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What does the future hold for Forest Hill?
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Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #1
12-11-2007 11:30 PM

Will we ever see the day when the London Road is lined with vibrant and interesting shops that are filled with local shoppers - keen to support local business? Perhaps a sparkling new Perry Vale Parade?
Or, are we forever going to basque in bookies and fried-chicken takeaways hopelessly sitting side-by-side with brown boarded shop fronts?

I really hope that things will in time change and that new businesses will find a market here in FH. We, the local people, really need to support any new venture that does "move in".

I made a pledge this year to do all of my Christmas shopping in Forest Hill (this could be interesting!). question to you all - what is your vision for Forest Hill in say 2010 (the year the ELL opens). Will it really have changed that much?

Savvy Unsure

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Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #2
12-11-2007 11:41 PM

my predictions are
- the council will still be promising to re-open the swimming pool 'one day'
- the old macdonalds site will be a poundland
- the ex-blockbusters will be a bookies
- i wont be able to park outside my own house, without paying LB Lewisham for the privelege!

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Posts: 271
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
13-11-2007 09:15 AM

Don't knock poundland - I'm a recent convert as a friend kept badgering me on how much Sanisburys were ripping me off!

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Posts: 145
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #4
13-11-2007 09:35 AM

But PVP. We can go to Catford for Poundland. What we want are yummymummies, coffee shops, nicknack shops and .... hmmmmm a population of smug sloans,62693

So there's a few boarded shops. Turn them into flats. Bring on Poundland. Get over it. I'm not sure we've got it so bad.

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Posts: 75
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #5
13-11-2007 03:14 PM

Forest Hill in 2010
- Empty and boarded up shops
- Empty properties 45% down on the price they are now.
- Tumbleweed blowing down London Road.
Just like 1991.

One loud voice can make a difference !
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Posts: 3,221
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
13-11-2007 04:26 PM

Forest Hill in 2011:
- 10 minutes from Canary Wharf
- Trains every 5 minutes between HOP, Forest Hill and Sydenham bringing the three communities closer together and people shopping in more than one centre
- Housing in demand and prices rising to average levels for London property
- New businesses queuing up for a presence on the high streets (both sides of the railway)
- Independent retailers finding great opportunities with increased footfall going to the station, newly refurbished pool, world class museum, renounced comedy club
- People moving to Forest Hill because it is everything you want from a London suburb
- Waitrose opening in place of the Post Office and Paddy Power (although parking could be an issue)

Perhaps I am being a little too positive, but if this is what we aim for I believe it is achievable. All the property programmes and write ups recognise that Forest Hill has some wonderful features and great potential. And we all know it is a nice place to live.

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Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #7
13-11-2007 04:33 PM

Here, here, Michael.

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Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #8
13-11-2007 04:37 PM

Hear, hear...even Smile

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Posts: 335
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #9
13-11-2007 06:12 PM

Yes, bring it ... here, here!


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Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #10
13-11-2007 07:01 PM

10 Mintues to CW is that true! I know it takes 7 mins to NXGate now. It would be great if that was true!

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Posts: 3,221
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
13-11-2007 10:25 PM

Certainly no more than 17 minutes, 5 minutes from NXGate to Canada Water and 3 minutes to Canary Wharf. With a couple of minutes to change trains. However, I am not convinced that it really takes all of 5 minutes from NXG to Canada Water.

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Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #12
13-11-2007 11:34 PM

hear hear from me too.....except the bit about waitrose. Leave the upmarket supermarkets to smugland, SE22 and lets keep it real in SE23!

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Posts: 46
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #13
14-11-2007 12:08 AM

I have lived in the se4 - se23 area for nearly 5 years and i have seen the area develop hugely, Yune, Thai Orchid, the Honor Oak, Tapastry, Lemon grove, this area is a great area and we should stop whining about it - as someone from outside this area (ohhh by 300 miles...) this has one of the greatest sense of community I have experienced in London - put it this way - in 8 year in and about London, SE23 is the only place I know my neighbours, people over the road, people at the end of the road, local shop and bar... we all need to be more area proud - SE23 is a grand place to live. I could not imagine wanting to live anywhere else in London (even if I won the lottery!)

