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Planning: Honor Oak Reservoir & 116-118 Canonbie Road
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Posts: 45
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #1
21-11-2014 03:27 PM

Just had a letter saying :

Honor Oak Reservoir & 116-118 Canonbie Road- Thomas Wren Homes Ltd invite you to a display of their proposal for the site at Quaker Meeting House 34 Sunderland Road SE23 2QA on 29th November 2014 11am to 6pm.

Well here we go - another development adjacent to Hamilton Lodge; the Hostel on Canonbie Road (118), Tyson Road development etc.

Not sure why the letter is showing 116-118 Canonbie Road because 118 Canonbie is owned by Lewisham Council & proposals to convert to hostel for homeless households.

Thought a few years ago, proposals for development on the Reservoir site were fought off by the residents?, anyone have any further information ?

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Posts: 24
Joined: Mar 2012
Post: #2
21-11-2014 04:32 PM

Had the same letter today.

There's not much happening on the Tyson Road site - it's just been bulldozed and left for months. Wonder where the developers are.

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Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2014
Post: #3
24-11-2014 12:54 PM

This is very confusing indeed. Do we assume that Thomas Wren has been appointed as the builder for Lewisham Council to carry out their work? All will become clear on Saturday but in the meantime I am curious.Any thoughts?

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Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2014
Post: #4
24-11-2014 07:50 PM

I may be wrong, but I thought Tom Wrenn are the current owners of the old reservoir land... So I imagine they are about to propose some new plans for development of the whole plot. The last attempt was indeed stopped, but that was a few years ago.

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Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #5
25-11-2014 02:53 PM

Yes, I think TW are the long time developer owners of the old reservoir site.

I seem to remember that the site was originally given protection from development because it supported a selection of plants not usually found in Lewisham. The lime from the reservoir having changed the make up of the soil from acid to alkaline.

There used to be a page on the Lewisham website giving details but, rather ominously in the light of the following link, this seems to have disappeared.

I can't see the reservoir listed in the final site allocations document so I am guessing that TW were successful. If so we should expect to be the site to be unsympathetically over developed in the usual Lewisham manner. You do begin to wonder if there is any hope left for Forest Hill's green spaces.

Meanwhile, another testament to the qualities of our local Planning Department, Tyson Road, lies trashed and undeveloped four years after planning permission was granted. No green space, no houses, no community.

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Posts: 3,243
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
25-11-2014 03:45 PM

The site of the reservoir has the same status as Devonshire Road Nature Reserve and Garthorne Road Nature Reserve - it is Urban Green Space.

Below are the related policies:

OS 7 Other Open Space
The Council will resist inappropriate development on the areas of Public Open Space (POS) or Urban Green Space (UGS), as set out in Table OS 5 and shown on the Proposals Map. Inappropriate development includes:
(a) development that would result in loss of or damage to POS or UGS; and
(b) development that adversely affects the amenity, open character or appearance of the POS or UGS through inappropriate scale.

Development that would result in loss of or damage to sites that have not been designated as either POS or UGS but are nonetheless valuable locally will also be resisted as inappropriate.

As an exception to the above some development on POS or UGS may be permitted if it comprises:
© small and unobtrusive development that is ancillary to the open space use and enjoyment of the land; or
(d) development that facilitates or enhances public access to Urban Green Space; or
(e) development that makes provision nearby for replacement open space of equal or better quality and size.

Tyson Road had no such protection and was regarded as a collection of back gardens and garages. It would be entirely inappropriate for this site to be treated in a similar way.

I look forward to wasting my Saturday morning explaining this to the developers!

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Posts: 418
Joined: Dec 2002
Post: #7
29-11-2014 02:58 PM

Thomas Wrenn Homes plan to build 7 houses on the reservoir.
Display of plans is today till 6pm at The Quaker Meeting House, 34 Sunderland Road, SE23 2QA.

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Posts: 205
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #8
30-11-2014 09:46 AM

Forgive my ignorance but where exactly is honor oak reservoir?

