What is Brockley Road for?

We're hoping to speak to Brockley's local planning officer soon about a few things, but, as part of our preparation, we wanted to know the Council's view on what Brockley Road is supposed to be for. We know it's designated as a local town centre (in a way that Lewisham Way isn't) and we know from the interview with John Miller that the envisaged regeneration of the area will be low-level, small-scale, 'organic' development (ie: no big Council regeneration schemes).

But what kind of businesses do the Council think are right for Brockley Road - what is it for? Here's what the Lewisham plan says:

"The primary function of the Local Shopping Centres is to provide an adequate range of local shops to meet the day to day needs of the community. They are of particular benefit to the elderly and those people without the use of a car who cannot easily reach the larger centres. The loss of these shops could cause hardship and inconvenience to Borough residents. However, the Council recognises that non-retail uses can contribute to the variety and choice of facilities in Shopping Centres. They can also help to prevent vacancies and the detrimental effect that this can have on the appearance, function and economic health of the Shopping Centre. The criteria specified will help maintain the retail function while allowing for the natural changes that are part of the retail industry."

We have a couple of concerns about this. Firstly, we worry about the emphasis put on those without a car - it suggests that the Council are happy for those with cars to use them to go to Bluewater or Sainsbury's - we think the aim should be to encourage everyone to shop locally. Secondly, the model of a successful high street has changed - thriving high streets are not just "local shopping centres" they are centres for community life and places to eat, drink and do things are a vital and growing part of the mix. The policy seems to recognise that, but only in a rather grudging way.


Anyway, what are your thoughts please?

103 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brockley Road is a race track used by the squad cars from Lewisham Police station to get their takeaways back to the station before they get cold.

Anonymous said...

It's an eye sore - it's for crossing so you can get to the new delis/broca.

Bea said...

Brockley Road has the potential to be attractive. Above the shopping facades are a variety of interesting Victorian / Edwardian suburban architectural styles. Some shops have exploited this (see the new premises of "Pavilion" on the corner with Cranfield Road, Sids, Laterna) whereas others seem determined to cover it up (think City Noodles / Cost Cutters). It is just a shame that some retail outlets still think neon lighting is the best way to attract customers.

I think the shops generally offer a good selection and I can (and usually do) buy everything locally even more so now with the newly opened delis. Brockley road offers a good mix of retail outlets and cafes. And of course we have our own independent chemist, Sid the plumber, a holistic centre, the Post Office, a laundrette and two flower shops. It would be great if we could also have a butcher and fishmonger.

Once the much mentioned trees / planters are in place I hope the area will feel less like a rat run and more loved – although it is a lot to ask of a few trees. However, I’m not sure anything can be done on a local level to reduce the number of cars passing through!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I think realistically, and only once Brockley becomes more populous, Brockley Road should cater towards more mainstream shops (i.e. chain type of stores).

The surrounding roads should cater more towards cafes/pubs/bars and independent stores.

In order to preserve the mix, like I said, you need to have a central body of people in and around Brockley who will use both.

Presently, Brockley isn't busy enough to support this at the moment without one type of store gaining at the others expense.

I know it sounds kind of odd, but I really think we need a tesco or something similar near the station. Not because I love tesco (i really dont) but I think newcomers to Brockley will see that as a 'needy' item - a pre-requiste - before moving into the area. To attract more people, we need some sort of mainstream presence.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

The above is in relation to my expectation that Brockley Road will increasingly become a 'main road' through the area.

patrick1971 said...

Not Tesco Metro...Sainsbury's Local or M&S Simply Food, surely :-)

Does the council's strategy for Brockley Road take in the whole distance from Brockley Cross to the Brockley Jack?

veggiegirl said...

I like bea's analysis and agree with the observation that local amenities (for want of a better word) should not be just retail outlets for those who, for whatever reason, are without a car.

Brockley Road's problem at the Brockley station end seems to be that by the station there are a few shops opposite the Brockley Barge, then there's a not very attractive stretch down towards Crofton Park with no shops, followed by a few more bitty shops. The stretch through Crofton Park feels like far more of a centre, with more shops (etc) each side of the road for a longer distance. It's got potential to be more of a destination.

