Just raising awareness here that there is a proposal to demolish two houses and their garages at the top of Taymount Rise and build a block of flats on the site of the houses and their gardens.
Proposal to demolish houses and build flats on Taymount Rise
I’ve gone to the link and given my opinion.
“Reduce the reliance on private motor vehicles by providing secure cycle parking and a car pool scheme to the residential units to encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport.”
“All of the proposed apartments will be wheelchair accessible or adaptable”
I look forward to seeing the wheelchair users cycling up the hill to their accessible flat.
At least they will all have EV charging points.
That is good but the topography of Taymount Rise means there is limited space for many more vehicles, electric or hired.
Someone on an eBike overtook me on the way up Horniman Hill on the circular yesterday doing a decent speed - seems like those things will haul you up a hill at 15 mph no sweat (literally) and if anything they need proper secure parking as they cost a couple of grand too.
I quite like the design although I think the green colour scheme highlights look a bit naff. I’m sure we’ll get something similar on the old Fairlawn nursery site soon too.
I assume the green is meant to echo the green windows of the next door Taymount Grange.
We should be looking at making these car free developments except where accessibility is required rather than promoting EV cars. EV cars still create pollution, still make loads of journeys, still clog up our streets with traffic and parking. I am sure the local residents won’t look for a car parking space, not find one and think, it is awful that I can’t park my car but isn’t it great that there are EV cars parked using the spaces.
This was my point when I put my comments on the linked proposal
Exactly. I don’t want to be THAT person but we already suffer from parking related woes at the top of the hill including pavement parking, missed bin collections because badly parked cars prevented the lorry from turning safelty in to our drive and at least twice our front wall being damaged as the bin lorry tried to avoid badly parked cars on the roundabout.
Lewisham have added some double yellow lines but people just ignore them.
I know they say the development will encourage alternative transport but I am not sure how they will prevent residents from owning a car. Plus all the extra delivery and trades traffic 21 more flats will create.
Meanwhile, back in the real world; by jumping on the eco bandwagon the developer gets to make lots of extra money cramming more dwellings onto his plot without having to bother with any of those nasty unprofitable parking spaces and to hell with the inconvenience to other local residents.
Is ‘London needs more housing and fewer cars’ controversial? Storing your private property on public roads for free is already a privilege - perhaps Taymount should become a CPZ like a lot of the streets in the area? Interestingly my kids have taught me that booking an electric zipcar on my street is actually a thing. That’s what they do: zoom about in eGolfs once or twice a month and they seem brilliant. My car mostly sits outside my house gathering dust. Seems like there are better solutions that won’t ‘inconvenience other residents’. In fact now’s a great time to sell your used car - mine’s up 15% from when I bought it used already, 2 years ago.
Perhaps people just need to lower their expectations in terms of accessible private car storage and start to share a bit more and drive a bit less.
Completely agree. Taymount Rise would be a much nicer and safer road without cars cluttering up both sides of the road.
I understand why the residents of Taymount Rise (I am one) and those who want to see a general reduction in the use of motorised transport don’t wish to see provision for car owners in new residential developments. But what about the energy that is going to be used by 21 properties as opposed to 2?
I often read on this forum how parked cars impact on the use of the pavements on Taymount Rise. I would suggest, somewhat nervously, that the large trees lining Taymount Rise actually have a bigger impact on using the pavements than the cars. Even on the rare occasion there are fewer cars parked on Taymount, the majority of pedestrians still use the road.
Hopefully ‘alternative transport’ doesn’t mean relying on our trains at the weekends.
Maybe I’m just an old cynic (? realist) but with our unreliable public transport, steep hills, time and general laziness etc making cycling or even walking unfeasible for many/most people it’s going to take a lot more than a few car-free developments to get people to ditch their cars and reduce the numbers on our roads.
In my opinion it will take something really radical like a legal limit of one car per household and very expensive licences for any additional ones to make any appreciable difference and until that happens developers should be obliged to provide adequate off street parking; which they may well have to from next year since the obligatory EV chargers Boris announced will need a parking space next to them.
Is it that way around, or will it be that if parking is provided it needs an EV charger, and so developers will be less keen to add parking at all?
I don’t know to be honest, but the question might be can they avoid installing the chargers by deliberately not providing parking.
After all, if the EV dream is to become a reality the country will need many thousands more chargers and every one not installed by developers will have to be paid for from the public purse.
Is the EV dream not a nightmare, creating a load of smug motorists who will cause as much traffic, congestion and parking as existing motorists, more replacement than reduction?
Yes, less pollution but not none and we probably need to wait to determine whether the heavier batteries increase Brake Abrasion Dust (BAD)/cyanide particles on local streets.
I think we all know that free parking increases car ownership and their use while the council struggles to make money out of parking while other councils earn millions. Lewisham doesn’t seem to understand that running CPZs is a business and no commercial car park would give massive discounts to the wealthiest. If you drive an electric Tesla, costing £50k you will pay less than somebody driving a diesel banger worth £1k whereas a business would say you pay for the space you use. The congestion zone is phasing out the clean vehicle discount as it wants to make more money for TFL to subsidise public transport.
Lewisham could introduce a borough wide CPZ and reduce car ownership and traffic without wasting money on free parking/traffic displacement schemes while raising revenue to improve the streetscape for all users including school children, pedestrians and cyclists.
Except that The London Plan 2021 Policy T6 sets out for many areas of inner London that car free development should be the starting point for all development proposals in places that are well connected by public transport.
I don’t suppose it defines "well connected by public transport ". That could be a whole new topic.
