Brockley Road improvements - suggestions please

There are plenty of bits of Brockley Road which could do with some love, but probably the most wretched is the stretch is the area opposite St Andrew's Church.

Cllr Sue Luxton has been in touch about this area, which is in the Ladywell Ward. There is still £2,000 earmarked for improvements from last year's Ladywell ward locality fund and she is looking for good ideas and feedback on the most effective way to spend the money. She writes:

Our initial plan was to spend the money on improving the area outside the row of shops opposite St Andrew' Church (where Brockley Kitchen is), and ideally I would still like to do this, but it is proving slightly more complicated than expected, due to the privately-owned shop forecourts and getting support from the businesses and property owners along there.

I was wondering if we could get some feedback via your blog on the following suggestions.

How should the £2,000 to improve the 'Ladywell ward' stretch of Brockley Road be spent?

1. Put it towards improvements to the forecourts for the shops opposite St Andrew's Church (row where Brockley Kitchen is). This would need to be in agreement with the property owners as the forecourts are not council-owned. Depending on funding, this could include some/all of the following:

  • Filling in that huge pot hole (it's not the public footpath)
  • Working with Artmongers or a similar local organisation to find a way of making the rubbish bins outside the shops less unsightly, and to site a storage point for them off the public footpath.
  • Put bollards to block cars going over the public footpath and parking in front of the shops (NB: the stonemasons do need access for loading/unloading however)
2. Have a community planting day and work with local businesses and residents to enter that stretch of Brockley Road into 'Lewisham in Bloom'
3. Spend the money clearing out the alley to the rear of SIDS and Moonbow Jakes and putting some gravel down to deal with the 'clay pit' in the middle there. Do a spot of community planting/guerrilla gardening there.

4. Spend the whole lot on street trees.

5. Any better ideas?

Thanks to Sue for getting in touch. Please post your thoughts here. We'll also set up a poll.

34 comments:

Brockley Kate said...

It's gotta be #1, surely? That stretch outside Brockley Kitchen is horrible.

Anonymous said...

Some of the shops aren't particularly savoury - what's with the hairdressers crew?

jpm said...

I suggest the following:

i) Get the freeholder to fill in the huge pot hole. This will save any personal liability claim - and save the available funds for something worthwhile. [Write to their insurers and deduct the cost of the letter from the fund.]

ii) Rubbish bins, a great idea.

iii) The shopkeepers will not support bollards blocking their shops - because they are the offenders crossing the public footpath.

iv)is

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glenda said...

Yes that's exactly right jpm. The shops do rely on pulling up outside so they won't support bollards. Unfortunately it's bollards that are needed. I have witnessed children twice being very very close to being knocked down by one of the vehicles pulling up on the pavement. The footpath is surely council property so I think a discussion with shop occupiers and spending £2000 (or whatever it takes) would be a good step to prevent casualties in particular amongst young children.

Brockley Kate said...

I've nearly broken my ankle on that stretch of pavement, it's so uneven. How about something like a raised flowerbed, to both brighten the area and prevent car access?

Anonymous said...

The hairdressers litter the pavement outside that stretch with bottle tops and fag ends and so at the very least, there would need to be some enforcement of littering regulations before considering anything else surely.

Anonymous said...

I am with Kate on this one, fixing the pavement and brightening it up with a raised planter sounds great.

News said...

I have some goodish news for you Brockley Kate, the wall at the junction of Wickham and Cranfield road that has collapsed has had some positive attention, a white board has covered the gap. So people can no longer peer into the garden. It's look abit weird but better than nowt eh?

Brockley Kate said...

Ooh! Ooh! I'll get down there with my camera asap! I was meaning to post a festive wall update anyway, and now there's actually something to report - thanks, News!

Tressillian James said...

Number 1 - and surely the council can enforce bollards by putting them on the council patch - I'm sure there is no right of way across the footpath. The businesses there don't look so bad - it's the rubbish bins, uneven pavement and other clutter.

