We’ve received a letter today from GL Hearn Ltd, announcing proposed (mixed use) development of this site by Caerus Developments.
Drop-in session to view and discuss plans at The Signal pub, 4 - 8 PM on 7th June
We’ve received a letter today from GL Hearn Ltd, announcing proposed (mixed use) development of this site by Caerus Developments.
Drop-in session to view and discuss plans at The Signal pub, 4 - 8 PM on 7th June
Nothing there at present but this is the developers site…
Fascinating. It had a for rent sign recently.
Looks like residential is planned based on the company site.
Long expected, makes perfect sense really.
Just hope mixed use means a couple of shops on the ground floor
The letter proposes mixed use of residential apartments above a ground floor shop or office space. Hopefully the co-op can move a few doors up when the hotel is built!
Aren’t all shops underneath residential developments such as Sainsbury’s on London road and most shops on dartmouth road so I don’t really get your point
You are correct but I also think James is too - remarkable how long it can take to rent them out.
When the development on Perry Vale was built it took an age for the shops to develop and even now we really only have the Forest Hill Superstore. Maybe it is all about location or pricing but very often you see the familiar wooden shuttering on the space below the residential units. Even when the flats were built in Bell Green the units were empty until Sports Direct took them all over.
Anyway I am surprised that Portakabin kept the site going for so long - it always seemed an odd location and a site prime for development. Hopefully this will dev will be benifical to FH…
So are we saying don’t provide any trading space in danger of them standing empty for a while? I rather look at the positive that there will be some kind of shop operating rather than an office. We do not have any gig shop floor spaces in forest hill so this could be a great opportunity for a larger retailer coming to forest hill, with the hotel being built the whole area seems to be changing dramatically over the next 5 years. I hope this development will be named ‘The Mural’
Hell yes! I wonder if our mural actually increased the desirability (or at least the prominence) of that patch of land?
Well I am not saying anything like that at all in any shape or form. I hope this dev will be great for FH whatever form it takes. Just commenting on the rather odd observation that new residential devs often seem to take ages to let shops and wondering why that is - maybe @Anotherjohn or someone in the trade has better insight than me on this. Or maybe they just stand out more as they are new and there is nothing to it…
I’m glad this area is being developed and interested to know what is planned - I hope it is something new and exciting…
Yes, one large shop could work well, depending on design for parking, loading etc I think Forest Hill could easily support a Waitrose or M & S Food store. Lidl and Morrisons also welcome.
Or a Coop.
If spaces are empty for prolonged periods doesn’t that suggest that rent and rates are being set too high…?
This would be a terribly inconvenient location for a convenience store.
I can’t think of many shops that would work in this location as most people avoid walking on this stretch of pavement, the road is impossible to cross except down at Stanstead Road, and stopping cars is not allowed.
The only reason that there are proposals for retail on the ground floor is to avoid losing this employment location from the town centre. I’m not sure it is worth it if the unit will be permanently empty.
I agree that people avoid that stretch including myself but the reason is that there is nothing there what would make me go this way but if there was a shop which offers something different it would give me a reason to go there, i just wished someone at the council could coordinate the two developments and look at wider changes to that part of forest hill as the forest hill society started with their vision for this side of Perry vale already, it would be a shame if this opportunity would be missed to look at the bigger picture but this is just hopeful thinking on my part
I have always thought that the site would be ideal for a farmers/ weekend market and would provide us with a great opportunity for the two sides of Forest Hill to be linked; the great new mural in fact made me dream about a space similar to the indipendent style box park developments seen all over London now, similar to the one designed using portakabins in Elephant and Castle.
Anyway, let’s hope the new development is of a good design quality and includes provisions for trees/ green spaces
Exactly what I was thinking.
The problem here for a decen’t size shop is its serviceability for large deliveries and customers parking; and the effect that cars and lorries waiting and turning across the carriageway would have on the flow of traffic on the mega-busy Sth Circular Road. In my view, I can’t see how a site of this size could be viable if it were to give over a large area on ground level for parking and loading so this would limit the size and type of commercial user who’d go for it. some small independent traders might see that location as an opportunity but would the developer be interested in dealing at that level when they could go for 100% residential units (with no parking required), which would all be snapped-up.
