30 October 2011

Devonshire Road Nature Reserve - Halloween special

Planning: 51-53 Canonbie

The Forest Hill Society has objected to the plans for a development at 51-53 Canonbie Road.
You can view the application here. And you can view the letter of objection here.

Since the submission of the objection some amendments have been included in the plans, in particular removing the parking from the rear of the property and adding three parking spaces to the front of the property, within two metres of ground floor bedroom windows. We have adjusted our objection to take account of these amendments.

25 October 2011

Planting Spring Blubs

Riverwork Days on the River Pool

Information of Events from Thames 21

October: 26th
November: 9th, 23rd
December: 7th

Join Thames21 in our new fortnightly Riverwork Days on the River Pool.

Learn how to support and manage our vital river systems by making a practical difference.
This an opportunity for people to get involved in a long-term project to enhance the character of the river, and make improvements to the river and bankside vegetation.
No experience necessary. All equipment, including safety boots, gloves and tools provided.

People of all age groups and abilities are welcome. Children under 16 need to be supervised by an adult.

TIME: 10.00am - 1.00pm
MEET: Meet at the bridge on Winsford Road, Bell Green, SE6. http://g.co/maps/r2er8

14 October 2011

Planning: Old Bank in Honor Oak and 13 Church Vale

The Forest Hill Society has recently objected to two planning applications in the local area.

Old Bank, 76-78 Honor Oak Park
Details of Planning Application for conversion to Domino's Pizza take away
You can read the full letter of objection here

13 Church Vale
Details of Planning Application for conversion of residential property to children's nursery
You can read the full Letter of objection here

09 October 2011

AGM Minutes

The following Officers of the Society were elected for a period of one year at the AGM on 6 October 2011.

Chairperson: Richard Hibbert
Vice-Chair: Michael Abrahams
Secretary: Katherine Willett
Treasurer: Alisa Owens
Membership Secretary: Belinda Evans
Communications Officer: Alison Wadley 
Committee Reports:


Quetta Kaye gave a short presentation at which she summarised the activities of the Environment and Leisure subcommitte and outlined proposals for the next year.
  • Raising awareness of environmental issues through public events such as May Day and various Open Days at local nature reserves.
  • Had reached a different demographic by holding events at Dacres Road nature reserve as well as Devonshire Road
  • 'Friends' groups were now up and running at Albion Millenium Green, Devonshire Road and Dacres Wood. It was hoped to start one for Garthorne Road too.
  • Money would be received from Ward Assembly for continuing Forest Hill In Bloom at the station next year. We had not yet heard how the results for this year.
  • There had been regular meetings with the Head of Lewisham's Environment and Waste Management team which had resulted in less bins on pavements in the Town Centre. There were still issues to be resolved.
  • Shannon's Garden Centre, Willmott Dixon and LOROL were thanked for their sponsorship of our 'In Bloom' entry
  • There would be a Christmas Tree in the Town Centre this year (funded from the Localities Fund) which we would be able to decorate again
  • There had been three 'Bring & Take' days during the year. These had proven very popular and there would be another in the spring
  • Lewisham's Environment department had said they would provide wildflower seed for the bank at Honor Oak Park station if we could organise people to broadcast the seed


Andrew Reid then presented the report of the Transport sub-committee.
  • The committee meets every 4-6 weeks
  • We continue to keep pressure on the relevant authorities to improve the standard of our stations and their surroundings.
  • We represent the community at Lewisham Transport Liaison Meetings and on the LOROL and Southern Passenger Boards
  • Platform extensions to 10 car are under way. Forest Hill platforms are now both being extended towards Croydon.
  • Network Rail claimed they had finished the works at Honor Oak Park and handed responsibility to LOROL. There were still areas which looked unfinished and we would raise this with LOROL
  • Work was supposed to have been completed on Forest Hill Subway, but the programme had slipped and Network Rail were refusing to refurbish steps or supply handrails. The relevant personnel at Lewisham and Network Rail were leaving shortly, so progress may be further delayed.
  • The December timetable would see 10 car trains running on some Southern services, but the 1725 and 1824 services were being withdrawn due to low passenger numbers on these badly spaced services.
  • The Olympics would impact train and bus services. The Overground should be running later evening service. A member requested that we lobby LOROL for later running ELL services, particularly at the weekend
  • In the near future, there would be:
    • Possible cuts to our London Bridge service starting in December 2012. Southern will only be able to run 24 trains per hour into London Bridge instead of the current 30, but are unable/unwilling to tell us how this may affect us.
    • Step free access at Honor Oak Park, Brockley and New Cross Gate as part of Access for All. The current date for this to be completed is December 2013.
    • a new Franchise from 2015. We expect consultation on this to take place late next year
  • In the more distant future,
    • Further extensions to the platforms for 12 car trains (for Thameslink)
    • Direct service from East Croydon to Finsbury Park when Thameslink is completed in 2018
    • Crossrail would provide step free access at Whitechapel
    • The Overground would probably be extended to 5 car trains, with Selective Door Opening at Canada Water, Rotherhithe, Wapping and Shadwell.
    • An extra two trains per hour have been proposed by TfL from Crystal Palace to Dalston Junction
    • TfL are currently working on proposals for Tramlink to be extended from Harrington Road to Crystal Palace providing 6tph to Beckenham and Croydon.
    • Tfl had produced draft plans showing the DLR being extended from Lewisham to Forest Hill via Catford
    • Tfl had supported extension of the Bakerloo line via New Cross Gate, Lewisham and Catford to Lower Sydenham and Hayes
    Despite these improvements, our line was still expected to be one of the most crowded by 2021
  • We had met with TfL London Streets and they had promised a number of improvements to the A205 South Circular including a right turn lane under the Railway Bridge onto Waldram Place and removing the loading restrictions outside Mirror Mirror on London Road.
  • We had met with Lewisham to discuss the abysmal gritting last winter. They would be providing chains for the griting lorries so that they could treat the hilly roads, among other improvements
  • Network Rail had told us that the A205 South Circular would be closed on 10 October so that the Railway Bridge could be repainted. It was not known whether this was an all day or early hours closure.
  • Live Countdown information is now available by sending a text to 87287 or online at m.countdown.tfl.gov.uk. This allows you to find out the times of the next bus at any bus stop by simply entering the bus stop number, which is displayed on a label attached to the bus stop.

