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Demolition of Bell Green Gas Holders
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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #1
16-04-2017 07:50 PM

People may like to know that there's a petition by the Sydenham Society to save the two Gasometers by Sainsbury's.

https://www.change.org/p/these-streets-b...sn8KVZI0os

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samuelsen


Posts: 213
Joined: Feb 2016
Post: #2
17-04-2017 12:10 AM

The further development of the Bell Green site is beneficial, will bring more jobs to the area and create competition amongst supermarkets with the proposal for Aldi to come, I think some do not want Aldi as it is seen as the lower end of the supermarket business, when in fact they offer very competitive prices for their customers.

Look how much the Sydenham co-op et al all got slated on other forums.

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #3
17-04-2017 12:55 PM

It is not that these Gasometers are industrially ugly - that would be quite interesting - it's just they make nearly no impression on me at all.
When I read this, I asked myself are there really 2 of them?

I think there is room for another supermarket - one that caters more to shoppers on foot. The design of savacentre area goes out of its way to make it as awkward as possible for any pedestrians to access - perhaps to deter drivers parking up and walking/shopping elsewhere.

The planners need to be reminded that this is not a remote out of town zone - it is a densely populated area, and it should be fully accessible especially as we will be putting up with all the extra traffic/NOx etc.

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michael


Posts: 3,217
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
22-06-2018 01:00 PM

The applicant has appealed against Lewisham council's rejection of the demolition and building of Aldi.

Meanwhile they are also separately re-applying for permission to demolish the gas holders (which was also rejected previously).

There are still no proposals to build additional housing on the site, just another A1 retail unit - which is contrary to the ruling of the judicial review when planning permission was confirmed for phase 2 of the Bell Green development.

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Snazy


Posts: 1,504
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #5
22-06-2018 02:28 PM

Seems like gas holders are key to a lot of things at the moment, inc the Silvertown Tunnel.

Upsetting as it might sound, but I was rather pleased seeing the ones off the Old Kent Road being cut down the other day.

What happens once they are gone is a whole different ball game. However councillors in Greenwich are worried about what happens once that first step is taken, and the can of worms opened. I assume it is the same for Bell Green.

http://newsshopper.co.uk/news/16308670.s...hnicality/

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JRW


Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #6
25-06-2018 01:56 PM

Can housing be built on that site?
I seem to recall one reason we have a retail park was that decontamination of the old town gas site, to a level that allowed for housing, was too difficult and expensive. Or was that just scuttlebutt at the time? And decontamination techniques have moved on (and house prices risen) since then.

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Snazy


Posts: 1,504
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #7
27-06-2018 02:05 PM

I believe that at current market values, building residential properties on the site would not be cost effective due to the contamination as you say. Other locations however, with higher property prices have managed to get around this.


The indication is for retail or commercial property there.

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michael


Posts: 3,217
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
27-06-2018 02:49 PM

Sports Direct has housing above it and it is built within the bentonite wall. I see no reason why housing is not possible (above ground floor) if a food retailer is possible on the site.

As a retail site it is probably worth less than £10m fully developed, based on the value of eight units to the rear at £13m http://www.cushwakesales.com/Data/CWI343...denham.pdf

If we assume a two bed flat on the site might be worth £300k, it would require 30 of them to be worth £10m. That's less units than planned for the Portacabin site across 3-6 floors. In Bell Green there are already 7 storey buildings, and the footprint is much bigger than the portacabin site.

It would cost much more to build flats on the site than to build a big warehouse. It becomes a matter of how many flats you can sensible get on each floor, how much social housing provision, and how high would be acceptable. At some point the profit from housing would be greater than the profit from under-utilising the site for retail.

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Snazy


Posts: 1,504
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #9
27-06-2018 05:37 PM

Taking on board what you say Michael, if indeed the same were possible, it would be madness not to do a combined use. Although I guess occupancy of the retail space would determine the interest and to a degree, the value of the residentials.

Either way, residentials are needed in an abundance right now, so would welcome anything like SportsDirect being repeated on the other side.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,355
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #10
27-06-2018 10:49 PM

Retail shops do not seem to be doing well these days.

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152047


Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #11
28-06-2018 01:03 AM

Why the obsession with preserving ugly redundant structures? Tear them down and let's have some useful in their place.

