I received this letter today. I have to say my initial reaction is complete bewilderment. The owners of the co-op site are applying to “redevelop the site to provide a hotel while retaining retail space” and are submitting a planning application imminently. I wouldn’t be adverse to a hotel in Forest Hill which made use of existing buildings (ie similar to the Tulse Hill Hotel)
but I think it’s pretty likely that the plan will involve cramming a budget hotel into a space that isn’t big enough and will probably result in either the loss of the parking or it becoming hotel only.
Note that there is a meeting where the proposals will be discussed at The Signal on Wednesday 21 February between 5-8pm.
Co-op / 1 Waldram Park Rd proposed hotel [Approved]
I received this letter today. I have to say my initial reaction is complete bewilderment. The owners of the co-op site are applying to “redevelop the site to provide a hotel while retaining retail space” and are submitting a planning application imminently. I wouldn’t be adverse to a hotel in Forest Hill which made use of existing buildings (ie similar to the Tulse Hill Hotel)
Interesting that they’re going for a hotel rather than flats - I wonder if that’s to do with site contamination after being used as a petrol station.
They say that they have “prepared plans to redevelop the site to provide a hotel”, but that does not mean that they intend on developing or running the hotel themself. They may, for example, have a sale agreed that is conditional upon them securing planning permission.
It would be good to know what chain they believe will run the hotel.
A hotel could be useful I agree but it would be a real shame if we lost the coop in the process!
I am guessing they’ll look to maximise value by selling the site with planning permission for something. Agree that it would be bad to lose the Co-Op, though the site always seems a bit under-used to me - you could have something which was a lot bigger and had a bigger shop and still had things above.
If we have a forum representative go to the meeting, please let them know that we (SE23.life) have, through many past polls, decided that an Aldi or a Waitrose would be a fitting replacement for the Co-Op.
For reference, I think this is the most recent poll: [Poll] New development in Bell Green - what would you prefer?
Waitrose is a very popular option.
Before we start down the “alternatives” path, there’s no reason to think that a new Co-Op wouldn’t replace the current one, though, is there?
This is not confirmed.
My BH had heard that the co-op is considering relocation plans.
Dartmouth Road and the Job Centre site appear to be contenders. Can anyone confirm or debunk this potential position ?
Additionally she has engaged with the co-op about reestablishing themselves in Sydenham on their former site. They gave that site up originally in the Budgens transfer scheme where Budgens never seemed to get their act together from the outset.
She has not had a rejection or confirmation note on the Sydenham position.
That’s a separate topic, I think. Definitely an interesting idea, and I have a suspicion that someone may shortly pop up and suggest you add that on a Sydenham-based sister forum…
Sticking with this one, for anyone coming out of the Perry Vale side of the station and heading down towards Catford, the Co-Op is a great option / location for picking up a few things on the way home. The Sainsbury’s Local which used to be at the garage on Stanstead Road was a good convenience option, but is long-since gone.
Building a new hotel 300 yards from where the Forest Hill Hotel was turned into flats a few years ago also seems slightly ironic / wasteful.
As a Perry Vale resident I opened my letter and groaned. This road is already a nightmare for traffic and a building site plus hotel-related parking issues will provide yet more stress on the situation. As it is, for example, every time the ‘banqueting hall’ holds a function and its customers park up the entire stretch, buses, HGVs and general traffic have to squeeze round these dangerous corners. As it is, for example, every time the ‘banqueting hall’ holds a function and its customers park up the entire stretch, buses, HGVs and general traffic have to squeeze round these dangerous corners.
I really hope I can get to the plans-viewing on Wednesday as I’d love to see my fears assuaged. Appreciate this is a bit further up but the general quality of the road surface and the total lack of easy parking options in that area raise my concerns.
Plus I love having the Co-Op accessible as its opening hours are far more generous than Sainsburys.
On a purely personal level. Our house is to small to accommodate guests and if we do have anyone over they have to stay at the Travelodge in pence. This would be much more convenient.
Try the All in One, Julia is a fantastic host and rooms are great. Right in the heart of FH
Just a reminder for anyone interested that the meeting of this proposal is upstairs at The Signal between 5-8pm today. I’m hoping to get there (depending on work) and will try and summarise the details if I make it.
Yes, but there are ‘hotels’ and ‘hotels!’ Will it be a brand chain, will it be classed as low cost or medium cost hotel? Visitors use Airb&b for a few nights accommodation in London. Many places now call themselves ‘hotel’, but only accommodate emergency B&B’s for the homeless as a last resort. Such places are more lucrative for the landlord than providing a one bed flat. Also due to the homeless situation it is quite common for people to be there for a couple of years now, rather than the maximum six months the law requires.
Be interesting to hear more about this proposal.
Would be a shame to lose the retail, but sounds like that is going to be catered for, which is usually the case with town developments these days.
Not sure the site would be suitable for anything like a Travelodge, I have seen some small ones in the past, but this would be pretty darn small for an inner city one. That said, I would not mind such a facility locally.
I guess one thing to face is, if people want to see growth and development of an area, these things are only to be expected. Popular comes at a price.
As for the retail, has anyone contacted Waitrose and M&S to see if they even have an interest in the area. Not sure the market is there in the volumes demanded. The foot fall in Co-Op says most are happy with that.
Well was hoping for a Travelodge or premier inn
I spoke to the owner yesterday. He has interest from a hotel chain with a decent name, I’m not sure it would be right for me to express it on the forum. But the owner has read this site so may be able to provide more details.
As well as the hotel they are planning for a shop that would be of equal size to the current shop. He said that Waitrose and M&S and Sainsbury and Tesco were not interested but expected that Budgens would happily take the unit.
The hotel would be five floors - about the same height as the telephone exchange.
There would be no parking spaces but there would be a loading bay for servicing.