I wonder whatever happened to that planning application to turn one of the car lots into something else - and someone's suggestion that another one was due to be redeveloped too? More activity in those locations could create a critical mass of interesting places at the Brockley station end, continuing the trend started by the delis and the Shop on the Hill.

Richard Elliot said...

Unlike Lewisham Way, Brockley Road has the advantage of having shops on both sides of the Street. Think about it, how many successful shopping areas do you know that have shops on only one side of the road?

The disadvantage the Road has is the big gaping hole between the Station and Moonbow Jakes end. I think the Council needs to focus on helping join these areas up, or if that isn't possible, make them self sustaining and independent.

We definitely want a good variety of shops; food, cafes, restaurants, bars, newsagents, domestic stores, general retail etc...

To bring people into the area I think there needs to be some car parking and also cycle racks. A few more buses to bring people into the area would be good. There are very few compared to Lewisham Way.

Kate said...

At the Brockley station end, I think some public space would be helpful, and that's where the Common and the area outside the Royal Mail sorting office could come in handy.

Richard said...

I agree we might need a small chain store, if only to encourage existing residents to begin shopping locally. If people start getting their staples from Sainsburys local, etc, they will be more likely to pop into a local deli, butcher, etc, for more specialist produce.

Brockley Road is definitely split in three, and this could produce three distinct mini high streets - the Brockley Station area, the stretch by Moonbows, and Crofton Park. I imagine these all to have (as they already do) their cafes & bars, but to perhaps each house specialist stores such as delis, butchers, bakers or fishmongers that, hopefully, people would be willing to walk to

Anonymous said...

Reading between the lines, what this says to me is that the council basically wants the street to stay pretty much as it is, with maybe a greengrocer chucked in for good measure. They want the street to be for the poor and the elderly, with pound shops, newsagents, bookies and cheap takeaways and anyone who wants something else can bugger off to Blackheath.

Anonymous said...

Brockley Road is a horrible traffic-choked street giving an awful welcome to people arriving at Brockley station. The unattractive plastic shop-fronts are an insult to the wonderful Victorian architecture of the area.

The Council seem to be hidiously inactive in getting the retailers to change their shopfronts to ones which reflect modern high street standards i.e. in keeping with the period buildings which surround them. As far as i can see its an unregulated free-for-all.

Lewisham Council should be ashamed of itself for allowing people to deface our town in this way. Its a blight on the face of Britain.

Sorry to sound a bit blunt on this topic but it really angers me.

I have been to many towns in the UK and Europe where street presentation is heavily regulated and yet here, in the country that invented planning laws, we have little or none.

Anonymous said...

What can we do to get the council to listen to us? I know there is a Area forum, one was held last year at the end of April, would this be a way of improving things?

Pete said...

"The disadvantage the Road has is the big gaping hole between the Station and Moonbow Jakes end. I think the Council needs to focus on helping join these areas up, or if that isn't possible, make them self sustaining and independent."

I agree Richard but I don't think there is anything that can be done about this. There are houses right up to the road on both sides of the street and you can't really demolish them to make way for more shops. Even if you could I doubt there would be enough business to sustain them all.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Give it time friends, i'm convinced the MOT garage behind broca will go, quite alot of development can be made there.

ElijahBailey said...

Oi leave that garage alone. It's a thriving local business and a useful local amenity.

Out of all the car places around Brockley it is the one which seems the most active.

I like it and hope it stays. I am hoping to use them when I get myself a car.

Headhunter said...

It's evident that there is a lot of potential for Brockley Rd to serve the local community with some excellent shops, but many people here seem to be asking the council to do something about this. Although I agree that the council often seems to shirk its resposnibilities, what can it do about a largely desolate section of main road?

Shops established along Brockley Rd surely owe more to market forces than local government. Should the Borough of Lewisham really step in spending local money to force specific sites to be turned into a butcher or a fishmonger for example? The reason the fried chicken joints survive is surely because there is a market for them here whether we like it or not. If there weren't, they would've gone bust like Cafe Neu. If butchers and fishongers are really what's wanted then local investors need to put their money where their mouths are and open these shops! Just as the owners of Broca, Degustation, Shop on the Hill and Dandelion Blue have.

