563 or by email

The Council will then review these initial expressions of interest and choose one area to support with a more detailed application. In considering which area to support, they will take into account previous investment in that area.

Selection of the pilots by DCLG will be based on the following criteria:

  • Mix. The twelve pilots will be a mix of high street types, geographical spread and areas with both low and high vacancy rates.
  • Strong Leadership. Pilots must have a transformational vision for their high street and the backing for this from their community and partners.
  • Commitment. Pilots must demonstrate commitment to the approach amongst businesses, landlords, the community and local authority.
  • Potential for improvement. Resources will be allocated on a value for money basis.
  • Innovation. DCLG are looking for the most innovative ideas that will have maximum impact and could be replicated elsewhere.

The deadline for applications is 30 March to DCLG, with successful applicants announced in May. Further information and the application form can be downloaded from the DCLG website. Each partnership application must identify an ‘Accountable Body’ which will be the local authority. A confirmation letter from the local authority is required with the application.

22 February 2012

Elisnore Road Incident - Community Meeting

Meeting on Saturday 25th February 2012 organised by the Metropolitan Police

Following on from the meeting held at St George's Christ Church yesterday in relation to Sunday's (19.02.12) incident where a 25 year old man was shot by police in Elisnore Road another community meeting will be taking place this Saturday (25.02.12).

The purpose of the meeting is for local residents to discuss the incident with the police and to hear directly from them about their concerns.

Senior Officers from Lewisham will be present to take questions
The IPCC have also been invited.

Residents will have the opportunity to ask questions about how the case is being handled.
It will be held at Kilmorie Primary School, Kilmorie Road, London, Lewisham SE23 2SP and will start at 1pm

17 February 2012

New swings for Horniman Triangle

Last June, bids were requested for the Forest Hill ward's Assembly Fund.

Various people suggested on local forums that the Horniman Triangle could do with some swings, especially for the younger children. Unfortunately, nobody followed through and no application was received by the Co-ordinating Committee at their initial review. It was agreed, however, that the Forest Hill Society could submit a bid as it was felt that the need was there.

The Forest Hill Society therefore visited play parks throughout London and researched suppliers before putting in a last minute bid. This was successful and £9,500 was allocated from a combination of the Assembly Fund and Localities Fund. The Council agreed that they would deliver the project, which allowed the monies to go further as we would not have to pay VAT on the equipment.

The swings have now been installed and will hopefully provide many hours of enjoyment in the years to come. A big thank you to all those involved in this project.

The Forest Hill Society bid on four projects from the Forest Hill Assembly. These were:
Weatherproof Games in the Park
Horniman Theme for Empty Shops
Town Centre Planting Scheme and
Swings for Horniman Triangle.

Other projects which received funding from the Forest Hill Assembly Fund were:
Platform One
Safety Rulez – Part II: A Community Cohesion Project working with 12 girls aged 13-15 currently facing difficulties at school
Friends of Albion Millennium Green
Wildlife Hedgerow, Fencing and 8 New Fruit Trees for Community Orchard Open Air Theatre Millennium Green
Ageing Well in Lewisham
Arts Befriending Group and Theatre project-to help isolated older people
Healthy Living Workshops, teaching and encouraging cooking, nutrition and gardening
Sydenham and Forest Hill Youth Forum
Youth forum workshops, training young people to fundraise for our organisation
Friends of Devonshire Road Nature Reserve
New Green Oak Shelter for the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve
Kirkdale Village Traders Association
Kirkdale Village Beautification
Horniman Museum
Busy Bees - Sessions for under fives and parents, at the Horniman Museum

15 February 2012

So much going on in Forest Hill

We have a busy period coming up in the next week or so.  The main events we are organising are a History Talk from Steve Grindlay and a Bring and Take day.  Steve's talks are always interesting, and this one on Thursday, 23 February should be no exception.  Read on for more information...