A hotel with 5 floors but no parking space?! Great! Westbourne Drive and surrounding streets suffer enough as it is with car parking spaces. It’s only going to get worse.
I think the majority of hotels in London don’t have a parking space and there is the underused car park next to the station on Perry vale
Then ask the hotel to pay for the Bridge onto dartmouth road and bingo😃
Bridge?! to Dartmouth Road? … road bridge or footbridge? where and why?! there’s already a road under the railway, and footpath under the railway, and a bridge from the Co-Op site across the railway would end up on Devonshire Road…? I’m confused.
Think @anon10646030’s bridge proposal was a pie in the sky aspiration with his tongue firmly in cheek.
But then stranger things have happened.
I thought he meant a pedestrian bridge to better connect the Perry Vale Car Park with the Dartmouth Road shopping area. I think that’s been discussed/proposed a few times.
I should have read it better.
That does seem a clearer interpretation.
I wasn’t able to attend in the end thanks to London Overground…! But the lack of a car park is very concerning. The residential area of Stanstead Rd, Rockbourne Rd and Rojack Rd is already HEAVILY over-used for parking by non-residents (I suspect mainly people parking and then getting the train from FH station, but also some commercial vehicles including a van from EJ Carpets which often parks there). I assume the landlords just completely wash their hands of their responsibilities in regards to guest parking - not their problem right? Which would leave local residents with the choice of either asking the council to create resident-only parking on those roads (which would be at a financial cost to local residents) or else accept that they might be unable to park on their own roads due to hotel guests. Super.
Sorry I was unclear, yes starman you wrote exactly what I was thinking
Sounds like quite a change for the site for sure. Wonder how that will go when proposed to planning.
Don’t think it will be a negative having such a service locally, however it will make a big change to the appearance on the road for sure.
Nice to hear a shop of sorts will remain, and interesting to hear which companies are interested and not interested in the site. I wonder if this is their overall intention towards the area, as surely coming into a new location, a new build would be the best possible start.
Travelodge and a Budgens, with recommended parking in the car park on Perry Vale. Not too shabby, unless you are very local.
I wouldn’t dream of leaving my car overnight in that car park.
Me neither to be honest, but there will need to be a reasonable proposal to get it past planning.
The suggestion in the original letter does mention making improvements to the surrounding area. Maybe CCTV would be one of those things. Guess it is one of those “wait and see” things now.
I use Zipcar and they keep a variety of vehicles in that car park and in the nature of things the vehicles will frequently be stabled there overnight.
Never witnessed any form of incident there.
I noticed tonight there are a lot of spray marking all over the car park, survey marks etc…
Guess that goes hand in hand with the new info, and maybe even offers an idea of the footprint.
I hate it, it’s got no creativity whatsoever :& looks awful!
I guess when you look at what it is being built next to, it doesn’t need to be beautiful.
Hopefully it will end up being a practical and fit for purpose building, bringing a positive business to the area. And with it, bring trade to the area to, even if it is just over nighters.
Yes, sadly this seems to be the attitude of the architects.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see developers and architects go the extra mile to build something pleasing to the eyes? So many Honor Oak and Forest Hill buildings are beautiful (although generally only those built 100+ years ago).
I’m sure there were once some redeeming features of the area that became Croydon, but then the grey monstrosities came… and evidently the designers of everything that followed decided “I guess when you look at what it is being built next to, it doesn’t need to be beautiful.”
I guess, like any pragmatic business, you have to address the key things first, practically, and affordability, then if there is space to wiggle things about, you consider its appearance.
Sure it would be nice to see something pleasing on the eye, but would it still offer the same business potential? If so, then why the devil not.
That section of road has no uniform appearance, is surrounded by a mishmash of different eras and styles.
My point is not simply anything goes, but more what would people prefer to see? Withdrawal of the plan, or a dull but practical building?
Also worth remembering this is a first proposal and a low resolution 2D render. Sometimes things can look better in the flesh.
Another localish project looked dreadful on paper but actually turned out to be rather nice. To my taste at least.
Maybe this is just the price of progress and ongoing development of the area. I guess there is a fine line between desired improvement of the area, and maintaining the existing attributes. For the latter I think Forest Hill does pretty well.
The biggest negative I can see in the plan so far is the loss of a line of sight from the bus stop to see when your bus is coming, due to the building line being pushed so far forward.
Christ that’s ugly.
looks like a bloody prison with inmates & prison guards roaming around in the drawings
I’ve read through many of the documents and any questions fire away.
I’m the person who writes the Murky Depths website covering SE london featuring the story above. I registered here but now can’t log in so have this account.
There were quite a few alternative plans seen in the Design and Access plans. Mostly similar brick based blocks.
It’s mostly four stories but five on the corner. The adjacent former BT exchange tops out at six hence the height here.
A coach bay is planned.
The shop size is small at 150 sq metres on the advice of Lewisham planners who thought a bigger store couldn’t be sustained.
Any questions feel free to ask or see the planning reference in the post. Thanks
So no parking - which might ease pressure on local roads - but a coach bay, nonetheless?
Thanks for posting, much appreciated regardless if I like the design or not on a personal level.
No personal views will be given via this from me though I will still say my own publicly.
Best wishes & thanks for getting in contact here.
This looks worse than the prison blocks built on the old Catford Dogs site.
And twice as bad as the brick monstrosity on the old Court’s site on Bromley Road.
So where is the coach bay - the elevations make no attempt to show it. And this will be crucial to this brand as they ship coachloads in and out of their establishments on a daily basis.
At least they will be to stable overnight in the Perry Vale car park…
Could you guys make it a bit more pleasing to the eye, The frontage reminds me of watching “Prisoner C Block H” many moons ago!
Maybe some plants, landscaping at the front of the building, and softer building works rather than so many straight edges
Also questionable, the calibre of the architects involved, whose portfolio seems to extend only as far as small-scale (uninspired) residential projects. Not encouraging.