It’s all to do with the PTAL rating, which, from the propsals being put forward by the developer, is probably high - especially with bus stops at the bottom of the road and a National Rail and London Underground station only a little bit further on.
By the standards of most areas outside and indeed inside London Forest Hill is well connected. We have a mainline rail station, the Overground and a number of decent bus routes, one of them being 24 hour.
We have lived here 5 years and never needed a car. The idea that people MUST have a car here is a source of great hilarity to this country girl who grew up in an area with two buses a day and a two mile walk from a train station that had one train an hour.
Taymount Rise is a short walk from the station and main bus routes. One of the issues is though it is a very steep climb to the top and the surface is poor, so I suspect cars, taxis and delivery vans are used a lot more by Taymount Rise residents.
I beg to differ about this area being well connected via public transport.
Compared to the countryside perhaps yes.
I daresay much depends on where you need to travel to but as someone who works in W1 I find the bus routes pretty poor round here and there is an over dependence on 1 rail line.
I find Peckham is much better served by busses as is Camberwell ,Brixton,Crystal Palace
All areas not a million miles away.
More than once I’ve had to get an Uber home from work because of problems with the trains.
If we didn’t have a car so I could get a lift to Canada Water on the weekends we have no trains I’d face 2 busses at least and a 20 min walk to get to my job near Marble Arch.
Whilst FH is a bit of a mixed bag of PTAL ratings the majority of it is either 3 or 4 which I wouldn’t consider high on a 9 point scale; and that presumes all is running as intended - which it frequently isn’t for many previously discussed reasons.
There are some 2.65 million “registered” cars in London making 3.7 million journeys plus another 2 million journeys into or out of London per day (all TFL figures).
So, what possible difference is a few car free developments going to make to these numbers? Especially if you believe, as I do, that the residents of those developments will still own cars its only achievements will be to make the developers lots of money and seriously inconvenience the existing nearby residents.
The PTAL scale only goes up to 6 and, in my opinion, it’s more about technicalities than reality - so, whilst it may well fit the criteria for car-free development, I agree that the likelihood is that it will be far from it, which will exacerbate the already considerable access and parking problems up there.
Indeed. It is not just about residents not owning cars, Taymount Rise, for obvious reasons has a lot of deliveries and service vehicles as well as tight turning for cars. Bin day is already an interesting exercise up here.
In Madeira they push people down the hill in baskets. That would be an eco friendly way to deal with it. Also owning a car is a privilege, so you know first world problems and all that.
Ha ha! I’ve love a basket slide down the hill!
Might be fun with a competent carreiro to stop before the South Circular. Are there any in FH?
Never mind parking, who will be overseeing the rubbish and re-cycling collections? As it stands, Lewisham does not collect recycling from Shackleton Close SE23 (backing onto at least one new homes building “project” that is currently underway and not complete and the new proposed Taymount Rise site) currently for at least 6 weeks at a time! This 3 block, 90 home estate (not only council tenants but leaseholders too) has become a totally neglected eyesore due to their non-action and I, personally, have had to give up on my over 15 year policy of trying to recycle all I can, because of this! When you amass more than 6 bags of recycling inside your own flat, it becomes ridiculous. I have a space outside, on top of the old coal bunker - but we were told not to store stuff on top of it, due to being a fire hazard! So, as I do not drive and because supermarkets continue with lots of packaging, what can I do? I work, do not have a car and my landlord will not collect recyclables weekly. Will more flats and their refuse make my situation, and that of everyone else, better or worse? Err, suprise! The answer will be, worse!
YES, new homes (especially social housing) ARE needed but do current council tenants AND leaseholders have to suffer? OK so, the recycling WAS taken on Monday gone but, that was after approx. 6 weeks since the last pick-up. Through mine (and other residents) month’s of monitoring, it will NOT be removed again for at least a few weeks! NOT ON! I am totally depressed living here, though still grateful at being a tenant with lower rent. Should my council duty expectations be lower too though?I
MORE homes mean more drains on resources. But hey, feck the locals, they do not matter!
PS a proud Forest Hill full rent-paying Council tenant, a non car driver, non car owner and proud recycler who has had to give up on that.
That sounds like a nightmare, what are their excuses for neglecting your recycling colletions for so long? As a 90 flat development you must pay over £100k in council tax a year.
Whislt nothing like as bad as your situation we have perpetual issues with missed recycling and rubbish collections, often becuase poor parking at the top of Taymount Rise prevents the refuse lorry from accessing our property.
Mine is rarely collected, but I put it down to idiots I have to share my bins with dumping all sorts in there. I usually have to report it on the Love clean streets app (they should change the name) for it to be picked up and added to general waste pile… so yeah I’ve stopped recycling to because It’s sadly pointless. But as mentioned it should be on the supermarkets to reduce plastic use as much as possible in the first place.
Maybe we should have a “most annoying and unnecessary packaging” thread? I nominate cucumbers. Why oh why do suppliers encase them in almost impossible to remove plastic?
I have no problem with cucumbers being wrapped in a protective film if is keeps them firm and juicy (supermarkets don’t seem capable of keep veg well).
The problem is the material used for the wrapping.
If the government just demanded that all shrink wrap and trays in UK supermarkets were biodegradable then there would not be a problem. I’ll admit it might add a bit to the food prices, but it is nothing compared to the cost of Brexit and Covid.
Down isn’t the problem I’d love a funicular railway to pull me up!
Haha yes! And crisp packets being oversized to make them look like there’s a lot in them.
