Proposed Development at Portakabin Site, Waldram Crescent - Drop-in Meeting



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.