Daywatch


Milner: Someday. That's a dangerous word. It's really just a code for 'never'.
- Knight and Day

Someday, Ladywell and Brockley town centres will have coherent, high-quality high streets, like Honor Oak and Crofton Park. In Ladywell, En Gedi, El’s Kitchen, Oscar’s, Masons and Geddes have led the way.

The new shop front that used to be video shop Nightwatch also offers hope that things are headed in the right direction, despite all the gloom on these threads – day follows night.

It’s not difficult and it’s not expensive. Big windows. Wood. A decent paint job. No illuminated signs, no tatty shutters. It’s all written down in Lewisham’s guidelines for town centres, it just needs developers to stick to them.

There's no guarantee that the shop will be filled of course, but the developers have given themselves the best shot of attracting a business, although the space is small and will suit only a limited range of uses.

With thanks to Marc for the photos. And to Patrick who tried, but was pipped at the post.

33 comments:

Headhunter said...

"It’s all written down in Lewisham’s guidelines for town centres, it just needs developers to stick to them."

...and of course it takes the council to actually enforce rules it itself puts in place. Currently they rarely seem to bother.

Sue said...

And Ladywell Soc pushing for that chunk of Ladywell Rd to be included in the new conservation area, despite the deterioration that had already taken place, has helped to give the planning team more clout with developers.

Next on my wish list for improving the road would be for Corals to do the decent thing and spend money on a good quality renovation of the flats above their premises - it's scandalous the way they have just left them to rot.

Then persuading the owner of the Snack Bar to invest a bit in his property, perhaps adding a separate entrance to the upstairs flat so he can let out the downstairs. Long overdue.

Headhunter said...

Brockley Road near the station is part of the Brockley conservation area isn't it? Yet just about every shop has metal shutters and neon signs and planners do nothing.... Why would the planners have more concern to enforce a new conservation area in Ladywell and not existing conservation areas?

BTW anyone know what's going on with the pub conversion on Friendly Street? The developer ripped off all the original tiling and replaced the windows with uPVC (in direct contravention of the planning permission that was granted). It was reported here that they were being forced to replace the tiles and windows in comliance with permission they were granted and conservation area guidelines, yet at the moment the building remains stripped back...

Brockley Nick said...

@HH - re: that (ex) pub, coincidentally I met someone who lives there recently. It's a poor conversion job all round and there's no sign of them putting the tiles back, although they've had the cheek to stick up an advert for their company on the front of the building. Shoddy. Very shoddy.

Sue said...

I'm an eternal optimist, Headhunter! Is the section of Brockley Rd by the station in the conservation area? I know the bit in Ladywell ward (ie St Andrews to Adelaide Ave) isn't (although St Andrews is, I think).

Brockley Nick said...

@Sue, yes, it is.

Anonymous said...

Decent paint job.Is it the light because it looks like theres loads of paint on the pavement.

Anonymous said...

Honor Oak has plenty of neon plastic signs courtesy of upgrades by the mini-marts/ off licences. UGLY and I refuse to shop in them anymore for being visually offensive.

MikeSE13 said...

I believe thats what clean paving stones look like...

Ed CPZ said...

Non-compliance has the further effect of introducing a positive feedback system; obvious locally in both driving/parking behaviour and the state of the High Street.

Anonymous said...

The council only enforces the rules if there is money in it - for the council. Failing that, they have to be lobbied (constantly) by residents - and councillors themselves. It is not enough to just come on a site like this and moan. Get off moaning, lobby, change.
Nick, you are spot on, and you are not just a voice in the wilderness - well done for lobbying.

patrick1971 said...

I was scrolling down the screen and thinking, "I'm sure that's not the photo I sent Nick!"

Headhunter said...

OMG, is that pub conversion on Friendly St finished? I assumed it had gone on hold. It looks like they haven't even finished rendering the outside properly! It just looks like unfinished cement! What an eyesore they have produced....

I would like to be an eternal optimist and it's nice to see that this shop in Ladywell has been upgraded properly but the council does not seem to actually ever follow up on things in the planning realm... Forever setting up new conservation areas (Ladywell) without actually bothering much with the existing ones.

Sue said...

