A: When it's a contributory document for a draft local development framework
Since Brockley Central's inception, we've been trying to discover the truth behind the legend of the Brockley Cross masterplan. Fact or fiction? Clues have been scattered around the internet like a JJ Abrams viral marketing campaign. The Brockley Cross Action Group have only spoken of it in dark whispers. Lewisham Council have remained elusive... until now.
We first heard about the masterplan on a web forum. Then we tracked down the conceptual designs on the website belonging to the architects who were appointed back in 2002. The ACQ website claimed that "the study is now in its final draft," but the news was clearly old.
Lewisham Council documents added:
"In September 2002 the Council together with the Brockley Cross Action Group appointed consultants ACQ Architects to undertake an Urban Design Framework and Development Strategy for the Brockley Cross area. The purpose of the study is to guide future regeneration of the area and to attract new investment into Brockley Cross."
Exciting stuff, but no indication what had happened in the intervening five years.
We also knew that the consultation had been supported by a series of images, asking residents to think outside the Brockley box about the possibilities for their area and that they'd set up a community consultation "shop" on the site now known only as "Ask Toes"
The upshot of all this blue sky thinking? Here's the final vision (sorry about the size):
Essentially, they proposed to turn the site facing the Tea Factory and the double roundabout in to a mixed use live / work development, with community facilities, including a sports centre. A modest but probably quite welcome proposal. The scope of the masterplanning exercise was much wider than just that site, but this is the only element we've been able to find.
Finally, the rising star of Lewisham Council, Sarah-Ann Wilks, came to our rescue, albeit with some disappointing news. She told us:
"The draft Brockley Cross Urban Design Framework and Development Study was released in July 2004 and thereafter has had the status of an 'unofficial' planning guidance document.
So there you go. All hope for that blighted section of street rests on the future of that Framework.
Thanks to Sarah-Ann for finally clearing things up.