It’s not being as widely talked about as it should be, but the supermarkets are all introducing soft plastics/wrapping collection points within the stores.
As with most things supermarket, the Co-op are ahead of the game - https://www.coop.co.uk/environment/soft-plastics - and there’s a collection point at the inside entrance to the Stanstead Rd store.
Sainsburys collects soft plastics in a sad little “plastic bags” bin, but they’re not shouting about it.
And not always immediately helpful for those of us without cars (electric or otherwise) but the Recycle Now recycling locator is a brilliant tool for working out where locally you can recycle almost everything.
Yes & it has been so for many months. They do not give an excuse because I actually have not talked to anyone from the council offices but the collectors say either “staff off sick or wrong items in the wrong bins” (which is often true) but because the bins are not emptied weekly, they continue to fill up and spill out and no one sorts it out, but surely someone must be employed to sort out the over flowing items before they hit the ground and it starts to become messy? I reported it quite a few times last summer on Fix my Street as, if you report it via the Council option you have to give your own address and I am afraid I do not wish to be logged as “that person who constantly reports or complains” when it is not my own issue but rather, mostly, lazy, stupid people on this estate who do not read the guidelines and separate their rubbish from recycling, rinse off or wash it before disposing, sort it, but rather they put recycling in plastic bags or black refuse sacks etc which is a NO-NO and they also do NOT make sure what they recycle IS actually recyclable. The collectors will not empty the bins if mixed, and have put notices on saying so in the past, but not lately, so they fill up, overspill, end up on the ground and then spread by foxes, squirrels, birds etc. making the place look like a shithole, for weeks on end. One leaseholder actually tries to sort the stuff out from bin to bin sometimes, but I am afraid I do not have time, not body strength to dumpster dive these years and, do not see why I should have to sort out a problem other tenants create. I have given up now, everything goes in the main refuse bins, because there is no room in the recycling bins. What else can I do? I do not have the room to keep stuff inside for weeks on end.
UPDATE 5th DECEMBER Oh joy, finally the bins were emptied a few days back (probably will be a few more weeks since that happens again) so I have put what I had outside the front door (lovely to see that, when you come up to my door, a pile of recycling) into one of the 2 almost full bins near my block (less than a week since emptied) AND within the past 3 days they have sent a a generic “Block Letter” to each address telling everyone that, if they do not put the correct items, washed, sorted etc. in the recycling bins then, they may have to be REMOVED !!! Wow, what a good solution to the problem? Remove all the recycling bins, so that we cannot recycle anymore anyway! NOT! Oh well, MAYBE the idiots WILL actually read the helpful guidance leaflet enclosed, finally and start to recycle properly. Maybe? I will not hold my breath … OR …my recycling, in my home, for weeks on end! I also feel extremely pissed off that I got one of the letters, when I have busted a gut to recycle properly for years (but am not an idiot and realise what a block letter is and I hope it DOES WORK).
The recycling bins used to be situated off of the estate, near the grass “triangle” between Derby Hill Crescent and Featherstone Avenue, but often used to end up being full-up to overflowing and, it did not help that anyone or any passing car, van or truck tended to dump their recycling, rubbish or waste,in or next to the 3 bins, making a terrible mess and eysore that would, of course, sit around for weeks on end
This problem is obviously not unique to Shackleton Close but can someone please tell me, how will more, dense housing help the waste and recycling situation? It is not going to is it? Some tenants and residents are to blame, but not all, so how can this be solved? Leaseholders have to pay for extra services, on this estate and others, so ignorant selfish a-holes who live here and make the place look a mess cost everyone more money (taxes) and stress, which is not nice or good.
Oh, sigh, rant over.
Hope the newly built places are a dream and get serviced to the extreme!
I am sorry this has turned into a very long extra issue away from the original thread theme but it IS relevant to new homes being built so, maybe, a split could be made somehow to open up a new discourse on erm. “borough council services, dense/condensed housing issues,” or something? (just thinking off top of my head, not got the right titles, obviously)
Would it be possible to bring this thread back on topic and focus on the immediate and long term effects of building so close to existing buildings.
As the current development on Knapdale Close is topping out I’m now starting to realise the effects of “overlooking” can be. Taymount Rise was graced in the summer evenings by a wonderful golden hour of light which cast across the front gardens between a narrow gap between Forest Croft and Taymount Grange. People used to sit out there and get that the last bit of sun. The development on Knapdale Close now casts a shadow over this area, its an effect that I didn’t consider during the planning phase.
I feel very sad about this loss and no doubt the owners of green bank cottage who even closer probably feel even sadder and no doubt selling up to developers is a no brainer for them.
Work on the proposed development on the Green Bank Cottage and Taymount Cottage has been quietly going on in the back ground. The observant of you may have notice the removal of a healthy and mature copper beech tree last year which was close to the pavement. Sadly there was not a tree protection order on this tree so the owners were within their right to remove it, but it is now very apparent the removal was about making the planning application easier as incorporating into the design would have not been financially viable.
Whether the owners were lied to or are complicit the removal of a healthy and mature tree for easing planning is completely immoral, something that should be chalked up against the environmental impact of a development.
Would also like to point out that the leaflet proposal is deliberately misleading. Take a close look at the side profile drawing of positioning against Forest Croft and and Taymount Grange, 5 storeys high means it would be an equal height to Taymount Grange. The illustration does not does not accurately represent the spacing between these buildings.