Are these types of shops the way forward for Brockley? Only if the local population changes sufficiently to support these businesses. This is not the domain of local government and I wouldn't want my council tax spent on diverting market forces.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

...unless it is money to be spent on areas not 'internalised' by the market forces that ultimately govern the private sector.

This would include, street cleaning, traffic calming, street decorations, preservation orders, etc... Theres quite alot a council can do.

Governments can generally interfere with markets in the 'short run' i.e. to kick start the economy to go in a certain direction. Same principle applies to local councils.

Headhunter said...

Yeah certainly providing a more pleasant environment through street cleaning and decoation etc must be the council's responsibility, but asking the council to "create" a fishmonger or a butcher isn't

tyrwhitt michael said...

When I moved into the area there was a butcher in the parade near the Chandos and another, a branch of Dewhursts, opposite the the Brockley Barge.

Both shut down because few people used them.....

Not much encouragement for similar new businesses unless the area has changed more than I can recognise

Anonymous said...

Sure businesses will develop according to market demand. But that market demand is skewed by local government planning policy, local government taxes, local government regulations which can consstitute a formidable barrier to new business start ups.

There used to be specialist shops in Brockley: bakers, fishmongers, butchers, etc. People still buy these things, but from the large supermarkets and they are in turn made viable by local planning policy, they need carparks and roads.

The world is changing. London is becoming far less car friendly, environmental conerns now have a high priority. There is a case for local shopping centres and these could be encouraged if the economic conditions were right. The local council can have a big influence on this.

Of course, the easiest thing to do is to encourage office space and big retailers in central locations. Easy because they are big companies and they pay big business rates. We will then end up with a car centric town plan.

Catford, the centre of political power in Lewisham is an example of this. When the council contrives such a souless environment in its own back yard, what hope for small parades of shops in other parts of the borough.

Lewisham, like so many inner London councils has little vision, it has a penchant for brutalist architecure and grand traffic management schemes. They like to do big deals with large retailers and chains. It is municipal, centralised and stuck in a 1960s philistine mindset. It is responsible for the Lewisham we see today which could be so much better.

I have low expectations, the best we can hope for is some of the better quality chains rather these low quality franchises. Small independent shops may survive, though it will be despite rather than because of the best efforts of the council and commercial landlords.

jon s said...

A couple of Australian geographers (Dowling & Bridge) did a detailed stuy on what happens to high streets and how they gentrify. It follows the following stages:

1. A critical mass of 3 - 5 entrepreneurs establish their own thriving small businesses in a defined space.
2. More entrepreneurs and chain stores start to move in............

My view is once the ELL extension moves in, the area around the station will be the centre and it will slowly spread over 10 years from there - starting in Coulgate St and moving to Brockley Rd.

We already have 2, Dandelion Blue and the Broca, who wants to open the third?

If no one else does, I'll do it myself in a couple of years!! (You can hold me to that.) How about a cafe by day with WIFI and a small bookshelf that serves gastro pub food, acts as an art galley hosting local up and coming artists on the wall (and launches in the evening) coupled with it being a bar (Still serving gastropub food) in the evening?

Monkeyboy said...

So long as you ban trilby hats and skinny jeans I'll patronise it.

Monkeyboy said...

...patronise? I mean use it...can you use patronise in that sense? Wish I'd paid more attention in English classes.

Anonymous said...

John S. Sounds good - why wait 2 years??

jon s said...

Why 2 years - Because I am helping the consultancy I work for grow in the Baltics (shadowing the country manager, hiring, mentoring, sales, programme management, programme delivery......) and will only be in Brockers on the weekends.

Unless, of course a consortuim of us decide to do it, then later this year would be OK. Any serious takers?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I dont know if you guys heard, but there is another cafe expected to open west of the station - thats right - WEST. Nick will clarify in due course.

With the gallery cafe that brings the decent establishments upto 5 around the station - nearly critical mass!

Anonymous said...

