RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

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SydLowe
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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by SydLowe » 18 Apr 2018 13:16

Lots of work going on inside yesterday. I think estimated completion is around November?

prince
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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by prince » 19 Apr 2018 17:01

By way of an update.

The good news.... many of the pre conditions relating to the planning consent have now been approved by the local planning authority.

As you will have noticed Nandos have applied for a premises licence to sell alcohol - I can see no reason why they might not get this.

The owner of the premises is also underaking strip out and other work to get the premises ready for Nandos fit out.

The slightly not so good news - the conservation officer has requested a number of design revisions to the shop front and signage. I do not know what they were but the original designs looked pretty impressive to me.

Over and out

leenewham
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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by leenewham » 19 Apr 2018 22:07

Nandos signage and shop front design was really good and really didn't need any amends. I hope they haven't made it too sanitised.

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by Growsydenham » 20 Apr 2018 06:46

Thanks for the update Prince.
This was raised by the executive at the Syd Soc AGM in passing. There’s a desire to ensure the signage is in keeping with the conservation area, so I believe there is a dialogue there. Although the executive also stressed they don’t want to prevent Nando’s or Mamma Dough from going forward at all.

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by leenewham » 20 Apr 2018 08:57

Define 'in keeping'.

Growsydenham
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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by Growsydenham » 20 Apr 2018 10:54

I’m afraid I don’t have any more information - that’s all that was said at the meeting. I don’t know what conversations the society has had so it may be completely unrelated. I agree I thought the shop front as proposed was perfectly tasteful as it stood. I do understand the concern that too much objecting, even if with good intentions, risks making these investments off putting when people are selecting sites.

parker
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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by parker » 20 Apr 2018 11:05

Growsydenham wrote:Thanks for the update Prince.
This was raised by the executive at the Syd Soc AGM in passing. There’s a desire to ensure the signage is in keeping with the conservation area, so I believe there is a dialogue there. Although the executive also stressed they don’t want to prevent Nando’s or Mamma Dough from going forward at all.
Anyone would think we were in East Sheen!

Why is what’s proposed any worse than Nisa or PureGym’s signage?

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by JayB » 22 Apr 2018 20:46

So now the signage isn't to taste? How hard could you possibly make it for a business to open here? You know what, some people have delusions of grandeur- this is Sydenham, not Nassau.I am also coming to the conclusion that maybe some people have too much time on their hands. They are perfectly entitled to their opinions but for some reason these appear get automatically turned into actions that affect everyone.

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by Growsydenham » 23 Apr 2018 13:49

Very good news!

There’s an application to turn the basement space of the building at 291 Kirkdale – what used to be a controversial nightclub – into a lazer quest and escape room site.

Other than a nightclub, hard to see what else you could use that space for, unless a cinema somehow wanted it – and much easier on residents’ ears after hours.

Good news for the long-term viability of the restaurants above, what with the kiddies’ parties etc they will bring through the doors. And “in keeping” – as they say – with the building’s heritage as an entertainment venue.

Application is DC/18/106567. No paperwork yet.

Ghlpc
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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by Ghlpc » 23 Apr 2018 20:50

FYI there used to a Lazer quest in Peckham years ago, which used to turn into a nightclub weekend evenings if I remember...

So don't get too excited yet...!

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by nicknack » 24 Apr 2018 11:49

I noticed today there is activity in the old Snooker Hall, doors are open at the side, looks like an interesting place to explore! Or is that just connected to the Nando's?

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by JMLF » 9 May 2018 16:14

I think the thing that really gets to me a bit is the general thinking of conservation areas and possible others like the council and the Sydenham society to some extent.

Very black and white I know but the following are things I really can’t get my head around:
1. The “conservation” areas - not only what this should look like but what it means for now and going forward re: businesses moving into the area. You look at some of the signs/shopfronts that have popped up over the last few years within these areas and I really can’t see how a typical Nando’s sign is any worse than many currently out there. Not to mention the artwork on the street shutters down the high street which I believe are in a conservation area and was done with support of Sydenham arts/sydsoc/council. Regardless of your view on the work, there is no way they fit into the “conservation” elitism that appears to prevalent.

2. Is rejecting/arguing over signage worth the potential of an investor pulling out of the high street? I’m not saying anything goes but surely it’s not worth potentially keeping a shop empty simply by not being entirely happy with a sign/shopfront.

3. Depending on the business, a “conservation area” (whatever that is meant to mean for areas of Sydenham) keeping shopfront is simply not possible for certain companies. For example a newer “trendy” chain like meat liquor or chilango have a specific look/design which wouldn’t fit, a laser quest/escape room venue certainly isn’t likely to have classical signwriting, other shops like “just William” toyshop in Dulwich / herne hill have very brightly coloured signs with children’s style font/writing... I could go on!