Unfortunately, @Foresthillnick , I don’t have the answer to that as I have only ever dealt with small shops and one-man-band tenants. However, I do have a theory, which is that developers tend to instruct commercial estate agents to find them a tenant with excellent track record and prospect; and the small, niche individual traders wouldn’t even get a look in. Then there’s the due diligence and drawing-up of a new lease, with all the backwards and forwards between solicitors to formally button things up, and we’re talking ages! Contrast that with my little operation, where I advertise a little £200-a-week shop and talk directly to prospective tenants about the area and whether or not there is enough of a demand for their particular idea and then work out how long they’d like to commit before drawing-up a short licence agreement or longer lease, then a month’s rent in advance and away you go!
I’d like to see something similar to Brixton Street Gym but there’s no money in it so I guess that’ll never happen…
Lower ground level/s for parking?
[It’s another example of why the South Zig-Zagular needs to be in a tunnel. Forest Hill always having to work around the need for commuter traffic to speed through]
It would be interesting to know if the commercial unit is to be retail or office. If office and they can’t let it, they can convert it to residential, as happened with one of the sites along the railway.
Also, I think new units like these are literally empty shells and the new occupants have to fit them out entirely, so that adds to the cost.
I was under the impression that the reason so many new blocks of flats have space on the ground floor for retail (which is then left empty for ages), is because a mixed use building (residential and retail) is far easier to get through the planning process, and also, very few people actually want to live on the ground floor of a block of flats. The developer doesn’t control who rents the retail space, they just provide it for whoever wants it, even if it so often is in an undesirable location for retail - another reason why they’re often empty for so long.
I don’t know if it applies here, but it can depend upon the designated use of a particular parade or part of the road - or it could have something to do with the user-class of the site at the time of making a planning application.
That seems totally logical, but you might be surprised how inexpensive it can be to fit-out a shell compared with altering and adapting a pre-used commercial unit.
Not necessarily @Dan_Cherowbrier .
When I was looking for shops, as a prospective tenant, I found it so hard to get far enough into commercial letting agents to get answers from landlords and, even when you’ve got that far, dealing through solicitors on lease matters is expensive and can be a total nightmare.
I assume mixed-use is preferred by planners because it offers the possibility of employment and amenities for local residents.
And although people might not ‘want’ to live in a ground floor flat, in today’s housing climate they can’t be too choosy. The Berkeley Homes development on Perry Vale (Forest Hill Central?) has flats on the ground floor which aren’t set back very far from the pavement. And the old public toilet in the town centre was converted to residential years ago and you can’t get much closer to the South Circular than that frontage!
The ‘designation’ of a site has more to do with the local authority’s requirements, so, for instance, the parade containing Shurgard, Maplins, Shannons and Travis Perkins is probably designated as some sort of employment zone, so any residential proposals would need to be done without compromising local jobs. Given that the Portakabin site doesn’t employ many people, (if any?) and as the site would be difficult for vehicular manoeuvrings, I reckon the council would jump at a change to residential - as would buyers of even the ground floor flats!
Ground floor is wheelchair accessible
Very positive thinking!
If I’m honest at first I thought it was a good idea. However, I have recently changed my mind due to concerns raised from friends. The building would spoil the landscape. A brand new building taller than the bridge and the houses close by. A square in a triangular plot. Of course the store would be convenient, but at what cost?
I disagree seen as more housing will be available with balconies and a convenience store.
I guess I shall be doing the honours of supplying with the information that led me to this conclusion. It never comes down to just housing there are more factors to be considered. You wake up to pollution and noise of trains and cars. You go to bed with pollution and noise of train and cars after a hard days work. When you go onto your balcony you see and inhale car emissions whilst trying to sip a cup of tea.
I forgot to mention you look out of your left window and you see train tracks. Then you look out of your right window and you see the tops of houses. You look out of your front window and you see car emissions. You go to the back window hoping for peace and you see cars parked incorrectly and house which some owners have given up on.
Those are all valid points however there are solution such as double glazing.