So the force has begun to stir on the darkside. I fear that the dynamics of the Brockley hub will begin to destablise. The Telegraph Archipelago and its satellites could distort the creative equilibrium. Brockley may need an infusion of performance artists from Forest Hill and the prancing dillettantes of Deptford could lead to pretensions in cafes on all sides.

Be very adraid.

Monkeyboy said...

...and look what happened to Yugoslavia? There'll be blood on the streets, not to mention discarded Birkenstock's, Crocs and other middle class debris.

Anonymous said...

The dark side is certainly rising, like an expectant cheesey souffle or a hung over stag night Lazurus who has been on a weekend long drinking binge and woken up naked in a cave.

This cafe could finally build the metaphorical bridge that connects both sides. This news is up there with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Northern Ireland Peace Treaty, the day Nando's came to Lewisham. It's big, I dunno how big, but bigger than a walnut definitely, maybe even as big as a peach or a small melon - maybe not that big, whatever, nobody really knows how big this news is but my guess is that it's huge, and I'm pretty good at guessing. The question is, who from the east will be drawn west to sample the dark coffee from the Darkside? Which promising young Jedi will fall like Lucifer from the kingdom of heaven, carrying the guilt that they had crossed the bridge and sneaked into the new cafe?

Westside Virgins hear me now - it's time to get a little dirty...

Kate said...

Crocs aren't middle class!

jon s said...

Crocs, worn outdoors are an afront to humanity, just like ug boots!

Kate said...

At least Uggs are proper footwear. Crocs are weird bits of plastic, urgh.

jon s said...

Agree crocs are useless bits of plastic, but growing up as a wee lad in Sydney I had a pair of uggs as .......... slippers they are not to be worn outdoors, ugg is short for ugly

Anonymous said...

You may not believe this but many of the people who work in Nandos in Lewisham are actually fashion designers. There are cross currents amongst the arty types in the area that you would not believe.

spincat said...

If anyone opens a bookshop in Brockley they will have my eternal devotion - a bookshop combined with some sort of eating/drinking place is what I was talking about some time back

TAmsin said...

There was a bookshop - admittedly a very specialist bookshop - that closed in the last year or so. Very difficult for any independent bookshops to vie with Amazon nowadays.

Jon S's cafe sounds remarkably like Tea Leaf Arts...

Brockley Nick said...

One unforseen consequence of all of this debate is that Google has decided that this site is read by lovers of Fairtrade produce and now all the ads are for Fairtrade produce. So the Fairtrade cause has been furthered!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I just had an ad for breastfeeding classes....

Brockley Nick said...

Google knows all and sees all! ;)

spincat said...

I don't remember seeing a specialist bookshop in SE4?? ... Oh, yes, you mean the Catholic bookshop. Well, that was the devil's work.

nicola name said...

google's reach is scary...

does anyone know anything more about the cafe on the west side? (west side of what for startes? the station perhaps?)

there's no reason that basic shops providing staples (or non yuppified food) can't look nice and uphold the values of the community. Think the positive aspects of the 1950s, shopkeepers taking pride in the appearance of the front step.

having said this...when did I last scrub the front step? hmm

Anonymous said...

In regards to the Westside (of the station) cafe - I hope that Nick will investigate further.

jon s said...

Andy claimed a cafe "Hero" was opening on the west side a while ago, It seems he's doing it again, claiming collusion (and respectability) from Nick who hasn't backed him up.

He's cried wolf a few to many times methinks.............

Anonymous said...

Jon S. No this time it's not from Andy - It's from me. I saw a post recently about a shop from the corner of St Asaph and mantle road, the west side of the station. It's double fronted and ironically I always thought it would make a great location for a cafe. It's been boarded up for ages though but the other day I called the estate agents looking after it (Hooper, Naylor Friend) I asked if it was still available , and they said it had just been taken up by someone. When I asked what it was going to become they told me, ' a coffee shop'.
I have further reason to believe that it will be an independent coffee shop rather than a chain, although I can't say why yet.

Dixie

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

good community spirit there jon s, thanks.

jon s said...

