Heron House - offices / hotel / flats?



Thanks Maja, if you could keep myself & @Michael updated on what you know that would be brill!.

Also I would love to know if we could put any type of plan in place to create retail space on the ground floor (regeneration of the High Street) I’d happily do some work on this as it would be great for Dartmouth Road.

Indoor market on that ground floor space would be amazing for the area I think.


A job centre with 80 staff would bring increased business to dartmouth road during lunch trade so it would be favourable


I agree with you Insight - but the downside will be that many poor unfortunate unemployed souls will be be forced to park their BMWs and Mercs on the yellow lines outside while they sign-on. Of course, there’s no fear of the parking fines being paid but the traffic’s gonna be murder!

Going back over this thread though…

I was brought up to make do with whatever I could afford whilst trying my best to get to where I’d rather be as and when I could. So, is there anything wrong with that?

I shared a 9ft x 10ft bedroom with my brother and sister until we were 11, 12 and 13yrs old - and we were happy, well turned-out and well-balanced individuals with no signs of Jeremy Kylism about any of us.

At the age of 29, when my wife & I had our first child, we were living in a rented bedsit with a shared bathroom on the landing below - but I didn’t have a chip on my shoulder so it has never occurred to me that I may have been a victim of some cruel exploitation.

Back to the application, I accept that some of the windows being split by room partitions is a bit weird but apart from that I think the flats work quite well. But coming from the places I’ve lived in I would wouldn’t I!


This convo is starting to verge into Politicos territory folks - which is fine, but please do reply as a new topic in the Politicos category where appropriate.

Note to all: to see political conversation on SE23.life, please join the Politicos group


The amount of expensive cars that park on D Rd to quickly run in to sign on at the JC is shocking!

We’re there day in day out so see this Mr & NONE of them visit the shops, BUT THEY SURE TAKE UP THE PARKING SPACES!

@ChrisBeach please don’t move this into Politicos as it’s about our community too x

I completely agree with what @Anotherjohn has said as I too was brought up to appreciate the simple things in life & strive to do better.

Completely with you on this boss x

Also have to say here that @Anotherjohn is the best shop landlord in FH & you wouldn’t find a more decent, fairer, down to earth, & involved landlord in our community that cares so much as he does.

Sorry Boss, had to be said :kissing_heart::kissing_heart:


Hello Chris, with respect, I only described the places where I’ve lived.


Hi John, for what it’s worth I totally agree with and respect your sentiments. There’s no problem at all with what you said.

It’s just I’ve seen similar conversations turn political, so I wanted to pre-empt this and ask that any future political replies from other people are made as new topic(s).


So can we agree to keep this convo here Chris as long as it relates to D Rd, regardless if it’s our opinions on peeps claiming rightly or wrongly at the JC with their cars they shouldn’t be able to afford IF they really are not in employment or should I say making money one way or the other :open_mouth:


Yes, don’t panic! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Thanks dude :heart_eyes::heart_eyes:


I’d agree with Chris that this thread is wandering off topic. The future of Heron House is important to Dartmouth Road and this thread will be useful for keeping everyone informed about future plans. So let’s keep it focused.


I agree Rachael, let’s get back on the Heron House development :+1:


Please don’t preach to me about the obvious importance of Dartmouth Road to the town and to many, many people.

My main point is that a 350 sq ft one bedroom flat is very livable, despite the government’s minimum living standards. So, on balance, notwithstanding my agreement with previous posters about the odd split-window & partition arrangements on some of the flats, I think they’d be nice, relatively affordable pads for lots of people.

I also wholly agree that the 80-employees office block would be good for local businesses.


So the two options we know about at the moment are:

  • Office space for the whole building with 80 staff (and clients) for a JC

  • 20 1 bed flats & 4 two bedroom flats with office space on the ground floor

I think both of these would work & give more business to cafes & coffee shops on D Rd.

But does anyone think I’m mad wishing that the ground floor could be shop units (I reckon you could get 6 shop fronts in there OR 4 shopfronts with an entrance to an indoor market using the back half of the ground floor space) I think this would be brilliant for shoppers in FH.

Then the flats could still go ahead above.

I don’t know the ins and outs of planning & costings for this but think it would be brilliant for D Rd shopping experience :slight_smile:


Would that be an attractive thing for a developer, @Pauline, given that there are going to be empty units elsewhere on DR? I know Heron House has a prime location, but I’m thinking about Sydenham and the new development behind the Greyhound, and also the Orb - new build flats with a shop unit below. Those have all taken a long time to let. I don’t know if the one in the Orb has even been taken, and it’s been at least a year. And it’s not like there are a lot of free units on Sydenham Road, so these should be attractive. But very slow to let. Empty units in a prime location look bad.


When living in SE5 there was a plethora of new housing developments all with commercial units and almost always empty. Unless taken by Tesco Metro. Was not pleasant for the community.


Not sure if it would be attractive to a developer, also not sure how long units would take to be rented out.

My thinking. and wanting is a few quirky shops that fit in with our merry gang.

A gal can wish I suppose :sunglasses::sunglasses:


Rachel, I agree that empty units can do a lot of harm, however, don’t know of any units that are being vacated on DR (he says with his fingers and toes crossed) and the currently empty ones, Montage (31), Cabin Cafe (57), Best of Both (71?) and Kids on the Hill (73?) are, as I understand it, all under offer and the ex-bakery at 41 is being refurbed with a view to letting in the near future. I’m afraid I don’t have a clue what’s going on with the old Indian restaurant at 61a though.

I would also doubt that a developer would see any value in converting the ground floor offices to retail as it would probably take a while to let but, hopefully, the supposedly-imminent start to the road and pavement improvements might make get the attention of some outside business owners who’ve been sitting on the fence.

Another thing that would make the ground floor of Heron House more attractive is if the blank-fronted old Midland Bank next door opened out onto the street again with some sort of interesting business. (One can dream!).


Great to hear that the units that are being vacated will be filled again quickly.


Agreed - there are too many empty shops and I hope this is just a temporary situation. But I wonder how many will become hairdressers, tanning salons, money exchange, betting shops, and nail bars?

If the job centre was to close, it would be a good sized unit for Morrisons, Nandos, Cafe Rouge, Poundland, a GP surgery, or a small cinema. I think some of these ideas would be preferable to breaking it into small shops to become more hairdressers, nail bars, and betting shops. There are not enough large units in Forest Hill, so I would prefer not to lose another.