Mega God v Giant Mammon



Visuals have been released for a proposed redevelopment of Thurston Road Industrial Estate in Lewisham, another key plank in Lewisham Council's vision for the redevelopment of the town centre.

There are currently few more miserable stretches of road than this one and the light industrial units on the estate are currently occupied almost exclusively by evangelical churches like these guys.

The blurb says:

The scheme comprises of a 2 - 17 storey high-density mixed-use development accommodating non-food retail units and flexible retail/commercial live work units arranged around internal centralised parking areas within a two-storey podium structure and residential accommodation above, along with associated parking and servicing. The residential element above the podium level is arranged ‘U' shaped around a large central courtyard providing amenity space for residents. The scheme is left open at the southwest point to maximise sunlight into the courtyard.

That equates to:

406 new homes (62 social rented)

118 parking spaces

4 new retail outlets

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mmmm so we are going back to high rise so It seems.

Anonymous said...

"17 storey high-density mixed-use development accommodating non-food retail units and flexible retail/commercial live work units arranged around internal centralised parking areas within a two-storey podium structure and residential accommodation above, along with associated parking and servicing."

What a nice way to say "high-rise flats".

Brockley Nick said...

Funny how the anons comments presuppose there is anything inherently wrong with high rise flats. High rise living has become synonymous in this country with the mistakes of the post-war era, when poorly deisgned tower blocks were cheaply and hurriedly built to deal with a housing crisis. But, as the rest of the world understands, high-rise can provide successful and popular homes, while making efficient use of scarce city-centre land. Dismissing it as high-rise is like dismissing all suburban homes because you don't like Barratt housing estates.

So what specifically about the design don't you like? Is this an appropriate site? Will it be sympathetic to surrounding buildings? Is the quality of materials proposed OK? How does it work at ground level? Is the proposed parking adequate? Is there enough social housing included? What S106 contributions should the Council extract, etc.

Sue said...

If ever there was a site in Lewisham suitable for being a car-free development, this surely should be it, slap bang next to the train, DLR and bus stations?

And only 15% social housing? They're taking the mick, surely?! (She says, safe in the knowledge that this would go to strategic planning, not my ctte).

Brockley Nick said...

Sue, in practical terms, how would you enforce a car-free development?

It has fantastic transport links and I'd imagine most buyers will be young professionals who don't feel the need to buy a car, but some inevitably will want one or will already own one they want to keep.

Not providing car park spaces doesn't mean people won't buy cars and park them on nearby streets, creating problems. How do you get around that? Genuine, rather than rhetorical, question.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

The flats look like an excellent vantage point for train spotting.

The fancy external metal work however looks like ideal pigeon perches.

Other that that no particlar comment for or against i've decided I'm happy for our duly elected representatives to decide.

Sue said...

Hi Nick. If it's in a CPZ (and I think it is/will be in the Central Lewisham CPZ) then you add a planning condition that residents will not be eligible for parking permits. Obviously you have spaces for disabled parking, car club spaces and bike parking, but not loads of car parking places. People then rent/buy in the knowledge that they are buying in a car-free development and that they won't be able to park a car nearby.

If it's not in a CPZ, then in effect it would be difficult to make it car-free.

bungalow bill said...

The only reason these high rise flats will be different Is that most will be privately owed,unlike previous council owned tower blocks.

Anonymous said...

Great more religious baiting. Dear me.
Shaking heads at the lack of wisdom, displayed here.

Brockley Nick said...

What religious baiting?

Anonymous said...

*rollseyes*

Brockley Nick said...

The story is about the redevelopment of the site which is currently occupied by lots of churches. The headline is a jokey reference to Mega Shark v Giant Octopus, which admittedly is a fairly lame pop culture reference, the video is the kind of video I regularly include - a jokey, tangential reference to an issue under discussion (and in this case referencing back to the live discussion on another thread). None of that is intended to bait anyone - all harmless fun, of the sort we try to often try to blend with otherwise potentially turgid subjects...

Brockley Kate said...

Though you still haven't managed to work a Reality Bites quote into the blog anywhere, I note .... there's a dare for ya!