After doing some research, he is right. Double glazing is great but it can’t stop this loud of a sound and it would be even worse of a sound when you open your windows in summer. It’s unrealistic. You would be within 4 metres of the train tracks and trains triple glazing could not prevent that!!! There is also all the rubbish/gunk from trains and their tracks splashing and covering all over your windows. You would have to clean them every hour or even worse, replace them every few months due to the pollution turning them black. The number of negatives outweigh the positive of a convenience store. Despite how much I would love a convenience store, it is clear that it’s not worth all the negatives to the environment and people who would live there.
In my opinion it would be much better to lease or sell to a business, but not a portakabin again.
You would be amazed at how quickly people adapt and get used to the noise of traffic and trains.
I lived in Manor Mount for years before moving to a flat on Dartmouth Road where, on the first evening, the noise from buses and cars coming into my lounge at the front and then trains at the back bedroom made me feel sick about the decision I’d made to move my family and burden them with all that. A week later though, we didn’t even notice the noise - it was gone.
Unfortunately, space constraints in London dictate that homes will be built in very close proximity to busy roads and train lines but, ultimately, people (not all) will be happy to live in them.
Has anything been submitted yet for planning permission? I can’t find anything on the Lewisham Planning site. Am just curious to see what they have in mind.
Living in City Walk on Perry Vale, it’s true over summer nights I curse the proximity of the train tracks and the ridiculous all-night traffic on PV.
But in ten years of life moving through busy London neighbourhoods - within a realistic rental then purchase budget for someone of my age and line of work, at least - I have realised that these are things I’m willing to put up with based on how much easier they make other aspects of my life. I’m near family, commuting to Shoreditch is a doddle, I spend bugger all time on my balcony as there’s a gorgeous park within walking distance, and actually, the time I spend at home is spent in such ways that - other than sleeping - I actually find the hubbub outside quite reassuring and (conversely) relaxing.
A recent BBC thing put my postcode in the red zone for air pollution, which sadly came as no surprise. But then I checked the postcode of a friend living off the main roads, further from the railway, in a much pricier property - and their reading was the same. It’s a sad but probably unavoidable fact that in our supremely busy few square miles, if the general location is desirable, the exact location (particularly to shorter term occupants) matters much less.
Essentially, when I can afford my mansion with acres of my own green space, I’ll grab it with both hands. But for now, I genuinely count myself lucky with my situation.
It looks like the presentation given at the Signal is available from the developers website.
From the PDF:
From my PoV, if we’re forced to fill Lewisham’s quota of new housing somewhere, we may as well do it here, near the station, on a truly brownfield site, and with a build that uses reasonably sensitive materials and styles:
I would YIMBY this one.
At first I thought there was going to be a pool on the roof, then I realised it says ‘Commercial’.
The 2021 expansion of the ULEZ may help the pollution around there - it looks to be the area ‘inside’ the South Circ so very close to you, and covering this development.
Of course it could mean more old commercial fleet vehicles skirting around the edge of the new ULEZ and increasing traffic in the short term, but it’s got to help in the long run. In just wish they could expand it a bit more and sooner.
I’ll admit I am slighty apprehensive of the proposal myself. I tend to believe that area doesn’t exactly scream out for the need for futher property development. I understand many have identified the positives of the development but I struggle to see a positive impact on the area as a whole. It seems impractical for a square development inside such a triangular plot of land, as others have stated before me, and the natural volumes of traffic about the area brought about by the local high street would be only an inconvenience to the residents intensified by the lack of parking offered in the site. I would like to see the site used for other public services other than housing or convenience stores, which are in abundance in the area as is.
Unless I’m missing something, once again this is a proposal that makes no provision for parking. In terms of timing it comes at the same time as the proposal to develop the Co-op site into a hotel which also makes completely inadequate provision for parking (which is discussed on the related Co-op development thread). These two developments straddle Stanstead Rd, which is a residential street that is already over-subscribed for parking (both due to the weight of residential properties and because its proximity to the station encourages people to park there). As can be seen in this image, it seems blindingly obvious to me that Stanstead Rd will bear the brunt of the new parking demand that these two proposals will create:
Yes there are potential solutions to this - resident only parking control areas, extension of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone etc. - but it’s so frustrating that all these developments don’t take any responsibility for trying to address these problems in advance, they just ignore the problem and let others deal with the fallout later.