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Posts: 815
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #9
30-11-2014 11:41 AM

Forgive my ignorance but where exactly is honor oak reservoir?

On the corner of Canonbie and Honor Oak Rd, or rather just behind.
The above map doesn't make it very clear.

Walter de la Mare will be turning in his grave but any nature reserve that does not have regular public access is of no interest to me. Sorry.

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Codrington Brill

Posts: 66
Joined: Mar 2012
Post: #10
30-11-2014 11:54 AM

Is this land open to the public? If not, I've got no problem with the proposal provided there are no ecological impacts.

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Posts: 3,243
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
01-12-2014 03:10 PM

The site was protected due to the presence of some rare species found on site in the 1990s when a previous application was made to build 36 flats on the site. There were apparently numerous other reasons for rejecting the application when it went to appeal.

The land has never been open to the public, although I'm told that at present it isn't particularly well closed off, but don't tell anybody otherwise people will start dumping stuff.

At the meeting I suggested that building on the site of 116 and 188 would be acceptable to most people, and prices of houses on Canonbie start above £1m. I pointed out that a modern high-spec new build could go on the market for £2m on Perry Vale, so a similar property on Canonbie could be worth a vast amount.

I also suggested that a 'friends' group could be established to improve the amenity value of the reservoir site as has been done on Devonshire Road, Albion Millennium Green, etc

The architect said that the public meeting was to see if there was public interest in building on this site. I suggested that no such interest would be forthcoming in an area of recognised Urban Green Space with recognised ecological value. He implied that houses might be better than flats or a hostel, to which I responded that a school would be better than housing in this particular location, so if it were to be partially developed (in conjunction with Hamilton Lodge possibly) it would be a school that would be more acceptable to local residents.

What was not shown at the exhibition was any suggested elevations of the seven new buildings and underground car park on the reservoir site or projected impacts on views from surrounding properties. They have not had any per-application discussions with the council and do not know if the council would be interested in selling 118 to them, but they were surprised by how much the council had paid for the property - which suggests they would not be willing to make the council an offer they couldn't refuse.

If permission is given to build something then it is likely that eventually permission would be given to build a large number of flats rather than small detatched houses. How many developments of detached houses do you see with communal underground parking?

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No Longer Registered

Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #12
04-12-2014 02:38 PM

Michael, I agree with you. Houses are an inefficient use of urban space when demand is so great. If the principle of housing on this site was agreed then it would surely end up as flats with an underground car park.

I don't think the developer will be keen to sell 116/118 in a hurry as they provide the only practical access to the site. Under current rules the planners would be reluctant to allow vehicle access via the old track from Honor Oak Road that runs up next to Hamilton Lodge.

It is good that the site's current designation is one of urban green space but that isn't an absolute block on development. It will be interesting to see the Council's approach if an application went it.

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Posts: 145
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #13
23-02-2017 09:19 PM

Clearance work appears to have started on the covered reservoir. I didn't see any Council notices of proposed development and can't see any on the Lewisham website so not sure this is legal given the above posts.

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Posts: 145
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #14
16-03-2017 11:39 PM

Long post edited after tried to add a pic and wouldn't allow me to

This post was last modified: 16-03-2017 11:42 PM by vipes.

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Posts: 33
Joined: Feb 2015
Post: #15
21-03-2017 05:01 PM

Both the entrance from Honor Oak Road and the Canonbie Road entrance have indeed been cleared. Must be in preparation for something!

Old details are at DC/98/043123/X | The residential development of 116 Canonbie Road SE23 3AG and the former Thames Water Reservoir site Honor Oak Road SE23 with vehicular and pedestrian access onto Canonbie Road. (Outline Application).

The site was deemed a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, and both the London Ecology Unit (now merged into the Greater London Authority) and the London Wildlife Trust objected to any development. There were seven rare plant and two rare insect species found on the site, with one of the insect species listed in the ‘Red List’ as endangered.

