Lewisham: Conservation areas at risk

English Heritage has published a list of conservation areas around the country which it considers to be under threat. The good news for Brockley - we're not on it. The bad news for Lewisham - the Beckenham Place Park and Deptford High Street conservation areas are 'at risk'.

Nationally, the agency found that as many as 1 in 7 conservation areas are 'at risk'; the top threats - some of which Brockley conservation area residents may recognise - include:


- plastic windows and doors (83% of conservation areas were affected);
- poorly maintained roads and pavements (60%);
- street clutter (45%);
- loss of front garden walls, fences and hedges (43%);
- unsightly satellite dishes (38%);
- the effects of traffic calming or traffic management (36%);
- alterations to the fronts, roofs and chimneys of buildings (34%);
- unsympathetic extensions (31%);
- impact of advertisements (23%);
– neglected green spaces (18%).


As a result of the survey, English Heritage is launching a 'Conservation Areas at Risk' campaign to encourage residents, local groups and councils to focus on improvements.

31 comments:

Headhunter said...

Dread to think what the at risk cons areas are like. Brockley suffers from most of those things including plastic windows and doors, poorly maintained roads and pavements, street clutter (they want your ipod signs, unnecessary signage and dog poo stencils), satellite dishes, traffic calming (Wickham Rd) and unsympathetic alterations to buildings.

surprised said...

I can see examples of most of the list from my living room window. Lewisham Council's attitude seems to be lackadaisical bordering on neglectful. They have issued a whole two enforcement notices for Brockley in recent years: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/Environment/Planning/PlanningEnforcement/Brockley/

853blog said...

Crikey, I didn't know Deptford High Street was a conservation area...

Anonymous said...

I can scarcely go down Deptford High Street now they have vandalised the best preserved shop (probably in the whole of Lewisham if not London). Kennedy's was so complete with shop front and marble interior. How the hell were they allowed to rip it out and put such a crap frontage on.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, sattelite dishes.

Anonymous said...

The loss of mature trees is also a big issue I feel. Only last week a horse chestnut from the junction of Tressillian Rd and St Margaret Rd was removed which has completely changed that lovely tree lined part of Brockley...

TM said...

Kennedy's would have to have been listed for it to be preserved.

Hardly complete either unless you count Asbestos roofs as Victorian.........

You need to look up sometimes.

I'm more concerned about the loss of the sausages although Wellbeloved or Drings do a reasonable substitute.

Anonymous said...

If that's the case brockley is hardly a conservation area,As most of the list appears somewhere

Anonymous said...

I noted with interest in the Guardian that it said there are 955 conservation areas in London

955!

Comment said...

I suspect that the reason for all these conservation areas is because people who buy homes don't really like a lot of the modern buildings and when they get a generally pre *1960's built building they want to protect it and so we get a conservation area.

*Obviously there's exceptions to that periodisation but they will be the high end luxury developments where build quality and materials are a priority.

Also I suspect the designation of a conservation area adds a cachet to the home, deserved or not.

Anonymous said...

lewisham Council don't really seem to care they have a conservation area in their midst!

Tressillian James said...

I think that the only reason Brockley COnservation area escaped the list is that it has an article 4 direction - and English Heritage thinks this awards a higher level of protection. This is only true if enforced -and Lewisham Plaaning department have, on record, told me that most of the guidelines for Brockley are just that, and they do not follow them up. I personally think that we need some show of numbers, from those who live in the area, so that the council realise that this does matter to us, and will start to enforce again.

Brockley Kate said...

Greenwich Phantom has done a bit more digging on this, and writes: 'English Heritage got their results by contacting councils and asking them if there was anything wrong with their lovely conservation areas. Simon Thurley, (CEO of EH) was "delighted that 75% responded..."'

He suspects Greenwich was one of the non-responders.

More relevant to Brockley is the fact that the council doesn't consider the conservation area threatened. That doesn't make it quite as much of an independent judgement by English Heritage as the press release suggests ...

Brockley Nick said...

No indeed, it makes it a rather meaningless survey, since the Councils themselves are supposed to be the guardians of the conservation areas.

Brockley Kate said...

I am beginning to become increasingly convinced that some kind of campaign is needed to get Lewisham Council to wake up on this issue.

Comment said...

But what's in it for them Kate? Aren't conservation areas pesky housing enclaves that require increased planning resources?