If no.1 can't happen then I'd go for trees - plant a forest along that stretch!

Now if we could only get the Brockley councillors to wage war on the 'shipping container' outside of Meze, we'd be set. BTW noticed whilst eating at Meze that they use iot to store their firewood and other items for the business - maybe not much chance of getting them to shift it?

Pesto said...

Well given the option of losing the container and losing Meze or keeping both, I'd choose the latter. However there's nothing to say that the container can't be less unsightly. It seems an apt candidate for a bit of Art mongers magic if ever there was one.

Marisa said...

If the stretch outside Brockley kitchen absolutely needs a loading bay for the businesses, then would it be possible to have just one parking/loading bay (20 mins) which is not accessed via the pavement but is properly allocated on the road? I think there may be enough room for a loading bay and pavement outside the shops. Otherwise I'm with Kate, some raised flower beds would be really nice to brighten that bit.

Failing that, I would LOVE some trees up this end ie outside Brockley kitchen area and along the parade of shops where Oak estate agents are and along the shops opposite where the fridges are.

Paddyom said...

#1 for me is important as its a prominent site badly managed. Regardless of the fact that the footpath area is owned by these shops surely that doesnt give them a right to do anything they please? The need to drive over Council footpath property to get onto their patch of tarmac so the Council must be able to do something. The powers that be need to flex their muscles on this one or nothing will get done.

Anonymous said...

paddy...agreed. But the question is quiet specific, there is two grand kicking around. Where should it be spent?

Anonymous said...

I see Artmongers are gaining some support here. When the new bins went in at the Brockley post office I remember reading many derisory comments about it being a 'Blue Peter' job on the cheap.

Anonymous said...

some did, not all.

Tressillian James said...

I mentioned Blue Peter last time with the post office bins. I haven't supported an artmongers option here yet. So sorry anon, I don't think anyone is being hypocritical at all

nobbly brick said...

I'm not a fan of the painted bins - they remind me a bit of the lipstick on a bulldog thing - it's still a bin whatever you do with it. The cow patterned bins are especially irritating.

Brockley Kate said...

I wasn't supporting the Artmongers part of option 1, more the 'block off access' part. I'd prefer a raised flowerbed or some trees to an Artmongers installation.

4x4 said...

Put the money towards getting rid of all the dastardly speed humps in the area.I mean-how many people have been injured over the years in the Ladywell ward before or after the humps?
If anyone can show me proof that far less peolpe have been killed or injured I may change my mind.
Otherwise leave our roads alone!

Anonymous said...

Seconded, although I love speeding up and flying over those things!

jpm said...

The raised flowerbed is a great idea. I think buses and other high vehicles would (eventually) suffer if trees were to be placed there.

Headhunter said...

Option 1 definitely. If the budget will extend that far, planters rather than simple metal bollards would be preferable.

Removal of speed humps would be a retrograde step. You only have to look at the wide, straight roads of the conservation area, Wickham Rd in particular, to see that if the humps were removed, they would simply become huge speeding problem spots. Without the speed humps what is there to stop motorists blasting along at 50 odd mph?

I caught a taxi from hospital out in Woolwich back to Manor Ave a short while ago and the taxi driver said that he remembered the council putting the humps in following continual speeding problems in the area culminating in a child fatality on Manor Ave I think, which was regulaly used as a high speed cut through from the Brockley roundabouts to Lewisham Way. Although I find the revving cars make as they accelerate between speed humps annoying, I am VERY glad they're there

jpm said...

Headhunter, do you know the date of that fatality in Manor Avenue? With the recent planning application for a 64-place nursery at number 60 the increase in traffic and parking is likely to have a bit of an impact.

The proposal also included a large amount of staff. Who we are told will use public transport or bicycles. However, I suspect the staff and parents may not see it quite that way.

Glenda said...

