Brockley Bites

Ladywell Assembly Meeting tonight

The Ladywell Assembly takes place tonight, from 7pm-9pm at St Andrew's Centre on Brockley Road.

Residents of Ladywell ward are encouraged to attend the public assembly and air their views about the key issues facing the area. The Brockley Assembly attracted a big turn-out and you can read about it here if you want to know what to expect.

Burned-down house rises from the ashes

The house on the corner of Upper Brockley Road and Geoffrey Road that burned down last year, killing one person, is now almost completely rebuilt. However, some residents have expressed concern that the addition of side windows, facing on to the site of the neighbouring MOT garage, could hamper plans to redevelop that site. Any new application for housing on the garage would be restricted by the need to avoid blocking the new windows.

Ecosium under new management

Well, not that new. But one of the partners in the Harefield Road restuarant has taken outright control, installing a new menu and focusing on the service problems that have blighted the business. Given that much of the criticism it received from Brockley Central readers pre-dates the takeover, it could be worth a reappraisal.

There's no such thing as virtual society

Who better than the harmonious folk of Brockley Central to take part in an experiment about online co-operation?

The Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London is looking for volunteers to take part in a trial of a new online social game.

Whether you are into online gaming or not, this is a great excuse to play games whilst contributing to valuable university research. The game involves creating an online persona, or 'Familiar', for yourself and then creating and collaborating on various tasks with other players through your in-game character.All you need to do to take part in the trial is to play the game for 6-8 weeks, but this means you will need internet access.

All players taking part in the trial will be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 voucher redeemable at Currys.digital, PC World, or the Link, and after the trial has finished you will be asked to fill in some questionnaires. Goldsmiths is looking for 100 volunteers from all walks of life - you don't need to be an experienced gamer. If you are interested please contact Dr Elaine Beattie on 020 7919 7338 or email e.beattie@gold.ac.uk

59 comments:

Monkeyboy said...

I may set up a virtual steel band.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed the shoddy brickwork on Tea Factory? Take a view from the Brockley road traffic lights and look at it. It appears they ran out of the nice bricks and have patches of another sort which appears to be a different quality. I personally hadn't noticed it but it's the first thing my father who's an architect mentioned when I asked him what he thought of the building. His words were, 'they're not leaving it like that are they?'.

Anyone know the answer to this - is it finished?

brockley mutha said...

@ monkeyboy. That's deliberately provocative, nevertheless much appreciated. ha ha ha.

Tom said...

I have never seen a house built so quick as that one on Upper Brockley Road. Seeing that it took my neighbours TWO YEARS to renovate a house, it's been a pleasant surprise.

The Cat Man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Me said...

Well I went into Ecosium for the first time about 3 weeks ago and not only were the juices and paninis we ordered delicious, but the service was quick and friendly!

Loved the decor of the place. What a nice location for a hot afternoon drink :)

- Soph

Question said...

What is the planning situation with regards to those additional windows on the rebuilt house on UBR? Was permission given or needed to add windows?

Headhunter said...

Tom - If you think 2 years is a long time, what about that house on Manor Ave that has been derelict since the 80s and under scaffold in a perpetual state of being refurbished since the 90s! I can't believe it is still structurally sound any more

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Re Windows in end wall.

Whilst planning is one thing "rights to light" is another.

If there were no windows there before and the wall is on or close to the boundary, any developer of the adjoining land could build right up to the wall or to his boundary blocking the windows.

They have to enjoy 20 years continuous usage before a right to light is obtained that would prevent such an adjoining development.

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks tm, the same person owns both plots of land, so that makes sense.

Do dah said...

That Goldsmith's experiment thing sounds a bit like an online version of Big Brother and with that in mind I think I'll have to decline the opportunity to help further scientific endeavour on this occasion!

Brockley Kate said...

Yes, I notice the shoddy brickwork on the Tea Factory almost daily! It really jars on the eye. There's also some patchy-coloured brickwork a bit lower down, where it looks like they've filled in what was originally a window.
I've just dropped the planning department an email about it, will post if I receive a reply!

Anonymous said...

God I'd love to stick The Cat in the BB house....

Hugh said...

Red House up for sale. The incumbents didn't last long, did they?

Headhunter said...

Which red house?

Tressilliana said...

Presumably the big house on the corner of Wickham Road and Harefield Road - south-west corner, I think.

Do dah said...

I want to echo Brockley Kate's comments about the Tea Factory what a disgrace the Tea Factory's appearance has become. I'd thought it was rain that had temporarily discoloured the bricks, but no it's actually DIFFERENT bricks.

I am keen to know what the reasoning is behind this. Personally I find it unacceptable, on the front of a building that faces a high street, it sends out the message that Brockley is a slovenly, 'accept anything kinda place'. It also causes me to question the standards of the builders, because did they not calculate how many bricks of X colour they required before the job began?

This is the address I've obtained for Lewisham planning, I shall be lobbing off an email, questioning what is going on at the Tea Factory. It would be good if others could also.

Planning information service
Tel: 020 8314 7400
E-mail: planning@lewisham.gov.uk

tyrwhitt michael said...

