Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

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

Post by Pat Trembath » 3 Apr 2017 10:02

THESE STREETS BELONG TO US - say ‘NO’ to further retail development at BELL GREEN

Meeting: 8pm, at Livesey Hall, Bell Green –Tuesday 4 April.

The Sydenham Society is working together with These Streets Belong to Us to oppose further plans for more retail development at the Bell Green Retail Park.

Representing the rich local heritage of Lower Sydenham, alongside the Livesey Memorial Hall and the Grade 2 Memorial to local residents who lost their lives during WW1, the blue gasholders are under threat of demolition, to be replaced by more out of town retail stores according to plans just submitted to Lewisham Council. We believe their heritage should be protected and celebrated and not torn down. The gasholders are a key part of Sydenham's history and should be incorporated into an ambitious scheme of which the community can be proud.


The existing retail park has increased traffic with more heavy goods vehicles clogging up roads and spitting out toxic fumes. Our streets need to be cleaner, safer and more friendly. Further out of town retail units should be stopped and investment should be made in our high streets in Sydenham, Forest Hill and Catford.

The Sydenham Society is working with ‘These Streets Belong to Us’ (residents in and around Houston Road, Perry Vale), who already live in streets overloaded with heavy goods vehicles delivering to the existing retailers at Bell Green. Additional heavy goods vehicles on what were residential roads will become intolerable.

The Sydenham Society will be holding its AGM on Tuesday 8 April at 7pm in Livesey Hall. All members are welcome. It is an open meeting and other local residents are welcome to attend.

At 8pm Steve Grindlay, well known local historian, will give a short illustrated talk about the history of the gasworks. The meeting will then discuss the problems local residents anticipate with further retail development and other possible alternatives for this site.

To sign the online petition go to http://tinyurl.com/SaveBellGreen

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

Post by alowersyd » 3 Apr 2017 20:25

Not knocking the history of the gas works, but unless someone has millions to do a Kings Cross like below on them, then I'd rather retail tidy up the area. Provides jobs, services and improves the appearance of the area.


Image

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

Post by RJM » 4 Apr 2017 08:42

Something should be done with them, but age doesn't always equal value - the much more interesting (and older) Gas holder at Nine Elms went. We definitely need a better plan for the site though, I don't think we need what's being suggested and I think it will be bad for traffic (and rubbish - I've seen a rat running about in the McDonalds detritus towards the junction).

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

Post by Larky » 4 Apr 2017 09:52

Something needs to be done with this whole area, something is better than nothing.

Whilst I love the gas holders (I remember them in use and the old gas buildings), the area looks dirty and is an eyesore.

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

Post by leenewham » 4 Apr 2017 11:15

I'd rather some vision and make use of a local landmark than yet another out of town shopping centre.

It would be far better for Aldi to be in the town centre, but they tend to favour developments like this.

I don't think an Aldi is better looking than the towers. Just because something currently looks unloved doesn't mean it should be destroyed to be replaced by a shiny new thing. That's how many places fall into long-term decline.

Not every bit of land has to be retail. A nice park, something for families and children to enjoy would compliment the existing buildings and be an opportunity for jobs, with the possibility of stalls, a cafe etc. There is so much that could be done while retaining something that gives the area an identity.

I was on the cable car yesterday on my way to Excel and London is getting extremely ugly, full of high rise towers with no sense of place (and few tenants in them or the nearby expensive apartment blocks too).

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

Post by mosy » 4 Apr 2017 13:11

I imagine future use depends on who owns the land doesn't it? They'll probably want to sell or lease it for as much money as can be made from it, which I imagine automatically assumes building on darn near every inch of it and probably fairly high rise to boot with concomitant pressure on utilities services and traffic.

Even if the local authority owned the land, I doubt they'd give it over for park use (which they'd have to maintain) as they themselves are under government pressure to utilise any available land for houses or flats, plus of course they cannot reject landowner planning applications if they meet planning rules.

I personally don't see the merit of retaining the gas holder structure as such, but I do dislike the seeming return to wall-to-wall featureless concrete blocks that epitomised the 1970s (and caused demolition/disposal nightmares). Maybe a part of the area could be designated conservation in some way so that at least a decent design and materials would have to apply to any new buildings?

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

Post by JayB » 4 Apr 2017 17:51

I am not all that bothered by the gasometers remaining, but i object to the additional pollution (air, noise and litter) another supermarket will bring. Who is responsible for mionitoring air pollution does anyone know, the Mayor's office, te hLondon Assembly or the council? It must have gone through the roof in recent years but i cannot find any data- ditto traffic volume.Convenient?

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

Post by alywin » 5 Apr 2017 19:11

More about the King's Cross gasholder development:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/buy ... asholders/

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

Post by Pat Trembath » 14 Apr 2017 08:35

Anyone objecting to the proposed plans for more retail at Bell Green should be sending their objections in this weekend - deadline next Tuesday, 17 April. Email to planning@lewisham.gov.uk giving reasons as to why they object - name and address of objectors should be included.

Or, being fair-minded, anyone in favour can also let planners know their opinions as to why they consider this site should be made over to more retail.