Paddyom makes a good point as the choices given to spend (albeit £2000) make it sound as if nothing can be done about the footpath outside Brockley Kitchen etc. because the issues are too"complicated". I'm sure there must be someone on the blog who does complicated?
I think raised flower beds sounds like a really good idea if it can be achieved in budget.

Headhunter said...

I don't know the details of the accident on Manor Ave, the taxi driver mentioned it as we rolled along Manor Ave, slowing for the humps. He said that speeding had definitely been a problem along those roads though. Has the nursery application been approved?

Sue said...

Thank you to everyone who has commented and/or voted in the poll on this. Sounds like we should stick to plan A which is to try and get improvements to the forecourts on Brockley Road opposite St Andrew's. I have a meeting with Julie the town centre manager early in the new year to discuss this. It will take a while to sort though as it involves getting not only the businesses on board but also various freeholders who can be difficult to track down and some are keener than others.

Anonymous said...

The area outside that wretched barbers is a complete blight. Close the barbers down!

Obertra said...

Public money; small as it is; should definitely NOT pay for 'private shop forecourt repair'. On the contrary, the proprietor of the private shop forecourts where a potential hazard to public safety is noted must be prevailed upon as to their private responsibility. The proprietor should be asked to repair 'the hazard' via Council Health & Safety standards required for safe public access. - If public funding starts to be offered in this 'private way' this will set a precedent where other private shop keepers will expect the same. -

In the same way one would assume municipal repair to pavement hazards, within the public domain must already be covered at council highways funding level.

I believe those 'extras' not normally identified should have the grant pay for them. E.g. any suggestion to make a street more attractive with trees or hanging baskets (though who will water them?) etc. is to be welcomed. However, some types of tree do cause complaint such as fruiting trees during late summer. I would suggest the uniformity of floral tress such as flowering cherries of the sort that don't produce 'cherries' would be very nice.

Obertra said...

Continuing...
Judging by floral tubs, etc. that I have seen elsewhere, while very nice, always collect cans and cigarette ends pretty quickly after placement. If adopted they would need volunteers to maintain them?

JPM said...

Headhunter, and those interested in the Manor Avenue proposal to site a nursery at No 60.

The council has called a meeting at the building on Wednesday, 4th at 7pm.

[Actually seems a bit strange to me that the officers should site their own (council) meeting there, but what do I know? Could it be a sing that the deal has already been done?]

Spread the word: a local issue is being discussed on BC.

Anonymous said...

Speedicars sign, the White Hart at New Cross, and now this. The latest in the Mung Trilogy.

vhg said...

Looking at the comments on the parade of shops on the Brockley Road opposite Wickham Road. I guess I have to declare strongly vested interests living immediately adjacent to the area. It is a continual chore getting rid of rubbish that blows into our front garden. I love the idea of flowering planters near the shop area. If it helped, I would happily try to keep an eye on one if it was planted adjacent to the wall near the co-op funeral directors, providing that it was planted in a way that reduced watering requirements to the minimum as this could be somewhat onerous. This would seem to me to be a really good starting point as there is long wall there just begging for something to decorate it and it would be a nice touch anyway given the location. All the complaints regarding the local shops seem to me a bit OTT. There is at least a sense of community there between the shopkeepers. Whatever is there needs to be seen as positive and integrated with the wishes of the local community (ie the shopkeepers, their customers as well as passers by) not something imposed externally. SO my personal view is that if there is really funding available someone should consult with the shop owners and see whether they would appreciate any changes and if they are prepared to contribute either time, effort or funds to see those changes implemented. That way there may be a reasonable chance of the changes being maintained over time. Things tend not to be sustained unless people are involved in the changes implemented. I dislike the idea of trees. Maybe shrubs would be another option (less upkeep, less root damage and an area where people can see and be seen seems more likely to avoid potential problems). Shrubs planted around the bins on the streetfront area could be a helpful way to reduce their visual impact.

Brockley Central Label Cloud