Showing posts with label crofton park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crofton park. Show all posts

03 November 2014

HopCroft Neighbourhood Forum: First Meeting

Established in July 2014, the Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park Neighbourhood Forum (HopCroft Forum) will lead on pulling together a Neighbourhood Plan for the area to outline the future for Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park.

Starting with blank sheets of paper we would like to hear your views, ideas and aspirations for your Neighbourhood.

If you live or work within the Neighbourhood Area, or even regularly visit then please help us make them reality.

You are invited to Crofton Park Library (by Crofton Park station) at 7pm on Wednesday 5 November 2014, to start the process and hear about what is being planned.

There will be food and drink to help your ideas flow

Get in touch with us on:

17 June 2014

Ward Assemblies

Ward assemblies are an important way to have your say on developments in the local area and are a good opportunity to meet your local councillors.

Crofton Park Ward - Saturday 21st June, 10am, St. Saviour's Church Hall, Brockley Rise (see
Forest Hill Ward - Sunday 13th July, 1:30pm, Forest Hill Pools, Dartmouth Road
Perry Vale Ward - Tuesday 15th July, 7pm, Rockbourne Youth Club

20 March 2014

Response to Proposed Crofton Park and Honor Oak Neighbourhood Plan Area and Forum

Below is the text of the Forest Hill Society submission regarding the Proposed Crofton Park and Honor Oak Neighbourhood Plan Area. Further details of the proposed forum and boundaries can be viewed on Lewisham council website.

The Forest Hill Society is the local amenity society for the SE23 postcode area which is run by the community for the community and has over 400 members.  It works to make the whole of Forest Hill 'an even better place to live' in a range of ways, including through involvement in the planning system, transport issues, environmental improvements, community events and working with a range of other groups and organisations.  The SE23 postcode area includes the neighbourhood of Honor Oak Park and we have many members that live in this part of the area.

Over the past 3 years the Forest Hill Society have been involved in various workshops, discussions and ideas around neighbourhood planning in SE23 and nearby, including meeting with the Council.  Our current approach is to work positively on ideas for improving key parts of the area that need it most and to see whether a neighbourhood plan is the effective way of achieving change on a case-by-case basis.  The Forest Hill Society is positive about the potential of neighbourhood planning and would like to support and work with any group or community within or around SE23 looking to improve their area. 

In relation to the current applications for the Neighbourhood Plan boundary and Neighbourhood Forum we have a number of concerns and we to object to both applications as they stand at the moment.


We are concerned that the boundary does not represent a neighbourhood as it actually functions and excludes many residents who rely on and use key parts of the planned area.  As the proposed area is currently set out, and taken together with the proposed constitution which states that the neighbourhood plan is for the benefit of the inhabitants of the area, this would mean that many people who associate with either Crofton Park or more particularly Honor Oak Park but who do not live in Crofton Park Ward would be excluded both from membership of the forum and more importantly from voting in a future referendum.

"Membership of the Forum is open to those who live or work in Crofton Park Ward and to the area's elected representatives."

In this case the proposed NP boundary reflects the Ward Boundary for Crofton Park Ward.  There is no reason for the Neighbourhood Plan to be this boundary as within Metropolitan areas there are no set rules for how a NP boundary should be set.  We can see that boundaries need to be somewhere but in order to be effective, both in their preparation and their ratification these should reflect functional neighbourhoods or communities.

Our particular concern in this case is that the NP boundary does not reflect the neighbourhood or community of Honor Oak Park as it only includes land to the east of the railway line and not the other half of this community to the west.  This is a problem because one of the key areas that could really benefit from the potential opportunities that neighbourhood planning could secure is Honor Oak Park and the important local shopping centre that is located along this road.  As it stands the boundary would mean that the many residents of Honor Oak that do not live within Crofton Park ward would not be able to influence, contribute to or vote on key changes that might be proposed through the neighbourhood plan for this area.

A key open space (Honor Oak recreation ground) that is used principally by residents of Honor Oak Park is also excluded from the NP boundary.  Other parts of Honor Oak Park e.g. One Tree Hill, are also closely associated with this area but we can see that they also have a wider significance.

There is also a concern that the southern part of the proposed Neighbourhood plan boundary may be functionally part of Forest Hill rather than Honor Oak Park.

At a recent Crofton Park Ward Assembly meeting we understand that residents who did not live within the ward (but who live very close to the boundary) were not allowed to be part of the discussion about the proposed Neighbourhood plan even though they had come along specifically to find out more about it.   It would therefore seem that the NP boundary being following Ward boundaries might actually create more problems than it solves and end up marginalizing residents who would be impacted on by the plan but who don't live within the identified area.

