31 January 2012

Planning Application - 49 Houston Road (DC/11/78883)

The Forest Hill Society has objected to a plan to convert a house on Houston Road into seven studio flats.
The details of the application can be viewed on the Lewisham council web site.

Our main reasons for objection are:
1. Overdevelopment resulting in units that are too small
2. Poor quality of daylight and concerns about internal layout
3. Reduction in family housing

The full objection can be read here.

27 January 2012

Local Crime Survey

The Safer Lewisham Partnership wants your views and your experiences of crime and anti-social behaviour in Lewisham. The results of the Lewisham Crime Survey will be used by the partnership, which includes Lewisham Council, the police, probation and fire services, health, and voluntary groups, to set its annual priorities. The online survey will only take a few minutes to complete.

25 January 2012

Conservation Areas

There are several conservation areas in Forest Hill. If you live in one, then there are certain impacts on your rights.
  • If you live in a flat or subdivided house, then you do not have permitted development rights and must seek planning permission to undertake changes to the exterior. This includes alterations such as such the erection of a satellite dish or replacing windows or doors. Check with the Council before making any external changes to your property.
  • If your property is affected by an Article 4 direction (see below), then this removes your permitted development rights and planning permission may be required for certain minor changes, such as the replacement of windows and doors or front boundaries. Check with the Council before proceeding with any external works.
  • It is an offence to cut down or wilfully damage any tree in a conservation area without prior written consent. A plant is considered a tree once it is over 1.2m tall with a trunk over 100mm in diameter. Applications are free, but should be made at least six weeks in advance.
  • If you want to demolish (or rebuild) a wall over one metre high, or demolish a building then you must first apply for a demolition notice, giving at least six weeks' notice. Consent for demolition is not normally granted where a building contributes to the character of the conservation area.
  • Commercial properties have limited development rights, and we recommend you talk to Lewisham's Planning department before undertaking any works. All shop fronts should comply with the Council's Shopfront design guide supplementary planning document.
  • A heritage statement is required for all planning applications affecting buildings in conservation areas and listed buildings (both nationally-listed and locally-listed), including applications affecting the setting of a building.
The following areas (some of which are not in Forest Hill) are identified in the map above. A detailed map of each area can be found by following the link:

16. Forest Hill

An Article 4 direction applies to the whole of the Forest Hill Conservation Area. The conservation area was originally designated in 1976 and extended in 1994 and in 2010. It now comprises an area of 45 ha which makes it the fifth largest conservation area within the borough. The area includes Benson Road, Bird In Hand Passage, Clyde Vale, Dartmouth Place, David's Road, Dorrel Estate, Havelock Walk, London Road, Manor Mount, Pearcefield Avenue, Waldenshaw Road, most of Wood Vale and parts of Dartmouth Road, Devonshire Road, Ewelme Road, Taymount Rise, Thorpewood Avenue, Westwood Park, Woodcombe Crescent and Waldram Crescent.

17. Stanstead Grove

Designated in 1975, this is the smallest conservation area in the borough, comprising ten properties in two terraces.

19. Sydenham Hill/Kirkdale

An Article 4 direction applies to Mount Ash Road. Sydenham Hill and Kirkdale Conservation Area was designated in 1976 and consists of three different character areas: Mount Gardens, Mount Ash Road and Lammas Green. Mount Ash Road to the south is a unique example of Victorian ‘byelaw’ housing designed as a set piece of identical three-storey terraces enclosing the road to both sides.

20. Sydenham Park

Comprising Albion Villas Road, Carlton Terrace, Redberry Grove, Shrublands Close and parts of Sydenham Park and Sydenham Park Road, Sydenham Park Conservation Area was designated in 1973 and has a peaceful Gothic revival character which retains a degree of original integrity. Development took place in stages during the latter half of the 19th century, with a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced housing.

21. Halifax Street

An Article 4 direction applies to the whole of the Halifax Street area. This small area was designated in 1972 and consists mainly of one street comprising a group of tightly-knit mid 19th century semi-detached houses set behind small front gardens and a few properties on Wells Park Road.

22. Jews Walk

Jews Walk Conservation Area was designated in 1973, the area consists of semi-detached villas in a Gothic Revival style, exhibiting high quality craftsmanship.

23. Perry Fields

An Article 4 direction applies to specific streets in the Perry Fields Conservation Area which covers Allenby Road, Garlies Road and parts of Perry Rise, Priestfield Road and Woolstone Road. To check whether your street is covered by the direction contact Lewisham Planning on (020) 8314 7400 or planning@lewisham.gov.uk.

24. Sydenham Thorpes

An Article 4 direction applies to the whole of the Sydenham Thorpes Conservation Area which comprises the Thorpes Estate, an Edwardian development consisting of six roads laid out between 1901 and 1914 by Edmondson and Sons.

26. Cobb's Corner

Cobb's Corner Conservation Area is one of Lewisham's newest conservation areas and was designated in 2007 following lobbying by the Sydenham Society.

21 January 2012

Forest Hill Burns Night - Thursday 26th January

The Forest Hill Society is holding a Burns Night at the All Inn One, 53 Perry Vale, SE23 2NE, this Thursday.

The meal is from 7.30pm, and if you'd like to join us, please call the pub on 020 8699 3311 to book by Tuesday 24th (as they need to order the haggis). The cost is £16.95 pp for 3 courses and a wee dram.

There will be the traditional Address to the Haggis and this year a few people will read some poetry. Feel free to bring along something yourself and don't feel shy!

It would be lovely to have as many Forest Hillers (and Sydenhamites!) there as possible, so hope to see many of you, new & old to the area.

