27 July 2012

Portas Pilot First Steps

Yesterday saw the first meeting of the Town Team (or more correctly, the bid team) since we heard news of our success.

The main item discussed was how to officially constitute the Town Team so that it can take over from Lewisham as the responsible body in the longer term.

We also discussed at length the importance of being transparent and spreading the news about what the Portas Pilot is intended to achieve and what it is not. We want as many people as possible to be involved, but we also have to manage expectations, so please be patient while the nitty gritty of name, website and communications is sorted out. We hope to get this sorted out in the next week or so.

In the meantime, please contact one of the following with any queries you may have:

Richard Hibbertemail@foresthillsociety.com@FHSoc/foresthillsociety
Louise Brookslouise@bakelondon.co.uk@bakelondon/bakelondon
Ed Hollowayed@beepstudio.co.uk
Rebecca Leathleanrebecca@alhambrahome.co.uk@AlhambraRebeccaFacebook page
Chris Bestcllr_chris.best@lewisham.gov.uk@ChrisBestUKFacebook page
Paul Galepaul.gale@lewisham.gov.uk

26 July 2012

Planning Application: 139 Sunderland Road

The Forest Hill Society has objected to the latest planning application at 139 Sunderland Road following the refusal of the 2009 application which was rejected by both Lewisham Council and the Planning Inspector.

The key points are that a number of the units have poor quality living space as a result of over-development of the site. However, we have welcomed the retention of the frontage of this house which was not included in the previous application. Full details of the Forest Hill Society objection can be read here.

25 July 2012

Forest Hill wins Portas Funding

Thanks to the determined efforts of a dedicated band of volunteers, Forest Hill, Kirkdale and Sydenham's joint bid for upto £100,000 of government funding to revitalise the High Street has won one of 13 Portas Pilot grants in the second round of bidding.

With £100,000 of matched funding towards town centre improvements for Forest Hill and Sydenham from the Phase Two development of Bell Green and a further £15,000 from Lewisham, the pilot will concentrate on three projects.

Jack & Jill

Two high street shops will be renovated for creative community engagement, exhibitions, showcasing local products, business workshops, ‘pop-up’ events and as a Town Team base

Shop Revolution

A high impact project with lasting sustainable benefits will renovate upto 12 vacant units, letting them to an eclectic mix of businesses and organisations, including successful Market Makers traders on a Pop Up or trial basis.

Market Makers

More than a market, this will build on the success of the Forest Hill Food Fair, to pilot markets on a rotational basis across the area, with the aim of finding long term tenants for our vacant units.

Richard Hibbert, Chairman of the Forest Hill Society said "These are exciting times for Forest Hill. The Town Centre has been the top priority of the Society and the Forest Hill local assembly for the past two years and we are beginning to see the results of our efforts. We are already seeing signs of revitalisation in Dartmouth Road ahead of the pools opening in the next couple of weeks.

"We have managed to get graffiti removed from various shops and buildings in the town centre, won an Outstanding award from the Royal Horticultural Society for the planting outside the station, revitalised the Trader's Association and hosted three successful Food Fairs. The Portas funding will focus our efforts for the next stage and enable us to deliver the town centre that local residents want.

"We firmly believe that this investment in our high streets is another important step in our founding aim of making Forest Hill an even better place to live and look forwards to working with the other members of the Town Team.

"Particular thanks are due to Ed Holloway, a Forest Hill Society member, who put a lot of time and effort into enhancing the first bid and turning it into a winning bid in the second round."

24 July 2012

Pools to open imminently

Mayor Sir Steve Bullock has just posted the following on his Facebook page
Just had a swim in the new pool in Forest Hill!!!! Its been a long struggle but worth it - the new building looks great and so does the old frontage - everyone involved is working their socks off to get it ready to open to the public in a few days time - I was there with some local school students to make sure the pool really is as good as it looks. it is!
This is great news and will be a great addition to Forest Hill.

15 July 2012

July's Social event

Come along to a wine tasting and Tapas evening at Alhambra Home and Garden, 148 Kirkdale, SE26 4BB from 6pm-9pm on Sunday, 22 July.

Costing just £19.95, the evening will include tasting three red Rioja wines and a white Rioja under the guidance of Master of Wine and Society member Rob McIntosh, as well as plenty of delicious tapas.

Please book in advance on 020 3417 6385 or by emailing mail@alhambrahome.co.uk. This should be a great evening.

14 July 2012

Devonshire Road Open Day

The Friends of Devonshire Road Nature Reserve will be having an Open Day from 11AM - 6PM tomorrow, Sunday 15 July.

There will be a chance to meet the bees (which are now safely in their new home), go for nature walks and listen to live music from Shadrack Tye, Flaky Jake, Matt Allin, Fox and the Feather, Felix Glenn and the Forest Hillbillies while enjoying plenty of Food and drnk.