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Sydenham Rise - potentially dangerous walls
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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
08-03-2010 10:25 PM

In case anyone uses this route regularly- and this is one of the main routes to both Eliot Bank School and Lammas Green nursery- there are a few extremely dodgy sections of retaining wall (on the left hand side going up towards Syd Hill) which look at risk of imminent collapse so I would suggest being very careful when on foot, especially with children in tow.

On one section some of the bricks are actually coming away already. A high level fence panel fell off a week or so ago near the junction with Syd Hill just missing some people standing at a nearby bus stop. I have written to both Lewisham Council and the Dulwich Estate (the latter who are the owners of said walls and fences )and asked that they take some urgent action to avoid injury to passers- by, and would like to ask others to do something similar. I don't have any experience of how the DE handles its affairs or how quickly it responds but I would hope it would be pretty fast in this case however some of the work may require leaseholder consent and may take some time. I am surprised that the DE lets its property get into this sort of state though given its comparative wealth.

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Posts: 141
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #2
09-03-2010 11:12 AM

The Dulwich Estate Scheme of Management officers are well aware of the situation concerning the retaining walls on Sydenham Rise. To the best of my knowledge, the work is currently out to tender and freeholders are waiting to be informed by the Managers on the is rather more complicated than 'Dulwich Estate = wealthy, therefore spend money quickly on repairs' .....i wish....!
Freeholders are liable for a lot of the cost of repair and maintenance works on amenity areas.

Too long and convoluted to go into here, but:

The restrictive covenant (administered by the Scheme of Management) on properties on the Dulwich Estate operates in the same way as Hampstead Garden Suburb, Bournville and Poundbury..... i can't comment on how quickly repair work gets done in any of those places.

Anyhow, all agree that 'the walls' are a matter of urgency, especially as the winter seems to have had a dramatic effect in hastening the decay, so maybe your letter will have chivvied them along a bit.....

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Posts: 1,360
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
09-03-2010 03:51 PM

See this link:

You could report the danger to Lewisham Council.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
09-03-2010 07:27 PM

Hi, I'd already sent an email but have now filled in this form- thanks for posting the link. There have been so many accidents elsewhere in London where children have been killed by falling walls - and more recently fallilng street furniture that I'd be very worried about walking up and down this road with a buggy and toddler- especially having seen that part of the fence fall off. Your perspective certainly changes when you have to cart little people around as something which may have otherwise been an irritation suddenly becomes extremely dangerous.

I daresay my comments about wealth were a bit unnecessary however I trust that this matter is not further delayed by the usual legal wrangling and consultation that needs to take place before the freeholder can carry out the works. It is after all still a public highway. I assume that the Council could step in and do the work and recharge the estate accordingly if necessary.

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Posts: 141
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #5
10-03-2010 12:14 PM

To reiterate, to the best of my knowledge the work is out to tender, and the contractor will be appointed by the Dulwich Estate after proper, and not unnecessary, consultation with those of us who may end up having to foot (some or all of) the bill.....
However, I think all concerns raised will help in our attempts to urge the Estate get the work done as soon as possible, which they have promised to do. Everyone actually living on Sydenham Rise shares your concerns, believe me!
I don't think your comments about wealth were misplaced, but there is a misunderstanding here about the distinction between the Dulwich Estate and The Scheme of Management and how they operate. I've lived here for 9 years and i'm only just realising now how the whole thing fits together!
I would suggest taking a different route for a while if it bothers you that much, and try to discourage kids from walking along the top of the wall - which is a perennial favourite.
I seriously doubt that Lewisham will get involved apart from asking the Estate to act quickly, which is what we all want.

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