19 January 2012

Bryn Coedwig

Aber (or Bryn Coedwig, which is Forest Hill in Welsh) Outdoor Education Centre, a much loved centre that has been frequented by pupils and staff from Forest Hill School for over 40 years, is in desperate need of some attention.

Two ex Head Teachers are heading up the ‘Aber Action Team’ with local residents of Forest Hill and trying to get the community involved. The building is showing signs of fatigue and many, many years of wear and tear. Unless something is done now, the future of adventurous experiences for children at Aber will be under threat.

The Aber Action Team, which also includes several members of the Widehorizons Trustees, intends to spend a week at the centre from 27th February where they will be decorating and undertaking repairs. If you would like to help the team in any way, you can donate at AberActionTeam on Virgin Money Giving or contact the charity directly on (020) 8850 1581.

18 January 2012

Mayow Park Orchard

The Friends of Mayow Park are planning a new community orchard on the southern side of the park, very near the tennis courts. The proposal is for five apple varieties, three pears (including two varieties of perry pear) and two varieties of plum bordered by a hedgerow of mirabelles, gooseberries, raspberries, dog rose, redcurrants and blackcurrants.

They are looking for individuals or community groups to sponsor or care for the fruit trees. If you are interested in either possibility, please email them at friendsofmayowpark@ymail.com

Several of their members recently attended the Orchard Leaders Training day run by London Orchard Project where training included fruit tree planting and maintenance, community engagement and starting to write an orchard management plan in preparation for the new orchard.

London Orchard project will lead the community planting day on Saturday, 28 January from noon to 3pm, bringing trees, stakes, tree guards and tools. All that is needed is a few volunteers! Go along and get involved.

17 January 2012

January News Update

Burns Night
Thursday 26 January (a day late for purists – sorry)
Come along to the All Inn One for another great Forest Hill Society Burns Night. A traditional, and fun, evening of addressing the haggis, and then eating it with the usual tasty accompaniments.
“What a great night! The food was delicious and very reasonable. Great people and the entertainment a right hoot”  Burns Night 2011 attendee.
We’re also looking for people to get involved in poetry reading on the night (Scottish accents a plus), bagpipe playing and highland dancing.
For details on booking and to offer your artistic skills contact alisa@foresthillsociety.com
The Society’s Local History Evening
Thursday 23 February 
7.30pm – 9.30pm upstairs at The Hob
We’ve arranged for the fabulous Steve Grindlay to give a talk on an aspect of Forest Hill History. What Steve doesn’t know about Forest Hill isn’t worth knowing! Come and join us and learn more about this great place we live in.
Exact subject yet to be confirmed, but we’ll update you very soon. Open to all, no booking needed.
We need You
Membership to the Forest Hill Society is open to everyone and costs just £5 a year. Benefits include 12 newsletters, 12 local events - most free, assistance with planning proposals, making new friends in the local area and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to have a say about where you live.
We're a voluntary group and are always looking for people to help with what we do. We have great plans and we need people to help in a number of ways, most very simple and easy things -
  • Handing out membership leaflets in your street, or one close by
  • Distributing our newsletter four times a year, a chance to see different areas of Forest Hill, or maybe do your own road
  • Helping to write articles for the newsletter - either sending your own articles or helping with ones already written
  • Helping with leaflet design a few hours a few times a year.
  • Helping at events - not all, just one is a help - maybe baking a cake, helping on a stall or posting links on local forums
However you can help you'll find us friendly and supportive. if you want to find out more about volunteering with us contact richard@foresthillsociety.com
Freecycle Event
Saturday 25 February (11am - 3pm)
Holy Trinity Church Hall, Trinity Path, Sydenham
A Bring and Take event. Bring stuff you no longer want and, in return, take away stuff you do want. You really can get some amazing things - from CDs to clothes to toys to furniture. What’s not to like?
Trinity Path is between 35D and 37 Sydenham Park.

06 January 2012

Planning: 10a, 29, and 31 Dartmouth Road

The Forest Hill Society has objected to the plans for the change of use at 29 Dartmouth Road.
You can view the application here. And you can view the letter of objection here.

The unit now has the signage up for 'Cash City', although planning permission is required before the change of use is allowed.

The Forest Hill Society has objected to the plans for the change of use at 10a Dartmouth Road.
You can view the application here. And you can view the letter of objection here.

The Forest Hill Society has objected to the plans for an additional residential unit to the rear of 31 Dartmouth Road.
You can view the application here. And you can view the letter of objection here.

Christmas in Forest Hill

This year saw Forest Hill Society decorate the Christmas tree for the second year, adding baubles and tinsel to the tree. The weather outside was chilly but that did not prevent crowds gathering in the forecourt of Forest Hill Station on December 10th to see Cllr Philip Peake lead the countdown to switch on the Christmas lights.

A string trio led the lusty carol singing as pleasantly surprised crowds gathered to sample the mulled wine, pumpkin soup and hot sausages on sale from Mark and Helen's Smokehaus tent (smokehaus5@hotmail.com) and coffee and cakes from Ellie's On the Hoof corner coffee stall.

If you would like to help remove the baubles, please meet at the station on Monday next, 9th January, at 2.00pm.

Our thanks go to LOROL for permission to partially close the forecourt to parking on December 10th and to Skanksa and their man Pete for providing the lights and making them work on time.

Recycle your Christmas Tree

Lewisham will again be recycling Christmas Trees this year. Simply take your tree to one of 12 designated recycling points between now and Friday, 27 January 2012. The two nearest locations are ​Mayow Park (near the entrance on Mayow Road) and ​Sydenham Wells Park (near the entrance on Wells Park Road)