Of course pre planning is a negotiation process and developer will want to be as much as possible, it iss likely that the height and distances will be adjusted but at present estimate that this development worth between £8-£10 million. Market value of both those house are about one million. Can’t see a huge amount of profit being made by the developer so the claim of “Luxury apartment” will very quickly be adjusted to a budget build…
Taymount Lodge was on the market last year for £1.3m so together I reckon the cost of buying both would be well over £2m.
You are right though the over looking issues and impact on natural light from a five storey building crammed on to that site would be bad not just for Forest Croft and Taymount Grange but for parts of the Forest Estate behind and the houses on the roads off the top of Taymount Rise.
You need to consider rights of light.
Also we have a very longstanding problems with the drains overflowing in inclement weather and burst water-mains leading to a stream running down Taymount rise.
The drainage and watermains in the area seem to be at breaking point and constantly leaking.
What will an extra X amount of dwellings at the top of the hill do to the already overburdened pipes and drains ?
That is a very good point.
The other issue is we at the top suffer more if there is a burst water main on London Road as the resulting much lower pressure means we can be off supply for longer.
A fair few times I have had rather testy conversations with Thames Water where they claim we should have some supply when we don’t. It was particularly bad a few years ago when the big main by the Horniman was always breaking and they diverted supply via other mains.
A planning application has now been submitted for this
Is it really okay for 20 flats to be built without any social housing because it isn’t ‘financially viable’?
Doesn’t the 35% policy exist for a reason or does it not really apply any longer in London?
That does seem pretty disgraceful
There is a big gap between people eligible for social housing and those who can afford circa £400k for a two bed flat. The average salary in Lewisham is around £35k
If this goes ahead it should definitely feature affordable units.
The.other big gap is affordable houses. I would like to see the site used for small “starter” two and three bed houses, along the same design lines as the Grassmount or Forestholme houses.
Seeing as there are already a lot of blocks with one - three bed flats on the road, affordable houses would actually meet a gap in the market.
Meeting housing need is not just about cramming as many units in as possible but thinking what the area actually needs and well priced, well built houses is a big need in an area attractive to young families.
I do like how in the plans they have ‘Ariel views’ for example this one from the South… Very Shakespearean!
Developments proposals that provide 35 per cent affordable housing can be fast tracked by the London Mayor’s guidelines.
The fast track process allows developments to progress without the need to submit detailed viability information and without late viability review mechanisms which re-assess viability at an advanced stage of the development process.
35% is an aspiration and one that is incentivised through this fast track process. In my experience, 35% of affordable housing is only ever hit on very large schemes (but not always - the scheme at Our Lady & St Philip Neri Infant Site on Mayow nearly hit that and was only 59 homes).
This application will need to submit detailed viability information which will be independently verified by the council. A developer can get out of providing affordable homes if they can prove the application would be financially unviable if they were provided.
Usually, the smaller the scheme the less likely it is to provide affordable homes (because the profit margin will often be lower). However even if no affordable homes are directly delivered, there may be still be an off-site contribution for affordable homes (sometimes this is better than offering 1 or 2 affordable homes in a block, because registered social housing providers often do not want to take single units on). An ‘off-site’ contribution means the council we get some monies to deliver affordable homes elsewhere.
Finally, I would also make that point that Lewisham needs homes of all tenures. The increase of new market rate homes are crucial and can help us tackle rising rents and house prices.
Michael I will speak to the planning officer about potentially opening up the site through this application, to provide a back and through public entrance to Shackleton Close. However, as the application has already gone in, there is likely little that be done. Changes like that to a design, are usually something that happens at the pre-application process. I’ll report back and email you with what I find out.
Hmm. The pre application consultation process for this was pretty shoddy.
It consisted of a badly printed A5 sheet dumped in the foyers of the nearest blocks of flats like pizza leaflets.
I would expect a developer looking to make millions from this site and cause significant inconvenience to the local residents to show a little more respect.
Also I am not an economist but the housing market seems to defy the normal laws of supply and demand. No matter how many market rate shiny new flats councils allow developers to build, those damn house prices and rents never seem to come down to affordable levels.
Exactly – the dumping of the leaflets (which would have been removed ASAP as a fire hazard!) doesn’t bode well for our being treated with consideration should the works go ahead.
It might feel like houses and flats are popping up everywhere but land in Greater London remains majorly constrained. The Green Belt, conservation areas, the steep price of land, the tightness of planning regs, all add up.
Forest Hill being a good example, there are no major sites for regeneration. (Willow Way in Sydenham is a sizeable small site, which the council is encouraging partners to assist with in its redevelopment).
Over the last few years, we are starting to build more homes. But this is after decades of minimal house building. To start seeing a fall in rents and prices, we will need to see home building on the scale not seen since at least the 70s. We’ll also need to build in areas of particular high demand - the south east for example.
Due to the planning constraints in London, outlined above, councils need to maximise their major sites to try and hit their housing targets. It’s why you see tall towers in Lewisham, and are likely to see similar in Convoys Wharf, New Bermondsey and (perhaps to a lesser extent) Catford Centre.
We deliver about 50% of our social/affordable housing through extraction on private developments. The more homes a development crams into a site, the more profit they make, meaning the more affordable homes the council can extract from them through Section 106/CIL agreements upon viability assessments.
If you want to see affordable homes on this Taymount Rise site, it’ll need to larger. That’s the trade off we face.
I won’t comment on this particular application, as I do not want to pre-judge it before it comes to committee.
Oh I support more housing, I just rather admire your naive optimism that the housing market is subject to normal economic rules in this country.
Things like stamp duty holidays, help to buy and the egregious under taxing of housing gains shows successive governments are commited to pumping the bubble ever larger.
