Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

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perryman
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Location: perry vale

Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by perryman »

It is not that the gas towers are ugly - that could be quite interesting.
But when empty as now, they make less impression than a mirror glass fronted office block, as all you see is sky and a thin light blue frame. That is probably by design.
Unless of course people want to preserve the oil smeared, rust streaked holders when full. That would capture a little of what a filthy industry was on this site, but would be quite a bold planning decision, I feel.

The wall outside by Perry Hiil is attractive though and hopefully already has a preservation order on it.

Pat Trembath
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Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by Pat Trembath »

The Tudor Livesey Hall is Grade 2 listed, as is the War Memorial and the wall onto Perry Hill.

As a matter of record:

The Greyhound: lovely idea, demolish the pub and have a piazza with bars and restaurants, but this was not what the investor intended.

In August 1997, the developer who bought the entire site planned to demolish the pub and build 70 flats on the site, some up to 7 floors high. The plan included one small bar which would have been called The Greyhound.

Pat Trembath
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Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by Pat Trembath »

Apologies.

A correction to my previous post. The Greyhound closed August 2007 - 10 years ago this year

leenewham
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Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by leenewham »

Steveofsyd wrote: You are living in fantasy land if you think another "twee" non economically viable development is going to add anything to the area except tick a few boxes for certain people.
I live in Lower Sydenham.
I'm pretty sure that people move around these days and work more than a metres from their front door. Whether the jobs are in Lower Sydenham or upper is a little irrelevant. I walk up the high street to go to the station to meetings the other side of London. My son goes to school in Forest Hill.

Besides, Lower Sydenham has a retail park in it, one of the biggest supermarkets in London and a large industrial estate, I'd say that there is a fair amount of employment available down here. I'm not sure one Aldi will make all that difference in context.

The Greyhound will be opening as a pub. I'm astonished people would favour a planter instead of the pub and being welcomed into Sydenham by a Sainsburys and Estate Agents! Of course it may well be nice to wish that the public square be surrounded by nice pavement cafes, but as Pat said, that was never on the cards, and personally I don't even like sitting outside of the Blue Mountain Cafe breathing in car fumes. The 'Pocket Parks' in Sydenham road aren't exactly a hive of activity. Neither is the square outside the station. Plus is simply incredible that someone would argue for demolishing the Greyhound in favour of another park yet for a big box, generic brand in Lower Sydenham.

Not every development has to be commercial. Sometimes using space for other means rather than retail benefits the surrounding businesses. Ikea do it with play areas both inside and outside of their stores. Shopping malls do it, from Bluewater (which my company was involved with) to Westfield which is next to the Olympic Park or the Shepherds Bush Westfield which has two children's play areas. Museums do it, even National trust properties do it. Go to Hastings and there are loads of things for families to do near their shopping areas. Go to any shopping area in Germany or many areas of the USA and you get the same thing. Not everything is about cramming in as many stores as possible and i'ts backed up by research.

It's worth reading 'Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping' by Paco Underhill if you still don't believe me! It's a great book that anyone interested in shops or high streets should read, all backed up by years of research. It's not fantasy, it's reality. His research is why Westfield etc do what they do.

Steveofsyd
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Location: Wiverton Road

Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by Steveofsyd »

You misunderstand what I am saying. I am not in favour of an Aldi but rather some proper planning of a vibrant and diverse retail park with interesting shops of varying types as well as entertainment for families.
Saying that a square with good restaurants and cafes was never in the cards....why not is my question?
Look at the squares and streets around Bromley's shopping centre - they are full of people enjoying the day. Beckenham is the same especially in the sun.
Rehashed objections about not wanting to sit around breathing in car fumes - Look at the numbers of people sitting outside cafes and pubs in Beckenham, Bromley, Crystal Palace, East Dulwich or Clapham - they don't seem to have objections. I firmly believe that if you're going to attract people to Sydenham as a destination for food and entertainment we need more than our poor offerings.
A Walk down our dead high street in the evenings says it all. If we were doing it right we would be trading like the aforementioned areas.

alywin
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Location: Penge side of Sydenham

Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by alywin »

Steveofsyd wrote:Look at the squares and streets around Bromley's shopping centre - they are full of people enjoying the day.
During the day, maybe. In the evening it's pretty much dead, and has been more or less since they pedestrianised that part of the High Street. Back then they had this marvellous idea that there was going to be al fresco dining, pavement cafes and so on - and even back then I was asking where those were going to magically appear from, since all the buildings in the zone were shops, barring one burger bar. Nothing's changed in that respect.

Oh, and did someone say they'd renamed it The Glades? You mean it was called something else at one time? :)

Steveofsyd
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Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by Steveofsyd »

Nonsense. All of the aforementioned areas make Sydenham look like a wasteland.

JRobinson
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Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by JRobinson »

I don't believe we should be saying an outright 'no' to further retail at Bell Green. The right kind of retail, done in the right way, would make the place much more pleasant than what is currently there, or what they've got planned. They could easily keep the gas holders, and incorporate them into something exciting and aesthetically pleasing, with independent retailers bringing something unique to the area, however that takes vision, and is more expensive than knocking everything down and building a McWhimpy Shed, with the usual mega chain suspects, and renaming it Boring Place in Blandseville.

leenewham
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Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by leenewham »

alywin wrote:
Steveofsyd wrote:Look at the squares and streets around Bromley's shopping centre - they are full of people enjoying the day.
During the day, maybe. In the evening it's pretty much dead, and has been more or less since they pedestrianised that part of the High Street. Back then they had this marvellous idea that there was going to be al fresco dining, pavement cafes and so on - and even back then I was asking where those were going to magically appear from, since all the buildings in the zone were shops, barring one burger bar. Nothing's changed in that respect.
I've worked with LB Bromley in Bromley town centre. They know this is a problem in the high street when the shops shut. It's very difficult to control what businesses go in certain shops when you have little control over it. Croydon did it to a degree, but the food businesses already existed. As they have a really good theatre in the town centre, its crazy that there aren't businesses complimenting the evening economy the theatre would help support. That's why North Street now has so many places to sit and eat. But the main town centre is pretty much empty at night with issues of anti sopcial behaviour.

http://www.bromleytimes.co.uk/news/brom ... -1-4272636

Planning could insist on certain places being class A3 use without any hope of a Sui Generis use, but the Greyhound site was marketed. Unless a high street is properly managed like Marylebone or a shopping mall where there is an administrative control over what businesses go into these places, it's going to be very difficult to control who goes where.