Richard Elliot said...

I'm with Nick I don't think a high rise development necessarily means a bad development. London suffers from a shortage of housing, and we need to increase our housing density. One of the easiest ways to do this is build upwards.

Anonymous said...

"we need to increase our housing density" do we? This is a planning mantra that needs to be interrogated. Why does London have to get bigger/more populus? Or Why not build homes on what's referred to as the 'green belt'?

With issues like this a vigorous public debate is needed. Rather than people just regurgitating received wisdoms.

Brockley Kate said...

Anon, look at the housing density of Paris, New York, etc and then look at that of London. Is there some intrinsic reason why London can't cope with a similar density?!

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the respective figures are for the mentioned.

But I would question the idea of adopting a planning policy just because other cities do it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the respective figures are for the mentioned.

But I would question the idea of adopting a planning policy just because other cities do it.

m said...

I still took to Lewisham because I can see the tops of the hills rising to Blackheath and vice versa...think this development will spoil that character from surrounding streets. As an image, I think they look quite smart. I don't mind high rise per se, but you don't have to think near station, pack them in.

Thing about car free is that DLR doesn't run all night nor do the trains...black cabs are so expensive. I only ever used to use them when work paid because I was working late. Cycling fine, but I wouldn't fancy it tonight. When you have a series of short trips involving children who are over 18KG?, not so simple to pop them on the back of the bike and go for it. Plus the joys of the hills and views we are about to loose means that trying to get children to cycle up them usually involves you walking and pushing them. Plus, whilst I'm in full swing. The £1/4 billion development in central Lewisham is so forward thinking it couldn't even give us a dedicated cycle lane. All that money and you have to go round the gyratory with the traffic, with children? I don't think so. I'd take to the car or live elsewhere...definitely the latter.

I'm saying the pack them in model close to transport nodes is supposed to rely on good infrastructure all around. There are lots of buses, but even walking isn't well done around here.

Oh and if this is to attract anyone with families, there is a massive school problem in this part of Lewisham.

Headhunter said...

Sounds like decent use of land otherwise occupied by a grotty industrial estate to me. Nothing wrong with "high rise" per se, as Nick points out, across most of the world high rise developments are perfectly acceptable. In cities like New York and Tokyo, the higher up a tall tower you are, the more you pay for your property. The only time I am against this sort of development is when it obliterates and dominates an area of historic character or something.

Kate said...

So more cars on Lewisham's already overcrowded roads - what a nightmare waiting to happen! It should be a car free development!

Kate said...

Also with all these extra people, there will be a need for more schools, doctors, dentists, hospital facilities etc - I don't see any of these facilities being provided...? There needs to be more joined up thinking....

Anonymous said...

Why did Brockley Station need its ramp rebuilt?

Well, consider the lily...

...AHHHH...

Headhunter said...

Good point about provision of services. The DLR is noticeably more packed than it used to be back when I lived in Catford. I remember getting trains back late in the evening on weekdays and literally having an entire carriage to myself, these days soooo many more people seem to be heading out to Lewisham.

Anonymous said...

Tower blocks were originally demolished because of unsocial behaviour,How will It be different now.Especially If a lot of the flats are put out to Housing Associations.

mat said...

I've lived in high rise in other countries and here and it ain't quite the same here. In Spain the social life was out of the home, popping to local shops for fresh produce, wandering streets with push chair and admiring citizens. You can spot a level of unpleasantness on this blog to children, imagine what those people are like when you encounter them out.

Wealthy people can take towers with views of my house and the hills beyond because they have the money to have a social life elsewhere, to hop into mini cabs and be away lots of weekends. When it is your entire existence and you are in some traffic island extravaganza..whatever the Loampit Vale affair will be. I know they haven't worked out the traffic flow taking account of all the new developments. It won't be the lovely pied a terre of the continent.

Brockley Jon said...

I am of the view that it takes a very special tower block with some quite unusual residents for a high-rise to be an attractive place to live.