Perhaps some HUGE trees that obscure it completely?
Completely agree personally if the original drawings still stand!
The bigger the trees the better me thinks!
I know this site and there would be space at the front and possibly left hand side for some landscaping to make the outside more attractive.
Also by curving some edges on the finished building work rather than having all straight lines this might make the building look a bit more attractive rather than looking so regimental as it looks in the drawings.
I think it looks awful and for an earlier poster who said it might look better in the flesh I have never once seen something look better in real life than the fanciful artists impressions that these architects produce complete with blue skies, clean streets, flowers everywhere and grazing herds of unicorn…
Also, unless every guest who ever stays there is traveling by public transport or coach, where exactly are they going to park? Answer: on my already over-subscribed street, I assume, so people who actually live here won’t be able to park near their home.
Am sure the location near the station is not accidental. The market they are after is surely those visiting Docklands, say, on business, who do not want to pay central London hotel rates. This is a bit like the Premier Inn in Lewisham.
Great location for a hotel (area really lacks hotels), but it’s too high and ugly imho. I’ll dearly miss my local coop.
Regardless of the exterior elevation the reality is its being built to a budget the surroundings will certainly not suffer aesthetically.
How about an additional 89 wallets that will walk into Forest hill to explore and spend, maybe even Dartmouth Road heaven forbid!
Get real people we are not going to get Victorian elegance its cheap accomodation for humans and when it brings money in then be grateful!
The planning application can be viewed at http://planning.lewisham.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=_LEWIS_DCAPR_94373
Having spoken to the developer I’m not quite so scathing about the look of the building. Possibly higher than ideal, but this is the town centre. The colour of brick is something between the Novotel in Greenwich and other houses in Waldram Park (see below) I think this, and plenty of floor to ceiling glass - will help keep the building from looking too horrible.
I think the principle of a hotel in Forest Hill is not unreasonable, but I think that some residents are concerned about parking issues on Stanstead Road.
The retail unit will apparently be approximately the same size as the Coop, but won’t be a Coop (more likely a Budgens), but the Coops Unique Selling Point was always easy parking, and that will be lost. I did suggest to the developer that a chain restaurant in that unit might be preferable (for hotel users and local residents), but he told me that the local councilors did not want to see loss of A1 retail in the local area - it is the largest grocery store in Perry Vale ward and rather convenient for a lot of people.
At the moment I’m personally erring towards supporting it, but I look forward to listening to other views.
“Area with attractive unspoilt Victorian architecture, views, parks, world class museum and great restaurants,” is why people choose to visit and live in SE23 IMO. Every step we take towards Croydonisation is a step that repels a lot more than 89 wallets.
“More humans, regardless of cost and side-effects” is a strategy that has ruined so many British towns and cities.
Point taken, have you actually walked down towards the location and experienced the salubrious vista you mention. Cannot even see the Gas Holders in the distance!
I think it’s a great idea.
There is no reason to believe parking will be an issue. As has been pointed out, the clientele are not likely to be driving, as with most other hotels of a similar quality in Zones 1-2.
The area is crying out for a decent hotel (whilst I’m sure the rooms at All Inn One are lovely, not everyone wants to stay above a pub).
Sorry I just think this is speculative. This is a hotel capable of lodging hundreds of people without a single dedicated parking space. I’m not saying it’s an insurmountable issue - if their guests with cars were compelled to park in Perry Vale car park that would be a solution - but to simply say that none of their guests will have cars is disingenuous.
It’s not more speculative than the assertion that the hotel will increase parking needs. If you object to lack of evidence, perhaps you could provide evidence for the counter claim?
The reason that co-op is popular (although I appreciate not popular enough to keep) is due to its easy parking so it’s inportant for the viability of the shop.
I might park my car and go on a hike to get to Dartmouth Road but that’s because they serve me cheese toasties, real ale and sweets! Budgens doesn’t provide the same attraction I’m afraid.
Now that all depends on the Budgens as it is a run as a franchise. Jay’s Budgens in Crofton Park has an amazing stock including Coopers Bake bread and a great range of spices.
Really? There are two possible effects on parking from the introduction of an 89 room hotel:
- Increase in demand for parking;
- No effect on demand for parking.
My assertion is that it is overwhelmingly more likely that it will be option 1 - an 89 room hotel with ZERO parking facilities is likely to have at least some guests (even if it is a modest number, say 10%) who require parking. You are asserting that there will be no effect on demand for parking. So in essence you are saying that NO guests at this 89 room hotel will EVER require parking.
You are making an assertion without providing evidence, just as I did. Unless you can provide evidence, your statement is speculative, by definition. I’m not criticising you for that FWIW - I’d be a massive hypocrite if I did.
And - as a point of order - I didn’t say no guests at the hotel would ever require parking. Just that it wasn’t likely to be an issue.
While I appreciate that quite a few visit the co-op by vehicle, there is also a large number of the customers who visit on foot, commuters to name one group.
Loss of parking will without a doubt have an impact of sorts on the customer base, I don’t think it would be overall damaging to the store.
If others find other places to shop with easier parking, so be it. Those who cannot use their favourite shop any longer, that is sad.
On the flip side, looking at other concerns from other plans. It will also mean no coming and going of vehicles, less pollution from standing vehicles waiting for people to come out of the shop.
There is plenty of genuine Victorian architecture around the area, which will remain, helping keep its identity.
I genuinely feel for those who will directly be impacted by the changes, loss of light on Stanstead Road, as well as any parking issues which arise. Hopefully most of which will indeed be addressed by the Perry Vale car park. Like many other such businesses, off site parking is common, and usually listed on their websites.
I would be curious to see some examples of what those opposed to the appearance would like to see instead.