It is interesting to contrast this approach to the NP boundary and forum application with that for Grove Park which is also on your website and which does appear to have covered these issues in some detail.

We would suggest that as an authority it may also be worth Lewisham considering separating the approval of an NP boundary with that of the neighbourhood forum.  This is the approach being taken in at least one other London Borough (Westminster) and it allows the boundary application and debate to focus on whether it covers a functional neighbourhood, before the application is considered about whether the proposed forum membership and constitution is inclusive and appropriate in those specific circumstances and for the approved boundary.

As part of our consideration of the NP proposals for Honor Oak Park and Crofton Park we have spoken with a number of FHS members and residents who live within the proposed NP area and nearby.  It appears to us that this concern about the boundary is one shared by quite a number of local people.


We are concerned about the wording of the proposed constitution in that it only includes those that live and work in the area and does not take account of the fact that the NP boundary does not reflect a functional neighbourhood and that it is in a complex urban area of overlapping places and functions.  The Grove Park application does at least appear to have considered these issues.

It is not clear how the NP Forum intend to include, work with and take into consideration the views and contributions of people living nearby the NP area and who will rely on, use and feel part of key centres within the NP area on a day to day basis (principally Honor Oak Park local centre).  To some extent this will always be an issue in high density urban areas but is a particular problem in this case because the NP area does not accurately reflect one or more functional neighbourhoods.  

We are aware that there is a duty to consult with neighbouring groups and statutory consultees as part of the regulation 14 consultation set out in the Neighbourhood planning regulations. However, this stage of consultation is too late for any meaningful opportunity for neighbours to influence the vision and objectives of the plan as it is only undertaken once a plan is written and ready to be consulted on.  It is also unlikely that neighbouring residents would be consulted at this stage as the focus is really on neigbouring authorities and organisations.  

In parished areas outside of major cities it may well be appropriate to focus the neighbourhood forum on only those who live or work in the Parish as there is more likely to be lower density, rural or peripheral areas around key areas of focus, such as towns or villages or local centres.  However, in urban areas such as this, with a number of overlapping communities it is important to both consider and reflect how people relate to and use an area, as well as take account of this 'overlap' and propose how to address it in the constitution of the neighbourhood forum.

Unfortunately we understand that whilst the draft constitution says lots of positive things about working with local groups and being inclusive we have concerns that this may not reflect the intention of the some of those in the group when it comes to including groups who operate partially within and also outside of Crofton Park Ward (such as the Forest Hill Society).  We are concerned that any neighbourhood forum needs to be inclusive of individuals and groups who are wholly within the neighbourhood area and also those who operate partially within it too, such as the Forest Hill Society, or who live nearby. 

We would ideally like some assurances, if this application is approved, that the Forest Hill Society, as a key civic group and local stakeholder with members in a large part of the proposed NP area would be able to contribute to the plan and to work collaboratively with the forum.  We think that best way to achieve this is if the Forest Hill Society and other groups are listed in the proposed constitution of the Forum as one of a number of groups that will be consulted with and engaged with as the plan develops, and ideally be involved in Forum meetings.   We would be happy to look to identify Forest Hill Society representatives who are also residents within or nearby to the Neighbourhood Plan area.

We would welcome the opportunity to engage with this forum and have previously made some attempts to do so.  We very much want to work with any Neighbourhood Forum in the development of a Neighbourhood Plan that serves local people and seeks to improve an area.  We believe the spirit of Neighbourhood planning should be about inclusion, collaboration, and a best practice approach to working community issues. We do not believe it should be about the idea of perceived 'exclusive' control of an area by one group.

We hope that the concerns we have about the current proposals are clear to you in this letter. We would be very happy to discuss these with you further if this would be helpful.

07 February 2014

Proposed Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park Neighbourhood Forum

Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park

A local Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park community group has submitted two applications to the Council:
  1. to become an officially designated neighbourhood forum called Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park neighbourhood forum, and
  2. to designate a geographical area as an officially recognised neighbourhood area.

The council would like to hear your views on the proposals, especially  including feedback on the following issues:
  • Does the proposed neighbourhood area boundary shown on the submitted map align with your own understanding of the local neighbourhood? and
  • Do you agree with the purpose and objectives of the proposed neighbourhood forum as set out in the forum’s constitution?

Please email all comments on neighbourhood planning applications along with your full name and address to:

14 November 2013

Honor Oak Pub to reopen in March 2014 (Updated)

East London Lines is reporting that the Honor Oak pub, on Brockley Rise, will reopen in March 2014.

A statement from Punch Taverns said: "With the Honor Oak currently being closed for trade, we are aware that there may be some concern regarding the future of the pub. We can re-assure the community that we see the pub very much part of the long term future of Punch Taverns and we are planning a £350,000 investment and refurbishment beginning in January with a gala reopening in mid March."