But planning want to see two things on planning applications. Cycle parks and public transport. Then they can tick their green boxes.
Indeed - And I would be all for “green developments” that had some sort of restrictive covenant that meant that purchasers/residents could not own cars (I’ve lived in London for 15 years and have never had a car so it’s perfectly possible). But sadly it’s a fiction. By my estimate the 21 new homes on the portakabin site and the 50+ hotel rooms on the Co-op site have together made provision for a grand total of [drum roll] TWO car parking spaces. It’s completely divorced from reality.
Indeed, but the developers have ticked those boxes so it will get built.
In 2017 a proposal to change the class use of a building by Sunderland Road and Waldram Park Road was refused based mostly on traffic and parking concerns.
Perhaps the developer should use the ground floor commercial for onsite parking.
I don’t think any new development should encourage car usage therefore I am more than happy for no dedicated parking, if it only encourages one person in the building to ditch the car and using public transport it would be positive, station. Is 2 min away so no excuses. You don’t build Smoking shelters to make people stop smoking what’s different with cars ?
Not having dedicated parking on site just means that they park on the road and not that they jump on their bikes or use public transport - or when they do the car remains parked on the street. There is a strong bias to approve any application at the moment given the shortage of housing and the issue of parking has been pushed aside usually with the assistance of a parking assessment report that is usually not reflective of the real world position. The only way to solve this would be to have resident parking permits but I doubt that will happen any time soon.
As I said anything which discourage driving in London and don’t care where they park as long they nit on the road polluting everyone and btw I am a driver and a smoker
I don’t really agree with the logic here - if it only encourages one person in the building to ditch a car then that is still net 20 new cars introduced into our local area which are adding to pollution and parking pressure. How is that a positive?!
As I mentioned I am all for introducing schemes that actually prohibit (rather than just discourage) people buying/renting in new residential developments from having a car, but in the meantime it’s just like building a pub with no toilet - where do you think people are going to go? answer, the nearest available street.
My logic is to make it as difficult as possible to own a car and I understand it is not a popular opinion and as I said I don’t care where they are going to park even if it causes headaches for the surrounding streets, once again that’s just my opinion and building a pub without toilets is as much valid then building Smoking shelters to discourage smoking
Getting a bit circular here, folks - can we stick to the subject of this new development please
Sorry, agree we gone off topic
Out of interest did anyone on this topic attend the event at the Signal? If so was parking discussed? In light of the hotel development on the Coop site the impact of surrounding areas including Westbourne Road in addition to Stanstead Road seems central to the proposal.
A post was split to a new topic: The importance of parking in local development
This makes the bold assumption that every flat in this particular development will own a car, which I think is far fetched.
And even if there are a few more cars on the road around this specific development, whereabouts in Forest Hill do you propose would be better suited to a new development where this issue will not arise? It will be the same story everywhere - local residents complaining about more cars on their streets.
And I truly don’t understand how local residents in Stanstead Road can be so sensitive about probably around 5-10 extra cars when they have chosen to live a stones throw from the car cesspit of the South Circular.
This does happen in some Boroughs. I know that some residential developments specify that the owners/occupiers will not be entitled to a parking permit in the Borough.
I’m struggling to understand the link between a major thoroughfare and residential parking. But I’m also sure our neighbours in Stanstead Road are also concerned about the impact that an 89-room hotel next door might also have.
Off topic we are talking about the portacabin development
Not off topic - the developments are close enough to each other that they both engender problematic issues that affect the hyper-local community.
I agree - And it isn’t just about parking for cars owned by residents and prospective residents, there needs to be space for removals lorries, delivery vehicles, emergency vehicles, taxis/minicabs etc.
No, not every street in Forest Hill is on a Red Route
What would it take for Network Rail to put a sound-baffle wall alongside the railway between the bridge over the A205 and the corner of Stanstead Road where maintenance crews get access to the track, or better still a bit further along where the Garthorne nature reserve is. Most of the track in the direction of HOP is in a cutting and further away from housing, so does not cause disturbance.
