Showing posts with label SE23. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SE23. Show all posts

01 April 2024

Sainsburys trials anti-obesity initiative at flagship Bell Green store

Customers of Sainsbury's Bell Green will have noticed the store has been gradually changing the location of stock but not immediately updating the location signage above the aisles. This is an initiative Sainsbury's is trialling to help address the UK's obesity crisis. The Disruptive Orientation Location Trial (DOLT) entails moving and mixing the location of stock on a regular basis to disrupt customers' familiarity with the store layout.  

No longer will regular customers be able to quickly navigate the store and plan their route to efficiently select the items they want. Instead, customers will arrive at an aisle that had previously contained, for example, breakfast cereals, only to find it now contains toilet rolls, and so begins their exploration in search of their desired items. The aim is to send customers on a bewildering journey, testing their desire for treats to breaking point until finally forcing them to prioritise their search for essential items and give up looking for the biscuits.

One customer, Flora Opil, commented "At first I was exasperated that I couldn't find my regular items and had to wander all the aisles in search of things I used to be able to find straight away. But then I saw the sense of concentrating on just finding the essentials and only picking up treats if I happened to come across them in my expedition around the store. The decision to delay updating the location signage was a stroke of genius and greatly enhances my inability to find anything.  It hasn't completely prevented my consumption of high calorie treats but at least I can no longer find chocolates, crisps and biscuits in a single visit. And, of course, I use up more calories trekking around the aisles."

The frequency of relocating stock has yet to be finalised. 
Disorientation tails off after a few visits, as customers of Sainsbury's Forest Hill branch will understand, after their branch was renovated and reorganised last summer. The frequency could be as often as every six weeks, in order to keep customers on their toes.

Anti-obesity campaigners say the scheme doesn't go far enough as it only influences purchases made in-store and not orders placed online for home delivery. To combat this, Sainsbury's are exploring the feasibility of installing a foreign language program in their online ordering system, so that they can display high calorie items in a regularly changing selection of foreign languages. This would emulate the disorientating in-store experience and also help to address the decline in modern foreign language learning. The company is also in discussions about integrating fitness apps into Sainsbury's customer accounts to identify whether the scheme is reducing customers' calorie intake and, for in-store customers, how many extra steps they are walking. By installing the app Sainsbury's will leave cookies on your phone, giving you something to nibble on your extended foraging expeditions.

A spokesman said the outcomes of the Bell Green trial will be reviewed and, if successful, will be introduced at Sainsbury's Forest Hill to test it on a smaller store layout, with a view to extending the scheme nationwide by 1st April 2025, meaning customers would need to walk between multiple stores to get their regular groceries.

08 December 2023

Christmas Tree Lighting - 9th December 2023

 Join Us for a Festive Celebration!

We're thrilled to invite the #ForestHill community to the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, hosted in partnership with ChurchesTogether.
📅 Date: Saturday, December 9th
⏰ Time: 4 PM for 4:15 lighting
📍 Location: Forest Hill Station
Don't miss the lighting of the stunning Christmas tree, artfully designed by the talented local Lee Jackson. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit as we enjoy heartwarming carols led by the wonderful the Ichthus Fellowship.
Come along, bring your friends and family, and let's spread some holiday cheer together! 


01 November 2023

Planning Application: Bird In Hand Pub, 35 Dartmouth Road

The Forest Hill Society has objected to plans to change the Bird In Hand Pub, planning application DC/23/132691: Demolition of the existing canopy and construction of a 3 storey extension plus mansard roof at the side, an additional storey at first floor level at the rear and an external staircase, together with alterations to lower ground for bike and refuse storage to provide 6 self-contained residential units and 3 self-contained Bed And Breakfast Rooms at Bird in Hand PH, 35 Dartmouth Road SE23.

We are writing to object to the above application by virtue of the detrimental impact on the Forest Hill Conservation Area.

The Forest Hill Conservation Area is characterised by its commercial and retail centre around the railway station and surrounding suburban residential streets and green spaces. The application site has historically operated as a public house, having replaced a previous public house on the site between 1895 and 1916. The form, materiality and appearance of the building is representative of the Victorian and Edwardian architecture that characterises the Conservation Area. Moreover, its glazed brick frontage, which we accept had been covered previously, although potentially without the benefit of Planning Permission, provides interest and variety to the streetscape, particularly considering the loss of historic shopfronts in the Conservation Area. The pub’s position at the corner of Dartmouth Road and Bird in Hand Passage, as well as the space provided by the shelter on the south elevation, give the site more prominence in the streetscene. Therefore, it is considered that the application site currently makes a positive contribution to the significance of the Conservation Area.

