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Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park Neighbourhood Forum
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Posts: 3,227
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
07-02-2014 11:56 AM

A local Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park community group has submitted two applications to the Council:

- to become an officially designated neighbourhood forum called Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park neighbourhood forum, and
- to designate a geographical area as an officially recognised neighbourhood area.

We would like to hear your views on the proposals. We welcome any feedback relating to the application, including feedback on the following issues:

Does the proposed neighbourhood area boundary shown on the submitted map align with your own understanding of the local neighbourhood? and
Do you agree with the purpose and objectives of the proposed neighbourhood forum as set out in the forumís constitution?

Full details at:

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Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #2
07-02-2014 01:51 PM

I thought these were already neighbourhoods!
As a HOPper, I do sort of feel, despite the SE23 postcode, more Crofton Park/Brockley-ish than Forest Hill-ish...if that makes sense. It'll be really interesting to get other people's idea of which neighbourhood they feel more 'part of'......

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Posts: 39
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #3
07-02-2014 03:55 PM

I feel much more forest hill ish! I pop over to the horniman, the shops and pubs. This map seems to split hop in two. I feel like honor oak should include both sides of the railway tracks for me.

Can someone explain what the purpose of the application is and what it means to us who live here?! Sorry to ask a stupid question.

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Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #4
07-02-2014 04:05 PM

See, I see that other side of the tracks as 'Honor Oak', which if I'm not mistaken is a separate area to 'Honor Oak Park', and yep I would say, more Forest Hill-ish! Laugh

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Posts: 214
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #5
07-02-2014 09:04 PM

Boundary seems pretty odd to me. For me they are different areas, but Crofton Park seems to form a small part and the other side of the tracks not included at all eg any of Devonshire road (is that all Southwark?).

What is the purpose of this does anyone know? Do the groups get allocated money, have more influence - what is the forum?

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Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #6
07-02-2014 10:28 PM

Being on the wrong side of the tracks, I'm excluded from this, but definitely feel that HOP is 'my' highstreet. On the other hand, I feel no affinity with Crofton Park, which is, I think, closer in associatons to Brockley.

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Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #7
07-02-2014 10:29 PM

And, yes, we are still Lewisham on the wrong side of the tracks.

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Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #8
07-02-2014 10:40 PM

I don't get it!

I lived in Grierson Road (top end of Kilgour) and Agnew Road but I never felt any affiliation with Crofton Park.

Nah, can't get my head around the idea of the amalgamation.

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Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #9
07-02-2014 11:41 PM

I'm baffled by this!

This post was last modified: 07-02-2014 11:57 PM by P1971.

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Posts: 214
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #10
08-02-2014 01:29 AM

Glad I'm not the only one...thanks shzl400, that's even more bizarre then. It just seems a completely random boundary, and as others have said, Crofton Park and HOP feel like different areas.

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Posts: 19
Joined: Sep 2011
Post: #11
08-02-2014 02:02 AM

I had a leaflet through my letter box today with the boundary map asking for any views on the proposal.

I have to confess I am rather confused by what they were trying to achieve. I've lived in SE23 for the past 22 years and actually on HOP itself for the past 15 years. The Parade of shops in HOP are but a couple of minutes walk from my home. I love the buzz of the Parade especially with the imminent opening on Wednesday of the new restaurant "SoDo".

I'm in total agreement with the other comments from Forum readers that apart from my forays to Forest Hill to visit some of the cafes, restaurants and independent shops, HOP is most definitely my high street too. I too have no affinity with Crofton Park which I have also always thought of as more "Brockley" - it is after all SE4 etc not SE23!

I can't quite put my finger on it but this proposal does trouble and confuse me.

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Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #12
08-02-2014 10:17 AM

It's related to ward boundaries and it is always difficult when you are near the limits. I live close to the Southwark/Lewisham borough boundary and, though a Lewisham resident, remain very much at the south end of the borough and probably spend as much time in Southwark. Honor Oak Park is very much where I feel my house is, but we are not included in that neighbourhood plan as we are in not in the constituency/ward.

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Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #13
09-02-2014 01:36 AM

There is some more information I have found on the Crofton Park webpage:

Certainly their aims and objectives seem to be about engaging with people about what is going on and giving them a voice.

Its not entirely clear to me (as someone who has worked professionally on a number of neighbourhood plans) whether these things are achievable in the way they imagine.

There is no reason in non-parished areas for Neighbourhood Plans to follow any particular boundaries but in this case that is what the Ward Councillors have decided that is what they want to to.

A few key points about neighbourhood plans:
- they can only make policy about issues to do with land and planning (so you can't really do much to control or influence things that are outside of the influence of planning)
- they must be in conformity with all national and local planning policy and guidance (the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), Lewisham Local Plan, area specific AAPs etc etc)
- once an area is within one neighbourhood plan boundary then it can't be within another (e.g. Honor Oak Park couldn't so a separate plan once it is within the plan for Crofton Park).

IF and when they get a neighbourhood plan in place at some point (and there are some very big hoops to get that far) then the plan becomes adopted by Lewisham as part of their planning policy. That means that it is Lewisham that uses it to inform planning decisions and not the neighbourhood forum. Although they could be a consultee, as they could be now.

Because London is really a series of overlapping smaller places it becomes really critical how places work together and don't see themselves as self contained.