4. There just always seems to be “support” for these businesses proclaimed by the powers that be but then we see so many barriers that get put in place that would make me, if owning a business, think why would I want to start-up in a place that is actively making it hard - I’ll just go elsewhere. Case in point - the Nando’s sign as mentioned here, the yoga studio (to takeover ladbrokes) not being told to fill in the noise disturbance part of the application when they applied only for it to go through the process/time to be rejected on those grounds. Why not actively support!!!!

That’s about all for my little rant. As much as I love the idea of empty spaces being filled with something new that would serve different members of the community I can’t help but feel that an application for laser quest/escape room will fall foul of a large number of the issues continually raised - “conservation area” signage/shopfront, some members of the community feeling without evidence that it would bring unwanted people to the area (as if I recall - though may be mistaken - someone/people have implied similarly to a Nando’s opening) and a bit of an ongoing unexplainable need by those that have been here a long time to not want things to change for the benefit of the newer population of young people/families moving here and to keep things more “traditional” or in keeping with a thought process that actually isn’t particularly well seen in the area (I.e: conservation areas to try to keep things in line with the fancy housing stock).

Very much a general black and white view but it’s the overall thought process I find myself in, particularly with some minor personal experiences that fit in with my ramblings.

Have a lovely week all!

Jon

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by TredownMan » 10 May 2018 06:33

You are not alone in your thinking. It’s quire clear to many that good projects are being strangled on highly subjective grounds of things being “in keeping” (although really it’s very little about design and everything to do with control, and getting to act the gatekeeper on development.) And the area risks getting a reputation for being not worth the hassle for investment. A recipe for decay.

The question is: what to do about it?

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by Pally » 10 May 2018 07:48

I suspect the area already has a reputation for being not worth the hassle!

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by stuart » 10 May 2018 09:01

We should remember why it was declared a Conservation Area. It wasn't because Sydenham was an outstanding area of iconic design. It was precisely the opposite. The only two iconic buildings that spring to mind if you were to make an instantly positive image of Sydenham would be the Wembley Dome/Greyhound combo.

And the Greyhound was more than at risk. It was a shell being demolished illegally and desperate situations require desperate measures. It worked. Demolition was halted and after a long campaign led by SydSoc and with the support of the overwhelming people in the community a long torturous campaign has re-instated a landmark. Indeed a better landmark.

It was a success that surprised even those that were part of the campaign. That's what happens when you bring a community together and SydSoc should be very proud of what they did.

It is a shame that the credit gained is being weakened by the involvement below the dome. Anything would be better than the Ring 'o Roses signage and Nando's do know what they are doing - and I note an independent expert of signage has on this forum endorsed the original design. Getting Nando's going would send a great signal.

Conservation status gives civic societies and the planning authority extra powers in the detail planning process. However, because you have it - doesn't mean you have to use it. Especially if it comes down to personal taste and dividing the community. A light touch is usually better than re-design by committee.

There is an excellent opportunity just outside the Conservation Area to again re-unite the community in doing something about The Monstrosity. It looks like the developers hoodwinked the Society by presenting one design and delivering another. Then relying on once getting it up and full of kids - nothing can be done.

Well The Greyhound shows that we can throw a lot of both passion, technical and legal expertise which can surprise. So, I hope we stop fiddling with Nandos while Philip Neri School burns a hole in Lower Sydenham.

At 'em boys (and gals).

Stuart
Last edited by stuart on 10 May 2018 09:05, edited 1 time in total.

leenewham
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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by leenewham » 10 May 2018 09:04

Hi Jon,

I can answer this to a point.
We have worked in conservation areas and with English Heritage (as it was back then) and listed buildings on signage. It all varies from council to council and officer to officer.

The issue in Sydenham is that little is enforced, communication of the conservation area is almost non-existent and how shops look is still very low down on the agenda. Most shops don't bother with planning or advertising consent for their signage. Those that do, like Nandos and Sainsbury's (the latter passed with no issues) can fall foul of the planners.

I noticed that the new cafe where Seemas used to be (I can never remember the name) had had to apply for retrospective planning. I very much doubt that their signage will get permission as it breaks nearly every conservation area rule in the book. This is why communication of the rules is very important (and why traders groups are too). They should have been informed before the sign went up. Most shops will say 'well that have done it on that shop down the road, why can't we?'. The answer is, they didn't go through planning, rules weren't enforced, it was done more than 4 years ago etc.

The arguments over Nandos signage are, in my view, utterly daft, but I've had conservation officers argue over silly details in the past that are pointless (one even wanted to change the shade of white I'd specified, even though she had chosen it).

But conservation areas can be a force for good. If they are policed, rules properly explained and communicated, it can make a huge difference to the area. Sadly this is rarely the case.