Hopefully this is just the first draft, and tweaks can be made where required to make it a little easier on the eye.
At the end of the day its appearance is only one part of it, and only really affects those who have to see it day in day out.
I don’t see it having a negative impact on the area, more a positive. Those visiting to see the Victorian architecture will have the opportunity to stay overnight too now.
I think that’s fair to say.
More information on parking from the planning documents:
It won’t be used by visitors; Lewisham Council will use it as bed and breakfast for homeless families.
In responce to pauline and a few others mentioning that the building wasn’t very creative/ ascetic, I can’t say I’ve ever stayed in a creative holiday inn, It think It’ll serve the purpose most holiday inn’s do. You know what you’re getting, a room and a continental breakfast haha !
It’s not trying to be a lovely long weekend stay hotel like www.artistresidence.co.uk in london/brighton.
It would be nice for us lot “on the wrong side of the tracks” to have visitors come by and for the perry vale car park to serve a real purpose
Right, a couple of things:
@FaeryCatmother “speculative” means based on conjecture rather than knowledge. It’s not about evidence necessarily. There has been concern expressed that the introduction of an 89 room hotel with no parking facilities would increase pressure on local parking. These concerns are based on the knowledge that people (including hotel guests) own and drive cars and require parking. I don’t think you need evidence to support a hypothesis that some hotel guests will want to park a car. What I was objecting to originally was the dismissal of these concerns with the statement “the clientele are not likely to be driving”: I don’t see how that can be based on knowledge and therefore it is speculative. We see every day in Forest Hill people driving to the area, parking and then commuting into central London, so I don’t see why the hotel guests behaviour would markedly different. While I don’t believe need evidence to support the notion that some hotel guests want to park, this article is indirectly related and discusses how hotels use parking charges as an indirect way of generating revenue and that such revenues were trending up https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4078902.html
@anon30031319 i don’t understand the concern to be so much about the loss of the coop parking as it is now so much as the loss of the coop parking combined with the introduction of the hotel. I think the coop customer base tends to be largely footfall from local residents. But to lose the parking entirely whilst introducing a business that is likely to have a demand for more parking is the problem.
Thank you @anon5422159 - obviously that is far more authoratative on parking than mine. Demand for 13 cars per night, and it’s pretty obvious where that demand will fall unless there is some kind of affirmative action to compel guests to park in (e.g.) perryvale car park. You only need to take a stroll down Stanstead Rd (the residential part by the Co-op) to see that it is already at maximum capacity for parking.
Quick disclaimer - I don’t even own a car so my objections are not self-serving - I just think it’s ridiculous that no provision is being made for what seems to be an obvious need and that it’s local residents who have to deal with the fallout.
Now take a picture including the phone exchange and the view included in the ‘new guys’ post a few minutes ago.
I am sure there are some nicely decorated wheelie bins on the pavement you could include. I agree we do not want a mini Croydon, but lets be real we do need more spenders in FH. The alternstive is picturesque victorian shops with boarded windiws?
The reality may be that Lewisham Council treats the new hotel as Miriam Lodge V2, as per @InTheNightGarden’s comment.
This is pure speculation, provocative and political too, as is any idea that Forest Hill may become a Croydon. Unlike Croydon, Forest Hill does not have the same transport links or commercial zoning.
So perhaps we can arrange for homeless people to be moved to Croydon?
Indeed @Wynell there is a wide variety of properties down this one section of road. The important thing is to maintain the balance, which I am not sure this new proposal will damage in any way.
As far as appearance goes, I don’t see it as terrible, and as has been said, it is a trademark boring look.
Some of us like modern architecture as well as historic, and I for one appreciate the practical requirements.
Think it is important to separate the genuine concerns of local residents, and the provocative suggestions being made about its future uses, and how the area is somehow being transformed to replicate a different borough which was built in a very different way.
It would be good to hear from a wide selection of local people.
It is not for anyone to judge which views or concerns are “genuine” or not.
Everyone’s views are welcome here.
Speculation based on past trends is absolutely allowed on this forum, and again, it is not constructive to attack each other based on what we deem is speculative or not.
Above all, let’s leave the modding to the mods.
“Right then, there we are, we all signed off on this?”
“Looks great, Simon”
“Costs out really well”
“Perfect for the space”
“Brilliant, lets get it off to Planning”
“No, lads, really, hang on”
“OK, Emma, what is it?”
“This is Forest Hill”
“My god, she is”
“This is not just any old London suburb with its mix of ages and styles, it’s Forest Hill, a uniquely beautiful one with a flawless public realm that atttracts architectural tourism from across the world”
“Yes, I see”
“It seems so obvious now”
“We need to build something unique and astonishingly beautiful, unusual but won’t freak people out, small yet big enough to make it worthwhile…”
“We’ve been fools”
“Back to the drawing board”
Yes it is.
Yes they are.
I see no evidence of non-mods modding - so what’s the issue ?
Exactly. That part of Forest Hill is unfortunately ugly AF…
Yes there are some lovely Victorian buildings, but they all look very run down due to lack of investment and care.
Having a large Holiday Inn will help mark Forest Hill as a “destination” rather than somewhere you just drive through. If other large businesses and entrepreneurs see Holiday Inn investing money and having confidence in the future of Forest Hill, they might be encouraged to do the same…
Design is obviously subjective (hence why my objections have been limited to parking), but there seems to be an inference from some posts that because that area is visually unattractive anything will do. I don’t think people expressing a desire for something a bit more ambitious, interesting or attractive is a bad thing or should be mocked. Can’t we aspire to something better than “well the telephone exchange is ugly so who cares if this is an uninspiring block”? Obviously there needs to be a balance between practicality and aesthetics.
Personally I agree with the views expressed that it is a very boring, utilitarian design that looks like a prison and the sort of thing a 4 year old could design.
