Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

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

Post by stuart » 16 Jan 2018 02:07

I would welcome Aldi to Bell Green. A better prospect than in the more limited square footage of the old co-op. They enhance choice at value prices. Yep, you will find more well engineered products there than at PCWorld/Currys up the road at significantly more competitive prices.

The other stuff is OK and very competitive to the SavaCentre according to my SMT.

Yep, the housing issue is important but I have yet to be convinced it's a real starter on one of the most contaminated parts of the site with or without the extra costs of integrating the gas holders.

Stuart

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

Post by KPR » 21 Jan 2018 18:11

I was down there today, and sorry but there is nothing architecturally special about those gas holders - and expecting developers to go to the expense of building stuff inside them is bonkers (artist’s impressions are one thing, but it would be a massive ball ache to have to lift everything inside one of them with a crane). Aldi would come with a big downside though in terms of additional traffic - that whole section down to Catford is congested enough as it is.

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

Post by tonyhorse » 23 Jan 2018 23:53

Yes, well having a stronger retail presence would no doubt increase the prospect of providing more jobs to the locals. The downside of course may be more traffic but I believe the benefits of local employment are far greater.

Keeping the hideous gas works there is nothing more than an eyesore. Get rid of the whole thing and replace with something useful to the community. Those who are campaigning to keep them need to do something better with their lives and maybe spend their time campaigning for something worthwhile.

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

Post by TredownMan » 24 Jan 2018 08:54

I can fully understand why people like them. Elegant and striking and adds character to the area. Even if the land could be put to better use.

But it makes me laugh how modest new two-storey houses or simple kitchen extensions (you know, for families to live in) are denounced as “looming” “massing” “unneighbourly” and “out of keeping” — whereas an eight-storey derelict gas holder is a national treasure. Can’t have it both ways.

And imagine the reaction if they tried to erect them today!

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

Post by Pally » 24 Jan 2018 15:06

TredownMan wrote:
But it makes me laugh how modest new two-storey houses or simple kitchen extensions (you know, for families to live in) are denounced as “looming” “massing” “unneighbourly” and “out of keeping” — whereas an eight-storey derelict gas holder is a national treasure. Can’t have it both ways.

And imagine the reaction if they tried to erect them today!
My thoughts exactly. Yes the gas works at part of Sydenham history but ....!!

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

Post by gillyjp » 27 Jan 2018 09:37

tonyhorse wrote:Yes, well having a stronger retail presence would no doubt increase the prospect of providing more jobs to the locals. The downside of course may be more traffic but I believe the benefits of local employment are far greater.

Keeping the hideous gas works there is nothing more than an eyesore. Get rid of the whole thing and replace with something useful to the community. Those who are campaigning to keep them need to do something better with their lives and maybe spend their time campaigning for something worthwhile.
Well said tonyhorse - I'm afraid this is what happens when the Sydenham Society start meddling. The gasworks are hideous and anyone campaigning to keep them must have taken leave of their senses. We are now stuck with these blue monsters for the foreseeable future. I'm sorry to say this but once the Sydenham Society get involved in campaigning for what they see as 'the good of the local community' anyone with an alternative view to theirs might just as well give up.

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

Post by TredownMan » 27 Jan 2018 10:32

Well - if you look up the Syd Soc 2017 spring news letter on google the implication is they think the land the gas holders sit on should be used for housing not shops.

“Many people can’t afford the increased rents in SE26 and buying their own home is an impossible dream as house prices in our area zoom upwards.

It’s for this reason that the Society is opposed to out of town retail developments which use up precious land.

We are now faced with a proposal to demolish the gas holders at 6
Bell Green and replace them with an Aldi supermarket. This at a time when there’s a lack of housing and a need to provide more school places.

The Sydenham Society has joined with local residents’ groups to oppose this proposal.

We are not against growth (after all, the Society persuaded the local authority in 2006 to change the planning designation of parts of the Bell Green site so that new housing could be built there). But we are against the development of retail space at the expense of housing and other community uses.