We believe the application proposals would result in harm to the significance of the Conservation Area through the loss of features and elements of the site which contribute positively. We have discussed the proposals in turn below:

Additional Height and Roof Form

Given the immediate two-storey context of the site, the proposed three storey plus mansard extension would be overbearing to the surrounding and adjacent modest two-storey terraced buildings.

The mansard roof exacerbates the impact given its height is almost identical to the storeys below. This side of Dartmouth Road is very clearly more traditional than the other side, and whilst there are instances of contemporary forms or mansards beyond Dartmouth Road, such as in the more recent developments towards the railway, the built form along Dartmouth Road has retained traditional hipped or pitched roofs. There are no mansards on any buildings on this side of the road fronting Dartmouth Road. The acceptance of a mansard roof in place of an original roof form would establish a dangerous precedent within this part of the Forest Hill Conservation Area as well as result in the loss of an original hipped roof form and chimney.

Proposed Appearance

The proposed inset balconies to the front elevation would be out of character with Dartmouth Road, which does not have analogous examples. Moreover, the form and scale of the proposed balconies does not tie in well with the modest scale and character of the existing building. The openings facing Bird in Hand Passage would detract from the traditionally-scaled windows across the building as well as look odd at the mansard level where the opening is more trapezoidal in shape. Given the overriding character of this side of Dartmouth Road and the host building, any new balconies should be positioned to the rear.

Extension Towards Bird in Hand Passage

Historic mapping shows that between 1916 and 1952, a historic smithy was demolished to make the building line consistent along the northern side of Bird in Hand Passage. Whilst the terraced housing at the end of the street was demolished for the Phoenix Works development, this building line was maintained in the new development. The extension of the site towards Bird in Hand Passage would reduce the ability to appreciate the historic building line as well as the changing townscape as one moves towards closer to the railway. Whilst the submitted Daylight/Sunlight Report has raised no issues with such impacts on the neighbouring properties, the drastic increase in height on a historically open space would have an overbearing effect on the streetscene.

Elevational Treatment

Lastly, the drawings indicate that the glazed brickwork would again be covered by render. Although it is noted that the glazed brickwork was covered until recently, it is not clear whether this ever had Planning Permission. Furthermore, as a historic, original cladding material that is most often associated with public houses, this treatment is an important element within the streetscene of Dartmouth Road and the wider Conservation Area. Its loss should be resisted.


Therefore, the above comments have highlighted where harm to the significance of the Forest Hill Conservation Area is being derived as a result of the application proposals. The submission has not demonstrated that alternative schemes have been discounted nor that this is the least harmful proposal. The application has also not presented any public benefits to outweigh the heritage harm caused, as per Paragraph 202 of the NPPF.

Although a Heritage Statement has been submitted in support of the proposals, we do not believe it fulfils the requirement set out in Paragraph 194 of the NPPF, which states: “In determining applications, local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting. The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets’ importance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance.” The Heritage Statement does not sufficiently assess the significance of the Forest Hill Conservation Area, nor the impact of the proposals on that significance.

We have also noted that the submitted Design and Access Statement makes reference to Flat being a 1 bed, 3 person unit, but we have assumed the ‘3 person’ is a typo and it should be ‘2 person’.

We therefore request the application is refused.

31 October 2023

Forest Hill Society Christmas Quiz


Get into the holiday spirit with the Forest Hill Society Quiz on December 5th at The All Inn One pub on Perry Vale.

Test your Christmas trivia knowledge in this year's seasonal quiz from the Forest Hill Society.

Once again, our hosts will be the All Inn One in Perry Vale, Forest Hill. Please arrive by 7.30 pm to ensure a prompt start at 7.45pm.

Don't miss out, book your space now!  
When booking tickets, you will need one for every person in your team. So, you have a team of 4, please specify 4 tickets in your booking. Only one booking per team, please and note there is a maximum of 6 members per team.

You are welcome to come on your own and form or join a team on the night.

Entry is free, but donations are welcome, and all donations made through our JustGiving page will go to support Lewisham Foodbank.