Indeed, for a company to identify a market in the area, not only does it help attract more people and other business opportunities, but it also shows that Forest Hill is indeed a destination and somewhere worth spending time and basing yourself from.
Can’t have growth without progress, and unfortunately some steps of progress are sometimes unpopular.
However my concerns remain with this who are directly affected by this development. Having been next door to a few now, I know the feeling of dread, wondering what will actually happen, and how it will all play out.
@anon17648011 Just to clarify, I don’t for a second think a dull box is acceptable nor desirable. Although as you say design is subjective. We all have our own preference.
However what I would say is that while it should not be something hideous, consideration has to be given to its surroundings, so it somehow fits in. On this occasion it is a little blessed by having the exchange building there, so little is needed to impress. However I agree sincerely that an “easy on the eye” at least would be nice.
How many people who travel to London for business or leisure drive here? I assume a lot of the guests will be business travellers or people on leisure stays looking for a cheaper nights stay, who will travel on to Central London (Forest Hill is nice but it’s not really a min break destination is it?) Despite all the moaning we really do have pretty decent transport links.
Holiday Inn is a budget hotel brand. Its whole image is the provision of cheap and functional accommodation in locations with good transport links. It does not try to provide a luxury or stylish hotel experience, so all this talk about “why can’t the design be more inspirational” is futile and misunderstands what Holiday Inns are all about.
Either Holiday Inn arrives and invests in Forest Hill, or it doesn’t. We can hardly expect to attract the likes of he Mondrian or Ace hotel groups, so we should just be grateful that any hotel group wants to invest and sees potential here.
Better give up on it, then, eh?
Do we have evidence that Holiday Inns are regularly exploited in this sense? Or is this just conjecture?
It is ridiculous. And if I’m not a city commuter weirdly forced to room in a Zone 3 Holiday Inn, but a car-using visitor to a local resident, wouldn’t I expect my hotel (budget or not) to provide safe housing for my vehicle overnight? I look forward to Holiday Inn’s defence when one of our lovely local quad bike gangs scrapes a gash down the side of someone’s granny’s Cinquecento.
This plan is stupid.
It is not going to be exciting for any traveller to stay in a room on the hyper busy South Circular road. Pure functionality and transport links will be key - probably for business/City travellers but also tourists/those on a budget with need to stay close enough to London eg for a weekend, a show ( West End), an event (Hyde Park, O2) etc.
They will all need to eat - 100 people a night spread locally could be good for All Inn One, a revamped PerryVale, local pizzerias and many others.
I struggle though to see car drivers going anywhere near that car park if there is overnight space on nearer roads, which there usually is. No one trundles their luggage around any further than they absolutely have to.
Not specifically Holiday Inns, but Lewisham Council do exploit private hotels and B&Bs to house the homeless:
After some consideration I upgraded my poll vote from Dislike to No Strong Feelings. While I don’t think the architecture is in anyway striking, I do think it is an improvement on the current occupant on the site. I also appreciate that they have chosen brick for the facade and hopefully in a sympathetic colour to the area. These days brick is both expensive as a material and an expensive to lay. The alternative could’ve been large coloured panels which seem highly favoured these days, plain render prone to dirt or even glass.
My principle concern is not the addition of a hotel to the area but with the potential loss of a grocery store. The Coop provides an important service to Perry Vale Ward providing an (albeit) small range of fresh groceries which most “corner shop” do not. I’ve seen many a residential development in other areas include ground level retail space which remains empty for months, even years. As much as this development has a hotel brand attached to the application, I’d be much more comfortable if a retail occupant was also identified during the planning process.
And I can absolutely see where concern comes about parking. Parking is free in the immediate locale of this site. I can see no real incentive for hotel guests to use the Perry Vale car park (with potentially a cost) which doesn’t offer any security. Do they allow overnight parking?
So personally I have not objection to a hotel. It could even improve footfall for Perry Vale businesses like la Cucina or All in One. We might even have retained the Perry Vale if they had a bit more regular mid-week clientele.
But I’d like to get more info on parking and up front assurances on a decent grocery convenience.
Frankly, anything’s an improvement on what’s there already. I think the type of brick being used looks good. Could be a positive step towards given this side of Forest Hill a bit of a coherent, modern feel.
Is there anything we can do to plug local businesses with flyers or a community business noticeboard in the lobby of the hotel? Maybe flyers promoting local restaurants could offer small % discounts on meals at local restaurants. I’ve personally written off the Perry Vale restaurant, unless anyone has more info on events behind those perma-closed doors, but if Matoom, Cucina, All Inn One etc are going to benefit at all from this new arrival, I feel that they need to be represented.
Mind you, if the HI has a ‘restaurant’ of its own, it’ll not be in their interest to promote other businesses I suppose. So the ‘community benefit’ argument weakens.
So it’s possible, although the council try to avoid it by placing people in private rents. Although, at least by taking someone off the street it’d be doing the community some form of service. Our homeless problem is growing and maybe a staffed, shiny new hotel might be better-controlled an environment than Miriam Lodge? And less open to abuse?
I’m not sure I’d agree. They may not see outstanding building architecture as an important part of their core brand, but they’re more mid-range than budget. The group even has a separate brand in Holiday Inn Express which is slightly more budget.
I’m actually surprised and excited that they’ve chosen to take their core brand to Forest Hill rather than their budget version.
And if so, what is the connection to the proposal itself? I’m not sure I can see it.
As for parking, I can see it being an issue, but not a gigantic one. It’s not unusual for new build urban hotels to have no parking - I stay in enough of them. Many of them will have an arrangement with a nearby facility. Some won’t. PV is close enough, but the security issue would obviously need addressing, and who knows if that would work with the public access to the postal depot and the light industrials.
Out of interest I did look at what some of Holiday Inns closer into London offered. They all offer some form of parking (£30+/night) or recommend nearby parking facilities.
