'Honor Oak development'


Was chatting to an architect a couple of weekends ago who mentioned that a large residential development project called ‘Honor Oak’ had just gone out to open competition. The project isn’t really in his line of work so he hadn’t paid attention to the detail but his impression was of a large scale project. Any idea where it might fit? (I keep eyeing that bare area of ground next to HOP station as we pass through). Jo


Southwark Council have plans for that bare area of ground - they want to bury yet more people in it. Having said that, I understand that a new consultation for around that area is imminent. Was not aware that it could be residential though - that would be a surprise.


Maybe they will do both and we will end up with scenes like in Poltergeist 2?! I don’t know the area well so maybe there is another area suitable for new homes.


Yes perhaps :wink: Do you know where this open competition can be found?


No, I’ll ask them. I tried googling for it but came up with nothing.


I cant speak for Southwark but I am a third of the way through Lewisham’s own 210 pages of Core Strategy For Development and the North of the Borough is earmarked for larger development with core areas i.e. Catford, Sydenham etc also being looked at for housing. There is likely to be housing springing up all over the place. Our delightful slum landlord neighbour already has eight bedsits in a house and now wants to dig up the basement to make it 10. They cant look after the poor eight sods living there and now he wants to dig out to make more bedsits. Grrr


Does anyone have any information concerning the potential development of the Network Rail owned land adjacent to HOP station? My wife visited the rec yesterday with our daughter and was distraught to see that a huge area of land had been bulldozed with all plant and wildlife destroyed leaving a plain flat muddy area - lovely job, thanks so much for that Network Rail…

Does this mean that this unwelcome development of a large block of flats has been granted permission? I recall a number of SE23 forumites lodging objections for various reasons this time last year, but I have heard nothing since…


When I last spoke to Network Rail about this they mentioned that they might use the area for maintenance purposes. Their plans could have changed though so give them a ring - they have a public PR department who are surprisingly approachable. They have at least re-seeded the embankment with wildflowers but we have no prospect of getting the trees back that used to be there.

Most of the area that has been cleared, if you mean the former Nursery, is actually down to Southwark council making yet more burial space, of similar type to the rest in Camberwell Cemetery, and so very low biodiversity value. There is a significant loss of grassland there that was wildlife rich. They are much less approachable, in fact I do not believe that they care about this.


I think this week they have been digging over the part that was on the route of the Croydon Canal - I often wonder if when they do that any signs at all of it are uncovered- like the embankment or clay base. Probably lost a long time ago though. here is a map of the route - you can zoom in to see detail of where it is thought to have run.


That is really interesting. I always thought the old canal followed the route of the railway north of Brockely - or rather the route of the railway followed the old canal path - but it veers off into Barriedale and Shardeloes Road…


It does make sense. The railway is on a steep incline in this section. The canal followed the contours where possible but there were also a lot of locks.


@Foresthillnick and @Brett yes I was about to say the same thing about the contour - the railway line did not have the same constraint and of course had to be straight. There is quite an interesting walk along the route of the old canal starting at Croydon and ending at (ahem) the Sylvan Post, led by Paul Talling, author of Derelict London, and also a book about London’s lost waterways (Fleet river etc). It’s a bit of a pavement slog in parts, but picks out all the still visible clues to the canal and its history. Paul’s walks sell out almost instantly, but if you go on his mailing list you can get advance notice and the chance to buy before public sale. He is also a lovely fellow, we’ve been on nearly all his London walks over the past 3 years or so.


Taken today. Not sure if you can make it out but there could be some old canal/lock banks in there? Could be something else, e.g. Part of the munitions factory but the alignment is right. View is looking east over old nursery area.


thanks, yes I see what you mean, and so went and had a chat with the friendly guys on site. The guy who drives the big yellow digger was very interested to know the canal history. He produced a survey map showing the previous building layout on the land he is digging out, plus the big concrete area of the former Brocks building. I showed him the line of where the canal used to run- I think due north from the big green wooden gates. What has mostly been dug up are the footings of substantial greenhouses. No sign yet of any remnants or clues to the canal.

He is gradually working from east to west, and said he would be covering the area of interest a bit deeper in about 3 weeks, so come back for a chat then. I’ll try and remember to do so. I think the only possible remnants might be a slightly different infill type, and maybe some reinforcement for the banks or sign of where they were. My suspicion though is that there is nothing to see here, everything here was long since dug out.

Sadly he did not offer me a go on the big yellow digger.


Be careful what you wish for.

In my early career I worked in a team that was modernising ex-Rolls Royce engine factories in Glasgow.

A large yellow excavator with a hob-goblin (concrete breaker) was busy cutting up a large floor area.

After sometime there was a thunderous explosion-like crash with clouds of blinding dust.

Rushing to see what happened we found the machine sitting right way up in a pit with the unhurt operator looking up with that look on his face that says goodness me what happened there (actually very loud Glaswegian expletives).

We had cut through the roof of an unmarked air raid shelter and the digger dropped in.

In the modern world we have ground radar to find voids.