A really key issue is how they are going to work with the surrounding areas and groups that are involved in areas of overlap without fully being within Crofton Park Ward. It is not yet clear to me whether this is the intention.

As long as it is an inclusive group and organisation, they can be clear what they are trying to achieve, and they consult widely along the way - then good luck to them.

This post was last modified: 09-02-2014 01:37 AM by Satchers.

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Posts: 624
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #14
10-02-2014 12:35 PM

Thanks satchers, I think you hit all the nails on the head!

The problem as I see it is that people living outside the ward boundary will not be entitled to contribute to the forum. This will exclude me and all our neighbours who line in HOP.

This ought to be a golden opportunity to mend fences rather than entrench existing political boundaries. I will be objecting to the HOP boundary proposal on this basis. Sadly, it seems that at least one councillor behind this thinks that NP can't cross administrative borders, which I think kind of misses the point.

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Posts: 3,227
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
10-02-2014 04:30 PM

lacb makes a valid point. I would add the other side of things, that once this neighbourhood forum is set up people within this area could be excluded from any role in planning outside their area.

In this particular case we could end up with Honor Oak Rec and One Tree Hill within the Peckham and Nunhead neighbourhood planning area and effectively excluding Lewisham residents from contributing to a neighbourhood development plan. What say would the Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park Neighbrouhood Forum have in the Southwark planning process?

Neighbourhood forums are meant to match local residents with local amenities and provide some form of local perspective on planning issues. This is something that should be welcome, but different people will see boundaries differently, and there is the potential to end up excluding people from processes rather than including them.

Apparently it may be possibly to include additional people in any neighbourhood forum decision making, but the membership of the proposed forum only allow people who live or work in the ward (just like assembly rules), no allowance has been made for shoppers, commuters (public transport users), or people who use other services (including fire stations, libraries, schools, doctors, etc).

That said I'm sure that a neighbourhood forum could help to improve Honor Oak Park, and while I wouldn't be able to contribute at that stage, I would suggest that a priority from any neighbourhood planning should be getting Honor Oak Park recognised as a "Neighbourhood or Local Centre" - not just a parade of shops between Crofton Park and Forest Hill (see STC1 in for the current status or lack thereof). The sooner this is changed the better it will be (in my opinion), not that there is any assumption that the Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park Neighbourhood Forum would want to promote or oppose this idea. It might not even need a Neighbourhood Forum to make it happen.

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Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #16
11-02-2014 02:00 PM

Wow, as a new-ish Hopper I'm going to bow to more long-term residents' wisdom. All I know is that I live in the area of H.O.P, the postcode of SE23, just off Crofton Park Road, in Crofton Park Ward.......

Having just moved from a part of Peckham which felt more like New X Gate, and was in Nunhead anyone getting the feeling that London's getting a bit too overlappy-happy for common sense? Too villagized?

And is it all the fault of Estate Agents that we all live on 'Blahblah Borders' nowadays?

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Posts: 624
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #17
11-02-2014 02:25 PM

Welcome Pippi. You make a good point but actually the proposed forum is trying to define a neighbourhood. If this is a worthwhile thing to do, it really needs to be villagey.

To compare: we live in HOP, SE23 (which is mostly Lewisham borough), Devonshire Road, in Forest Hill ward and would be constitutionally barred from contributing to the proposed forum.

Any sensible definition of the HOP community would surely also include the Rec, One Tree Hill and St Augustines and these all lie in the borough of Southwark (SE23 postcode if I am not mistaken!).

It is tempting to blame estate agents (c.f. perceived expansion of East Dulwich and Brockley) but in this case these are mostly administrative borders and odd in my view that anyone would want to define a neighbourhood this way.

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Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #18
12-02-2014 02:11 PM

I find this very confusing, as a 6 year resident of Stanstead Rd with a 6 minute walk to FH station, that my neighbours on the other side of the road would be included as part of HOP/Crofton Park. Would always consider this area to be Forest Hill. It does seem to be splitting the area into smaller and smaller pieces.

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Posts: 272
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #19
19-02-2014 11:55 AM

I totally agree with Satchers, Lacb & Michael,

I think having a neighbourhood forum is a good thing, however when it excludes people who strongly feel part of Honor Oak Park's neighbourhood (For example folks who actually live on 'Honor Oak Park' itself from the station to the top of the hill and Walters Way) resdients on Devonshire Road (Honor Oak Park side) Hengrave and Boveney and even perhaps even Honor Oak Road and Dunoon Road. I agree that a sensible definition of Honor Oak Park would also include St Augustines, One Tree Hill and the Rec, these are all in SE23 but also in Southwark. We are already challenged with Honor Oak Park being split between two wards (Crofton Park and Forest Hill) using the same political boundary to define our neighbourhood does not make sense at all. I for one would like to see ward councillors having a more open approach. Or better still the ward boundaries be re written so they make more sense!

As Satchers rightly said "There is no reason in non-parished areas for Neighbourhood Plans to follow any particular boundaries but in this case that is what the Ward Councillors have decided that is what they want to to"

A blog has been written on this and there will be many people, including myself who will oppose this boundary definition.

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Posts: 3,227
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
19-02-2014 12:22 PM reports that:

Alot of support from HOPRA tonight for Neighbourhood Area application by Crofton Park and Honor Oak Park Neighbourhood Forum

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