Been ding dong and battles ever since, so who knows what is proposed this time, but the area has been left well alone for quite some time, so it may be of even greater importance to both wildlife and developer alike now!!

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Posts: 33
Joined: Feb 2015
Post: #16
11-05-2017 10:15 PM

Still nothing on the council’s planning database about this. But why have they (presumably the owners, Thomas Wrenn Homes Ltd) now covered the Canonbie entrance with geo weed suppressing fabric all the way into the reservoir site along the route of 116 Canonbie Road, the side of which is also exposed, with open doors which appear to store builder’s materials? Something permanent?

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Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2014
Post: #17
28-01-2021 09:52 AM

Some diggers working on this site in the last few days... Anyone know if some development is starting?
I couldn't find anything on the planning portal...

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Posts: 147
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #18
01-02-2021 05:30 PM

The trees on the site have Tree Preservation Orders (TPO’s) on them so any felling or damage any trees the developer will be fined without seeking permission from the council to cut down, top, lop, unroot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy any tree in schedule 1 of the Tree Preservation Act 1999 also the Town & Country Act 1990. I have contracted the Lewisham Council Ecological Regeneration Manager and informed them.

Attached File(s)
.pdf File  Honor Oak Reservoir DC_17_103444-CONFIRMED_ORDER-607214.pdf (Size: 598.05 KB / Downloads: 199)
.pdf File  Honor Oak Resevour DC_17_103444-LAPSING_NOTE_FOR_060395_ORDER-607215.pdf (Size: 30.24 KB / Downloads: 171)
.pdf File  DC_17_103444-CONFIRMED_ORDER-607214.pdf (Size: 598.05 KB / Downloads: 184)

This post was last modified: 01-02-2021 05:36 PM by Herbparis.

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Posts: 407
Joined: Feb 2016
Post: #19
14-04-2021 10:01 PM

Lewisham Local Plan


The plan has identified the following local site for potential development;

4 Havelock House, Telecom Site and Willow Tree House, near
Horniman Drive

SITE ADDRESS Havelock House, Honor Oak Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3SA
2015: 3
2021: 3
2031: 3
Current use
Telecoms, Residential
Lewisham Call for Sites (2015) and London SHLAA (2017)
Adjacent Conservation Area, Air Quality Management Area, Flood Zone 1, Critical Drainage
2020/21 –
2025/26 –
2030/31 –
2035/36 –
Net residential units
Gross non-residential floorspace
Employment 0
Main town centre 0

Site allocation
18.27 Redevelopment of backland site for residential

18.28 The site is located on the western side of
Honor Oak Road where three large buildings
containing flatted properties are set within
greenspace and mature trees. Redevelopment
of the backland portion of the site will provide a
more optimal use of the land by introducing new
housing whilst retaining residential amenity for
surrounding properties.

18.29 Development requirements
• Delivery of new and improved public realm, in
accordance with a site-wide public realm strategy,
taking account of existing mature trees.

18.30 Development guidelines
• An assessment of the existing buildings should
be undertaken to inform development options.
• Where feasible, a new east-west walking route
should be integrated into the site to improve
connections between Honor Oak Road and
Horniman Drive.

• A tree survey will be required to identify healthy,
mature trees to be retained within the backland
plot. Development should be respectful of
the natural landscaping and mature landscape
setting and create a public realm space to
evoke the feeling of a village green. The soft,
green frontage onto Honor Oak Road should be

• The design of development should preserve and
enhance the character and setting of the nearby
Forest Hill Conservation Area, as well as Listed
and Locally Listed buildings.

Forest Hill Society response:

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Posts: 368
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #20
15-04-2021 09:35 AM

Try this link for the FHSoc response to the Local Plan.

It is worth knowing that the Local Plan does not contain specific proposals that will be developed and delivered.

It identifies characteristics of local areas sets policies for future developments.

The Council itself is not making a commitment to nor proposing any specific development.

Lewisham's Local Plan must also dovetail with the London Plan, which went "live" in early April 2021 and it in turn must fit with the National Plan.

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