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Posts: 271
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #14
14-11-2007 09:55 AM

As per recent post, I have lived here for 6 years + and have seen the area change greatly. I fully expect the area to continue evolving (even though I much prefer revolution being a closet communist); people are too down. If we did have ED-by-the-tracks, house prices would be double what they are now and very few of us would have been able to afford to move here. A useful highstreet would include practical as well as upper market places (and we have plenty of empty units to accomodate a poundland).

On the social side, things have greatly improved over the years, though it has been a shame to see some places launch and quickly fold. Whilst I do not wish to denegrate anyone who is brave enough to establish their own business, others (Hob, Honour Oak, DA, Question) seem to have thought things through much more. Personally, I only have time to use the FH shopping district in the evening and the weekend, and most of the time for social stuff. I think this aspect would present the greatest potential growth as FH is a very busy station and very few make habitual use of the area. The biggest danger looking forward (IMHO) is for the centre of gravity of the night life to tip towards the drink on the street / betting shop / mismatching 7 year old suit combo / Racing Post in back pocket brigade.

So what to add to what we have to increase the spectrum:

Deli - I'm sure many of FH's more recent residents would happily make use of a deli if one were local. Most other areas of London similar to FH have one, and if HO can support one, FH definitely can!
Gourmet burger place - again, if HO can support 1/2/3 of such places, FH can defnitely support one!
Restuarants - it was a shame the Italian pizza place cum Thai restuarant closed as I thought the food was good in both (not great, but good for mid-market pricing). With both though the internal space was not well utilised.
Bars - something like the DJ bar in HO (can't remember the name - having a senior moment)

Apart from that, I think more of the same, and pick uip the quality.

Alternativly outlaw supermarkets and then we can go back to living in Camberwick Green.

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Posts: 3,221
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
24-09-2012 12:55 PM

Now that the pools are finally open it is worth casting a look back five years when things were not looking so good for Forest Hill.

I was possibly a bit optimistic, and somehow failed to predict Jay-Z and Charles Saatchi visiting the local cafes. But there is no doubting the fact that Forest Hill town centre has begun the difficult process of improving despite the recession and Internet Shopping.

What will the next five years bring to Forest Hill?
What is your vision for Forest Hill in say 2017?

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Posts: 179
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #16
26-09-2012 07:35 PM

Apart from Waitrose, you weren't far off Michael! It's definitely on the up. Even folks in the old pawn shop today!

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Tim Lund

Posts: 255
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #17
27-09-2012 04:02 PM
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Posts: 3,221
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #18
28-09-2012 12:44 PM

The pawn shop is in an excellent location in the centre of Forest Hill it would be nice to see this back in use. Currently it has A2 permission, but there is no reason this could not be converted to A1 if a butcher, greengrocer, chocolateer, wine shop, bakery, launderette, or hairdresser wanted to open in this small unit.

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Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
30-09-2012 07:34 PM

You will probably recall Michael that we did have most of those kinds of shops many years ago and they suffered and left due to previous recessions. I remember the butchers who were in the now betting shop and Mr Vickers the greengrocers, and the two bakeries one near Sainsburys and the other in Dartmouth Road. They all complained that Sainsburys was taking their business which was probably true. I am not sure whether people locally would shop here consistently for fruit and veg especially as there is now substantial internet competition on offer bringing it to your door. There is however the newsagent in London Road that seems to do a roaring trade in apples and bananas!

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Posts: 799
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #20
30-09-2012 08:27 PM

The new newsagent replaced the old one with the Guardian signage with it's poor shop front etc. As roz said, it appears to be doing a roaring trade these days.

As for 2017. I think we'll see an increase of shops in Dartmouth Road, thanks to the footfall from the Pools, although I see this being more a mix of chains and independents, than the uber cool gentrification seen in East Dulwich.

Someone posted that a Poundland would replace Maccys, while that didn't happen, I believe we'll get a 99p Store or Poundland in FH.

I wonder also if the Jobcentre Plus at Heron House will still be around by then? I can see the DWP centralising claims for JSA for Sydenham and FH at Rushey Green. We've already seen Deptford JC close already.

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