We stand for the development of local high streets and the provision of good quality affordable housing for all.”

Let’s see if that’s still the situation if and when a fresh application is made - but I can’t see why it would change!

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

Post by JamesSyd » 27 Jan 2018 11:20

That is fair enough. It is more the use of "we" and the implication that they are speaking on behalf of Sydenham that is problematic. That said, unless other voices make themselves heard, this would be a reasonable assumption for the Council to make.

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

Post by KPR » 27 Jan 2018 17:05

Just a thought, but presumably if the gas holders were knocked down, they could build an Aldi with flats on top of it - everyone’s a winner! Might not look all that nice, but then Bell Green is hardly an area of outstanding natural beauty is it?

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

Post by tonyhorse » 30 Jan 2018 05:29

Exactly. Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can't you have a residential area with a supporting shop or two? Aldı is positioned as a low cost alternative to high street supermarkets anyway so surely it would help locals save money.

Secondly why does Sydenham Society have any say over these sorts of decisions? Who are they? What is their demographic? What gives them the right to speak for the whole of Sydenham?

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

Post by broken_shaman » 1 Feb 2018 22:47

KPR wrote:Just a thought, but presumably if the gas holders were knocked down, they could build an Aldi with flats on top of it - everyone’s a winner! Might not look all that nice, but then Bell Green is hardly an area of outstanding natural beauty is it?
A couple of points

1. An Aldi will attract shoppers with cars. The roads are over capacity and have seen big rises since the extra development. It's one of the reasons the proposal was knocked back. So putting some flats on top doesn't solve that, or make people who live in the surrounding roads 'winners'. An office building, for instance, would not result in so much extra traffic.

2. Yes. Bell Green is quite run down, but the anything will do attitude is probably part of the reason for that and it's not going to improve by accepting whatever developers chuck our way. I would also add that comparing everything to the gas holders is not the best measure of good development.

Anyway, perhaps the future of the site will mirror that of the Sainsbury's at Nine Elms, which is now filled with homes, or that proposed at New Cross. Sainsbury's are sitting on a huge piece of under-developed land and it's interesting to note that while this site has continued with the warehouse shopping estate plan, other areas of London are seeing these sites redeveloped in favour of mixed use developments. That's housing with an empty shop at the bottom to you and I. ;) Quite frankly, there is a huge bit of land here, covering the Sainsbury's site, the B and Q site and that massive waste of land that is the one way system around the patch of empty land in the middle at Bell Green.

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

Post by JayB » 4 Feb 2018 17:48

Well said broken-shaman. It's interesting how many in Sydenham seem to think any old crap and any amount of congestion is fine for those of us who live in Bell Green, It seems to me and many neighbours that absolutely nothing of this nature i nterms of noise and pollution would be entertained for a second in the Thorpes, Lawrie Park, Cator Road etc etc.

Aldi wanted 100 parking spaces for its proposal, but discounters work on an average visit length of around 17 minutes. That would be up to an extra 4900 return journies a day, not to mention the lorry deliveries.Perhaps we could vacuum the fumes away and send them else where in Sydenham, particularly as two of the feeder roads go right past our schools which are practically adjacent to the road itself. The officials who wrote the councils's original report evaluation of the SCOOT system as being more or less a nutralising factor showed no working as to how this convenient equation was arrived at and was scarely credible because of that.Furhter the tail backs currently occur in all directions at busy hours so it is difficult to see how SCOOT can improve that.

I totally agree that many of us are not against other types of development and have no particular love of the gas holders.What concerns me is what can be done looking to the future to reduce the traffic pollution/congestion/litter as it stands and develop the site in a way that is sympathetic to locals- by which I mean people who live here, I see no point in revisiting an old debate. Unfortunately the "save the gas holders" aspect of the campaign at first sight ignore these issues and implies no more needs be done .