I think you will find that the bricks are a mixture of old (retained from the existing building) and new (where the building has been extended openings filled etc.)

They may be the same bricks but if some are brand new and others 50 years old they won't appear exactly alike. I expect the builder has done the best he can but we will have to wait for the English weather to do its worst before the new ones blend in.

I quite like the patchwork effect as it shows how the buildng has evolved.

Do dah said...

I too like the patchwork effect...
on quilts!

Brockley Kate said...

There's a difference between 'patchwork effect' and 'scrappy'! Mixing in different shades of brick can look nice; having one large block of differently coloured brick looks horrendous.

Doodah, I'm really glad to hear that you've contacted planning too. It would be great if more people could do so too, in the hope that this might prompt some kind of response from the council.

jon s said...

How about we push them to render the building?

Hugh said...

Won't be long before the spray-can muralists have given it a different hue.

Headhunter said...

May be the muralists who did the front of the Tate Modern could be persuaded to do something with the front of the Tea Factory?

Brockley Nick said...

I agree with TM. The patchwork reflects the fact the building has evolved over time.

Monkeyboy said...

I'm a scruffy bugger, I hadn't really noticed. The copper clad sticky out bit is great - can't get to excited about a few odd bricks.

Feel free to pillory my lack of aesthetic sensibility.

The Brockley Telegraph said...

I also quite like the effect. Only noticed the new bricks from the brockley cross side. Makes the building look 'rustic'. Good fit with the name.

Do dah said...

It looks naff, and post rationalising arguements about the evolution of the building don't work for me.

Those discoloured bricks are incongruent. The story about the evolution of the building comes from the juxtaposition of the brick with the green cladding, and the wood at the back, even the name of the building on the side the 'patchwork' bricks, overloads and any 'evolution of the building' rationale.

tyrwhitt michael said...

You clearly can't please all of the people all of the time.

Lets cover it in some of that nice stone effect cladding or some pebble dash.....

(btw I'm being ironic here)

Leave it a couple of years and I bet they all look the same...ish

Danja said...

I don't see any patchwork bricks on here, for some reason. http://www.theteafactory.net/index.htm#

*expletive* they build flats small these days.

Brockley Nick said...

we know the council has limited resources. We are all busy people. Why use-up their time and yours complaining about a few bricks on a nicely-done building, when there are much bigger things to focus on?

For example, why not ring and complain about the gallery situation?

Do dah said...

To Michael and others, look what was promised what was sold to us a an idea for the building.

http://www.theteafactory.net/index.htm#

and then compare it with what is there.

It's not good enough. If they had said 'rustic', 'evolution of the building' etc, etc, fair enough but they did not and I therefore I want to know what is going on.

Brockley Kate said...

Nick - one might say exactly the same about the Speedicars sign - I'm one of those who don't really get what the fuss is about - BUT I'd never try to tell those who are bothered to stop whingeing about it. Horses for courses, isn't it.

I think it's good that people notice and contact the council about ALL these things, it shows that we care about the neighbourhood.

Danja said...

I clocked the patchwork bricks the other week, but I can't really recall exactly what they looked like. TM is right about weathering, even if they were direct replacements they would look wrong for at least a couple of years - but they may be worse than that?

lb said...

What do people expect the Council to do about this exactly? Get the developer to demolish the entire building? Remove the 'offending' individual bricks (technically nearly impossible)?

They'll simply note that the new bricks will weather to a similar finish to the old ones.

As a side note, I'm looking out of my office windows at a row of terraces of circa 1850 or so. These are built in London stock brick, i.e. yellowish brick that darkens rapidly on weathering. These have been partly cleaned and indeed on closer inspection have weathered to a wide range of different colours ranging from a dark brownish-grey down to pale yellow - a genuine patchwork. It looks fine, and indeed better than a uniform, unrelieved shade of brick.

Brockley Nick said...

@Kate - I think there is a difference.

Coulgate Street was nice until it was made considerably worse by Speedicars.

The Tea Factory was a derelict hulk until it was made considerably better by the developer, even if some people don't think it's been as good as it should be. It may not even be possible to get an exact brick match. Meanwhile, at ground level, our community gallery (the price that was supposedly extracted from the developer on our behalf) is still in doubt. I just think it's a question of priority.

@Do Dah - no computer rendering is ever exactly the same as the finished product - practicalities like brick weathering always get in the way. Look at the Gherkin for example, widely praised, but even that's not exactly as the renders suggested it would be - the top is dark, whereas the renders suggested it would be transparent.

Besides, as TM says, it may be that the brickwork eventually does match the pictures.

I'm not saying don't whinge, I'm just saying I think a wise course is to choose your battles.

Brockley Nick said...

@lb - quite.

Brockley Kate said...

And I'm saying that different people can choose different battles and that's a good thing!

Brockley Nick said...

Sure, if that's what people care most about, go ahead. I just think they're wrong to consider that a top priority...

BTW - the other difference with Speedicars is that it's very easy to fix the speedicars situation. As LB says, it may be impossible to fix it.

Do dah said...

"2 stunning penthouses", I wonder whether the building is as 'rustic' on the inside as it looks on the outside, we all know 'rustic' is estate agent speak for rough.