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shaman


Posts: 71
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #12
29-06-2018 01:03 AM

Why the obsession with knocking down history?

Why the obsession with thinking it's a choice between gas holder frames doing nothing but look 'ugly' or replacing them with something else? Why can't they be retained and the land used for something innovative?

Why are people so in love with boring ugly warehouse units that are found all over the place, but not rare and distinctive pieces of architecture?

Why are people obsessed about the way the gas holders look, but not the pollution from all the traffic being pulled into the site or the contamination in the ground which the gas company want to leave there?

Why are people so obsessed with the blandification of London? Seriously. It's a choice between something different or Aldi. I'd rather have some ugly gas holders than the fumes from the vehicles of Aldi shoppers tbh.

PS - It's because they are linked to the Livesey Hall and George Livesey, who pretty much pioneered workers rights within the gas industry (shares, profit sharing etc...). Look it up in the planning documents. It's all very interesting.

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samuelsen


Posts: 213
Joined: Feb 2016
Post: #13
29-06-2018 11:10 AM

Here we go again, more NIMBY.

Personally I'd welcome and have Aldi or Lidl rather than the gas holders that are no use to man or beast (well that's a tad unfair, they could be used for scrap). So yes they may have some "historical interest", but it is called progress.

An Aldi or Lidl WILL create and give much needed;

1) Jobs
2) Choice
3 Locality
4) Much better use of the space
5) Improved services
6) Better value for money and a more diverse choice than is currently available
7) Much needed competition.

I could carry on.

This is a battle about NIMBY, especially as it is ALDI and those looking for change and progress. However the Council will have the final say on the matter.

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hillview


Posts: 119
Joined: Nov 2016
Post: #14
29-06-2018 12:24 PM

https://alanhall.org.uk/2018/06/28/victo...s-holders/

Quote:
The Victorian Society have formally objected to the plans to demolish the Bell Green Gas Holders in Lower Sydenham.

In the letter of objection the Victorian Society cite the ‘deliberate relationship’ with the Grade II Listed Livesey Hall.

Bellingham Councillor Alan Hall said: “The expert view of the Victorian Society should be fully considered. The gas holders form an integral part of the Grade II Listed Livesey Hall and Listed War Memorial. A sympathetic development is possible if the will is there.”

Sir George Livesey was an industrialist and philanthropist in SE London. Interestingly, he was instrumental in introducing a plan for sharing the profits of his company with the employees.

The Victorian Society is a charity championing Victorian and Edwardian buildings in England & Wales find out more here

Comments and objections should be sent to planning@lewisham.gov.uk before July 9th 2018.

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michael


Posts: 3,217
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
29-06-2018 01:59 PM

Quote:
An Aldi or Lidl WILL create and give much needed;
1) Jobs
2) Choice
3 Locality
4) Much better use of the space
5) Improved services
6) Better value for money and a more diverse choice than is currently available
7) Much needed competition.

I think points 2, 5, 6, and 7 are essentially the same point made with different words.

What would give consumers more choice would be an Aldi on Sydenham Road (where Budgens used to be) and another in Bell Green where Toys R Us was located. Opening two stores would double the number of consumers who would benefit from the choice and competition provided. It might also provide more jobs than a single larger store and two empty units.

In terms of 'better use of the space', I believe there are better uses of the space than another warehouse supermarket which threatens the viability of town centres. One of the problems with 'choice' is that large companies put smaller shops out of business and actually reduce choice. That's why there isn't a fishmonger or greengrocer in Forest Hill - because Sainsbury's have taken over all that business in the last 30 years.

But at least Sainsbury's is located in the town centre, and that assists other local businesses. It is the reason that The Butchery is able to thrive directly opposite Sainsbury's. If we want a diverse high street we should encourage major retailers to set up there, rather than locations away from public transport and normal high streets.

All the points you make are negative points for our town centre: Less choice, under-utilised space, and loss of locality. At the same time it fails to address the thing that we need more than duplication of supermarkets, and that is housing.

I hope you'll appreciate that my perspective isn't primarily a NIMBY argument, it is YIMBY. Yes to housing in Bell Green, and yes to Aldi in the town centre.

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samuelsen


Posts: 213
Joined: Feb 2016
Post: #16
29-06-2018 04:03 PM

Its not what you do with the words. its how you use them

Not feasible or cost effective, it would not double consumers coming either, to have two stores in such close proximity. It has been proven by history that the pokey former Budgens site is not
suitable.

