Lewisham nights

Boy, I'll tell you. They only come out at night. Or, in this case, uh, the daytime.

- Chief Wiggum, The Simpsons

There's quite a lot to pick through in the Lewisham Town Centre Area Action Plan (AAP) that's just been released. Notably, the Council's plan suggests that Lewisham Gateway, the High Street, Ladywell and Lee High Road would be "suitable locations for evening economy uses as part of a wider mix of uses."

The plan states that:

Lewisham Town Centre currently lacks a strong evening economy offer. Opportunities to nurture the range and quality of bars and restaurants should be grasped with a view to enhancing the vitality of the town centre beyond peak shopping hours, whilst strengthening the centre as an inclusive family friendly place.

As an ambition, it sounds reasonable, but hard to pull-off. We'd like to see them avoid creating large venues of the sort that tend to lend themselves to stabbings, but a series of Jam Circus-sized bars and restaurants, supported by an expanding population (the plan envisages 3,100 new homes being built by 2021) could work. What do you think?

The plan is subject to consultation and won't be adopted in any form until 2013. Thanks to Andrew for the nudge.

23 comments:

Matt-Z said...

The site of the market stalls are in the town centre has potential for 'cafe culture', but it would be a brave business that made the first move. As noted, Yates's wine bar was a nightmare and associated with all sorts of trouble in the evenings. If there is investment to create a decent 'strip' for bars and restaurants, perhaps encouraging small businesses to move in, refurbish empty shops etc, it could work. As there's no money this won't happen, so I don't see much change in Lewisham in the short term. Ladywell has more potential though.

Anonymous said...

Levante Pide's great

Anonymous said...

Oh god please, no not a Lewisham Council masterplan.

John said...

"We'd like to see Jam Circus-sized bars and restaurants."

Of course you would.

drakefell debaser said...

What would you prefer, John?

D said...

I think the only way it will happen is by places starting up at the ladywell end where it isn't so scary - then as more nice places open they'll creep further towards lewisham town centre. It'll have to be a long (10-15 year) process.

If you tried to open Jam Circus there now with the best will in the world it would either turn into a frightening dump, or it would price itself out of business.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Evening Economy Offer - an accurate description of the Watchtower as it stands.

Where did all the "trouble" that forced Yates's to close go to or is it yet to resurface?

drakefell debaser said...

Maybe the Ravensbourne Arms will go some way to starting that off, D.

CPZ said...

Yesterday a man in Bentley was snooping around the MOT center.

Now that the MOT will soon be turned into 4 floors of flats I think it is a good opportunity to resurrect the plan of turning Foxberry Place into a square that was launched on BC long time ago. The barge has understood the potential. The two tables at the front are always full. So I say a call to the Council to pedestranise Coulgate and turn the end of fozberry into a square!! Nightlife Brockley here we come

max said...

Yes, but the Ravensbourne is not there at all, it's halfway between Lewisham and Catford.
Reality at odds with the planning department.

D said...

dd - that's what I was thinking. I really hope that one is successful and can hopefully help open a few doors for other places in the future.

Matt-Z said...

@CPZ - '...The Barge has recognised the potential...' hardly, the two tables on the corner are a bonus smoking area for those too lazy to walk to the garden at the other end of the pub.

Anonymous said...

the guy in the Bentley was having an MOT.

drakefell debaser said...

CPZ, you mentioned a 'council tower block' the other day. 4 floors is hardly a tower block now is it...

Anonymous said...

Those punters who went some way to getting Yates closed down,only went there at weekends for the music,it was ok during the week.
And the Ravensbourne wont attract yoof as theres no banging music.

Theres quite a few bars come cafes in Lewisham now,how many more do they want.

charlie said...

I am livid right now, the papers are rife with misinformation regarding that now convicted pervert. HE IS NOT FROM BROCKLEY.

Anonymous said...

surely new cross is a better candidate for a night-time hotspot that lewisham town centre? more of an existing music scene, plus just down the line fom shoreditch for all those trendies to be able to get home at night?

interesting rumour on the MoT garage - what goes there could be really decisive for whether Brockley's on the up or not...

John said...

Debaser, I'd like a couple more run-down pubs, cinema showing popular films, possibly a late night greasy spoon serving egg, chips and sausages (with a high proportion of fat in them), a venue for bands, a good kebab house and possibly a roller rink where the local gangs could have pitch battles.

I don't want a Jam Circus-type place because there is no need for one. If I want to go to a Jam Circus-type place, I'll go to...well...Jam Circus!

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss L said...

(Sorry about deleting my previous comment, used the wrong name...)

Doesn't anyone else find the thought of all those new homes really scary? Our local buses and trains are already overcrowded, traffic is bad, and I'm sure there isn't room in existing schools for all those new children who would potentially move in. The Loampit Vale development is bad enough.

biff bifferson said...

some half decent pubs and somewhere for nice grub is whats needed. there's nowt on lee high road apart from that abysmal pub opposite (the ace) nando's. and then further up there's dirty south with their plastic cups and further still those pubs are just rubbish. the darjeeling is always busy but there's another restaurant on the other side, opposite the vauxhall garage, that's never got anyone in. for lee high road to be any good it needs a load of bread thrown at it, but i cant see that happening. still, there is a lidl coming soon.

max said...

What's wrong with that pub, I've been a coupple of times and it looks ok to me.
And to find something to eat on Lee High Road is not really a big problem, on the same block of the pub there is a bit rubbish looking but great value for money Turkish place and up the road there's a truly excellent Chinese
(link for the Time Out review).

biff bifferson said...

@max. theres nothing particularly wrong with that pub - if were on about 'obe' - theres just nothing to it. although i got an awful steak sarnie in there a couple of years ago and im still smarting. the chinese by the bus stop is ace, but it;s been usurped for this consumer by the one next to dirty south - fantastic hot and sour soup. never tried the turkish one though. there are some odd little gaffs on lee high road, by that patisserie

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