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

Post by Tim Lund » 4 Feb 2018 22:34


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

Post by Sydenham » 4 Feb 2018 22:49

For those who don't think Bell Green is an attractive area it is in fact a gateway to our local river path - to get there you have to go through commercial car parks but at least there is a green way at the end.

This river path runs up through Ladywell and is a great green artery in Lewisham and its value to health and well being of local residents should not be discounted.

Making it less pleasant a route to access - perhaps by increasing traffic flows to existing and new Bell Green developments - would reduce its value and ability to bring joy and a little bit of peace to those who welcome its wildness and lack of development.

And I am aware that posting near midnight is nrver normally a sensioble thing to do. Especially at the weekend.

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

Post by TredownMan » 5 Feb 2018 08:36

At the moment it’s characterised by dumped sofas, mattresses, graffiti, weeds, crows and rats so I’m a touch sceptical that redevelopment - some nice new houses for example - would “make it less pleasant”.

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

Post by stuart » 5 Feb 2018 09:59

Sydenham wrote:For those who don't think Bell Green is an attractive area it is in fact a gateway to our local river path - to get there you have to go through commercial car parks but at least there is a green way at the end.
^^This.

If any S106 money could go to creating a green, attractive and safe entrance to the green way would make the Aldi scheme a no-brainer for me. Traffic is not a problem. It is the type of traffic that pollutes and congests that is the problem as the Bell Green residents are so aware.

The very people [from the Thorpes] who campaign against development because of 'increased traffic' happen to be the very ones who campaigned for the increase in car traffic capacity along Sydenham Road at the expense of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

This is what puts Sydenham between a rock and a hard place. It would be good if they could appear to concentrate more on making good things happen rather than helping bad things happen by design or ommission.

AFAIK there is no prospect of a developer ready, willing and able to afford the huge environmental cost to build homes on that site (or Lewisham would commit to building council homes) hence trying to stop retail because they would 'rather' have housing is pretty meaningless and stultifying. Worse if they are also trying to reduce or stop new viable and affordable housing just up the road.

Let's start by having an achievable positive plan for an environmentally friendly redevelopment of Bell Green without that race track gyratory which single handedly makes Bell Green one of the most polluted places in London & Europe. The gasholders are irrelevant and, to me, a reminder of the stink that made Bell Green an even more undesireable place to live. Wasting effort trying to save them is fiddling while Rome burns - or more specifically the kids at Haseltine School get poisoned.

Stuart

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

Post by Tim Lund » 5 Feb 2018 11:57

On the subject of managing traffic with residential developments, this from the newsletter of recently established charity, Transport for New Homes, caught my eye

Image

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

Post by stuart » 5 Feb 2018 13:06

Wow, so impressed with your ideas they even named a town after you .... maybe Bell Green should become New Timenham?

Stuart :wink:

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

Post by Pally » 5 Feb 2018 13:57

stuart wrote:
Sydenham wrote:For those who don't think Bell Green is an attractive area it is in fact a gateway to our local river path - to get there you have to go through commercial car parks but at least there is a green way at the end.
stuart

Let's start by having an achievable positive plan for an environmentally friendly redevelopment of Bell Green without that race track gyratory which single handedly makes Bell Green one of the most polluted places in London & Europe. The gasholders are irrelevant and, to me, a reminder of the stink that made Bell Green an even more undesireable place to live. Wasting effort trying to save them is fiddling while Rome burns - or more specifically the kids at Haseltine School get poisoned.

Stuart
Exactly! It also needs to be realistic within the constraints of funding rather than pie in the sky "develop the gas holders like at Kings Cross .." ...

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

Post by The Clown » 5 Feb 2018 15:41

I think people probably got behind the “save the gas holders” campaign to simply stop more of the same awful residential blocks going up without care.

Unfortunately, options are limited to ensure that developers build nice housing, or something with some class or character and do not build a bunch of tiny cramped boxes to tick an “x no of homes delivered” box of their own.

You can’t bemoan people for using the only power available to them to protect their community from money-grabbers

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