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Plans to do up Forest Hill
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dangermouse


Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #1
14-04-2008 03:25 PM

Following on from edd's post on the "I wish..." thread where he/she states "Living in FH, and working in East Dulwich as I do, I'd say the latter has a better class of independent shop and restaurant because it is, frankly, populated by a more middle-class type, overall"

As more middle-class/professional people move into Forest Hill, are there any plans for a regeneration type project for Forest Hill?

We've all seen what a fantastic job the council have done with the library, but what are the plans for the rest of Forest Hill? I moved here just over 2 years ago, and while I like it I feel like there are a number of things missing that other neighbourhoods have.

There are plenty of beautiful houses as well as other buildings with lots of character (swimming pool, library, Horniman Museum), but there are a number of facilities that are missing (decent/bigger supermarket, deli, butcher, fish monger, cinema, coffee shop, etc).

I think Forest Hill has a lot of potential to become more upmarket/trendy, but sorry if I offend anyone but I think it looks a little dirtier and less kept than the likes of Dulwich, although we fall under the same council.

A number of the buildings, especially those on the South Circular route look so dirty from all the traffic/fumes. And there are plenty of shops (W.H.Smiths for example) that could do with a good clean or better still a refit too.

What does everyone else think? Can we not get the same treatment from Lewisham Council as Dulwich do? And does anyone know of any plans to clean/spruce up the area?

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michael


Posts: 3,215
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
14-04-2008 04:13 PM

Dulwich is in Southwark. WH Smith has just been refitted when the post office moved in. The supermarket is quite big enough (and Bell Green is not far away and Waitrose is closer). East Dulwich manages without a cinema.

I don't think that ED has regenerated by action from Southwark council as much as market forces. I am confident that market forces will help Forest Hill, even in the recession, but the council could take action to make some improvements (better storage for bins, grants for shop fronts, re-open the swimming pool, work with Network Rail to rebuild the station, make the town centre car park free for longer).

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blushingsnail


Posts: 364
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #3
14-04-2008 04:30 PM

I think there are plenty of middle-class/professional people in Forest Hill, always have been. There used to be more small, independent shops but they've gradually closed down, like on most high streets.

Lewisham Council does have a FH & HOP Town Centre Strategy

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #4
14-04-2008 04:34 PM

dangermouse Wrote:
but there are a number of facilities that are missing (decent/bigger supermarket, deli, butcher, fish monger, cinema, coffee shop, etc).

I think Forest Hill has a lot of potential to become more upmarket/trendy, but sorry if I offend anyone but I think it looks a little dirtier and less kept than the likes of Dulwich, although we fall under the same council.


Is not the idea of a "decent/bigger supermarket" in direct conflict with getting all the smaller specialist shops in? Unlikely to get a larger or better (Waitrose? M&S?) supermarket in such a relatively small town centre. We're not Beckenham!

Dulwich is Southwark & Lambeth - not same council at all!!

In terms of regeneration money, however, the area to the north of Goose Green, known as Bellingham, had a bucket o' dosh spent on it. Although it definitely did it need it, they spent faaaar more than the usual bare minimum these sorts of projects get - and they've got a great result. So the council tenants snapped up their rights to buy and moved on and sold to a bunch of yuppies. You've got to be "deprived" to get serious ??? spending (e.g. ?45m in New Cross Gate). Just cos FH is deprived of a fancy deli is not a good enough reason!!

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AMFM


Posts: 306
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #5
14-04-2008 05:44 PM

Michael - which Waitrose is closer to FH than Bell Green? Have I been traipsing over to Beckenham for the last 5 years for no good reason?!

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michael


Posts: 3,215
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
14-04-2008 06:23 PM

What I meant was Beckenham is closer to Forest Hill than it is to East Dulwich. If you live at the Bell Green end of Forest Hill, Beckenham is an easy drive away.

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thenutfield


Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #7
14-04-2008 10:57 PM

FH is not ED, and in my opinion we never will be.
1. FH town centre is cut in half by the south circular and the railway line. ED is basically one shopping street - not nearly so busy and unwelcoming for visitors as London Road is.
2. ED (Lordship Lane) is suurounded by loads and loads of privately owned houses - mostly smallish period terraces which are perfect for young proffessionals, and gentrification. FH town centre does not have the same network of very nearby streets, and there is much more council housing, which does not benefit from gentrification.
3. ED is surrounded by Dulwich (posh), Camberwell (trendy) and Peckham (posh bits). FH is surrounded by....

FH is great, but by constantly comparing ourselves with ED we will just get an inferiority complex! ED is just a short bus ride (or walk even) away, so we can enjoy all its benefits, and still escape back to SE23.

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Mrjamon


Posts: 46
Joined: Jun 2007
Post: #8
15-04-2008 04:56 PM

If you think Camberwell is trendy, you'd better re-stock your wardrobe.

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dangermouse


Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #9
16-04-2008 11:24 AM

Michael - Some good points mentioned:

"grants for shop fronts" - I think this would definatly make Forest Hill look more upmarket. This is one of the things I feel lets it down at the moment as some of them look so unkept and dirty/old.

