THE BROCKLEY CENTRAL INTERVIEW
PART TWO - THE LEWISHAM GATEWAY
JOHN MILLER, HEAD OF PLANNING, LEWISHAM COUNCIL
This is the second part of the Brockley Central interview with John Miller about the future for our Borough. Part one can be found here.
Today is the day when the Strategic Planning Committee will meet to consider the Lewisham Gateway developer's application, so we thought it was timely to publish this background interview. As it's a live planning application, John was unable to make any comment about the merits of the developers' proposal, but he was happy to explain what the Council is trying to achieve with the Lewisham Gateway project:
"Lewisham Council wants to create a very high quality environment, reconnecting Lewisham Station with the community it serves by getting rid of the traffic system [the massive roundabout] that divides one of South East London's most important interchanges from a high street that has suffered a relative decline over a long period."
"Specifically, this means that we want to create new facilities, including retail, cafes, restaurants, a cinema, new parkland, a square and better pedestrian routes. It will also include a dense residential development, which will bring new people and new life to the area, and help Lewisham meet the targets for new housing that it has been set [see part one of the interview for details]."
So what will go forward for the Conucil's consideration on October 4th?
"An outline application from the developers [Muse Developments and Taylor Wimpey]. While the specifics of the masterplan, such as the style of architecture, won't be determined at this stage, the application will include details such as the maximum number of residential and retail units that the developers propose."
And what guidance has the Council provided to the developers?
"This project has been many years in development. We have invested £15 million [money secured from government funds] and worked with the London Development Authority, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London to bring it to this point. It's strategically important for the development of London and the Borough."
"We favour the "low-h" scheme [so called because the road layout will resemble an 'h'] because it frees up a lot of land and allows us to do something really radical, which is what we believe the area needs."
One or two residents have been highly critical of the scheme in the belief that the "low-h" will add to the time it takes to drive from one side of Lewisham to the other. What's your response to that?
"Contrary to those claims, the revised road layout has the support of TfL, which has endorsed the scheme."