@Headhunter I sympathise with your concerns over lack of enforcement of conservation area infringements - I believe there are only one or two officers in the planning conservation team now, and given they have to look at every planning app in conservation areas across Lewisham, as well as related enforcement issues, they are quite thinly stretched. For this very reason, however, Lewisham is not 'forever setting up new conservation areas' - Ladywell Soc fought for years to get the new conservation area set up, and it was only after many years of delays that the Council agreed to it, and then they were keen to keep the area fairly small due to lack of staff to enforce it.

Anonymous said...

Over the years at various listed buildings in Lewisham alterations have taken place without permission and to be blunt most the public don't give a toss.

By the time the council are aware of the changes it can be 2-3 years after the event.

The managers of a publicly owned building which they knew was Grade 2 listed decided to rip out the original windows without permission.

That was stopped by a passing member of the public and the sash windows were re-installed but windows that were changed to UPVC a few years earlier remain in place.

Anonymous said...

UPVC!!!! *scream*

Anonymous said...

I think the Council needs need people. Most of the people there have been sitting on their fat asses for decades.

I would like to see a petition to change the planning department and enforcement office for poor or non existing performance

rolls eyes said...

yet another opinion plucked from the ether, well done you.

Anonymous said...

So..doesn't anyone know what the shop is to become or is it a secret?

Anonymous said...

Mungley's Fried Asparagus

Anonymous said...

So the question is who do the people at the Council respond to.

In any organization there should be benchmarks and accountability.

Hoping in the localization act to launch first referendum on Council tax reduction fully financed by reduction of Council headcounts.

Secund one performance based carrer with local residents and Councillors involved in their evaluation.

perplexed said...

No, the question is, what are you on about, anon?

Eyes still rolling here said...

- You assume that staff apraisals are not done. On what basis?

- Do you believe that the headcount is too large? on what basis? Or that they are paid too much? on what basis?

- Are you Dyslexic?

- referendum? where every resident gets a vote? like an election? Great idea, wonder if it will catch on.

Mezzer said...

It's ironic that whilst bemoaning accountability, the posts are made as an anon.

Anonymous said...

Theres loads of UPVC Windows in the conservation area.

Anonymous said...

@roll eyes yes I am dislexic you racist fat arse. Do you think dislexic should be allowed to write on blogs?

I bet you have had a cousy and secure (do nothing job) at Council.

I speak because I have lived many years in Lewisham, and had few wxperiences.with the Council to tell you most of people there are over paid and for doing nothing.

They only succesful thing they have managed to. Do is building themselved a nice new headquarter. However, shop fronts, and parkings are too difficult and expensive to pursue.it is time for fresh air at the Council, you in front of the line expensive

Anonymous said...

@roll eyes yes I am dislexic you racist fat arse. Do you think dislexic should be allowed to write on blogs?

I bet you have had a cousy and secure (do nothing job) at Council.

I speak because I have lived many years in Lewisham, and had few wxperiences.with the Council to tell you most of people there are over paid and for doing nothing.

They only succesful thing they have managed to. Do is building themselved a nice new headquarter. However, shop fronts, and parkings are too difficult and expensive to pursue.it is time for fresh air at the Council, you in front of the line expensive

Eyes rolling while drinking a cup of coffee said...

Gesus! Relacks! I actually have a jolly nice job in the private sector, £55k in case you're wondering. I don't believe that public sector workers are uniformly useless or living high on the hog. No idea what race you are, is that relevant? My parents were immigrants. Looks like the wheels are falling off your argument.

Anonymous said...

I heard from a member of staff at Geddes that it was going to be a second hand bookshop! Lovely but not sure that would do well.

Pete said...

Well my father in law is a second hand book obsessive and comes to stay with us nearly every week. He could probably keep this shop going on his own!

RosieH said...

The refurb has been done really well and I've been waiting to see what it would house. A bookshop would be great.

Brockley Nick said...

Unless it's a hobby business, I don't see how this survive as a book shop. Bookshops are struggling anyway, and this is too small to be a really good specialist book shop, surely?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there has been much interest in the old Nightwatch property?

I run a very small event organising business and would be interested. It's a toss up between building an office in my garden or finding somewhere small, cheap, nice and local to Ladywell. This seems to fit the bill nicely.

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