I completely agree, and given they’re a commercial business I would have thought that they had a good think about that, with ample experience from other places available. They appear to have made a judgement call that providing a sub-surface car park would cost them more even in the long run than the business they lose from customers who wish to park their car in a place that is safe and secure. Note that guests often don’t have a clue what an area is like so not everyone will happily park their car “just down the road for free” or even in a slightly dodgy-looking car park in an industrial estate five minutes away from site. All this will have been priced in. We also don’t know what’s in the ground given the nearby BT building.
Given its location on the South Circular Road I actually believe that the hotel is aimed a good share of visitors driving - although pricing may appeal to some overseas tourists I’m not sure it’s a first choice for them. I can’t see many Central London business travellers coming in by plane or train staying either, it is just too far out of town and away from any key transport hub. People visiting friends and families will fill the place though - if the pricing works out.
See emphasis above
A very literal response to my question which I should have worded more clearly…
Am I reading it correctly that the proposal should be fully supported as a way to help getting the homeless amongst us off the street - and even house them locally?
I wasn’t supporting or opposing it - Just pointing out that the council’s published strategy is to use private hotels to house the homeless, and this new development would be the first hotel (as far as I know) in Forest Hill so may well be used partly or fully for this purpose.
I too will be sad to see the Co-op go as it’s the nearest small supermarket for those in the Perry Vale area. I actually walk or cycle to it as much as drive - for example coming off the train in Forest Hill it was very convenient to pop in there on the way home. We really are short of a good, small supermarket on my side of the tracks!
I agree and wonder whether the Maplin site would be good for a Co-Op or a Sainsbury’s Local.
To be fair, the council doc actually acknowledges how costly this is, as the full extract contextualises:
I find it near-unbelievable that this hotel would be built and then used ‘fully for this purpose’. But maybe I am more naive.
Given that we’re to understand the site was considered for the build to rent market already.
So because of the parking at co-op is not much and for the hotel they want to build why can’t they build in Perry vale car park as its big and has place for parking already
What Facebook page is that?
The one and only:
I wonder if that was even a consideration given Lewisham policy DM12e:
The Council will support proposals for new hotels provided that the development:
e. provides a level of car parking appropriate for the site’s level of public transport
accessibility. Parking provision for developments in areas of good public transport
accessibility (PTAL 4 and above) should be limited to disabled parking, coach parking,
taxi parking and other parking required for operational need including deliveries and
servicing, provided this does not result in an adverse impact on the local highway
The idea being that this discourages car use where public transport is good.
They don’t own that land
But surely as we know from the driver-ire surrounding the Dartmouth Road debacle, drivers don’t chuck their keys away that easily, so it’s just going to add to existing problems?
I would think not applicable in this case unless you can think of any local drivers who are likely to stay at the hotel!
I don’t mean to make a direct comparison, rather to (dangerously) generalise about committed drivers persevering against measures that are allegedly put in place to “reduce the number of cars on the road”. But point taken.
I have often thought that the area in front of the Co-op and BT was pretty ugly though so it will be good to see some improvement. Currently there are lots of concrete areas with no obvious purpose, and little greenery.
However it’s difficult to tell from that design how the bulding frontage will look at pavement level. Personally I hate it when buildings have heavy curtained windows or blank brick walls next to the footpath, as it’s so soulless and depressing to walk past.
Ok get that . I would still imagine that generally it is the objectors who shout loudest so we can’t discount the possibility that such measures do work really.
I think the reason people have stopped visiting Dartmouth Road isn’t just lack of vehicle access but also it not being a pleasant experience with loud machinery, brick dust blowing in your face, water across the road, and not knowing which way you are supposed to walk, not to mention dodging the speeding mopeds!
Here you go @Daffodil
Very much the modern take on mixed use buildings these days. Many examples popping up all over the place.
Not to everyone’s taste for sure, but very practical all the same. Hopefully the store will be suitable.
The lack of parking out front is almost a blessing for pedestrian access I have to say, especially given some of the poor attempts of driving and parking demonstrated on the current forecourt.
This is a good point. And one that has been addressed by improvements suggested by the council according to the @Murky_Depths article.
This is also a similar sized development to the commercial/residential block on Perry Vale opposite the station (5 floors?). It also sits adjacent to period buildings. Am not particularly fond of that building but it does add context. This is arguably a bit more attractive.
One of my “favourite” recent examples of this style of build has been in Woolwich, again, not to everyones taste.
This is much bigger, and different in the regards that it is residential. However in a purely visual respect…
Of course we have the example on the Southend Lane / Bromley Road junction, complete with Co-op. Again not to everyones taste.
Look like they have been built using Lego…
My two-penneth -
Apart from the front corner section, which I find disappointigly bland, I really like this design.
The bold vertical buttresses with the glazing stepped-back with angled headers over the windows on the front and side elevations gives it some relief and shadow; and the chunky pillars with heavy cornice work well to frame the large ground floor windows and then the stepping-back of the top floor all combine to make this quite an interesting and decent quality building for me.
Although I believe that it is well-located enough for it to get well used as a proper hotel for local visitors and tourists, who can commute easily into London’s main attractions, I do worry about to potential for Lewisham Council to block-book dozens of rooms to meet their obligations to the homeless. If anyone wants to know why I ‘worry’ about such a scenario, it’s because Forest Hill’s other hostel, Miriam Lodge, brought some very interesting and problematic people to the area. Okay, I know that’s how a civilised society works, but when you get such a relatively high concentration of problem people, some of whom have nothing better to do in the daytimes than sit around Dartmouth Road sucking on cans of Tennants Super then peeing in doorways before drunkenly trying to steal whatever they can get their hands on, there needs to be some thought as to how to deal with the issue in a slightly different way.
