Redevelopment of Forest Hill station

As part of the new Lewisham Local Plan, the Council is taking views on the future of the centre of Forest Hill Lewisham Council - About the Lewisham Local Plan

An architects firm have submitted a rebuild plan for Forest Hill station. Plans and illustrative designs here - would make a big difference:
http://www.discourse-architecture.com/journal.htm

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Such wild fantasy when they can’t even sort out the flippin’ crossing after years of it being a public hazard - not to mention the ridiculously narrow and slanted public footpath on the front corner of William Hill, which could have been widened with relatively little alteration to the property.

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This was created in partnership with the Forest Hill Society and with a public consultation. The Forest Hill Station and Town Centre Master Plan formed the basis for the Society’s response to the draft Lewisham Local Plan consulation.

It strikes me that this is just an attempt to sell the car park (for money) and build flats to meet their new homes quotas.
Doesn’t look like there is any improvement in traffic flow, pedestrian access, shopping and has no increase in rail service (anyone remember the promise of through London services and chatting cross trains?)
I bet they also forget to directly notify the affected properties (mine appears on all the maps)
Little jaded I know

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I remember that hot day in July 2014 very well - not least because we were all treated to ice creams!
I applaud the FHSoc for getting this out there all those years ago and more recently for voicing their support for it in Lewisham’s new ‘vision’ - but, realistically, even with it being a formally indentified aspiration on their new UDP (or whatever it’s called these days), what are its chances of being built in the next 3-5 years?

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Let’s face it, the centre of Forest Hill is pretty dire. One of London’s busiest roads cutting through it, no real high street, and lots of betting shops, charity shops and greasy spoon cafes. There are some good stores opening up and making an effort to look fresh and modern, but the train station and its immediate surrounding has to be one of the worst things about the area. When friends come to visit they often comment on how nice the houses are and the wide, green, residential streets, but often moan about their first impression at the train station. Brockley station on the other hand is much nicer. Modernised, clean looking, and a really nice bar/restaurant with a large terrace to sit in the summer as well as a good quality, trendy coffee shop on the other side. Can we not use Brockley station and surrounding area as inspiration for Forest Hill and make an improvement on it? Modernise the station, get rid of the greasy spoon that’s there and turn it into something like bar Parlez at Brockley (maybe with residential flats above it, similar to Parlez), and turn the car park into an outdoor seating area? Forest Hill is nice but has the potential to be so much nicer.

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Just for clarity, the greasy spoon you refer to is the Lazy Chef which in my mind and many others is the best caf in the area. The guys who own it are great and their brunches fantastic value using many ingredients bought locally like from the Butchery.

When allowed it is full of many locals on the weekend. Superb coffees too.

Long may it remain.

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Yes, I would also say the Lazy Chef is anything but a greasy spoon and serves great all day breakfasts and other good food with tea and coffee that is a cut above the usual. Have you actually ever eaten in there?

I have been missing it but look forward to sitting in there in the near future.

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I presume you’re responding to @DaMo. I am huge fan of the Lazy Chef.

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lots of betting shops

How many betting shops are there? William Hill at the junction and Paddy Power hidden up Dartmouth Road. Hardly ‘lots’. Or were you thinking of estate agents?

Brockley station on the other hand is much nicer.

Brockley station itself is no better than FH and in fact is a similar design. If FH station were to be rebuilt it would just be a modern glass box, like East Croydon but smaller.

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While the station itself may be little different, Brockley station opens out onto a nice piazza with some gentle steps, greenery, shops and takeaways all set back from the main road. I think it is much nicer as an initial destination than meeting the car park and South Circular at Forest Hill.

Here’s a pic of Brockley Station from Google Street view:

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Lazy Chef definitely one of the best things about Forest Hill right now. Quality food snd very personable obliging staff. Huge asset to the area

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Looks interesting! The only major item I would request is a piazza/court in the image attached to this message. Where Perry Vale road joins with the A205. I.e. no road at all in that section. It’s an area (on the “wrong” side of the tracks) which is utilised a lot when opportunities present themselves. We could buy a craft beer, a pizza, a coffee or a breakfast and laze in the sun!

image

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It’s all about the east side these days, just need to get rid of the taxi rank and turn that into the piazza.

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Hmm… wouldn’t it be nicer to have a piazza with reduced traffic? I like the idea of using the parking lot and reducing the roads. Forest Hill does well with bus’s already and could reduce emissions even more!

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Yes, I was referring to the Lazy Chef and I agree it is the best cafe in the area but that’s not difficult when the bar is set so low with all the others. Fine, I may have been a bit harsh calling it a greasy spoon, the rest (excluding the teapot also) I believe are greasy spoons, but it is still a cafe serving all-day breakfasts. I’m sure the guys who own it are great and it was not a dig at them. It’s a suggestion on how to improve the area and make it look better for now and in the future. And yes, I have eaten there. It was ok.

I was also referring to the building it is housed in. Wouldn’t we be better off knocking down that entire block (it ain’t pretty) and building something nice, new and modern while we potentially have the opportunity (or at least voice our opinions/requests for such things to the council)? Again, the building bar Parlez in Brockley is housed in is a great example, together with apartments on top. The sale of the apartments would pay for the new shop/restaurant/bar units underneath. Rebuilding that entire block and tidying up St David’s Road across the road, and filling it with bar/eateries could make that whole area a nice hub to visit on the way home from work and at the weekend. It could be so much better.

I missed mentioning the estate agents. There is certainly an excess of them. Of course, we need a number of them, but it’s not really a ‘shop’ we need to use every day/week. Having shop units we can use on a daily/weekly basis would be far more useful I feel.

Have you been to forest hill? St Davids coffee, agas deli, the teapot, the Archie Parker, pantry (for takeaway) and canvas and cream are all nice cafes. St Davids and canvas and cream are two of my favourites in London when they’re fully open and serving food. Plus the BB cafe next to bona is great whether it’s a greasy spoon or not. I do agree on general tidying up though, and would be glad to see less estate agents!

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Yes, I’ve lived in FH for many years. I go to St Davids Coffee weekly and love it. Great coffee, super friendly staff and nice interior. What I’m referring to is St David’s Road and tidying it up somewhat. I’m also referring to cafes such as the BB cafe, and those on the Perry Vale side which is still part of FH. They are not particularly appealing. I’ve been to the Teapot many times - nice (and mentioned in my last post) and Agas Deli also. The pantry is one of the good new stores I referring to in my original post.

To all those focusing on just the cafes in FH, I’d love to hear your suggestions on how to improve FH, its train station and surrounding area. This is what this post is all about. Let’s try and improve the area or are we all happy with it just the way it is?

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Another thing while walking through Brockley/Crofton Park is the planters they use. Nothing spectacular but far nicer than the ones in FH along Perry Vale. I mean, some manky, old tyres painted bright colours filled with soil and plants. Where is the class? It wouldn’t take too much effort and money to get some planters and trees similar to Crofton Park. It would look far nicer.

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