The Orb site was supposed to be a cafe. It ended up being another estate agent. I don't believe the business surrounding the Greyhound site were ever marketed exclusively as class A3 food and drink, so no, it was never on the cards. They certainly wouldn't have been restaurants (the developer had them as flats, they don't like smells, so they don't like restaurants (restaurants = extraction ducts), the visuals for the site showed them as retail units).

Plus, it's next to an extremely congested roundabout.

In bell Green, the owners of the site just want to let the units. They know who will go in there and it's designed around the car. It's not designed to walk around, infact there isn't anything remotely pedestrian friendly around the shops and no proper pedestrian friendly link between Sainsbury's and the shops. Saving the towers could force mindless dull retail blocks that serve no purpose for the local area other than yet another big brand store and, with lots of work from the council and local societies, offer something genuinely different.

What about a box park? Or workshops for small creative businesses next to a landscaped park with cafes for the workers as an alternative to McDonalds? Why does it always have to be dull, big branded stores?

Steveofsyd
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Location: Wiverton Road

Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by Steveofsyd »

I understand what you are saying but again I ask why was the original planning granted for a site design like that. Some imagination with restrictions on the part of those granting the permissions may have resulted in something more desirable. There are many instances of flats near or over cafes and eateries. London is full of them do that should not be the reason. It's just so disappointing.

As has been said on this site before. We seem to have been forgotten as far as Lewisham is concerned.
There are many places doing it better than Sydenham. What do they have that we don't? It's a fair question.
I've lived here for over 20 years and it's really not improved significantly

Anyway I'm exhausted with the excuses

broken_shaman
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Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by broken_shaman »

Steveofsyd wrote:I understand what you are saying but again I ask why was the original planning granted for a site design like that.
I'm guessing it's because people at the time probably said 'I'd quite like some shops and it'll be better than what's there now' and that was the limit of public involvement.

Soon we could end up with a boring Aldi that looks like another huge warehouse that can only be arrived at by car, because everyone said, 'those gas towers are ugly' and settled for whatever was chucked in their direction by the developers. There will probably be queues to get in and out, making it difficult for buses and Sainsbury's shoppers and then everyone will ask themselves why it's so busy. Maybe it might make people resort to the High Street...

Meanwhile, there will still be large sections of undeveloped land in the area, doing nothing, like the large piles of earth in the middle of the Southend Lane island thing, or the strange fenced off piece of concret by the housing development. I dunno. Sydenham just seems to have a lack of vision or ambition. It's sad really. Lewisham are spending all the money and time on Lewisham Gateway methinks.

Tim Lund
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Location: Silverdale

Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by Tim Lund »

I wonder if we could say yes to something like these?

In Kings Cross

Image

and in Dublin

Image

Sources London YIMBYs and 'Chimni'

Pally
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Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by Pally »

It would be nice if we could ...they look great!

Larky
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Location: Sydenahm

Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by Larky »

What a great idea !

leenewham
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Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by leenewham »

They look fantastic.

rbmartin
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Location: Dulwich

Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by rbmartin »

News report on BBC London.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQpN6Au ... e=youtu.be

(Youtube code doesn't work)

RJM
Posts: 129
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Location: Sydenham

Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by RJM »

I had a hunt on the Lewisham site for details of any further developments on this, but haven't found anything new. Has it been to Committee? I couldn't work out which of the three planning committees it might have gone to, so I hunted through all of them but couldn't find any record of a discussion yet. I registered an objection, so thought I'd be kept up to date (perhaps wrongly - I've never objected to a planning application before!)

Has anyone heard anything new?

The Clown
Posts: 386
Joined: 8 Apr 2005 14:04
Location: Sydenham

Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by The Clown »

Agree with many of the previous comments.

Asda would be awful - no thank you.
It makes me so cross that they would even consider another supermarket. If the council / environmental planners have no vision nor influence then they shouldn't be in town planning and should get out of their comfortable slippers and enforce change.

A mixed use development using the architecture could be utterly amazing. Outdoor seating, but protected from the elements.
A smarter / greener version of a boxpark. You could arrange in tiers, with roof gardens using the space shown. Cinema in the dark space beneath.

If only a visionary architectural practice could provide us with a scheme and work on making this area a "destination" then it will help lift the rest of Sydenham too.

Grrrr.... Asda....grrr....

parker
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Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by parker »

The Clown wrote:Agree with many of the previous comments.

Asda would be awful - no thank you.
It makes me so cross that they would even consider another supermarket. If the council / environmental planners have no vision nor influence then they shouldn't be in town planning and should get out of their comfortable slippers and enforce change.

Grrrr.... Asda....grrr....
Asda? Do you mean Aldi?

Larky
Posts: 86
Joined: 1 Jan 2017 22:14
Location: Sydenahm

Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by Larky »

Surely not another supermarket in this area, Sainsbury's is more that adequate.

A cinema, yes please. And nice food outlets. Someone needs to email Bills Restaurant!

The area is an eyesore and needs attention.

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