Showing posts with label devonshire road. Show all posts
Showing posts with label devonshire road. Show all posts

06 March 2023

Honor Oak and Crofton Park CPZ Consultation

Lewisham Council have been asking residents for their views on their proposals for street enhancements and CPZ across Crofton Park ward.

Details of the consultation can be viewed at , although the consultation has now closed.

The Forest Hill Society wrote outlining some of the concerns we have heard from local residents and members:

We acknowledge that the London Borough of Lewisham has declared a Climate Emergency and is keen to implement changes that will help to deliver on the commitments that were made to reduce the dependence on cars, and their toxic effects, in our area of London.

With this in mind, we would like to raise some points in response to the ongoing consultation that is currently underway mainly in the Crofton Park ward around Honor Oak Park, which is therefore relevant to the members of the wider Forest Hill Society. We are writing to you directly as the format of the consultation does not adequately take note of responses from those who are not directly resident in that area, but we feel that this is very relevant to the work of the Society.

1. We are concerned that the current structure of the consultation could create more problems for the wider area. The selection of a single, limited area between two train stations, but only covering some of the surrounding streets, risks displacing cars onto other local streets and not fixing the issue. In particular, Devonshire Road already has a traffic and a parking issue, and it is on the boundary of the area proposed for the CPZ, and so this is highly likely to be exacerbated. This may also be true on other boundary roads such as Westbourne Drive and Church Rise. We believe it would be unfair to implement any CPZ intervention without completing the consultation in the surrounding areas as well, and to implement all areas at once, if this is to go ahead.

2. We are also concerned that the goals of the Sustainable Streets initiative are incomplete. While we welcome the improvements that might arise from a reduction in cars parking on our streets, this needs to be accompanied by investments in active travel and making streets safer for walking and cycling if residents are to switch away from cars.

We recognise the benefit of better cycle parking provision, more car club bays, clear sight lines at corners and tree cover, but these cannot be done without considering the wider implications of safe cycle routes, traffic calming, reduction of rat-runs, and other interventions to increase green spaces and rain water absorption. We understand that Lewisham is considering these separately under the terms of "Healthy Neighbourhoods" but they are not included in the current consultation. This is likely to cause confusion and duplication if the investments from both programmes are not coordinated. We believe that the two programmes need to be implemented together so that residents get the benefit of better, safer and less congested streets, not simply the disincentive of parking permits and charges.

3. In practical terms, we would like to request that any contracts that are signed with third parties for parking enforcement are made fully transparent. Just like with private parking enforcement, there is the potential for a conflict of interest for a business that is rewarded for issuing fines instead of for achieving the Sustainable Streets goals, and could result in low levels of trust and satisfaction, undermining the Council's goals. It is important that the incentives of all parties are aligned, and transparent, and the revenues raised are similarly reported in a transparent way so that residents can see a direct link between this additional revenue source and the benefits in their own streets.

The Forest Hill Society will, of course, continue to engage with the consultation processes in the rest of Forest Hill in Stage 2, and may expand on these points in that process, but we hope that the above issues will be taken into account in the review of Stage 1.

05 November 2020

Planning Application: 123 Devonshire Road

There has been a planning application for enlargement of existing planning permission on two additional storeys on the site of 123 Devonshire Road. The Forest Hill Society has written to the council recommending rejection of this application. The text of the letter is reproduced below:

DC/20/118644 | The erection of two additional storeys above the existing residential block to provide 6 x 2 bed flats with associated parking and internal refurbishment works with works to the fabric of the building and the provision of a new lift at Woodelm Court, 123, Devonshire Road, LONDON SE23 3LX.


I am writing on behalf of the Forest Hill Society regarding the proposed erection of two additional stories to existing residential block at Woodelm Court, 123 Devonshire Road SE23 (ref: DC/20/118644).


With regard to the proposed development we have a significant concern regarding this planning application. This relates to the increased mass and general bulk of the proposed top floor.


This application aims to increase the volume of the top floor to allow for 3 x 2 bedroom flats rather than the 2 x 2 bedroom flats in the 2017 application.