‘Ariel views’ Ariel is a detergent surely you mean aerial
No Government in my lifetime has been willing to challenge home-owner wealth. So I know I’m facing an uphill battle.
True, and “Ariel” – the (mis)spelling used in the planning bumf – is also a character in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which is the point Clausy was making.
Ha ha! God loves a trier. I am sympathetic, truly I am.
The simple fact of the matter is that the nation’s big housebuilders like Bellway and Berkeley Homes, among many others, are too powerful for local councils to take on so they get away with murder in most cases.
No developer is going to build enough new houses to depress the housing market and reduce house prices!
Thanks Leo. I appreciate your responses on these issues. I did raise the pathway issue in the pre-planning survey but they don’t seem particularly interested (like with most of the feedback). A minor amendment to the bike sheds would allow for a path through, although having looked at the ground levels today, I can see that it might be a set of steps rather than a flat path, but Taymount people are used to walking up hills and steps.
There needs to be reform, particularly to incentivise smaller developers and increase competition.
The current rationing of land to develop on causes land that is likely to get planning permission, to skyrocket in value. Plus the inherent risks in the planning system (such as a councillor veto) add a great deal of risk. It’s only really the big players who can dominate in such an environment and yes, without reform, they will build out slowly to stop an area being swamped with new supply.
You are entirely right but to some extent I hope that the pandemic can change the way we spread our population. We have proved that people don’t all need to be in office blocks in London all of the time to work effectively.
There are reports that the population of London has already dropped by 1 million people, but if this were true I would have expected to see some reaction in the local housing market.
But we have a choice to make as a city and as a country: can we see a future where Leeds is as prosperous and desirable as London, or should we continue to focus population growth in one city surrounded by Green Belt?
Over the last 20 years the population of Leeds has increased by 17% but the population of London has increased by 45% and, excluding Green Belt and green space, we are running out of land - which is why targets relating to social housing provision appear to be completely obsolete.
The problem is London flats are not just homes they are safety deposit boxes. When people leave London they often do not sell.
When I was buying five years ago I lost count of the amount of agents who said “if the seller doesn’t get the price they want they will just rent it out.”
At the lower end of the London property market you are always competing with the siren call.of buy to let.
Also completely agree Michael, stronger regional cities are good not just for those cities but also for London and Londoners and should be encouraged.
Judging by the rental market, most of the London-leavers have returned.
At the start of the pandemic, there were some massive drops in rental prices. Camden saw rental values plummet 20.7% in a year, while the City of London also saw a 12.6% reduction. But things have ‘bounced-back’ with current rental values now sitting 9.4% higher than they did during 2020 and they are predicted to continue rising.
I agree we need to focus on improving public transport and job creation in our other cities. But Leeds, like London, is also surrounded by a Green Belt. There are some sensible Green Belt reforms out there, such as releasing lands within 10 minutes walk of rail stations. My old boss worked on a campaign for reform.
We also need to release much more land for redevelopment and reform the planning system so it’s not such an expensive and risky business, dominated by a few huge developers who can manage those risks (through things like land-banking).
The Gov has seemingly dropped planning reform but the idea of street votes shows promise and I think Michael Gove is a fan. Some promising signs ahead perhaps.
We live on Taymount rise and received no leaflets the 1st we heard of this application was on this forum.
What with the parking problems, problems with water leaks and poor public transport reliability not to mention over stretched GO’s in this area I wonder who will want to buy an overpriced shoebox
Probably’buy to let investors’
I only found out slightly earlier, from a post on our block’s forum with a link to the online version of the leaflet. I don’t know what the protocol is – mailing via the block’s managing agent or directly “to the homeowner/leaseholder”, or at least posting them through individual doors? At least Lewisham Council mailed us a formal notification, but that was only in the past couple of days.
That’s pretty bad - it will impact everyone on Taymount Rise. The developers are not showing a lot of interest in or respect for the local community.
I recall from the pre planning consultation there were vague promises of contibutions to local amenities but I can’t find anything more detailed. It would be great if they paid to resurface and repair the frankly disgraceful road and pavements on Taymount Rise. Some places are now more pothole than road.
We got a formal letter from the council yesterday. I am not sure how many addresses on Taymount Rise will get them.
They should really have posted it to every resident.
The way the consultation was carried out was very discriminatory to residents that are housebound or cannot use the internet. The excuse of covid to not hold a meeting was a bit pathetic seeing as there are currently very few restrictions, they could have always made it hydrid for people unable or unwilling to attend in person.
Parking is already difficult in Taymount Rise. Fortunately there is plenty of spare parking capacity halfway down the hill in Forestholme Close:
Most of the Forestholme Close spaces (7 out of 11) are at the end of the cul-de-sac. That’s a three minute walk up a hill with your shopping! (and likely to be further than the 200m walk distance from the site).
If we remove the vacant parking spaces spaces beyond the 200m limit, it reduced the number of vacant spaces in Forestholme Close by 8 and the total number of spaces drops to 5 (with 120% occupancy).
But this still leaves 9 parking spaces on Taymount Rise and the roundabout (mostly on the roundabout) for overnight parking. We just need people to squeeze up a bit more to make sure the roundabout parking is always fully utilised. And even more space can be provided on those useless pavements.
Completely agree that the parking situation on Taymount Rise is tricky enough as it is, without the addition of however many cars 20 more flats will add.
According to the application documents, the car parking beat survey was conducted in the early hours of 30th and 31st March last year - in the school holidays and Easter week. Probably not exactly typical!