After closing in May, The Honor Oak was the subject of a campaign by the Forest Hill Society to turn the business into a co-operative pub. The co-operative would have required Punch Taverns to consult the group on any sale, giving the community the option to take over the pub before it could be sold to another buyer.

Richard Hibbert, the chairman at the Forest Hill Society, said: “That’s excellent news. A much-loved pub by the locals and one that was very good at one stage. I’m sure it will have a bright future.”
Update: The Forest Hill Society has received confirmation from Lewisham Council that on 13th November 2013 the Honor Oak Pub was added to the council's list of assets of community value.

Now that the property is included on the Council’s list of assets of community value, if the Owner subsequently decides to enter into a relevant disposal of it, it will be required to notify the Council in writing under Section 95(2) of the Act. For the meaning of “relevant disposal” and for when a relevant disposal is entered into, please see Section 96 of the Act.

On receiving notice of a relevant disposal, the Council will then update the entry in the list for the property to reveal that notice has been received, give written notice to the Forest Hill Society (as the community nominee who originally nominated the property to go on the list) and will also publicise the proposed disposal in the locality. 

23 August 2012

Thameslink Franchise

The Forest Hill Society has submitted a response to the combined Thameslink and Southern Franchise document provided by the Department for Transport.

Summary of Our Recommendations

1.                 Thameslink stopping service on the Sydenham corridor as outlined in the 2007 Route Utilisation Strategy.
2.                 Continued connections from Forest Hill to East Croydon.
3.                 Plans for the introduction of 12 carriage trains on the Sydenham corridor.
4.                 Minimum services frequencies of 4 trains per hour at Crofton Park.
5.                 Inclusion of minimum specification for off-peak services, including maximising the central Thameslink corridor beyond the primary Thameslink routes.

Full submission can be read at

12 June 2012

Newsletter: Tube Could Come to SE23 (Again)

Following an earlier article on a possible DLR connection Michael Abrahams gives our views on how we could be connected to the Bakerloo line.

The first option for the Bakerloo Line is the Honor Oak Park route. This would be underground as far as Catford Bridge and then join the line at Lower Sydenham. This route has the added benefit of adding new stations in areas with relatively poor train connections (Burgess Park and Peckham Rye Common).

While this could come into conflict with the DLR plans, this is one of our favourites and would relieve pressure on our increasingly crowded existing services.

Option 2 is a less favoured Tulse Hill route.

Option 3 is the preferred route for Lewisham Council. It provides a new underground route to Lewisham from where it would follow the Hayes Line via Catford. It is possible that as part of this route there could be an interchange with New Cross Gate and a new station at Bell Green, so this route could be adjusted to be of benefit to Forest Hill residents.

There are two further routes to which we would like to see consideration given. A route via Crofton Park would be the shortest tunnelling option, extending the Bakerloo line to south of Camberwell, where it would join the existing train line from Denmark Hill, via Peckham Rye, Nunhead, and Crofton Park, to Catford. This would make better use of the Crofton Park line, and allow for a possible extension to Bellingham and Bromley North.

A reliable tube service from Crofton Park would reduce demand at Honor Oak Park and Brockley, which would help slightly with the capacity. Unfortunately an interchange station between the Forest Hill line and the Crofton Park (Bakerloo) line is unlikely.

A fifth option could be best for us. This would loosely follow the 176 route from Elephant & Castle, stopping at Camberwell, Denmark Hill, East Dulwich, Barry Road (either end), Forest Hill, and Bell Green (and possibly beyond). Here it could interchange with the DLR line allowing both lines to go south of Catford without using the same track. This option provides the most interchange options of all routes. It has the potential to make more difference in journey times and options for the largest number of South East Londoners, relieving congestion both on our existing train line and buses. It surely makes sense in terms of regeneration. On the downside the length of tunnelling could be prohibitive.

The DLR and the Bakerloo extensions will significantly improve public transport in South East London. This is a discussion that will continue – please tell TfL and the Society what you think!

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.

21 February 2011

Route Utilisation Strategy Response

Network Rail are consulting over development of rail services beyond 2019 in their Route Utilisation Strategy for London and the South East.

Issues for consideration:
  • 12 carriage trains on the Sydenham line into London Bridge
  • Improved numbers of evening peak services on the Sydenham Line
  • Increased frequency of services on the Crofton Park route
  • Increased utilisation of the central platforms at New Cross Gate
  • Integration of Bakerloo line extension options into the London and South East RUS (with interchange on the Sydenham line)
  • Additional carriages on the East London Line
  • Late evening and weekend services from central London termini
You can read the full Forest Hill Society Response here.

