Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green



Just to say I live in Houston Road - and I can categorically state that HGV use our road all the time day and night. We’ve had a car end up in our garden, rubbish litters our street due to McDonald’s, and the pollution is awful. My daughter has asthma and the health visitor says it’s probably because of the traffic on our road.

When the further developments up at bell green opened the volume of traffic massively increased. We absolutely don’t need more retail units up there which will just increase the flow of traffic more. IF - and I say IF - the council ever took note of our concerns then I wouldn’t have an issue.

The limit values for air pollution are already exceeded throughout that area and further development will only make this worse.

The job creation issue is just a massive red herring by then - on close inspection it only creates 50or so low paid low skilled jobs. If that’s what we want our area to be known for then I say encourage it.

There isn’t a single resident in the area that I’ve spoken to who wants this development. The previous public consultation pre planning showed the extent of the opposition - but clearly the developers took these sentiments seriously and have just ploughed on ahead.

Further more I would also suggest that people who like their high streets e.g. Sydenham and forest hill should be very concerned. I think the last development took approx 20% of footfall from those areas - small local businesses suffered. We got a grant from central government on that basis. Surely people don’t want to see that money wasted.

Personally if there had to be development that I would like it to be something led with and by local residents.


Beige just to say I live on that road and I very much disagree with you. You’re welcome to come sit in my living room to understand the impact of the traffic on our lives.


I don’t doubt Houston Road gets more than it’s fair share of traffic, it’s pretty much what Brockley Rise feeds into, and it’s terrible to think it’s affecting the health of your family.

Do you get a lot Sainsbury’s delivery vehicles too?


@Didievans, according to Google Street View, there’s a 7.5 tonne weight limit on Houston Road and Cranston Road. I’ll agree it’s not always easy to determine whether a lorry is 7.5 tonnes or more (unless you read trucker magazines!) but I certainly hope you aren’t getting articulated lorries which I’m sure would be well over the limit.

The larger HGVs should not be coming down Brockley Rise straight on towards Houston Road.


Andy thank you for this. I can tell you that I and others on our street have looked into this in quite some detail. We get coaches, massive articulated lorries and all manner of other vehicles that smash through that limit.


Add further developments and they will spill onto the other residential roads in the area. I know this with certainty having seen the impact that the gaswork repairs had on traffic. This isn’t some issue that sits in the abstract this is people’s lives/businesses that are and will be affected. Haseltine school sits right on that junction where the air pollution levels are well in excess of legal limits.


As far as I’ve been able to tell, coaches aren’t covered by the weight limits which are only for heavy goods vehicles. But I’d love to be proved wrong. We get those Clarkes coaches on Sunderland Road fairly often but I haven’t yet found anything to say that they also have to obey the weight limits.

But arctics? That’s a nonsense. Smartphone the b******s and tell their head office.

Does anyone know who these things should be reported to? I’ve singularly failed to find out whether it’s a police matter or the local authority - and I’ve even asked officers on patrol and they didn’t know!


Most likely local authorities, but can always give the local police a tweet to ask.
Enforcement for it is tough, like many other things, but if it is happening, it should be taken seriously.

That said, I am sure that the majority of the goods vehicles stick with the main roads for the ease of getting around. Not entirely sure that a couple of new retail outlets are in any way going to heavily affect the local traffic.

Another idea is to tweet the companies of the lorries breaking the limits and using residential roads. A lot of companies would take this quite seriously.


Interesting read re the weight subject

From this article it would appear it is more a local authority issue.


Another good reason to get rid of these?


Maybe the Mayor is the man to speak to about this. Certainly on a conquest at the moment.



The gaswork repairs were under the main road and nothing to do with actual gas holders. It was because the road couldn’t cope with the weight and volume of traffic - so a reason to oppose. Our streets are not made to hold this volume.


Need to jump in here, local residents will be effected by more unsociable traffic causing many problems.

Just sayin from what I’ve been told!


I think that was clearly the object of the post already.

Would like to know the research done and numbers for the increase in through traffic.

I totally understand the dread of more traffic, but don’t think that is going to be an overwhelming factor, certainly not big enough to put a stop to it.


This is a genuine question - I’d be keen to know where that stat comes from and which area of local businesses suffered - Sydenham, FH or elsewhere. I can’t understand why a pet shop, a toy shop, an electrical shop and a DIY place would have made much difference to either of those.


Here is a link to the previous thread if anyone is interested.


Hey folks, there was a meeting last night by the Sydenham society, local councillors, fh society and residents. I have some traffic figures! So the new Aldi are expecting to have at LEAST five 20 - 30 tonne articulated vehicles each day accessing the site. There will be a car park for 100 cars. There will also be 130 employees based a the new gas works site, with vans. There will also be a restaurant and storage site. On top of this there will be 200 more staff, who if even 40% of them drive that’s another 80 cars a day. Assuming the 100 space car park is for customers, the staff will presumably being parking on surrounding residential streets. There are also 7 bus routes which service the area, although this may increase too, and this is on top of the existing 8 retail units and 15 trade units already there. That’s delivery lorries, customers and staff all using this site and there is no proposal to change the existing access roads. This is a MASSIVE amount of additional traffic!

I can understand that if you don’t live near the site then you feel that it won’t have an impact on you. You’ll probably just have to queue a bit longer to get to B&Q at the weekend. However, for those of us who have lived in the streets around Bell Green and experienced the changes since the development first started, it really has been life changing. We have traffic, and yes hgv lorries, going down Houston Road day and night making deliveries to this area. We are regular woken in the night by them and our houses shake when they go by. The 7.5 tn limit is rarely enforced. At weekends and on bank holidays there is a persistent queue of traffic down our street by people trying to reach the retail park. The noise, pollution, litter from McDonnell’s, and quite allot of the time angst from the drivers is quite frankly disgusting and i really don’t want it to get worse.

That aside, the Aldi have also stated that they hope to draw customers away from Sydenham and Forest Hill high streets, so its not just those who live beside it who will be effected but our lovely high street, where the traders association has worked so hard to save and improve, will also be effected. I love forest hill and the people who live here, its a wonderful community and i’d really like to stay here. So please, if you feel like you could support us then do. Sign the petition or even better object to the planning application here before 17th April.

Thank you


That makes a very strong case, thanks for taking the time to share these stats with us @Nicki_Reddington.

I use Bell Green a lot and always drive. However, your comments made me pause for thought. There are times when I drive to Bell Green for a big shopping spree, but could have got everything I needed in Forest Hill Sainsbury. Now I know about the free parking on offer in Forest Hill I think I’ll stay local - and may spend more time in other high st shops as a result.


Thanks Chris, we do really have a lovely high street in FH, i intend to use it more too!