Click here to donate


20 September 2023

Forest Hill Society AGM

All members and non-members are welcome to attend our Annual General Meeting in person or via Zoom on Tuesday, 17th October from 7:30pm at Forest Hill Library (Dartmouth Road).

The AGM is an opportunity to find out more about what is happening in Forest Hill, to share your concerns and to help shape the future of the Society.

For details of the zoom meeting or if you are interesting in discussing any of the roles in the Society or how you can get more involved, please email:

30 August 2023

Children's Book Sale

The Forest Hill Society will be running a book sale for second-hand children's books on 23rd September outside Forest Hill Library from 10am-2pm.

We already have lots of donated books, but if you have additional children's books in a good condition that you would like to donate, please bring them to the library before 17th September.

All funds raised will go towards supporting the library, but even more importantly, we will get books to local children to increase reading.

08 June 2023

Subway Cleaning 2023

The Forest Hill Society will be cleaning the walls of the subway, which runs under the railway line in Forest Hill, London SE23.

All cleaning materials will be provided but please bring your own plastic gloves.

We are looking for members of the community to help us out for an hour: Saturday 17 June, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

03 May 2023

Planning Application: Taymount Grange, Taymount Rise

Reference DC/23/130280, Construction of a 5 storey building comprising 29 flats, TAYMOUNT GRANGE, TAYMOUNT RISE, LONDON, SE23 3UH


The Forest Hill Society has written to object to this planning application. Concerns include:

  • Daylight for residents in the new property
  • Issues for transport and parking
  • Difficulty for servicing and access
  • Pedestrian access limited to non-residents
  • Lack of social housing

In addition we are concerned about the impact of the construction of two developments on either side of Taymount Grange at the same time and coordination between developers.

Extracts from the objection:


The levels of daylight for almost all east facing windows on the ground floor and first floor of this development are well below any suitable daylight factor. In total there are 7 units (24%) across the four floors where the Living room/Kitchen/Dining room less than 20% of the room area meeting required Daylight Factor.

These figures demonstrate a poor quality of residential amenity that falls below Lewisham policies and national expectations for daylight, due to over-development of this backland site. 

Parking & Servicing

Despite the flawed transport statement, it should be clear that based on policy 29 that this application should be refused as this development is outside of PTAL 4 rating and will cause detrimental impact on the provision of on-street parking on top of that already allowed by Lewisham with the previous permission given.

In relation to servicing, paragraph 3.5.1 of the transport statement says that parking for servicing will be provided in the turning area. This will prevent people parked in the disabled parking bays from being able to leave this site without reversing for approximately 200m up a narrow, sloped driveway. The dual use of the turning area for servicing and turning for disabled residents is inappropriate and could be unsafe for disabled residents.

Pedestrian Access

We welcome the creation of a new pedestrian route between Taymount Rise and Derby Hill Crescent. However, we do not believe that this should be limited to residents of the new block. Large numbers of children from Grassmount, Forestholme Close, Forest Croft, and other flats on Taymount Rise attend Eliot Bank and Sydenham Schools. This route should be open to them and should not result in children having to wait for somebody to open the gate to let them through.

We would ask that a condition should be placed on any permission, that access should be available to all residents located on Taymount Rise to make use of this new access route. 

Social Housing

We support the London Plan and Council plan that social housing should be included in new developments of more than 9 residential units. This scheme, at 29 units, should be expected to contribute in some way to the provision of social housing in Forest Hill. 


Should permission be given for any development on the Taymount Grange site, we ask that coordination takes place between the two developers to limit traffic and noise disruption. It would be completely unreasonable for existing Taymount Grange residents to have to deal with ground drilling on both sides of their property at the same time. This may require restrictions on a development that has already been given permission or limitations on the start of work on this site until work on the previous site is completed.

28 April 2023

Forest Hill Society Whisky and Cheese Tasting

Wednesday 24 May 7.30pm, All In One Pub



Join us for at the All In One for a guided exploration of six different whiskies, each paired with a matching cheese from Aga's Little Deli in Forest Hill.

On our tour, we will explore various types and styles of whisky, all available from major retailers, and see how the flavours can be matched with different cheeses, for the perfect tasting experience.

To book tickets please follow this link Tickets cost £15 per person and are limited to 40 people.