Andy, I'd state it's more a healthy dose of cynicism that lack of community spirit.

I'll tell you what ....... as it will be open by the next BC drinks, provided I'm not in Scandinavia, I'll buy you a drink (double if you like) at the next BC meetup.

Anonymous said...

For the doubters here is Hooper Naylor Friend's number: 020 8766 0123 - call them tomorrow and they'll tell you what they told me...

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I was wondering which one they are talking about, as from the shutters it looks like there are two units there (unless they have been converted into one). Quite a big spcae, double the size of the nextdoor drycleaners (and about 6 times the size of the Broca!)

It must be two units, surely?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Interesting, currently both units join together to form one unit. Whatever it is, it must be both units as they have applied for change of use (http://acolnet.lewisham.gov.uk/LEWIS-XSLPagesDC/acolnetcgi.exe?ACTION=UNWRAP&RIPNAME=Root.PgeResultDetail&TheSystemkey=52205). Currently it is A1 (which could mean coffee to take away like the broca) but they aim to change to a different catergory.. hopefully A3 (cafes/restaurants!)

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Hmm, google the agent address and it comes up with the agent owning a hotel in south kensington. http://www.wheresbest.co.uk/venue/138790/Firmdale-Hotels-PLC/

The agents website also says they run some rather trendy reasturants/bars.

I think the applicant on lewisham planning website is just the solicitors they are using.

Anonymous said...

This is all very exciting but can we get back to Brockley Road?

The area really is an ugly mess (with the exception of the area immediately outside the eastern entrance to the station which has improved drastically over recent months), and in my opinion the Council need to do something positive and decisive to increase the appeal for potential shoppers.

I agree that there is a definite requirement for a proper express supermarket (such as Tesco, Sainsburys) which would compliment rather than take business away from the new specialist shops. The Post Sorting Office on Brockley Road or the MOT garage behind Broca would be ideal! What ever happened about the street market proposal?

I also agree that the Council could play a more pro-active role in improving the area as a whole, such as allowing fewer take-aways to open with their neon signs and how about encouraging some office space to create some extra shoppers?

Talking of making the place look better... whatever happened to those new trees for Brockley Road!? Is this just another example of the Council being all talk and no action?

Perhaps we should be sharing our dissatisfaction with our local Councillors...?

Harry.

JPM said...

Jon S... much luck with the venture. If I can be of any assistance I'd be glad to help.

I've just returned from a place called Mont Tremblant in Canada. The base of the ski slopes down the side streets is peppered with 'modules'. They were like Tardises.

They were very small, but once I was in them I could not understand why each business, bar, restaurant, clothes shope etc, worked so well.

It was only later that I realised this was because these rectangle blocks were detached and light splashed into them from all 4sides. In some cases the ceilings too. Certain parts of Brockley Road and the West side of the station are perfect for a 'Tardis'. So too Hilly Fields.

Anonymous said...

In old photographs of Hilly Fields there can be clearly seen a Tea Rooms frequented by Edwardian ladies pushing prams and children in sailor suits.

That would be a far better place than the hazardous road interchange that is Brockley Cross.

Somehow, I think the hopes of a cafe culture taking root there will be undermined by the noise, dust and pollution. It seems quite grim.

Hugh said...

Two questions.

First, can anyone give an example of a high street like the Brockley Road that was given a successful and thorough makeover?

Secondly, how many years did it take?

The discussion here is increasingly outlandish in assuming the Brockley Cross area will change in any significant way in the foreseeable future.

Anonymous said...

Upper Street in Islington?
Northcote Road in Clapham?
Almost every street that now has bars and cafes on was once (some not that long ago) a complete hell hole.
It doesn' t have to really change that much to get much better. In 5 years it could be vastly improved.

Danja said...

I lived on Bellenden Road in 2000-2002, and it was a shithole then (the regeneration was starting, but mostly then the council led stuff rather the private enterprise which followed). East Dulwich is totally unrecognisable compared to how it was then. It doesn't take that long once there is momentum. Depends on your timescale I suppose, if you want it all now fuck off somewhere else.

Hugh said...

I want it now but I'll stay, thanks.