This week
There are four local events on Saturday 18 February.
Firstly, the Sydenham Police Station is threatened with closure, which will mean the loss of a front counter, but more importantly will also mean that the Safer Neighbourhood Teams for Forest Hill, Perry Vale and Sydenham will be relocated to Catford.  We feel that this is far from ideal and are calling on the Metropolitan Police to review their decision.  There will be a demonstration outside Sydenham Police Station on Saturday 18 February, from 10-11am.  There should be plenty of media coverage as the Sydenham Society have arranged for Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick to attend. You can sign the petition in support of Sydneham police station at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-sydenham-police-station/

After that, help Nature's Gym will be planting whips at the Horniman Triangle  from 11am - 2pm.  Nature’s Gym have been donated more “whips” from Woodland Trust, so come along to the Horniman Triangle to help with planting them and creating a stag beetle loggery.
Also on Saturday, Friends of Albion Millenmium Green will be holding their first AGM at Holy Trinity Church Hall, SE26 4EA just off Sydenham Park from 2-4pm.  Go along to hear about plans for how it is to be used and managed, or to let them know what you want from the green (www.amgfriends.org.uk)

Finally, Canvas & Cream will be opening their doors on Saturday, 18th February, next to Santander on London Road.  The Dining room/Restaurant, Gallery, studios  and healing room will all be open to the public for the first time. Go  and have a nose around at what they have been doing. They will have some Art 'Taster' workshops and information showing you  what will be on offer and therapists will be there to talk to you and  show you their wares.  After the 19th the  studios will be private and the healing room will only be open to the  therapists' customers.

On Sunday evening, 19 February,  Canvas & Cream will finish off with a  one-time-only Dinner and film night. A set menu of two courses followed  by a full screening of Garbage Warrior, an inspirational true story of  maverick US architect Michael Reynolds and his fight to introduce  radically sustainable housing. The event is £30.00 (including the film). Tickets can be purchased from their website,www.canvasandcream.com, but thelittlegreenscreen also has a limited number of cinema only tickets for £6.50 if that is too steep for you.

Next weekOn Monday, 20 February, the Sydenham Arts Festival will be holding their AGM from 7.30pm at Here For Good, 17 Sydenham Road SE26 5EX.  Sydenham Arts Festival 2012 is now underway and will take place from 1st to 15th July 2012.  This year it is part of Lewisham's Cultural Olympiad celebrations. All supporters are invited to attend the AGM and find out what is planned. There are plenty of opportunities for local residents to get involved. If you are unable to attend the AGM but would like to be involved please contact the Festival Administrator at Operationssaf@gmail.com
The next Forest Hill Local Assembly is being held on Wednesday 22 February,  ​7.30-9.30pm​ at Sydenham Girls' School on Dartmouth Road, SE26 4RD.  Topics for discussion will include your chance to suggest improvements for Forest Hill and feedback on progress form the grants which were awarded from the Assemblies Fund.

Steve Grindlay will be giving a talk entitled "The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker.  A history of commerce in Forest Hill" on Thursday 23 February from 7:30pm at The Hob, 7 Devonshire Road, SE23 3HE (opposite Forest Hill Railway station).  These talks are usually well attended and provide an interesting insight into Forest Hill's past.

Our next Bring & Take event will be held on Sunday, 26 February from 11am - 3pm at the Holy Trinity Centre (between numbers 35D and 37 on Sydenham Park) just across the street from the entrance to Whittel Gardens.   
Bring usable items you no longer need eg bicycles, pushchairs, books, toys, CDs, DVDs, tools, small items of furniture, musical instruments, good‑quality clothing, electrical goods, kitchenware etc.  
and take items you will find useful - this isn’t a swap so no need to match a 'Bring' item with a 'Take' item.

Please note: items should be in good working order. In addition, Lewisham Council will provide a van for WEEE waste (electrical and electronic equipment), so if you have any small electrical items that no longer work bring them along to be disposed of properly.