Well, bricks… I guess so
This would definitely be a worry of mine. Is there an argument in saying that a Holiday Inn, with a brand to protect and front-of-house staff to consider - who might also monitor behaviour - might be a more disciplined environment for vulnerable or otherwise ‘problematic’ people to stay in? If they’d even put their brand at risk in the first place?
Not advocating it, incidentally, just asking a question.
I know that hotel and hostel have the same root but there is surely an important distinction. I think it most unlikely that the homeless will get long term housing in a hotel with rooms at market rate. The council strategy would seem to back this up and also, interestingly, suggests that 71% temporary accommodation for homeless is outside the borough. Document looks like it is a couple of years old:
I would be astounded if this were the outcome. The presence of Lewisham Council tenants (problematic or otherwise) is likely to deter the hotel clients Holiday Inn would wish to attract. I can’t honestly believe that Holiday Inn would wish their brand to become associated with that type of short term residential accommodation.
Thank you @Fran_487 @starman and @Brett
I feel reassured by your logical and thoughtful replies.
I think we’re in danger of going down a rabbit hole here with talk of a hotel which hasn’t yet been built potentially being used in a way which some people don’t approve of.
Should we focus on the building itself here? Is this discussion feeding into any potential feedback from the FHS or anyone else?
Holiday Inn will be in full control of who let’s stay. I don’t believe for a second they will put up homeless people / families, as it would be toxic for their image and drive away most paying guests (rightly or wrongly).
I’d never heard of Miriam Lodge before and, from a quick google, it doesn’t look like they advertise rooms to the general public, and expanded a few years ago specifically to offer accommodation to the homeless. So I don’t think this is a fair or realistic comparison with the Holiday Inn…
How about I try to get it back on track with the main part of my post then…
With a description like that, you should be an estate agent John lol.
Seriously though, I have to agree, as modern buildings go, it’s not too shabby. Especially when you look at the elevations provided in the planning application.
132 posts and nobody’s asked why we can’t have a greengrocer’s yet. This place is changing.
Given several local people have expressed this concern, maybe the council could clarify their policy in relation to hotels like this.
If the council confirm that the situation articulated by @Anotherjohn isn’t going to happen with this hotel, I’m sure we’ll all be happy to return to (legitimately) speculating about various other things including parking, trees and building materials for this hotel that hasn’t yet been built.
Am not speaking for the council but have already tried to address this, follow the link!
I’d be interested to know the council’s position on this, to avoid speculation.
If you read the link to the Lewisham Council document I supplied earlier, it appears that they do use private hotels.
I posted a link to a council meeting which discussed their previous and what I suspect is their current strategy. That is the link to look at. It actually talks of a preference to move away from using hotels.
This all sounds like we’re getting into ‘local political policy’ territory to me … feel free to continue the discussion within Local Politics, but can we keep this thread specific to topic pls.
“I’d be interested to know the council’s position on this, to avoid speculation.”
To be fair, if we want to avoid speculation the easiest way would be for everyone to stop speculating…
That aside, the hotel would be a great addition to the area in terms of getting people passing the smaller businesses along that stretch and bringing some much needed jobs to the area. I’d hope the council could maybe work to ensure if given the go-ahead to ensure proper and fair employment standards and a living wage (after the scandals of other budget chains).
On the flipside, I will miss the Co-op. Its very handy living on this side of the track and not wanting to go out of your way to Sainsbury on thr way home!
I wonder if the yard Portakabin currently reside in would act as a sensible option for parking for the potential new business. No busy road to cross, in walking distance, up for lease… (or was until recently)
I guess the cost would possibly be prohibitive, but even has access control already. In an ideal world eh.
Those are not the unabridged comments - you missed mine out! “It looks better than the BT building next door”
That doesn’t show up on my feed, how odd.
It is there, as are others
Perhaps you blocked me in the past? Check https://m.facebook.com/privacy/touch/block/
No I haven’t blocked you, very odd
There’s a trend right now for awful boring brick buildings. The council’s approval of the prison-like flats in Catford is an example of this.
Shame your photos missed the Victorian genre and picturesque vista
I actually much prefer brick over clad facades. There is indeed a tendency at times to use the variety of colour and texture that bricks offer to gloss over the otherwise bland box architecture, but that is fine in my view. The test of time in about twenty years will show whether brick or clad was a better choice.
I actually like the Catford Green development, or at least those buildings you can see from outside. I find it visually far better than most of the stuff going up in central Lewisham for instance. If the design of the hotel could be tweaked to match the quality of Catford Green, that would be a great achievement.
What does that mean, the sight lines will be ruined? Is that not an issue that arises at every corner they’re turning so they would be well accustomed to this kind of situation?
In the article fromthemurkydepths it says that thanks to the intervention of Lewisham’s Design Review Panel, the footway is actually being widened by 1.50m creating a nice bit of public realm that would also allow the planting of some new trees.
One of the preferences of people waiting for buses at the stop outside the exchange is to wait away from the stop, then walk to it when the bus appears through the corner.
It’s a light hearted observation more than anything. People will not be able to see the bus before it rounds the corner.
As the yellow lines (which one would assume will be the outer edge of the building) it does indeed step back from the current boundary, and give more public space.
I know from personal experience that the Travelodge in the centre of Bath has “chargeable parking available nearby, within a 7 minute walk from the hotel”. It’s a public car park, unconnected with the hotel. And it is extremely difficult to park outside the hotel long enough to drop off luggage and passengers. But it seems to do a roaring trade.
Google Maps suggests that the Perry Vale car park is a four-minute walk from the Co-op.
(edited to clarify that it’s a public car park, not part of the hotel)
Many hotels across the quality and price spectrum see car park charges as being an extra.
In the last two years we have encountered charges from the Hilton group and the Thistle group in the range of £8 to £12 per night.