No crack to score today?

Danja said...

No crack to score today?

I'm sure there is if you look hard enough. Me, I prefer an offie with a selection of nice wines these days. But then I'm a boring old fart of a city lawyer.

max said...

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/?storyID=19901

JPM said...

A job description that isn't normally represented by a foul mouth.

Danja said...

Ewww, a 'foul mouth'. I love the prissyness. There's a reasonably broad spectrum, we're not all uptight toffs who want to live in Chelsea, failing that Putney, failing that Clarm.

James said...

Isn't the stretch of Brockley Road, from Brockley Cross to the corner where it intersects with Adelaide Avenue, all part of the conservation area? A quote from Lewisham council's own document on the Brockley Conservation area: "In conservation areas the requirement to preserve or enhance the historic or architectural
character of the area applies to commercial premises as well as housing. New shopfronts should usually be in painted timber with traditional elements such as stall risers, timber fascias and additional lettering or signwriting. Security shutters should be of the open grille type with the box concealed behind the
fascia. All architectural elements such as console brackets, pilasters and floor tiling should be repaired and retained.Aluminium shopfronts, internally illuminated plastic signage and luminous colours will not be permitted. For further information please ask
for our shopfront supplementary planning document."

This would make an improvement to the whole street....but why is it not being enforced?

JPM said...

On another, less presumptious, and polite note (for now)...

The application for change of use of the Mantle Road site seems a bit odd. The applicant cannot be traced via Companies House with the details given. Neither can the address be verified by Google.

The Agent is P(eter) J French.

It looks as if applicant "D-McClure" is going for "A1" use, which is not cafe or restaurant I believe. We should take a closer look at this one.

Danja said...

A1 is a shop. What are they changing it from?

Pete said...

To be fair Danja swearing isn't big and it isn't clever. Even I can manage to fit plenty of it into my day to day vocab but I don't feel particularly proud of it.

In your defence I think that Hugh's comment about scoring crack was very unfair.

Anonymous said...

JPM,
are you sure you have the right Mantel road property - the one APPP is talking about is managed by Hooper Naylor Friend - there are big yellow signs on it's outside.

Which property are you talking about?

JPM said...

Neither is the presumptious summation following it. Which is not only wide of the mark in my case but worring given the 'claimant's job description. Which goes to show that cyber 'profiling' is not as easy as it seems.

Anonymous said...

JPM - What???????

JPM said...

Anonymous, sorry, you received my riposte to a rather rude 'lawyer' (?).

I followed the link given earlier on and did some further background, and that's where it lead. I will take another look at the info you've supplied. Hold on a mo.

JPM said...

This is what I viewed on the council link provided by APP&P.

(EDITED.)
Details of Planning Application - 07/67377
Application Number: 07/67377
Application Type: Full Planning Permission
Date Received: 06 / 11 / 2007
Registration (Validation) Date: 05/02/2008
Consultation Start Date: 05/02/ 2008
Target Date for Decision: 01/04/2008
Location: Units 3 and 4, 209-211, Mantle Road, London, SE4
Ward: Telegraph Hill
Proposal: The change of use of units... to (Use Class A1).

This suggests that whatever the Class is then it is not currently "A1".

Perhaps I was given the wrong link.

Anonymous said...

It's looks like it is the same units. I called the agents myself and they told me it was to be turned into a coffee shop. APPP was told a wholefoods/coffee shop.
A bit confusing. Well done for pursuing it though.
Dixie

Danja said...

presumptious summation following it. Which is not only wide of the mark in my case

Ah, the 'we' was city lawyers, so unless you're one, you've taken offence needlessly - take offence at the prissy bit instead, that was squarely aimed at you.

Pete, no not big and clever, I don't remember claiming it was. The words were (a)an accurate description of Bellenden Road five or so years ago and (b) a fair and proportionate reaction to Hugh's position which, behind the parody, is sneering at SE4's chances on the one hand, while on the other seems a bit concerned that he might miss out.

Bea said...

It's great fun watching a couple of lawyers having a go at each other on line. But where's Hugh? He's keeping his head rather low after his initial provocative jibe - maybe he has taken Danja at his/her word and “f”ed off?