There is no fishmonger or green grocer in FH because they cannot compete with the supermarkets. The overheads are too high, and if passed onto the consumer, they will shop elsewhere. If you want such shops go to Nunhead Lane/Evelina Road and you'll find two great such businesses there.

Sainsburys have a monopoly locally that needs to be broken, which is what an Aldi or Lidl will do. Just look how busy they are on the Old Kent Road and in Norwood/Crystal Palace. Infact they are an asset as they increase footfall, which will ultimately and in time increase consumer spending in Sydenham.

We do not need a NIMBY approach, but be willing and prepared for change, change is hard to accept, but intodays consumer society, people what chouce and value, exactly what an Aldi or Lidl will give the community, in addition to the jobs, choice, value for money, competition etc.

Hey, yo can spin it anyway you like, but ultimately it is the council who will decide, so yes, carry banging on about keeping a pair or russting, dilapidated, corroded, eyesore, steel/iron cylinders and lts make proper use of that space with a business who are willing to invest in the local community.

But at least Sainsbury's is located in the town centre, and that assists other local businesses. It is the reason that The Butchery is able to thrive directly opposite Sainsbury's. If we want a diverse high street we should encourage major retailers to set up there, rather than locations away from public transport and normal high streets.

Change is needed and change needs to come, just look how Bell Green has Changed for the letter since the retail developments came. It also saves people trapssing elsewhere because GUESS WHAT its now local on our doorstep, just like Sports Direct, Currys, B&Q, etc who have all invested and provided jobs, choice and locality of services that CONSUMERS want, that's you and I and everyone else WANTS.

The town centre, by which you mean the former pokey Budgens is NOT suitable, when will people realise this, That needs to be used for some other purpose, maybe a good home wares store etc.

Now can we stop the NIMBY argument because its Aldi, or is it because its Germanic and god forbid we ever want an Aldi, because it will lower the tone, suggest people wake up and smell the coffee. Its about jobs, change, choice that will enrich the environment, create greater footfall and guess what other businesses will benefit as a result.

Done.

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152047


Posts: 135
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #17
29-06-2018 09:14 PM

I have always felt that the Livesey building is a rare architectural joy of FH sadly blighted by the GHs behind. A sensitive redevelopment could bring the Livesey out of the shadows and enhance the environment.

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shaman


Posts: 71
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #18
06-07-2018 02:12 AM

NIMBY yawn.

Oh no. People affected by development object. How weird eh? The people being affected, having concerns and objections. And they are more affected because it's close to them. Amazing.

Yeah. My child plays in the playground by a busy polluted road and my road is affected by stupid rat-runners, with a council that is doing nothing about either problem. So what? If that's NIMBYism, then it's a badge of honour, not an insult and presumably you show a little more interest in what happens in your street and to your kids, than what some gas holders look like to you.

But, if you think a little harder than sidelining people with murmurs of being anti-German, these gasholder frames have the potential to make Bell Green and the wider area a little less bland in the future and the site has the potential to be more of a community asset than yet another supermarket. Which is actually a positive for NIMBY's and those who live a little further away.

But the argument, currently, is about tearing down the gasholders, sealing in the pollution and turning the site into wasteland. I'm against that, I'm against ALDI there, but I'm not against thoughtful and imaginative development, sympathetic to the area and the history and heritage of the site and it's links to George Livesey and the workers rights he pioneered.

Continue with your blind YIMBYism, if you do actually live that close. I'm not sure what the term is when you blindly support development that has little or no direct impact on you.

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shaman


Posts: 71
Joined: Nov 2009
Post: #19
06-07-2018 02:14 AM

152047 Wrote:
I have always felt that the Livesey building is a rare architectural joy of FH sadly blighted by the GHs behind. A sensitive redevelopment could bring the Livesey out of the shadows and enhance the environment.


Next time you're passing the front, take a closer look and you'll see the gas holders are mostly hidden by trees, as is a great deal of the left side of the building itself.

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Erekose


Posts: 553
Joined: May 2010
Post: #20
06-07-2018 07:20 AM

There does seem to be a long standing issue with preserving industrial history and
it would be a great shame to lose such a prominent local landmark - maybe they could be saved by a last minute listing?

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