Sydenham Regeneration Report

Meeting 6th December 2007 @ Narborhood Centre. Highlights:

  • Sydenham Road Consultation delayed
  • No humps for Westwood Hill
  • Thames Water to undermine Sydenham regeneration?

Sydenham Road

Ian Plowright announced a further delay int the slow progress to the most important project for Sydenham regeneration. The £2 million TfL plan to change the roadscape of our High Street from Mayow Road to Kirkdale «backstory here».

The traffic simulations presented at the previous meeting had surprised the planners by suggesting that the Kirkdale junction with Sydenham Road and Westwood Hill would function more efficiently by retaining an island rather than replacement with traffic lights. Ian reported that there was some discussion over details of the plans but nothing major. However, the final plan for public consultation and approval will not be out till next year. Ian hoped for February but that is not a promise.

Westwood Hill

Paul Sharp from Lewisham Traffic outlined the current proposals to reduce accidents on Westwood Hill. Initially Lewisham had planned to install speed bumps. However, the surprise arrival of two speed cameras (apparently there is no co-ordination between the gatso quango and local authorities!) caused them to reconsider their proposals. It was evident that although they are not due to be commissioned until January they had already made a significant impact on vehicle speeds.

The current plans are more modest. Clearer and more logical road markings, an extra traffic island outside Sydenham School were the most obvious changes. Full plans should be available on the council website shortly.

Water Main Replacement

Most people west of the railway line have received a letter from Thames Water about the replacement of the Victorian main system. Test boreholing has already started and work will last from January 2008 to February 2009. Thames Water are holding a ‘drop-in’ meeting on Tuesday 11 December, 4-7pm @ St Barts Church.

Concern was expressed at the impact this may have on the Sydenham Road plans. Lewisham planners were unaware and urgent discussion is underway. More significant than the current plan are Thames Water’s plans for east of the railway line. Thames Water would not be allowed to dig up the road for at least two years following completion of the redevelopment. That may muck up their plans. Alternatively trying to get Thames Water in ahead of the redevelopment might only delay it longer. And there is an underlying fear that the closer the plan gets to 2012 the riskier it is that the money will still be there!

Other Stuff

The TCM announced that we were down to just five available retail units. Julie is consulting with the estate agents handling the old HSBC/Midland Bank premises to see if the use could be changed to restaurant/bar. The TCM was, as usual embroiled in the problems of refuse disposal and flytipping. Some passion was felt for the encroachment, as seen by some of the meeting, by shopowners displaying goods on the north side of Sydenham Road. Julie explained that this was on rented pavement from the council and that the marks on the pavement were now outdated and did not apply. More next meeting?

PS Jonathan Hill reported on the police safer neighbourhoods scheme. He wished to highlight a recent rise in burglaries. One feature was the fishing rod exploit of retrieving car/house keys through letterboxes. The police expct to shortly take out one set of perpetrators but householders should be warned.

Sydenham Regeneration will from 2008 become the Sydenham Assembly in line with Council plans for all Lewisham wards. It is unlikely to make a significant difference to the way these popular meetings are conducted (60/70 attended last night).

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