27 April 2023

London City Airport- all day Saturday flights over Lewisham are in the balance

by Tim Walker and John Doherty

In summer 2022 London City Airport launched its latest expansion consultation, this time proposing to operate all afternoon and evenings on Saturdays, with more early morning flights on weekdays too. The Forest Hill Society made a response, along with many other Londoners and Borough Councils, including Lewisham. We opposed the extension of operating hours, saying that until the airport, together with Heathrow, introduces replacement flight paths, due 2027-28, no changes should be applied for or considered. This is consistent with our approach since City introduced its 2000 ft concentrated flight path over Forest Hill in 2016. The current 24 hour weekend ban on flying gives all overflown Londoners peace and quiet from this centrally located airport at a time when we are enjoying our homes, parks and gardens. City-bound flights over our area occur in east wind conditions, often associated with prolonged periods of fine weather in summer.

That non-statutory consultation was poorly publicised but still drew considerable opposition. Inevitably though, this expansive airport followed up by putting in a planning application running to over 100 technical documents to its planning authority, the London Borough of Newham. Newham was forced to launch their own planning consultation which ended in March. Again, this happened with minimal publicity- the only people written to directly about this lived in a small area close to the airport’s runway. Despite this, some 800 comments, the vast majority being objections, were submitted to Newham – it would surely be many more if all the communities under low City flight paths had been informed directly.

City’s planning application this time proposes flying an additional 7 hours of flights on Saturdays, an hour less in winter. This will include the largest jet we have seen from them so far, the E195-E2. They make a case that this is to meet demand for more holiday and leisure flying from the airport – originally given permission in the 1980’s to open as a small, business orientated airport with no noisy jet flights.

We have spent much time looking at these new proposals and then providing analysis, briefing and information to HACAN East, the campaign group concerned with London City Airport and to our elected representatives including Lewisham Council, our MP Ellie Reeves and the London Assembly. We wanted to support our elected representatives with solid, evidence based information and argument and to encourage them to take a clear position against the expansion of the airport.

One way we did this was to conduct our own noise measurements last summer, comparing the maximum noise levels of City airport jet aircraft at 5 measurement points under the SE London arrivals flight path. Taking 265 separate noise measurements including high up in Horniman gardens meant we were able to compare the maximum noise level of ‘new generation’ aircraft such as the Embraer E190-E2 against its predecessor, the E190. The reason for this is that City Airport has been claiming for several years that the new planes will be ‘quieter’. We wanted to put that to the test.


The LCA flight paths are set out by the airport above. In easterly wind conditions the airport uses a low
(at or around 2000ft ) concentrated single arrivals route over SE London then turning north towards the airport, shown by the pink east-west line.

The results were quite dramatic. Our measurements showed that over SE London the new planes were not noticeably quieter than the older ones. And neither type could be described as quiet, at around 70 decibels as they pass low overhead. When we met with the airport’s noise consultants in late 2022 they were unable to provide measured data to show any different; they said that they would expect perhaps a 2 decibel difference over Forest Hill. But we both noted that the Civil Aviation Authority state that this difference would not be noticeable to the human ear.

We published our results as a ‘Citizen Research Study’ in collaboration with HACAN East, and presented it to the airport’s senior management at their Consultative Committee. We also used it in information and briefings to our elected representatives. We said that claims that new generation aircraft are ‘quieter’ in these consultations without giving people a full understanding of where and when they might be experienced as quieter and how noticeable it would be was potentially misleading. Locally we have been delighted to see support in the form of written objections to City’s planning application from Cabinet Member Cllr Louise Krupski on behalf of Lewisham Council and from Ellie Reeves MP, both drawing on our discussions, information and analysis. At a London-wide level, both influential London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon and the Chair of the GLA Environment Committee Zack Polanski directly quoted from the Citizen Research Study and other briefing we supplied, as members of the Forest Hill Society, to the London Assembly. Our report was quoted or referred to directly or indirectly by a number of other bodies. The full study is here. It’s been a lot of work, but we feel we have done what we can for now to draw attention to this new threat to the peace of our homes, parks and gardens at weekends and to try and make sure our area is represented as best it can be by people in positions of influence.

The next step is for Newham Council to consider the Planning Application. Most, perhaps all overflown London Borough Councils have lodged a strong objection to the application. Newham’s planning committee has the unenviable job of assessing it, probably in May. If they reject it, an appeal by the airport is possible. And at any stage this decision may be called in by either the Mayor of London or by the Department for Transport to take over the issue and make the decision in place of Newham. One positive is that the Mayor of London has recently made it clear that he is against further expansion of this type by the airport.