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

Post by Steveofsyd » 23 Apr 2017 21:32

I would rather they developed the area properly and made a vibrant retail park they brought business into the area. We need money and families coming in to visit complimentary shops,
We could also benefit with some entertainment for our young-uns. A big cinema, bowling alley, other food offerings to go with them, a bunch of smaller sized retailers not just mega stores which don't seem to fill up at the moment . I might go there once or twice a year but go to Bromley every week!
We need business and money and I'm sure a lot of young people would rather have s job there than look at the gas supports! They don't feed families!

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

Post by Larky » 25 Apr 2017 10:23

Well said Steveofsyd

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

Post by leenewham » 25 Apr 2017 10:43

People visiting the business park won't visit the high street too. They are too disconnected. Most people drive to the business park and if you watch people, they tend to drive from the part to Sainsbury's and even to Sports direct. There aren't many people on foot. It's a similar thing in the USA.

They certainly won't walk up the high street, especially as it is.

If you had a park or other reason for visiting that makes you get out the car and walk around a bit, THEN you may get families staying there.

If they get rid of the gas holders, then all you will have is yet another big box retail park like all the others, devoid of community and human interaction that offers nothing to Sydenham High Street and the other shops there.

Offer a park, landscaped, perhaps with stalls (or even a box park) and a decent playground to act as a focus and encourage families, and then you are talking sense. It works in shopping malls and well managed high streets and stores. Aldi offers nothing you can't get in lots of other places already.

Lets shun generic, boring, faceless, corporate developments and try to create interesting, exciting, valuable developments with people in mind.

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

Post by Larky » 25 Apr 2017 10:48

Agree with you as well Leenewham, but something needs to be done with the whole site. Whatever it is, it will be a vast improvement to what it is now.

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

Post by leenewham » 25 Apr 2017 12:54

It just needs vision and managing properly.

Most of these retail parks are simply about the bottom line, they don't care about community or people. It's about car parking and expensive rents for large retail.

I think we should fight this to shape its destiny. I'm not against retail, I'm against ANY retail, like it's some grand messiah we should approve no matter what. There are loads of really good spaces with retail around London that are different, nice places to be.

I'm shocked that people don't want this or can't see past what the site looks now. We went through this with the Greyhound with people saying it should be pulled down due to how it looked then rather than what it could be. We need to stop this short-sightedness.

When we fought to save Forest Hill Pools, there was a vision for what it could be. Be patient and fight/wait for something better rather than more of the same old boring, generic crap you see everywhere.

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

Post by perryman » 26 Apr 2017 16:38

People visiting the business park won't visit the high street too. They are too disconnected. Most people drive to the business park and if you watch people, they tend to drive from the part to Sainsbury's and even to Sports direct. There aren't many people on foot. It's a similar thing in the USA.

They certainly won't walk up the high street, especially as it is.
I'm not surprised people drive from the Savacentre to Sports direct - there isn't a pedestrian crossing over quite a busy road.
The whole 'park' is designed to be pedestrian unfriendly, so no wonder there are few people on foot.
Unlike the these 'parks' in the USA, this one is right in the middle of a pretty densely populated area, so there is no excuse not to make it welcoming.
So I'd like another large chain store on the condition it was also focussed on local people on foot/bike. It is important to have a little competition. Plus the gas holders mean nothing to me. Can anyone explain their importance?

As for a park, the gem in the area is the river pool, and effort should have been made to make the access way to it as pleasant as possible with segregated cycle lanes and trees. That really would have shown some consideration to people who live locally.

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

Post by Emc » 27 Apr 2017 15:52

Ditto to Perryman. The gas holders are extremely ugly and really bring the area down in my opinion. Am I missing something?

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

Post by broken_shaman » 30 Apr 2017 19:17

The gas towers may be 'ugly', but we are talking about replacing these remaining structures with an Aldi... At least the gas towers are different and have some place in local history.. I accept you can't buy cheap food from them, but that's no reason to set your sights on the blandest outcome for your local area that you can muster.

I have, incidentally, no problem with Aldi or redevelopment projects, but I think the area has too much traffic and it's not particularly suited to further increases. I also don't really see what the development will actually do for the area. All we seem to get is traffic, idiotic parking from Livesey Hall events and rubbish from McDonalds.

By the way, does anyone know why the large pile of earth in the middle of the the 'gyratory' to the south of Sainsbury's car park never seems to get threatened with redevelopment?

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

Post by Steveofsyd » 1 May 2017 17:37

I would be interested to find out the unemployment rate of Lower Sydenham vs Upper. Frankly I stand by what I said and I bet the people in "lower" would welcome lots of new jobs within walking distance. Our high street is not desirable and the gap between the site and anything of interest on our high street is too large to entice walkers up to upper Sydenham. 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.
We have loads of wonderful parks for families around us and don't need another.
Places like Surrey Quays are a hive of activity and look at Bromley and Beckenham.
And there was absolutely nothing short sighted in wanting the Greyhound demolished and a piazza with bars and restaurants around it. Look where we are now decades later (very very long sight) ...still wishing for a pub with a supermarket and estate agents moving in. I know what I would have rather had and it would have been built a long time ago.
We need sustainable money making enterprises that drive curiosity as keep people around all day. Sydenham is not currently a "destination"

angela53
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Re: Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Post by angela53 » 1 May 2017 21:06

I completely agree with the last post

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

Post by sugahill cafe » 1 May 2017 21:37

What steveofsyd describes for the Greyhound area I also believe would have been much better. Chris

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