A legislation that requires them to do so, as is in place in other countries where you typically find such walls. This would come at a cost, and given that Network Rail is government owned and funded I can’t see any incentive for the latter to push such legislation.
The flats will be right next to a station and are on a bus route so I can’t see parking spaces being a priority. I lived in London ina flat for years without needing a car, we only got one after having children (because taking a baby in a pram on public transport is a nightmare). Now I am pram-less I do question our need for a car. I could get taxis and hire a car when I needed it, and still be financially better off than I am owning a car. Really it’s just for convenience but it’s a hell of a lot of money for that convenience!
I use the car as little as possible for short journeys, and catch public transport, walk, or cycle. So most of the time it just sits there parked on the street. There are all these cars sitting idle on streets and driveways, it’s crazy really, I don’t think it’s sustainable in the long run.
We did the calculations at work and found out that it is cheaper to take a cab occasionally rather than own a car. Obviously, this changes if you use your car every day.
It’s not just about parking for residents, it’s about access for removals vans, deliveries, minicabs, visitors in cars, emergency vehicles etc. If you have a removals lorry, and a John Lewis delivery, and a parcel delivery, they can’t park on double red lines.
The PDF from further above shows vehicle access including the ability to do a turn on site.
If all those vehicles mentioned are to turn up at the same time, then it shouldn’t be a surprise why London has a traffic problem. Emergency vehicles, as their name suggests, should not have to worry about double red lines. It’s a very tricky site to work with from an access perspective. I think they found a good compromise.
I have gotten in contact with the developers and enquired about the impact of the distinct lack of parking arrangements, and unfortunately haven’t received anything particularly reassuring about how they plan to solve the potential problem of traffic or parking congestion in the area. This hasnt filled me with the most confidence on the development
The developer is only interested in extracting the maximum profit and moving on.
You should make the FHSoc aware of your concerns as they’re the ones who usually make the planning department aware of these things on our behalf.
Unfortunately, in this case though, the site has already got a long-standing established vehicular access in and out of the site (e.g for commercial vehicle deliveries) and government planning guidelines positively encourage residential developments with no parking that are built near good public transport links, such as in this instance.
You shouldn’t rely solely on the FHS who may or may not agree with your views. the planning process allows for all to participate.
A post was split to a new topic: Caravans on Portakabin Site, Waldram Crescent
So just to state the obvious… flats above commercial now, rather than a hotel? I wonder why that changed…
I don’t believe this particular one was ever a hotel. Are you mixing it up with the CoOp plans?
Everyone loves a balcony looking out over the South Circular.
Yep. Was always a residential development with some commercial mixed in.
Ah that I am - thanks!
Also ideal for train spotting, at the rear.
Local residents received letters from Lewisham Planning about these plans today
Lots of people objected to the Co-op redevelopment, they held a local meeting in Sunderland Road and only 2 local residents turned up, including myself. My complaint being over the lack of disabled parking, at the planning meeting, I was the only person who turned up objecting to the development in it current form and armed with additional facts, like the one disabled space, what happens if they have a disabled employee?
Its very well objecting and complaining on here, but you have to go to the council meetings and make your voice heard.
Not getting a parking permit and not owning a car are totally different, they will park in Stanstead Road or in the bays the opposite of the Fish & Chip shop.
I think these pictures look nice - I hope they get planning permission. God know anything is better than the piece of tarmac and a couple of portacabins there at the minute.
Planning meetings work like this, subject addressed, the developer puts their side then objectors put their side and the council decides. If the developer never turned up it would probably be refused. Had the hotel had adequate car parking it would have been less of an issue.
The thoughts of City workers staying in the hotel and going to work by train might work, but will they not drive to the hotel to start with. Not sure how much Holiday Inn Express charge per night (that what it will be) but you can get a double room in a Novotel for £90, 2 minutes walk from Canary Wharf.
I’m sorry the outcome wasn’t what you’d hoped for.