In 2017 the developer applied to add 2 more stories on top of the existing 3 floor block of flats. The plan was to step the new top floor in on all sides which would reduce the footprint giving space for 2 x 2 bed flats. This application dated 13th November 2017, was refused by notice dated 8th February 2018.


In February 2019 there was a successful appeal against this decision. However, in the Appeal Decision stated in item 8  " ...... the set back of the top floor would help to reduce its overall massing and general bulk, even with a small overhang of the roof and thus I am satisfied that the development would not have a jarring and incongruous effect."


This new 2020 application proposes to enlarge the footprint of this top floor by removing the step in on all sides so the footprint is the same as the floors below thus providing room for 3 x 2 bedroom flats. This implies that the block would now have a "jarring and incongruous effect".


We believe that granting an application for an enlarged top floor would be contrary to the judgement expressed by the Planning Inspector in the 2019 Appeal Decision.


Based on our above concern we ask that this application is refused.

25 March 2010

New eco community building planned for Devonshire Road Nature Reserve

Following their successful new gates project, the Friends of Devonshire Road Nature Reserve are now setting out on a really grand scheme! They plan to replace the tired old pre-fabricated hut with a really wonderful exemplar of an ecologically designed building - a purpose-built visitor centre to serve the community for education, culture and fitness.

This is a hugely ambitious project and will only happen with your help. They want input on the design from as many people as possible and are organising some fun events to find out what you would like to see on the site, so come and get involved! Starting at Easter and running throughout the summer, they are organising a series of events. The first two will be on the 9th and the 11th April.

Huts, Hives and Habitats

Friday 9th April, 11.00 until 16.00

Aimed specifically at children and families, this is a day of exploration which involves making all kinds of dwellings; beehives, bird-boxes, insect hotels etc. There will be food and drinks available and staff to guide visitors around the reserve, looking at the frogs, newts and tadpoles and talking about all the different types of habitats that the different animals, insects and birds require. Staff will also be on hand to talk about the plans for the new building and to ask for suggestions, comments and ideas to contribute towards the planning process.

Open Day

Sunday 11th April, 13.00 to 19.00

There will be a BBQ, guided tours, guest speakers, music and a variety of activities to engage visitors of all ages and to get them thinking about the new building; it will be a really great day out!

STOP PRESS! The guest speaker has been announced as Dusty Gedge, the UK leading campaigner and promoter of living roofs. Dusty will be holding a great workshop on living roofs.

Please support the events on the 9th and 11th April and contribute to the design process. They need your help to achieve a really valuable building for the whole community.

For more details contact Jacob Twyford on 020 7851 2211, 020 8291 2272 or through the Friends of Devonshire Road Nature Reserve website

09 March 2010

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve

There are plans for a new exemplar building to replace the old hut at the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve. We want a sustainable, attractive building that will demonstrate the best in renewable technology as well as become a valuable resource for the local community and visitors from further afield. We have applied for funding for workshops to be run over Easter by RESET as the first stage in exploring and developing the possibilities. We have lots of ideas, but more are welcome.

If you might be interested in any aspect of this project - as potential user, adviser or helper - you can learn more at the AGM which will be held at the reserve on Sunday 14th March at 2pm. We are particularly keen for people who have skills in accountancy, communications, IT and plumbing systems for grey water! If you cannot make the AGM, watch out for notices about the workshops, or contact Forest Hill Society member Penelope.

02 October 2009

New Gate for Devonshire Road Nature Reserve

Saturday, 3rd October – 5pm. Official opening of the new fencing and gate at the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve.

Do join the Friends of Devonshire Road Nature Reserve as they celebrate the culmination of several years’ hard work. No longer will this fantastic piece of urban nature be hidden behind tatty, municipal fencing. It now has an entrance to be proud of, designed by Jacob Twyford and hand made in wrought iron and welded steel by local blacksmith, Steve Capper. The reserve will be open from 3.00pm and there are plans for a party with music and more after the opening. There is an exhibition of children’s drawings and a sculpture in lead made by girls at Sydenham School - all used as inspiration for elements of the gate design.