Nick there's pragmatism and there's downright sloppiness.

I don't think it's 'whingeing' to contact the council about the appearance of a building that will dominate our high street.

And speaking of 'estate agent speak' the developers may well have shot themselves in the foot, because as result of those 'patchwork' bricks, the 'kerb appeal' of that building has gone down and this has implications for the price and speed of sale.

lb said...

The original planning committee report noted that the extensions to the original building would be done in the same materials, i.e. Fletton brick, in this case.

New Fletton bricks will not look the same as the existing ones. to buy exclusively pre-weathered, used bricks would not have been appropriate for this type of development, given its size, and in any case would not have guaranteed a uniform appearance as they would have to be sourced from various sites each of which would have weathered differently.

In short, there's no other way the work could have been done. Of course people have a right to complain about whatever they want; I just can't see the point of complaining about this particular situation, as it's impossible that it could have been done any other way.

lb said...

[do dah] It's not 'sloppiness'. The only way to achieve the effect you're expecting would be to demolish the entire building and start again with a single batch of bricks.

The Brockley Telegraph said...

meaow... Cat fight. Excellent.! More milk anyone?

Do dah said...

Oh really,if that's the case LB then why wasn't that represented in the computer images, that are STILL on the developers website.

In this day and age, computers should be able to get the appearance of the final product correct. If they can;t then one has to question the planning process.

I really think you and the others need to see the building. Then you'll understand why I'm concerned.

I want the developers via the council to explain what is going on and we are left this kind of looking building on our high street.

Now enough of this chatter, please either email the address provided or just stop.

And to Andy, you really are silly :)

Tressillian James said...

I must admit that I saw the patchwork effect and thought 'shame' - but if they have used Fletton bricks then we will have to wait until they weather. However, I support anyone in getting the council to check and make sure they HAVE used Fletton bricks.

As for priorities in argument - if anyone wants to put in time and effort to check on any building reg, or planning app, to make sure that things have been done as agreed, more power to them. I don't think we should be telling them where to focus. If the council are overworked in planning then they need more people on their team.

lb said...

I have seen the building; in fact I've looked at it closely. The effect you describe is a natural artefact of the way the development was done - you originally asked what the 'reasoning' behind the building's appearance was; well, this is it. Look around London and you'll see the same thing replicated on hundreds of buildings as a natural consequence of the way building materials work.

As for the computer images, I think it would be argued that they can't predict the weathering patterns of brick, this being a natural, organic process; similarly it could also be argued that within a few years the building will weather to the kind of homogenous texture shown. Why would I want to waste planning officers' time by emailing them over this kind of baseless and pretty much unanswerable complaint?

lb said...

[TJ] I'd be very surprised if they haven't used Fletton bricks, given that they're among the cheapest you can get; they weren't even intended to be used as facing bricks originally, but got used a lot in industrial buildings, like the Tea Factory.

jon s said...

Oone of the "stunning penthouses" is not selling If it is still on at the end of the year I may put in a cheeky offer for it, it has a huge deck!

Danja said...

There are lots of different fletton bricks, so hopefully they tried a bit harder than that to get a match.

Tressillian James said...

One of them is up for rent - with pictures

http://www.gumtree.com/london/74/25093774.html

Go on - take a look - you know you want to

Brockley Kate said...

Phwoar, that looks well nice!

jon s said...

that's the one (oone, shocking typo) I would put an offer in for at the end of the year...........

patrick1971 said...

I like the way he says, "I also have access to other affordable properties in the development and reasonable offers will be considered." £1350pcm for a two bedroom flat on a main road junction with a railway line at the back doesn't sound that desirable or affordable to me, to say the least...

Headhunter said...

Nice looking place inside. £1350 sounds like a lot but I don't know the rental market for 2 bed flats in Brockers. How much would you pay in rent for a 2 bed flat in the cons area?

fabhat said...

the developers could arrange to have the bricks painted - by specialists. Does anyone remember seeing that on Grand Design programme about the place built in waterloo next to the orchestra that caused an incredible row about non matching bricks?

drakefell debaser said...

That's a good point Patrick, the rail way line behind is not only commuter but freight as well and the freight trains trundle past at all hours of the night. Living next door particularly on the lower floors could prove to be somewhat noisy. Not to mention the sub woofing - hatchbacks of Brockley going past on the other side. Does anyone know what the plans are for the tyre garage that sits right next door to the Tea Factory?

fabhat said...

I meant this one...

http://www.channel4.com/4homes/ontv/grand-designs/houses/W/waterloo.html

Monkeyboy said...

Mmmmmm.... property porn.... So different from my normal surfing activities.

tyrwhitt michael said...

Why is there a dead cow on the floor of the penthouse?

Oh and the frieght trains carry nice flasks of nuclear waste en route from Dungeness to Winscale.

Colouring the bricks to "pre-weather" them is the obvious solution but it is expensive and can have an adverse effect long term as the coloured one weather differently to the old ones giving a patchwork effect long term instead of short term.

Oh dear back where we started!

Tressillian james said...

It was hit by a train

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