But I think this new proposal needs a drop-off point that will cope with coaches and cars. And this may require a bay that sits below the first floor and on the footprint of the ground floor. A little like the Novotel which seems to have a drive-thru arrangement under the building at gf level as seen on @Michael’s post circa number 54.
The holiday inn express at the excel is looking similar to the plans so I would envisage it looks close to that design, i didn’t manage to post a photo, sorry
If you were referring to my posting, I failed to make clear that the “chargeable parking” is actually a public car park, seven minutes’ walk from the hotel. There is no connection between it and the Travelodge.
Understood - I know the Perry Vale car park very well.
Mine was intended to be more of a general observation of how hotels view parking now as a chargeable extra and the fact that a pick up and drop off point next to the hotel could be a key requirement.
I’d love to know what the rent they’re looking for on that site is - I can think of so many things that would be great to have there
A bit of digging and
Expensive for parking
Thanks for taking the time to do that. I wonder why they don’t just put the land up for sale; I’d have thought it’d be a much more attractive proposition for someone to develop the plot, if they didn’t have an ongoing overhead of ground rent.
Dontcha just love letting agents.
The description contains this phrase “comprises a secure open yard”
Is it just me ?
And the fence can barely be six foot high
Must be a hugely valuable bit of land but I note the lease expires in 2020.
Maybe someone who knows about this business would have more of an idea if that would prevent a sale until the date has passed.
Yes, from those particulars, it looks like they’re trying to get a car wash or car sales business in for a couple of years until the lease expires.
I know where there are a couple of gasometers that need a relocation site.
I wonder whether ‘hotel’ is just a cover to get planning then they’ll try and get it altered to housing stock. Either way the building shows a chronic lack of imagination or consideration for the surrounding area. How about some green ‘living’ walls? It’s a stinky road so why not make it more environmentally friendly… Also feels a bit too big for the size of the site. It should be smaller, more in-keeping with the surroundings… I don’t think any more bars are needed even if it is for hotel residents…
With regards to access to the site, I just stumbled across this part within the “das” documents section of the application.
I have to say, it makes a very interesting read, answers a lot of the questions which have been asked here and also goes into great depth into how much research has been done into the area, it’s history, and development.
I would recommend that people who are concerned about this proposal have a good read of it.
So there are going to be three dedicated car parking spaces on Standstead Road? Notwithstanding that 3 is 10 fewer than the estimated demand for overnight parking (referred to in an earlier post), I’m interested to know how the developers are entitled to usurp 3 dedicated parking spaces on a public road? Do they buy/lease them from the council? Either way that’s three fewer spaces for residents on a road that is already at maximum car occupancy every single day.
How many of those spaces are people parking up for the Station and saving £5? Time for a CPZ here?
I don’t know - I do know EJ Carpets often park a van there and a few other staff cars from local businesses for the shops around Waldram Park which I don’t object to in principle but it does add to the demand for space on that road. As I mentioned in an earlier post I don’t have a car so don’t really have a skin in the game but if I did have a car I would certainly prefer to have a resident only parking area even if that meant paying a bit for the privilege.
I haven’t looked but I would imagine that those three spaces are not currently there, because of the vehicle access/exit points - so there will be an increase of 3 spaces (but they’ll apparently need 10), so a net loss of 7.
Official parking study suggests 13 overnight spaces will be required
Was just trawling back myself to find that.
The proposal for 89 bedrooms is therefore expected to have an overnight parking
demand of 13 vehicles
So technically two separate things, although both relevant.
Three spaces needing to be found “on site” as per the plan, and ten other spaces will probably be taken in the surrounding area by guests.
Was just picturing them trying to fit 13 in the planned site for a minute. Makes sense now.
I wonder if they can rent parking spaces in the Perry Vale car park in the way that zip car do. I have seen this in many places when you turn up to a hotel they give you a permit to display and there are a few reserved places in the local car park.
It’s not like Parry Vale is over used although I believe atm that you are not supposed to leave your car overnight.
I am a Zipcar member and use the vehicles stabled at the Perry Vale car park.
I am unaware of any restrictions that prohibit overnight parking - and parking fees cease at 18:30 until 8 ish the following morning.
By their very nature Zipcars are parked overnight a lot of the time.
Frankly it’s hard to tell the times allowed from the Perry Vale parking page on to t’interweb. But Zip Cars aside I’d want some extra security if I were to park a car there overnight.
Whenever I have stayed in a Travelodge which uses a car park which is not theirs, they either validate your parking if it has barriers, or register your vehicle reg if it is pay and display.
I am sure something could, and would be arranged. Maybe something Ringo related. Will be interesting to see what they do, and also over time how accurate the predictions of spaces needed are.
I thought it was just me who thought that…
Not in Bath, sadly.
Yeah there have been the odd exception to the rule. Typical it’s the one you want to use lol.
I wonder how much of a priority free parking would be for people using it. That said, £5 all day parking is probably not going to be too much of an issue for most guests. That said, there is a permit parking zone too apparently, maybe they could work with that.
I read on SE23.com that the Co-op may now close in September. Any one here heard anything further?
Spotted this sign yesterday on the Stanstead Road side of the co-op. It looks brand new, yet states connects on the plans must be submitted four months ago!
Has anyone else seen similar notices prior to the May 2018 deadline? I knew of the proposal, but I pass every day and hadn’t seen a Notice of Proposed Development before.
I asked in the Co-Op earlier this week when they were closing, and the manager told me that the lease has just been extended. He seemed to imply that closure was off the cards, though I can’t quite believe it.
That’s great news - I’d assumed, too, that an extra row of shelves being placed on top would indicate they’re looking to expand business rather than pack up anytime soon.
I never saw this sign and go every day!
According to one of the shop owners opposite, it’s just until 2019. So it might still be on the cards.
A post was split to a new topic: Hotel on Co-Op site - plans approved