Tamsin said...

But wasn't it the Council that designated them as conservation areas in the first place? The potted history of the Telegraph Hill Society as I understand it is that way back in the early 1980s it was very active and got together a report to say that the former Haberdashers' estate with its homogenous houses (except for bomb damage gaps) should become a conservation area. This was put in to Lewisham Council and the whole thing went dead for years while the Society tore itself apart on the debate over whether a bus route (the 184, now the 343) should go through the area. Then in 1990 the report was dusted off by the Council and conservation area status granted, and the Society had to be revived as the Council actually want active amenity societies in each Conservation Area.

Anonymous said...

Conservation area designation can also be a vote winner if a local councillor is involved in the decision.

max said...

The Whickham wall is safe, thanks to the PFI arrangement it's at low risk of being rebuilt unsympathetically for another 29 years.

bagpuss said...

Your right Nick,Of course the councils are going to say everything in there conservation areas is hunky dory,Because its down to them if its not.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Bagpuss you need to employ Professor Yaffle a to proof read for you:

their not there
it's not its

Here endeth the grammar lesson.

Anonymous said...

TW you could have also cautioned over the capitalisation and no space after a comma; and You're instead of Your;

Not sure if there needs to be an apostrophe associated with 'councils' or 'areas' so will leave it there.

Headhunter said...

'Course there doesn't need to be an apostrophe, apostrophes denote abbreviations/missing letters
"it's"=it is
"council's"=council is
"area's"=area is

Anyway back to conservation areas. I have noticed that the b*stard satellite dishes, largely on council owned social housing on Manor Ave, which were removed during the Regenter regeneration works have now started to creep back.....

" " said...

That's not always true HH, what about when the apostrophe denotes the possessive?

Tressillian James said...

HH - Regenter only moved them off the walls and placed them on the scaffolding - so that the reception would not be compromised. When the scaffolding comes down, Regenter puts 'em back.

Max - I'm also glad that the PFI (Regenter) have rebuilt the wall on Wickham as per their contract. I only wish they had done the same on Tyrwhit, where they have erected wooden fences in front of a half dozen or so properties instead of rebuilding boundary walls.

By the way I think Brockley Society is going to be organising a street survey soon - get in touch with them via their planning gorup (e-mail Cat) to get involved.

Tressilliana said...

Well, for those of us wondering about Lewisham's enthusiasm for enforcing conservation area guidelines, that clarifies things nicely, TJ! Why didn't Lewisham take the opportunity to say to Regenter that every satellite dish they found in the wrong place should be notified to the Council, which would then serve notices to the tenants to make arrangements to get them put back in the right place? Answers on a postcard.

Tressillian James said...

Perhaps for the same reason that the original slate tiles were taken off the roof of my house (property Lewisham Council) and then sold by Regneter.

Anonymous said...

Did the survey say what was putting the conservation areas in Lewisham at risk?

For example Beckenham Place Park ain't going to swamped with sat dishes.

http://www.beckenhamplaceparkfriends.org.uk/

The listed buildings are at risk due to lack of maintenance. There is talk of attracting Heritage Funding but the mansion may be flogged off.

The Council is working its way round the borough consulting the public on the conservation areas, recently St. Marys was extended and Blackheath also had some changes.

Headhunter said...

Kate - I don't think English Heritage did this survey purely through consulting councils, they had a survey for the general public to fill in on their website which I posted here a few weeks back. So there was some attempt to speak to the people on the street.

TJ - Along Manor Avenue Regenter didn't replace all the satellite dishes on the front of buildings. I noticed that the dishes were strapped to the scaff whilst work was carried out, but as the scaff came down some had been moved to chimney level and others seemed to have gone altogether, but now they seem to be creeping back into place on the front of buildings...

Anonymous said...

Lewisham Hospital has just made an application in a conservation area to double the width of an access road.

Read the design & access statement and decide if it is an improvement or putting the conservation area at risk.

Plans include removing part of the pavement, reducing the size of an open space, introducing barriers and illuminated traffic signs, removing parking facilities in front of a parade of shops, relocationg a TFL CCTV tower closer to the entrance of a Grade II* listed building and defining the revised access by building out into the main road.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked at the shop fronts along The Parade on Upper Brockley Road? If there is any evidence of Conservation policy here will someome please point it out to me.

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