Danja said...

Maybe he found what he was lokking for and is busy on the pipe?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Hi JPM, its the same one I contacted the council about.

Previously, the building used to be a care home (for mentally handicapted people) but was changed in 2006 when permission was given for some modifications (seach register under Mantle Court). The ground floor used to have B1 use (according to planning) and is now going to be A1 use. (the wholoe ground floor apparently used to be A1 when it was a co-op, before becoming B1). the change of use is not regarded as contreversial by planning so will go through. I contacted the landlord who advised me it was going to become a wholefood shop. I mentioned others locally heard it was going to be a coffee shop and they said that under A1 it certainly can be, as long as it does not provide hot food. I was told the person opening the shop already had a coffee shop so it would be more than feasible that it would become a combination of the two (considering the size of the premise, this seems to make sense). The flats above are now going to be rented out to 'a more diverse array of tennants' (lewisham planning speak). not sure exactly what this means, but i suspect it just means anyone who wants them.

Regarding Mr French, search his name and you will see a number of plannings submitted by him in the past. He seems to be some sort of property agent, maybe working for the landlord and has dealt alot with lewisham planning.

Hope this helps.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Hi JPM, its the same one I contacted the council about.

Previously, the building used to be a care home (for mentally handicapted people) but was changed in 2006 when permission was given for some modifications (seach register under Mantle Court). The ground floor used to have B1 use (according to planning) and is now going to be A1 use. (the wholoe ground floor apparently used to be A1 when it was a co-op, before becoming B1). the change of use is not regarded as contreversial by planning so will go through. I contacted the landlord who advised me it was going to become a wholefood shop. I mentioned others locally heard it was going to be a coffee shop and they said that under A1 it certainly can be, as long as it does not provide hot food. I was told the person opening the shop already had a coffee shop so it would be more than feasible that it would become a combination of the two (considering the size of the premise, this seems to make sense). The flats above are now going to be rented out to 'a more diverse array of tennants' (lewisham planning speak). not sure exactly what this means, but i suspect it just means anyone who wants them.

Regarding Mr French, search his name and you will see a number of plannings submitted by him in the past. He seems to be some sort of property agent, maybe working for the landlord and has dealt alot with lewisham planning.

Hope this helps.

Danja said...

A coffee shop would be A3, unless it is the sort that just sells beans. They would need A1/A3 permission to mix retail and the normal type of coffee shop. That wouldn't be hard to get (unlike A5 takeway), but from what is said, they aren't seeking it (yet).

JPM said...

'Danja' (?), if you're a city lawyer, I'm the Messiah.

Personally though I can't stand the legal profession, neither can I walk on water, so if you are of that dreaded 'profession' (?) then your view don't mean squat. (Unless I'm paying over the odds for it, which, given your presentation here, I'm not.)

Now... back to the grown up stuff. (Sorry about that all you nice lawyers.) The planning application seems to me to be very vague. Any ideas what has been submitted?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

No idea what has been submitted. The council officer responsible (Jan....) seems to be very relaxed about it. I think they had to register change of use as a technicality rather than anything to worry about. Maybe give Jan.... a ring? He is probably one of the most depressing people I have spoken to for quite a while but he will hopefully tell you what you need to know.

A1 can be used for any type of food outlet that does not sell hot food on or off the premises. A1 explictly includes internet cafes.

I personally think any other use than the present B1 classification is a good thing.

I was going to post a comment about Danja, but i really cant be bothered at entertaining children at the moment (still at work :o( ).

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

No idea what has been submitted. The council officer responsible (Jan....) seems to be very relaxed about it. I think they had to register change of use as a technicality rather than anything to worry about. Maybe give Jan.... a ring? He is probably one of the most depressing people I have spoken to for quite a while but he will hopefully tell you what you need to know.

A1 can be used for any type of food outlet that does not sell hot food on or off the premises. A1 explictly includes internet cafes.

I personally think any other use than the present B1 classification is a good thing.

I was going to post a comment about Danja, but i really cant be bothered at entertaining children at the moment (still at work :o( ).