I lived in a 2002 Wimpey block for a while, on the 6th floor (of 7). The flat was nice enough, but the community non-existent. You had to force a hello out of people, the communal bins area was a rat-infested cess pit which nobody cleaned up and people used to fart in the lift all the time.

Design-wise, what do we think of that giant bit of metalwork out the front? And as someone said, won't it be a giant pigeon coop? I vote to nickname it The Bird Cage.

Headhunter said...

The problem with high rise dwellings is just that - the people. If you populate the building with anti social w*nkers who piss in the stairwells and fart in the lifts then of course they're a nightmare. But then again, if you stick these sorts of people in houses along the same street, the street itself is likely to become and awful place to live too with cr@p dumped in the streets and grafitti.

High rise developments don't make people behave this way, people just are or are not, pleasant and neighbourly.

In Japan, most people live in what we would call high rise developments. I remember when I first arrived in Osaka and was housed by the company I worked for. I took the Tube to the relevant stop, walked out to my future home and my heart sank when I saw this enormous concrete slab of a building as my very British preconceptions kicked in.

However in the end I lived there for several months before moving to a similar building elsewhere in the city. The neighbours were lovely, very friendly and there was a pleasant community in each of the buildings.

Robert said...

I'd be interested to see a new CGI that combines all the proposed models for the Thurston Road, Loampit Vale and Gateway sites. Looked as a whole, that's some serious development!

I guess it will be a good ten years before it is all finished - if indeed it is ever built. It'll all be a significant change for Lewisham - whether it will be for the better, only time will tell.

I am not adverse to building tall either - my only criteria is design quality and appropriateness. Though, you have to say, Lewisham town centre is probably one of the only places where this level of development might work.

I know a Framework Development proposal was adopted five or so years ago for Lewisham Town Centre - but it would be nice to see a more considered masterplan for the whole area go through the planning process before development of this scale is introduced in piecemeal stages. Perhaps there was one - did I miss it?

Ed said...

I lived on the 17th floor in a Manhattan tower and it was wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I live in a high rise in the conservation area but its OK, all the locals piss out pure elderflower cordial.

modelmaker said...

Where are the Council finding the room for all these models,they must have loads,some Inches In dust by now.

Sue said...

@Robert: the third incarnation of the proposed new planning policy, the Local Development Framework, is going out to public consultation in the New Year, I believe. The government have kept moving the goal posts on what these have to be like, so the first two versions were discarded before they even got submitted for approval.

LewishamLovely said...

Hasn't it long been rumoured that B&Q was to be the main tennant of the Thurston Road retail space?
Like someone said above, it's so easy to be scepticle about any of these developments happening soon. It's like the Bermuda Triangle of Lewisham - all these plans and aspirations seem to disappear into the ether without moving forward.

Tamsin said...

Picking up on Anon. at 22.00 on the 17th asking why the automatic thought that London needed to get bigger and more populous....

I was at a workshop on Community Gardens put on by the Council (and introduced by some interesting stats. on the LBL demographic) and a chap there, a GP from Downham, was talking about the benefit of teaching long-term unemployed (and unemployable) City youth at least awareness of rural skills. (Not something community gardens could do - it needs to be more focussed than that). In his view we are at at an economic turning point - city-based employment is drying up, and the population needs to follow work back to the country-side. The government - local and national - is, of course, behind the times in its thinking and so planning now with proposed thousands of new houses in London and the South East to meet what were the needs three years ago and what will just be wasted white elephants in the future.

Not sure I share his vision of disaffected youth becoming self-sustaining small-holders - but the basic premise is an interesting one. And the concentration on the South East is a disaster in the making (the Olympics - if not palmed off on the French - should have gone to Manchester.

Headhunter sneers at the "grotty industrial estate" but at least it is work in an area where shamefully the local authority is the largest employer. (Not sure about the other stats, Sue, what percentage of people who work in Lewisham work for the Council or its direct contractors (like Glendale)?)

And, like M, I like views of the hills and, while providing wonderful panoramas for the lucky (or unlucky) residents, high-rise does detract from this for everyone else and are depressing surroundings (however fine with fancy iron-work) for those at ground level.

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