Trendy chains have to adhere to planning rules in conservation areas and do change their signage. I've done this for a chain of chicken shops in Uxbridge to make it acceptable for planners. McDonalds do it, most famously in Hampstead. Chains do adapt to their surroundings, but again it depends on the planning officer and council. Good design makes a difference to how areas look and feel. A laser quest could have cool signage that looks cool right for the space, even in a conservation area. Anything is possible with good design, a good relationship with the conservation officer and planning team.

Regarding your point 4, I totally agree 100%.

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by JayB » 10 May 2018 17:29

Like others, I too have noticed every proposal seems to receive vociferous public backing from the powers that be and yet when push comes to shove ... i suspect a very differnt story can be told behind closed doors. I can't for the life of me understand why you would want to keep things in accordance with what is already here as many of us think much of what there is is a blot on the landscape. I'm afraid i am extremely sceptical about the conservation area, the purpose of it and the people it serves best.Regardless of what was intended, it does not seem to work in favour of the wider interests of the people of Sydenham at all.I would never recommend Sydenham as a site for someone to open a business precisely for this reason.it's a wonder anyone perseveres.

Did people see Lower Sydenham featured in last night's Standard? They were pushing new housing schemes around us but warned "The nearby industrial estates, "the box shops" and the many nearby heavily congested roads do not add to its sense of beauty" Indeed they don't so guess what, they market them on the strength of the Thorpes, Kirkdale and Lawrie Park Avenue- some two miles away!

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by leenewham » 10 May 2018 22:50

JayB wrote:I'm afraid i am extremely sceptical about the conservation area, the purpose of it and the people it serves best
The problem in Sydenham is that most original features of shops have already been ripped out, roller shutters added, original signage boards covered up or removed. Planning hasn't been policed and the main damage has been done (much of it funded in a poorly considered high street scheme paid for by the council many, many, years ago). Sadly, most of the changes done to the high street shops in Sydenham are very expensive to put right. as a general rule, the more that has been spent on them, the worse they look and the more expensive it is to put them right.

But in the long term conservation areas can be a force for good if there is a decent, open minded planning department that works with local traders groups and other civic groups to work together in a common united vision. It can work. It's a shame that, with so many designers and artists living locally, they haven't been embraced to help transform the high street (although it's great to see local signwriter Nick Garrett doing more work in the high street, as he has with Sugahill, The Lovely Gallery and The Greyhound. But I know from personal experience that there just isn't the support here for it to happen like in say Forest Hill. I'm surprised that there hasn't been more support for Jons mural proposal, which really should have huge support from ALL the local cllrs, the Sydenham Society and planning to help make it happen rather than say 'but it's in a conservation area'. So what? They should be pressuring them to make sure the design is good and that it happens. As you can tell, I find this extremely frustrating!

Sydenham has many really wonderful buildings. Treated in the right way, they could look stunning. The high street was once. The planning system, as it works at present, doesn't work for most high streets, especially in LB Lewisham so it seems. Sydenham needs more of a can do, will do, let's do attitude.

I'm leaving Sydenham soon after 10 years here, just as things are really taking off here with lots of new interesting businesses opening. It looks like a bright future awaits and I hope the next generation of new Sydenhamites help push it forward. I wish Sydenham and all who sail in her the very best.

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by prince » 11 May 2018 05:18

Revised shopfront and signage details have been submitted. Some good changes have been made to provide greater detailing that is more in keeping with the original building, however the overall effect i feel now is very underwhelming and lacking any individuality.

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Re: sticky:RUMOURS: CINEMA AND NANDOS COMING TO SYDENHAM

Post by JRW » 11 May 2018 07:36

I am thrilled by the prospect of the Cobbs building coming back to life, after decades of decline. I was initially disappointed that the signage stuck with the existing clumpy vertical format, as it would have been nice to have seen the original Edwardian slope format to complete the rebirth.

I was, however aware that the building was salvaged from severe bomb damage, and wondered whether the clumpiness was down to the stabilisation work needed to save the building. Now the contractors have at last removed the modern boarding, we can see that yes, the original structures are totally gone, modern RSJs are holding up the frontage, and there is nothing to restore. Therefore, the clumpy ground floor is actually part of the history of the building, and tribute to the determination to save it post-war.

I don't like faking history, and I now think that the clumpy modern frontage is not only OK, but an integral part of the building's identity. As Stuart says, it is great to celebrate the successes, which Nandos and the Greyhound certainly are, but we urgently need to address other issues, particularly the Monstrosity.

I think sticky threads have a sell by date, because long running ones have a habit of encouraging bad tempered sniping. Stickies are for urgent issues that might otherwise be missed. Nandos is coming; there are many stakeholders, and many factors in the delays, so let's wait patiently. There are other fights to be fought, so let's turn to deal with them.

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