Later on..
The next Sydenham Local Assembly will be held on Tuesday, 6 March from 7-9pm at The Grove Centre, 2 Jews Walk, SE26 6PL

Calling all budding artists!As part of the planning permission for the redeveloped Greyhound in Sydenham.  Purelake (the developers) have to incorporate a piece of public art (made from ceramic tiles) on the north wall of the building. A new design competition for 2012 has been launched, replacing the previous competition which failed to find a winning entry. It is open to anyone who lives, works or studies within 2km of the Greyhound, and their family and friends. The design should capture “the Essence of Sydenham” and there's a £1,000 prize for the winning entry. Entries must be submitted before the end of March and the winner will be announced by the end of April. Anyone who wishes to enter and receive a competition brief should email greyhoundcompetition@gmail.com or write to Greyhound Competition, c/o 43 Bishopsthorpe Road, London SE26 4PA before March 17 2012.

New businesses
Finally, three new businesses are opening in Forest Hill.  As mentioned above, Canvas & Cream will be opening their doors on Saturday.   Leaders Estate Agents is now open for business next to the station. The other business due to open its doors very soon is the Sylvan Post, Antic's new pub located in the former Post Office next to Paddy Power on Dartmouth Road.  No date has been finalaised yet, but they are hoping to open before the end of the month and it's looking good inside.  There will be a couple of sungs in the old safes as well as the main bar and a back room. 
I hope there is something interesting here for you.  Next month, we will be looking for help with oiur Britain In Bloom entry, which will spread to Honor Oak Station this year, as well as further planting in the Town Centre.  Please let me know if you would like to help in any way.
Yours sincerely,
Richard Hibbert
Chairman, Forest Hill Society

11 February 2012

Planning: 57-59 Honor Oak Park (Sainsbury's?)

Letter sent to Lewisham planning department regarding DC/11/79057: 57-59 HONOR OAK PARK, (potential Sainsburys Local for Honor Oak)

I am writing to you on behalf of the Forest Hill Society to register our objection to this planning application.

In general we have no objection to the combining of the three shops into a single A1 unit. We believe that such a unit will be an asset to the area, increasing footfall for the shopping area, and having a positive impact for many other local businesses.

Our objections do not pertain to the retail unit but to the residential units above the shop which forms part of the application.

Our main concerns regarding these residential units are:
1. Flat 57a has poor quality layout with a kitchen/livingroom that is just over 2m wide in most points, providing little useful floor space.

2. Poor quality access provided to flats 59a & b. Both accessed from the rear, up a flight of stairs, and then an external walkway over the flat roof.
3. General outlook and daylight from a number of the units, most notably the kitchen/diner of 59a.

We are also concerned that no details have been provided of neighbouring properties, most notably 57b which surrounded by this development. There are concerns about the suitability of the internal layout of the units within this application, and the impact this may have on the neighbouring properties.

As a result of these issues we believe this application should be rejected in its current form as it is contrary to council policies HSG5, HSG8, and HSG11.

We hope that the applicant can find ways to adjust the residential units to make them comply with policies and provide a good standard of accommodation for existing neighbours and future residents.

03 February 2012

Swinging in the Triangle

Following funding secured by the Forest Hill Society from the Forest Hill ward assembly, work will start on Monday installing swings in the Horniman Triangle.

The plan is for five swings; two flats swings, two swings with bars for babies, and one 'birds nest' swing for sharing and for children with mobility difficulties.

In addition there will be two all weather games tables suitable for table tennis for older children or for adults to use.

We are not sure how long the work will take and some machinery may need to be brought in to facilitate the installation, but by the Easter holidays we will have some fantastic new facilities in the park. In addition the work in the Horniman Gardens across the road should be complete this spring with a new animal enclosure, education centre, outdoor musical play, and a water feature in the centre of the sunken garden.

Planning Application - 2 Radlet Avenue

The Forest Hill Society have opposed a planning application at 2 Radlet Avenue.

This is an unusual application for a basement extension to the side of the house only. This is in addition to a large roof extension on 2 Radlet Avenue which is not shown in the plans, despite being almost completed.

We believe that the nature of this extension is unsuitable for the location and should be regarded as over-development. There are concerns about limited daylight to the basement. Our final concern is the proximity of the excavation to neighbouring properties.

Bearing in mind these concerns we support neighbours of this property in opposing this application and hope that the council will reject this application.