08 September 2010


Thursday, 21st October, 7.30pm – Forest Hill Society Annual General Meeting - at the Hob opp. Forest Hill Station.

Open House Weekend - 18th—19th September.

Saturday, 18th September, 11am-1pm - Perry Vale Local Assembly - Rockbourne Youth Club, 41a Rockbourne Road, SE23 2DA

Saturday, 9 October - Crofton Park Local Assembly – 11am-1pm; St Hilda's Church Hall, Courtrai Road

Saturday, 16 October - Forest Hill Local Assembly – 10:30am-1pm, Living Springs International Church, 8-10 Devonshire Road, SE23 3TJ

Monday, 22nd November - Perry Vale Local Assembly – time and venue to be confirmed

Richard Hibbert, Chair of the Forest Hill Society, writes…

We hope you have all had a relaxing summer and are now ready to get more involved in the Society. Our AGM is being held at 7:30pm in The Hob on Thursday, 21st October and will be your chance to air your concerns and volunteer to join one of the four committees (transport, development, environment and communications). We are always looking for fresh ideas and willing people to help us tackle the issues which matter to you, the members; getting involved need not be a daunting prospect and will only take as much time as you want to spare. Please contact me on if you would like to find out more about any of the committees.

The Society covers the whole of SE23 and, ideally, our committees should be made up of people from the whole area. But the Crofton Park side of our patch is currently under represented even though we have plenty of members there. Crofton Park has received a double whammy with its library threatened with closure and the fire damage at Stillness School. I would particularly like to encourage members there to join the Executive so that their needs are addressed.

Most of you will have been affected in some way by the closure of the London Road stretch of the South Circular. Rather than moaning and fretting about the inconvenience, we decided to organise a little picnic on what we like to think of as our temporary Forest Hill Promenade. While not the most picturesque venue, it was fun to reclaim the South Circular for a few hours!

That section of the South Circular is now open again in time for the beginning of the school term but by the time you read this Newsletter a section of the South Circular further east, near the Co-Op, may be closed.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Photo: Stillness School fire. Photo © Rob Finn 2010

Local Libraries May Close

Lewisham Council is considering closing Crofton Park Library, Sydenham Library and three others in the Borough as part of its plan to reduce Council spending by £60 million over three years. Karen Jonason says Crofton Park Library is very well used and she’s set up an online petition and Facebook page to fight the closure.

You can find the petition at Or you can sign the paper petition on September 11th between 11am and 1pm at the corner of Brockley Grove and Brockley Road.

There’s also a petition to save Sydenham Library at

The final decision will be made by the Mayor on 17th November.

12 October 2008

October Update

The Forest Hill Society’s AGM - Wednesday 15th October at The Hob pub, 7 Devonshire Road, opposite Forest Hill Station. Doors open at 7pm, proceedings get under way at 7.30pm. This will be an opportunity to discuss the key issues affecting SE23 and to elect the Executive Committee. There will be a bar!

23 Club - Thursday 23rd October
The 23 Club conintues to pick some of the finest local restaurants to visit and share a meal with other Forest Hill Society members. For October we are back in Honor Oak at the Honor Oak Tandoori, 57-59 Honor Oak Park at 8pm.
Last month a number of people turned up on the night and we had to divide into two tables, so please remember to book in advance by calling the restaurant on 8699 2255. Map available at
Crofton Park ward Assembly - Monday 13th October
For people living in Crofton Park ward (north of Stanstead Road and east of the railway - i.e. Brockley Rise area) there will be a ward assembly tomorrow. This will take place at St Hilda's Church Hall, Courtrai Road, SE4 2DG at 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Forest Hill Library Users Group meeting - Thursday 23 October
Forest Hill Library, Dartmouth Road, 6.30 for 7pm
The first meeting of the users group since the library was refurbished and an opportunity for users to meet John Hughes, the Head of Lewisham's Library Service and Glenys Englert, District Librarian.

17 May 2008

Local Ward Assemblies

Forest Hill Ward Assembly
Date: Tuesday 20 May 2008
Venue: Living Springs International Church, 8-10 Devonshire Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3TJ
Map of location of meeting (next to the station)
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Perry Vale Ward Assembly
Date: Monday 2 June 2008
Venue: Perry Rise Baptist Church, Perry Rise, SE23 2QL
Map of location of meeting
Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Crofton Park Ward Assembly
Date: Wednesday 2 July 2008
Venue: St Hildas Church Hall, Brockley Road, SE4 2DG
Map of location of meeting
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm

And don't forgot next Sunday, 25th May, is the Forest Hill Society Green Chain Walk. More details in the previous posting.