Indeed. I can say as someone who has to walk all the way to the top of Taymount Rise most days it is already an unpleasant and sometimes dangerous pedestrian experience We also suffer from a lot of commuter and workers parking from on Taymount Rise as well as residents and tradesmen.
Something else I have noticed is SORN and beaten up cars are often left on Taymount Rise for a good period of time.
And lockdown meant a lot of the normal passing traffic (workers, tradesmen) that often park on Taymount Rise would not be around.
We actually live in Forestholme Close and it’s all dropped kerbs because the houses are terraced and they all have drives…
There is really limited parking currently with overspill from Taymount and commuters as the parking on the other side of London Road is CPZ. More than once residents have had their cars blocked in their drives by people parking in the street.
The parking bays are mainly used by residents (many have adult offspring living at home who also drive) or residents guests. And yes, it is usually pretty full up much as Taymount especially in the evenings. I wonder why the survey wasn’t carried out then?
And a space or so has been taken to be used as a cycle park.
I live in Taymount Grange and of course appreciate the local need for more housing, but object to the way this proposal has been lodged with such limited consultation (with the pandemic used as an excuse).
As has been mentioned above, a large and handsome red beech tree (see pic below) was chopped down last year; the reasoning given was that it was jeopardising one of the two houses that are now going to be demolished. Quite a coincidence!
That’s so sad, what a beautiful tree.
Indeed, the quick and very inadequate consultation is a disgrace, especially now we see they have been visiting the area for surveys for nearly a year.
They could have engaged the nearest neighbours a lot sooner.
They should make the whole of London a CPZ. Either that or remove a lot of parking like they have done in Paris. I pay to park my car ‘on the other side of London Rd’, don’t see why Taymount can’t be the same - it’s the same distance from the station. De people really commute from outside town to park near FH station to get the train? I remember recently people were moaning about parking charges coming for HOP close to the station. Free parking is basically subsidised by everyone. Why should that be?
Would you make the same case for bicycle parking?Should people be charged for locking their bike to the council provided bike racks?
If your argument is that you want to see less cars on the road, then that’s fine. If you want to see less parking to keep roads clear, that’s also fine. But, unlike council provided cycle racks, there is no direct subsidy for car parking on permitted roadsides.
But I suspect you are right that this development is likely to be the end of residents being able to park for free on Taymount Rise, Forestholme Close or Grassmount. Residents will be subsidising the necessary enforcement required for this development to be ‘car free’.
I think the non resident parking on Taymount Rise is local workers, local businesses, trades and a few people driving to the station. I quite often see people walking back to collect their cars if I am WFH and go for an early-ish evening walk.
On the subject of a CPZ I seem to recall there was a consultation a few years ago to have one on Taymount Rise. I assue it was opposed as it never happened.
As a non car owner with access to private residential parking my interest in the parking issue is that the current state of parking on Taymount Rise makes it difficult and dangerous for pedestrians and has impacted negatively on the servicing of existing properties, especially at the top of the roundabout (badly parked cars blocking access for the bin lorry etc…) and had led to a few of us suffrering from destroyed front walls - I do not want that to end up being a person.
No, because bicycles are small enough for people to cart them off if they’re not locked to something. Therefore proper cycle racks act as a theft deterrent and should be seen as a crime prevention measure. I’m sure they’re a lot cheaper to maintain than the ‘free parking’ in the local car parks like behind Sainsbury’s.
Anyway, back on topic, it will be interesting to see what happens CPZ or not on Taymount. I doubt CPZs disincentivise car ownership as a whole. If you can already afford a car you can probably afford £160 to park it. At least it will deter day-trippers which is a good thing.
If residents object to it, then there’ll clearly not be enough parking spaces to go around and it will be interesting to see how that sorts itself out. It’s not like there’s anywhere nearby to park around the corner either.
‘Car free’ sounds like a BS way of saying ‘we don’t have to architect in 20 underground parking spaces which are expensive and eat into profit margins’.
It is also about incentivising modes of travel that are cleaner and healthier, therefore better for society at large. Car driving is convenient and comfortable, but not better for society at large, and the indirect costs to peoples health and the environment from the car pollution which are not easy to quantify should be factored in. Better to make public transport and cycling cheaper and easier, and car driving less attractive, by comparison. Lewisham is already so far behind other boroughs in this respect.
As someone over 60 who has never been able to ride a bike When not being given a lift by my OH I rely totally on public transport.
When our trains dont run at weekends and I have to work I’d be stuffed if I couldn’t get a lift by car to either Canada Water or Brixton station.
I had always lived north of the river before moving here and never understood people who ‘needed a car’ living in London.
Sadly since moving to FH having a car has become a necessity because I do find public transport so poor compared to other areas of south London.
I don’t have a car. But I live between Forest hill and Catford. At present I am using Catford Bridge railway station. Mainline trains from Forest Hill used to be every 10 minutes before we had the Overground. We need to mount a vigorous campaign to complain about the lack of mainline trains from Forest Hill.
Leo, according to a survey by Admiral last summer there were 29,242 dwellings in London that had been empty for 6 months or more; 1,421 of these, the equivalent of 71 “Taymount Developments”, were in Lewisham. Do the Council have any powers to encourage owners to bring those back into use rather than shoe-horning more supposedly car free developments into ever shrinking spaces?
Amen to this!