From my understanding, the planning office takes all the written recommendations in account before a decision is made. Sometimes, that decision is referred to a planning committee (as in this case) for final approval. Councillors on the planning committee receive a summary and the presenting/case officer will present the summary, including a summary of objections to the meeting. Councillors ask questions, then a representative of the applicant may speak followed by a representative for the objectors. If a development directly affects you, then it is important to be there in person or ensure a representative for you and other objectors does the job.
We had made objections to proposal in a neighbouring property back in November. The recommendation was for approval. But our verbal representation ensured a number of conditions were added which satisfied our specific complaint. If we had not gone in person the proposal would have passed unhindered.
I know this doesn’t help you now. But I add this more as a cautionary tale. If people directly affected by a proposal object, and it goes to committee then ensure at least one of you can attend to represent your concerns.
On our visit the PA system barely worked. Perhaps BBC Question Time will have sorted that out for them last week.
The planning process is not easy if people find a hour to actually attend a meeting. When they held the open informal meeting in Sunderland Road was held and only 2 objectors turned up it tells the planners what the real opposition is. Its embarrassing when the architect, site owner, traffic study, local community liaison (who lives in Colliers Wood) and a local Councillor turns up it shows real opposition, you would never convince me that all objectors were working late or single mothers. I am disabled and I managed to make both meetings. If I could make them, then I am sure others could.
Shame for the people in the houses in stanstead Rd who’ll get less evening sun…
Curious about the commercial usage given there are a lot of empty shops already… We Work type units?
There is less commercial than previously, that’s just the way things are going, however a purely residential property is less appealing to planners and developers, and nobody wants to live in a road front ground floor flat (bang on the south circular even more so).
Or so you’d think.
But look along the length of the Sth Circ and you’ll see hundreds of them.
I’d bet that this will end up going back into planning for flats on the ground floor after the developers can prove that there are no takers for the commercial parts.
True! People are so desperate for somewhere to live these days they’d shack-up beneath the South Circular if there were only homes down there!
I think you can convert shops into flats without needing to ask permission. So developers could include ground floor shops and then convert into flats.
I’m pretty sure you need permission for change of use to do this.
Yep. Lolo’s Patisserie on Perry Vale tried to be turned into a flat some time ago after being vacant for a number of months.
Planning permission was refused, though the property has sadly sat empty since. The case is here:
It would have been a tiny flat with streets on both sides, but I guess someone figured they could rent or sell it for a profit.
Personally I think this is exactly the type of development that this site needs. It is close to the train station and is well designed and looks good. The flats are all well laid out and generally away from the railway line, only the point of the site is close to the railway the rest looks away. Once you get above the viaduct level you get great views across railway lines and with good glazing noise impact should be minimal. If people only object to schemes then there will be no development, better to fight your battles on sites such as the Duncombe Hill proposal which is a far worse site for development
I wonder if the development will have health warnings as elsewhere in the Borough:
Permission has been granted for this development.
Great! The site hasn’t really been doing anything or adding any value to the community. Perfect for re-development.
Very much the case in Tower Hamlets where they have a car free policy for new builds. The development where we used to live in E2 was car free. It had some underground parking available to buy or rent (but not enough for every flat). Nobody was able to get a resident’s permit for the surrounding streets though, so no extra pressure on the local area.
Lots of proper construction work activity at this site. Presumably it’s this scheme that’s now going ahead? Or has another scheme been put through in the meantime?
Not sure if this was discussed earlier in the thread…. but they’ve started to demolish the old wall and I’ve noticed on the brochure that the car parking at the front takes out the two trees. Surely they would be obliged to replace them, seeing as there’s an effort to add more trees in London not less.
What were they thinking in granting permission for a nursery on a busy main road next to junctions that see regular stationary traffic? Just thinking of the poor little kids who are going to breathe the filthy air all day long.
Meanwhile we have Malham Road industrial units located along quiet back streets, away from it all. Town planning eh…
The industrial estate being in Malham Road causes all sorts of problems with the lorries. I have had the bumper of my car ripped off when I parked on Wastdale as it turned into Malham and the rear end of my car taken off when I parked outside the old chapel by a lorry turning into the industrial estate to deliver food.