"work with Network Rail to rebuild the station" - I totally agree. The station could really do with a makeover or a rebuild. Does anyone know of any plans/discussion by the council on this?

blushingsnail - Thanks for the FH Town Centre Strategy link. Very informative.

thenutfield - Its unfortunate that FH town centre is cut in half by the south circular. Would be great if one day it was pedestrianised with the traffic diverted some how. We can dream! It would certainly help in keeping the shop fronts & roads cleaner.

Michael you mentioned the recession. With that in mind what does everyone think on how property prices will be affected by this bearing in mind we have the East London Line on its way?

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #10
16-04-2008 11:33 AM

One point to note is that 'padestrianisation' is not always the answer. It often encourages groups to loiter often up to no good, be that yoof or drunks or both. It almost always becomes unsafe at night. Forest Hill is not a major shopping centre so no need to divert traffic IMHO.

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blushingsnail


Posts: 364
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #11
16-04-2008 11:56 AM

dangermouse Wrote:
... what does everyone think on how property prices will be affected by this bearing in mind we have the East London Line on its way?


It looks like we'll be getting Thameslink services too, so the local estate agents will probably be wetting themselves with excitement.

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dangermouse


Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2008
Post: #12
16-04-2008 12:21 PM

blushingsnail Wrote:

dangermouse Wrote:
... what does everyone think on how property prices will be affected by this bearing in mind we have the East London Line on its way?


It looks like we'll be getting Thameslink services too, so the local estate agents will probably be wetting themselves with excitement.



Where did you read about the Thameslink services? Do you have a link?

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #13
16-04-2008 12:36 PM

Michael posted about this when commenting on the Rail Utilisation Strategy.

When they're rebuilding London Bridge, services will continue north to St Pancras (and beyond?) . The final Thameslink service in 2015 (Key Output 2) will consist of 4tph slow to Sydenham and beyond (all 12-car via London Bridge).

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,355
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #14
16-04-2008 12:39 PM

I knew that!

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admin
Administrator

Posts: 393
Joined: Dec 2002
Post: #15
17-04-2008 01:35 PM

Discussion of Peckham moved to Beyond SE23 > Posh parts of Peckham

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Snazy


Posts: 1,504
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #16
01-05-2008 04:34 PM

Having been a FH resident for 27 years now, and growing up here as a child I have to say, all in all FH has rolled along with the times, and survived somewhat better than some other towns.

London Road died with 2 things, the developer that was buying up all the shops for the expansion, on behalf of Sainsburys, and the dreaded Red Route.
The RR saw the end of stop pop and shop trade which managed to kill off most of London Road and half of Dartmouth Road.

The lack of parking on the posh side of the trainlines is also a major downer, which is why I previously suggested a park and cross bridge from the Perry Vale car park.

The owners of the Ironing shop are residents of Church Rise, and I have to say, their pricing and work is very good, we now use them regularly. Good to support your neighbours I find.

Sad to see some people having no ambition for FH as a whole. OK its not about to become a metropolis of sorts, but the number of people alighting at FH station seems to be rocketing, and with the changes to the train services in the future im sure it will grow more.

So in reality NOW is the time to grasp the bull FIRMLY by the horns, and take the plunge into a business for the growing population. Not just brush every suggestion off as a bad idea.
I like to think of FH as a unique place and a survivor, so lets give it a chance to burst back into life eh.

Finally, please remember 90% of towns small traders were severely affected my supermarkets diversifying into lots of other areas.

Tell you what FH needs.... a market :D
Perry Vale Market, bottom end near the fish and chip shop, just up to Waldram Cresent.
OK not great for parking, but a fantastic way to get passing trade back, and give small buisinesses a chance to try their hand at success.

Just a thought Smile

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steveb


Posts: 113
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #17
08-05-2008 02:43 PM

Love the market idea.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #18
12-05-2008 01:48 PM

What did Sydenham do to get regeneration money bunged at their high street?

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blushingsnail


Posts: 364
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #19
12-05-2008 02:47 PM

nevermodern Wrote:
What did Sydenham do to get regeneration money bunged at their high street?


I think Sydenham Society played a big part, maybe even instigated it. One of their local councillors is Chris Best, who seems very active, so that may well have helped. Unlike FH, Sydenham is (mostly) one council ward so it's easier to get coherent action. Unfortunately the centre of FH is split between Forest Hill and Perry Vale wards so it's difficult to get the various councillors to do some joined up thinking.

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nasaroc


Posts: 144
Joined: Jun 2005
Post: #20
19-05-2008 10:04 AM

Blushing Snail is right - the Sydenham Road Improvement Scheme which is currently out for consultation has its roots in an urban design initiative worked up by the Sydenham Society called the Sydenham Gateway - this link here has some of the background:
http://www.sydenhamsociety.com/SydGateway.html
Not all of our ideas have been incorporated into the consultation - the idea of 'greening' the high street with trees has proved difficult because of underground cables and services - but some elements have and the proposals can be viewed at this link:
http://www.sydenham.org.uk/news_sydenham...tation.htm For those in SE26 the deadline for responses is June 2nd, and there is a workshop and public forum this Thursday evening at the Naborhood Centre, Sydenham Road, led by LBL's project manager Ian Plowright.
Also, from memory, Forest Hill did have some urban design initiatives around 7 years ago - new signage, barriers, footpaths and street furniture etc.

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