I moved here because I had a friend who lived in Sydenham and she used to get the Southern train to Charing X then walk to work from there, She convinced me that not only was it a lovely area to live but transport to the west end was good (the 176 went to Oxford Circus then too)
The commute these days is so bad that its affected my enjoyment in living here and on those grounds alone I wouldn’t recommend the area to any friends of mine who want to move but also need to work in Central London.
@clausy I agree completely that car free is just BS not just from developers but also the council. The Swimming Pool is a car free development but a few hundred cars travel to it and park every week on local roads, the council said everybody would travel by public transport, the locals said BS.
Nearly the whole of inner London is a CPZ with Lewisham as the exception. There needs to be a more integrated approach rather than our current Councillors’ approach of moving pollution and parking from chosen people to less chosen people. A borough wide CPZ would make driving less attractive and would benefit all residents.
@michael, local CPZs are quite difficult to obtain and when we looked at it we were told a minimum of 3 years and that would be with all ducks in a row. There is a good chance this development would be built by the time any CPZ comes in. I am sure the new residents would be grateful for your effort.
I think one issue now is that people use their cars less and are quite happy to just use it occasionally and take a chance with finding a parking space so £210 to park it if you have an old diesel is going to mean a lot of votes against it. I also think there is very little trust in the Council with regards to charging and think parking permits are seen as a soft target for excessive increases over time.
In the past it was probably easier without the constraint that they had to be self-financing and people were less engaged. The St Davids CPZ I think was carried by 37 votes in favour with only 12% of residents replying from over 500 people. About the same number of people in the last consultation replied from Taymount Rise alone and it was overwhelmingly against.
I notice from reading the application documents that they propose a roof terrace, on top of the four story building.
That has got to have a noise and overlooking impact on nearby neighbours. No one else has a roof terrace in the area so it is hard to gague what the impact will be - I notice the penthouse flat on Vantage heights (a block near by) has a balcony but it seems to be for exclusive use of the flat occupants. A bit different form a terrace that could be accessed and used by up to 50 people ( i am assuming the average occupancy of each flat will be 2 people, may be three in some two and three bed ones)
Out of those 1,421, I presume a large number of them are in a state of extreme disrepair. And due to extremely tight planning regulations, it might not be financially viable for a developer to buy it - for example, they might be located in a conservation area and can only be rebuilt as it were (no densification, like what is proposed on TR) - not much to gain from that.
There are policies to prevent long-term empty second homes. In Lewisham, properties that are left empty and substantially unfurnished for a period of two years or more will attract a long-term empty Council Tax premium of 100%. If a property has already been empty for 5 years or more the owner will pay a 200% premium. If a property has already been empty for 10 years or more the owner will pay a 300% premium. Some exemptions apply.
The rates of empty properties in London are incredibly low and a sign of just so stark our housing crisis is. We should be aiming for a long-term vacancy rate of 5% nationwide, similar to what is seen in Japan, which has a very healthy housing market.
@Michael I had a chat with Sam James the planning case officer last week. I raised with him the possibility of a pathway link between Taymount Rise and Shackleton Close through this application and the possibility of the developer funding a CPZ consultation for Taymount Rise or public realm improvements near the top of the hill.
He told me the application was still at a relatively early stage and there was still room for him to raise these matters with the developer. However, I am aware the developer might turn round and say no. We’ll have to wait and see but I just wanted to give you a heads up that I have raised these matters with the planners.
Hi Leo, any update when the Lewisham Planning website will be fixed and if there will be an extension granted for comments. It is currently not possible to view all the documents and comments.
There is a note saying Lewisham are aware of the problem but it has been going on for over a week now and it’s not great given Lewisham strongly encourage residents to use this portal rather than emailing in comments.
We definitely could do with some public realm improvements. It’s more pothole than road up here at the top of Taymount Rise.
Yep, will ask for this
Completely agree! Though I think such improvements will feel like little compensation if they succeed in squashing a four-storey block of 20 flats onto the site of two houses!
Agree. A high price for some road resurfacing!
Tonight I am reminded of the parking and traffic issues we already suffer at the top of Taymount Rise as I had to step in to the road to avoid a large Waitrose van parked fully on the pavement outside the proposed development site.
Despite ths fact there are double yellow lines there.
Adding twenty more flats with no private parking is not going to help the issue.
Ask for bollards as well to keep cars and vans off the pavement.
Hmm, could be an idea.
Perhaps they should be EV charging point bollards.
Also a reminder that there is just one week left to comment on this application. Comments must be in by 8 February.
Just a reminder for those that have not yet posted their objections to the planning application.
Submission closes on this Monday, objection after this time may not be considered by the planning comity.
This will affect everyone living on this road and will irreversibly and negatively affect the surroundings, setting, architecture and environment which we are currently accustomed.
GREEN BANK COTTAGE & TAYMOUNT LODGE, TAYMOUNT RISE, LONDON, SE23 3UL
Go to the comments tab, log in to verify you are a resident and have your say…all be it in 1000 characters.
Thanks for everyone’s support and opinions so far.
Yes, please do comment if you have views if you live in the area.
I have commented via the online form but will also be emailing – which will involve more than 1,000 characters!
Yep 1000 characters is pretty insufficient. When submitting my response I initially mis read it as 1000 words and had to severely prune my response as a result!
Good to get your comments in by the deadline but the planning team told me they’re flexible and will still consider comments after the deadline if they’re still considering the proposals. They mentioned this after I asked for an extension because the planning portal had gone down a couple of weeks ago.
There is still a note on it about problems so I assume it isn’t fully fixed.
If there is problems with the site they need to publish the addresses or partial details they’ve had responses from, so everyone can verify their concerns have been logged.