09 June 2009

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve Open Day

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve Annual Open Day takes place this Sunday, 14th June 12:30-17:30
  • Enjoy the Woodlands, meadow, wildlife garden and ponds
  • Exhibition of drawings for the new gates
  • Blacksmith and mobile forge
  • Guided Walks
  • Plant and craft stall
  • Live amphibians & reptiles
  • Refreshments
The reserve is also open on Saturday 13th June - 12:30-16:00 as part of th Open Garden Squares Weekend

09 September 2008

Green Pennant Award to Devonshire Road

Congratulations to the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve on winning Lewisham's first Green Pennant award! The award is administered by the Civic Trust and rewards "standards of excellence in a community or voluntary managed green space. It has been presented in recognition of the hard work, dedication and achievement of the local people who care passionately about this green space."

This site is judged on an annual basis to maintain high standards so please do your bit to help preserve this site's special Green Pennant Award status.

For more information about Devonshire Road Nature Reserve please visit their web site or go along in person.

18 August 2007

Jersey Tiger Moths

Forget the Island of Rhodes and its famous Tiger Moths. You can see them right here in Forest Hill! The stunning Jersey Tiger Moth has, for slightly mysterious reasons, started breeding in the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve and is the only inland colony of the species in Britain. The other colonies are in the Channel Islands and on the South Coast.

They have black and white striped forewings and orange hindwings, decorated with black spots. And, unlike most moths, they go about their business during the day so there are plenty of opportunities to spot them.

They were first seen in small numbers at the Nature Reserve in 2004. But this summer, there have been numerous sightings around SE23.

It’s thought that a female tiger moth discovered the Nature Reserve in 2003. And, like so many of us who found our way accidentally to Forest Hill, decided to make it her home. And breed…

24 April 2007

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve Walk

Glorious weather awaited as 25 or more residents from across Forest Hill, adults of all ages and several intrepid youngsters, gathered on Devonshire Road to explore a local hidden treasure, the Devonshire Road Nature Reserve.

The Reserve covers a large area along the tracks behind the houses on Devonshire Road (see map here). The Reserve functions almost exclusively with the work of volunteers. Nick Pond, in charge of nature conservation at Lewisham Council, gave us the introduction and tour. We also met Johanna Morley, Iris Borger and Tony Canning. Tony was our expert on all matters pond related. Iris manages the Wildlife Garden and also works with local schools to get younger residents involved with conservation, and Johanna is helping to energise more volunteers through the Friends of Devonshire Road Nature Reserve (if you want to know more, send her an email).

The wildlife garden is complete with "luxury apartments" at the wood pile for Stag Beetles and lots of attractive, yet wildlife friendly garden features, including the amazing pond teeming with young toads and even newts. As Nick pointed out, wildlife gardening, and supporting local wildlife, like birds, butterflies, beetles and frogs does not mean you can't garden, but you need to think a little more and maybe incorporate some 'wilder' features. If nothing else, it means that leaving that flower bed unweeded and the pile of logs in the back is not laziness, but positive action for the environment!

On our a gentle trek around the Reserve it was so peaceful, other than the occasional passing train, you could imagine yourself miles outside of the city.

Nick explained how important these areas are to our local wildlife and what small steps we can take to help, such as limiting our use of slug pellets (that also kill birds and spread chemical debris), leaving areas of taller grasses to support the breeding of butterflies, building ponds to help frogs, birds, dragonflies and plants, and more.

This is not untamed wilderness. There are open meadows, well maintained paths and the classroom has the important amenities! The Reserve is not ancient woodland so it is quite open, light and easy to walk.

After 2 hours in almost 25 degree weather, the tea and cakes (home made by Iris and Johanna) were very welcome and quickly devoured whilst we rested in the sun.

If you would like to take a look around it yourself, or even get involved, it is open in the afternoon of the last Sunday of every month. Iris is also there several days a week to welcome the school students to the wildlife garden, so you could speak to her there.

Please do get involved, even if it is just for raising awareness of this local oasis. I'm sure they'd appreciate the support.

To see more photos, you can click here.