New retail development at Bell Green



Being at the far end of Cranston Road I’m about a ten min walk away as well and so I think I can consider myself “local” along with plenty of other people around here. I wonder what gives you the authority to speak for me and all these other local people when you say we/they don’t use the cinema because it is too expensive for the poor dears or they would prefer a certain type of supermarket.
To be clear you nor I speak for anyone other than ourselves.
You might perfectly well argue that having a cinema there makes film watching a much cheaper experience as travel costs are minimised - thus bringing solace and comfort to the huddled impoverished masses of the locality.
Oddly enough one of the biggest sellers of Brompton Bikes in the country is about a mile away from Bell Green in rich affluent Catford - but of course the “locals” can’t afford them…


All very true, however the thing about healthy debate is being able to look at a view from all sides. A cinema has been suggested as has a Waitrose. I am just asking people to think beyond their bubbles and to imagine that which would benefit ALL.

Personally a cinema would be great but under utilised by myself and family, I just checked and Fantastic Beasts for myself, the wife and two kids under 12 would be £66.90. That is for the 3pm show at Greenwich. Now I am sure there are cheaper theaters but you have to admit it’s not cheap. Throw is some overprices nibbles and the cost ratchets up quite a bit.

Now that to you may not be expensive but it is to me and we have a decent income.

Anyway, I hope the debate continues, the important thing is that the site is developed to suit as many as it can.


@Londondrz : But the argument works both ways. I wouldn’t shop at an Aldi because I find they don’t tend to stock what I want to buy. I would use a cinema.

As for thinking outside my bubble - hmm. That assumes you know what my bubble is. My kids went to primary school five minutes walk from Bell Green. Many of their friends live in the area. For ten years Lower Sydenham was the entirety of their social lives. I KNOW people who live in and around Bell Green. Do you? Are you aware of the sweeping generalisations you made in your previous post? I absolutely agree we can only talk from our own experience. Which is not what you were doing when you said most locals couldn’t afford to use a cinema. You also assume all cinema visitors are families. What about couples? Singles? Friends? My kids as teens go to the cinema often as that the cost of one ticket and is an affordable monthly outing with freinds.


You know what, I cant be arsed anymore. All I have asked is for people to think of alternatives. Anyone that seems to offer a differing pinion these days is shot down.



I’m genuinely confused by this response. There’s a world of difference between saying ‘I can’t afford to go to the cinema’ and saying ‘No one living in Bell Green can afford to go to the cinema’. Pointing out the difference and explaining why I think your assumption is incorrect is not suppressing your opinion.


Well that’s a shame. Everyone has an opinion and a right to voice it - I can’t see anyone getting shouted down.

Still moving on I still haven’t seen any real plans or proposals - I guess going along on Wednesday may shed some light but I don’t know if I can make it. Anyone going that can report back? We can debate all we like here but until we can see proposals we are whistling in the wind.


How about an indoor ski slope?

Only joking - well sort of.


I would like a bowling alley / soft play / trampoline park / indoor skate park type thing. Or maybe a Pizza Hut so those of us with kids can go out for dinner at last :slight_smile:

Re a park, instead of a new park here, I’d prefer the other end of the retail park, by the river opened up. There’s a little play park there and the river walk is lovely but it’s so hidden away, would be lovely to have a more welcoming entrance to there and a cafe or something.


I use Bell Green frequently. As I don’t drive it’s much easier for me to have all these shops in one place rather than having to get public transport to 4 or 5 different places. and it’s actually an easyish walk for me with a buggy from HOP whereas Penge, New Cross aren’t (although I have walked to both before, Penge by accident mind you).

I’d really like better bus links to it though. I usually walk there but get the bus back and the little bus that runs to Forest Hill is usually heaving. A bus that went all the way from HOP would be a dream.


That’s not the craziest idea that’s ever been put forward here!

When my daughter was small we went a couple of times what used to be called Xscape in Glasgow (it seems to have a new name/owner now): It was great fun!


Are there any ski slopes inside London? Could be a good draw to bring people to the area.


I took my kids to Xscape in Glasgow when they were younger & they (and I) loved it, there was one in Milton Keynes aswell if I remember rightly - I think this would be great :+1::+1:


Thanks to the latest water main burst, there’s an outdoor downhill waterskiing slope between Devonshire Road and the railway bridge.


Here’s the map of proposals.

There are no plans to make any transport improvements including the issue of the tiny bridge on Southend Lane. And given that nothing happened in the first two phases, there is no reason to expect this development to make any difference.

Apparently residential is not viable on the site (mainly because of the underground bentonite wall across the site to prevent contamination to surrounding ground) and Aldi have identified a need for more supermarkets in the local area. The people I spoke to were not aware of any other needs in the area - even when I suggested cinema.

I can understand the dismantling of the gasometers (unless they get listed status), what I don’t understand is why this entire site has only been built to a single storey (not just this part of the site). It would be possible to put residential or other uses above the Aldi, but they don’t want to do that. I pointed to Sports Direct with five floors of residential above and they looked disinterested.

This is out of town planning in a suburban location - a wasted opportunity.


Exactly. Just because the space was being wasted before it looks as though they want to use it sub-optimally now. If they really were interested in using the space well (and this would cost a little more) they could put the Aldi in the existing car park outside toys r us (its about the same size) and put the existing car park underneath.


Possibly not looking at more than one story due to foundations being inadequate with the barrier in place?


That’s certainly possible, and yet residential was possible above SportsDirect, which can be seen within the bentonite wall on the map (it is the space within the dotted line on the map curving round Aldi and heading straight into SportsDirect).

The developers claimed that all residential would only be viable if it were 10 storeys high - that would be almost twice as tall as the gasometers by my estimate. I thought that residential above a shop would be generate a decent return on investment, but apparently not enough.


Well that looks fairly uninspiring… I would have liked to have seen more green space. I agree Michael, this isn’t some industrial site miles from nowhere, it’s a very residential suburban area!

The car parks at Sainsburys and Toys R Us / B&Q are massive and often half empty anyway, the whole section of car park to the left of Mcdonalds is underused.

What about pedestrian crossings between the Aldi site and the other shops? I can’t see any on that map. Or will that be ignored as with Sports Direct? When I go down to those shops I often park on one site and then walk around to the different shops as it seems lazy to drive from one car park to another (unless I have something heavy) but trying to get across to Sports Direct is a challenge in itself.
Also is there a pedestrian link to the river walk from this side? (Apart from the access point near the railway bridge on the other side of Sainsburys). I have never noticed one.
It would also be helpful to see what the proposed Aldi building will look like.

On the one hand I am in favour of creation of new businesses and jobs; however I would also like to see if there has been any study done on the impact on local traffic, pollution, whether public transport should be increased, creation of cycle lanes etc. For those who don’t have a car, it does make sense to have a few shops together in one place, but only if the public transport supports this!
Personally I feel that traffic in this area has increased over the past couple of years. My kids all have asthma as do many children at their school. I haven’t noticed Lewisham Council taking any measures to improve air quality in the area.


If you keep going down the access road that goes past McDonalds, there is an open gate to the river by the entry for the Sainsbury’s delivery vans.


heres another photo of the proposed plans from Wednesday