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

...and why has everything doubled?

Danja said...

'Danja' (?), if you're a city lawyer, I'm the Messiah.

Jesus! You're back!

You're not sounding so prissy any more, which I like. Sorry I swore, I'll wash my mouth out with soap later.

By the way, what's all the "'Danja'(?)" about, 'JPM'(?)?

Danja said...

Andy Pandy,

Internet cafes are defined strictly though as "(k) as an internet café; where the primary purpose of the premises is to provide facilities for enabling members of the public to access the internet".

Maybe Lewisham are relaxed about mixing A1-A3 without formal permission.

Or it could be a wholefood shop, with an internet cafe which serves drinks purely as a sideline. Slightly unfocused business, but it's possible.

Anonymous said...

City lawyer living in Brockley? You must be doing something wrong dude. All the lawyers I know live in 'established' areas, not one one that are 'up and coming'.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to think the term 'Coffee Shop' that was quoted to me by the agents actually means, a shop that sells different types of coffee. I really hope not - at least I hope it's not JUST a shop, and no cafe. I may have got my hopes up prematurely. We need Nick to get to the bottom on this soon.
Dixie

Danja said...

How judgmental. I'm doing OK, thanks. I chose to buy a big semi in Telegraph Hill, rather than a two/three bed flat somewhere more swanky (note the s). I like South London, and I love this bit of it now, and believe in its potential to get much better still.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to justify it to me pal. Big semi in Telegraph hill? It's probably the only way you'll ever get near to having 'a big semi'...dream on.

Danja said...

Right, OK.

Anonymous said...

I've got a big semi just thinking about it....

Danja said...

I don't want to think about your big semi. One is quite enough for me.

JPM said...

Amazing... must look up that legal firms number. Probably some one's wanky office in the City. (Sorry, I meant to put another "S" in there somewhere.)
Telegraph Hill my sympathies are with you.

Danja said...

Gosh, you swore.

Anonymous said...

Please don't be nasty to one another, particularly since the whole argument seems completely unnecessary.

Monkeyboy said...

This is great, a journalist and a lawyer in a bitch fight!

It's like the age old debate, who would win a fight between a bear and a tiger?

Anonymous said...

nipples on men are unnecessary, but that doesn't stop them happening.

(you can have that one for free)

JPM said...

A list of some "Planning Types" of Class A1, at February 2006

"Class A1. Shops"

[] Retail sale of goods other than hot food,

• Sale of sandwiches or other cold food for consumption off the premises

• Internet café; where the primary purpose of the premises is to provide facilities for enabling members of the public to access the internet
... where the sale, display or service is to visiting members of the public.

Class A3. Restaurants and cafes
Description:
• Sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises.

Anonymous said...

What kind of bear? a Koala bear would lose, as would a Kodiak bear and a small Brown bear. A Grizzly would have a chance and a Polar bear would win, but only because the tiger lives in a hot climate and would be sweating it's tits off before they even got it going on. A Siberian tiger though - the largest of all tigers - would have a chance against a Polar bear because the climate wouldn't be an issue but in reality the Polar bear would win. it's not a debate it's a fact. I've looked into it.

(that's for free to but soon I'm gunna have to start charging)

Danja said...

" Class A3. Restaurants and cafes
Use for the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises.

Class A4. Drinking establishments
Use as a public house, wine-bar or other drinking establishment

Class A5. Hot food takeaways
Use for the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises."


I think (I'm not a planning lawyer) that the key is whether the coffee is to take away, in which case it wouldn't fall in A3.

JPM said...

Ah, yes... but not just a journalist, a chameleon, a tiger-bear.

Danja said...

...a journalist, a chameleon, a tiger-beer and a messiah.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

try this...

http://www.wealden.gov.uk/Planning_and_Building_Control/Application_forms/TCPA_Use_Classes_Order_2005.pdf

yawn...

...just got home :o(

James said...

Can we move this thread back on topic - what is Brockley Road for?

It's stupid that people are insulting each other online here - it would be much better for us to do it face to face in a pub (I think Wetherspoons is ideal)

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