Planning and Development

Hilary Satchwell explained how the Planning committee operated and ran through the various planning applications which we had objected to in the last year. Two current applications which had provoked strong local feelings included an application by Domino's Pizza to change the Old Bank in Honor Oak from A3 (Restaurant) to A5 (Takeaway) and Southwark's plans to use Honor Oak Rec for burials.

She then went on to discuss Neighbourhood Planning. We had recently run a very successful event in conjunction with Sydenham Society.

Communications and Membership

Alison Wadley gave a brief presentation on the activities of the Communications sub-committee and asked for feedback on the Newsletter. We had introduced PayPal as a means of payment this year and it was proving popular. Most people were paying extra to cover PayPal's fees.

Chairman's Report

Richard Hibbert then summed up before the elections of the Officers. This year had been one of less intense campaigning and more supporting of other single interest groups, such as the Friends of Honor Oak Rec due to our concentration on the Town Centre. We had persuaded Lewisham to put in a bid for the Outer London Fund, but this had been ultimately unsuccessful.

He went on to thank all members of the Executive for their contribution over the year, particularly Quetta, Charlie, Alison, Alisa and Hugh. He also thanked Peter, Liz and Helen who were stepping down this year for all their work.

Man Digs Pond

An exciting event from our friends at Albion Millennium Green...
  • A Man will move.
  • A Man may sing.
  • A Man will not speak.
  • A Man may cry.
  • A Man will not leave until A Man has dug a pond.
Over 24 hours, A Man will dig a wildlife pond, complete with a garden bog area, flora and fauna and a rock garden for amphibians.

Start: Saturday 5th November 8.00pm
End: Sunday 6th November 8.00pm

Venue: Albion Millennium Green

From 1.00pm - 8.00pm on Sunday, delicious and great value bbq food for sale, (with veggie options).

This is a free event. The audience can come and observe A Man working for as long as they want. There will also be an opportunity to sing if you want to. School choirs and groups and individuals of mixed singing ability will sing a song or two as an accompaniment to the action. From 1.00pm till 8.00pm Sunday you can just turn up and sing anything you want. As long as there is nothing offensive in the lyrics. There will be no amplified sound, so no microphones. Feel free to bring an acoustic instrument. Out of respect to the neighbours there will be no drumming after dark.

Getting There:
Entrance at the end of Albion Villas Road. London. SE26 4DB.

02 October 2011

Forest Hill Society AGM 2011

Thurs 6 October, 7.30pm Upstairs at The Hob (opposite Forest Hill Station)

Come along and find out what your local community group achieved this year and what's being planned for next year. The Forest Hill Society AGM is open to all residents in SE23 and we’d love to see you there. If you are interested in joining the Executive Committee, helping out at events and local activities, or just finding out what we do, then please do come along to a relaxed and social evening. There’ll be a bit of updating on what we’ve been doing and what our plans are, and a vote for committee members. Primarily, it’s about finding out what you want.

We’re passionate about making SE23 an even better place to live.

If you are interested finding out what the Executive Committee gets up to with a view to joining please email richard@foresthillsociety.com

If you’d like to help out on a less formal basis come along on the night and see what takes your fancy or, email alison@foresthillsociety.com and we’ll be in touch as and when.

Date for your Diary

Sun 23 Oct 11am-3pm: Open Day at Dacres Wood Nature Reserve
Sun 30th Oct - 2:30pm : Spring Bulb Planting at Forest Hill Station

Sat 5th Nov - Sun 6th Nov, 8pm-8pm: Man Digs Pond, Albion Millennium Green

Weds 12 Oct 7pm: Perry Vale Ward Assembly, Forest Hill School, Dacres Road, SE23 2XN
Tues 1 Nov 7.30pm: Forest Hill Ward Assembly, (venue TBC)
Weds 9 Nov 7pm: Crofton Park Ward Assembly (venue TBC)

Success at Assembly!

We are happy to report some excellent news following our campaigning! The Forest Hill Local Assembly voted to fund 13 projects across the ward and the Forest Hill Society was lucky enough to receive funding for all four of our proposals - totalling just under £19,000. Two projects will improve the Horniman Triangle play park: the addition of two new sets of equipment; swings for the young and games tables for all ages. The games tables will allow park users to play table tennis on sturdy outdoor tables.

The two other projects improve the town centre. We’ll be able to continue the flower planting around the station and opposite the Horniman Museum. The funding will also allow us to maintain the planting and expand the scheme to other locations in the town centre, as well as improve watering facilities at the station, to make maintenance much easier. The final project will target empty shop fronts in the town centre and use them to display large images from the Horniman collection, brightening up the town centre and providing a visual link between the town centre and the Horniman Museum.

A great result for us, and for the community. Well done to the Society members and SE23 people who worked so hard to develop and submit these bids.