Does anyone have a direct contact for Lewisham, as the x34 comments haven’t moved for a week or so.
Our neighbour reported today they unsucessfully tried to register three times and gave up and sent comments in by email instead.
36 comments - 35 objections, 1 neutral
With Lewisham’s normal process it sounds like it is going to be passed
The Forest Hill Society response is available on Forest Hill Society: Planning Application: Taymount Rise
I always submit comments via email because that way I have a clear record of what I submitted (usually more than 1000 characters) and it enables me to copy in local councillors for their information.
39 comments now so either 5 more people have commented this afternoon or someone has given the back end of the website a bit of a kick!
Friends who work for a local authority tell me that the Council normally has no option but to pass a planning application, if it is within their local planning framework. You need to find out what obstacle is needed to block a planning application.
I can’t speak for others but I am personally not opposed to some sort of development on the site which will deliver better housing provision than what is currently there. It is just what is proposed is too much for the site and will have significant negative impacts on Taymount Rise
I did wonder, clutching at straws, if it provides a habitat for any protected species. But unless there’s a pond of crested newts somewhere, I can only think of stag beetles, which would probably just be relocated. Too bad the Horniman dodo is just a model! (Er, I think…)
Are parakeets endangered?
I did see a hedgehog on the site in 1984 (approximately) but I don’t think it looked particularly healthy and might be dead now.
There are some lovelu birds in the trees there - I have seen jays and blue tits.
It’s not all parakeets and pigeons!
Now and again, there’s a flock of greenfinches or goldfinches – they seem to like whatever’s growing or crawling on the roof of Taymount Lodge. I’ve also seen long-tailed tits, robins, wrens… Lovely indeed!
Sorry for your (probable) loss. Run free over the rainbow bridge, Spiky Boi.
I’ve definitely heard the odd owl a few times, woodpeckers pretty regularly, and there are bats that flit about in the summer nights over the allotment and garage areas at Taymount.
A family of foxes also definitely live in the larger trees that divide the gardens of the two properties on the proposed site.
None of these mentioned on the ecological report though.
Bats? How lovely, must keep a look out, I love bats.
There are definitely a lot of foxes, we have a number that saunter around our garden at night, triggering the outdoor lights.
If there is a bat roost on the site you could be onto a winner as all UK species of bats and their roosts are protected by both UK and international law which means that if anyone disturbs, damages or destroys a place used by bats for breeding or resting they could be committing a criminal offence.
PS. As a number of people have seen bats in the vicinity with no mention in the eco reports the Council should be asked whether the developers have conducted a bat survey.
I suppose the bats must live somewhere.
I think there’s a roost in Sydenham Hill Wood, in a disused tunnel. I also seem to recall the Horniman hosting bat walks (around dawn during summer). Which isn’t to say there wouldn’t be other roosts elsewhere in the area, of course! I’ve seen them flitting over Forest Croft – usually near the top-end garages, but I think that’s more to do with them being easier to spot, as the dusk sky is usually lighter at that end.
Are you sure it was a bat and not a vampire?
Let’s just say that my unabridged objection letter was a tad “Colin Robinson”! #whatwedoinforestcroft
Thanks for all your comments on here - and via email.
As @LeoGibbons has probably mentioned already, the nature of the planning system means we (councillors) are limited in what we can say about the application itself (we can’t be seen to pre-judge any decision) but I wanted to add a note on the process.
As there have been a number of objections, there will be a public meeting involving residents, the developer, planning officers and councillors (likely in March but you will be notified). Officers will then write a report with their recommendation of whether the application should be granted or refused (based on planning considerations - the planing system is quite strict about what we can and can’t take into account - this page sets out what we can consider - Lewisham Council - Planning – frequently asked questions). The application will then go to a planning committee made up of councillors who will make the final decision. Objectors will be invited to contribute to the meeting and are of course free to contact members of the relevant planning committee in advance.
I hope this helps clarify the process going forwards.
Thanks Sophie, that’s really helpful information.
There are definitely bats- we see them flying over at night in the summer
Loads of bats roost in the trees around Taymount Grange! We have bat boxes on the trees that are between us and Shackleton Close.
And there are bats roosting in the virgin land behind the corner of Thorpewood & Radlet so there are plenty of them about and possibly on this site too.
72 comments and 71 objections now - clearly a late flurry of activity yesterday and today.
I suggest you save the application documents to your computer, as sometimes they disappear from Lewisham’s website. A screenshot of the list of docs can help. You sometimes don’t know you need these things till you need them.
You can also ask the Case Officer for a copy of all the comments (for and against). They will be redacted but can still help. If it gets as far as a planning committee objectors can only speak for a total of five minutes, so it can help to agree one or two people who can do that and split the time.
As there are so many objections the Case Officer should organize an objectors meeting before then. And maybe you could request a site meeting?
Useful tips, thank you. For people proposing a development that will have a big impact on our little community up here, the developers have been surprisingly* shy about meeting us.
*not surprising at all!
Interestingly, the ‘latest neighbour consultation date’ on the portal keeps changing - deadline yesterday said the 9th and today says the 10th, so if anyone thought they were too late, might be worth trying to comment still. I spoke to someone at Lewisham council planning a few days ago and they said that you can still comment up until 22nd of March (the expiry date), and they SHOULD still take into consideration.
That’s useful to know. I think Cllr Leo Gibbons said on here they had extended the deadline due to issues with the website.
It does appear to still be accepting comments - it is now up to 79.
Imagine the parking issues with deliveries to 20 flats rather than two houses.