Look East - the view from Hilly Fields of Loampit Vale



In the debate about the future of Lewisham town centre, one of the concerns raised by Brockley residents is that the tall buildings of Loampit Vale and Lewisham Gateway would forever wreck the view east from Hilly Fields. We’ve always been skeptical about this argument, but since construction began at Loampit Vale and Lewisham Gateway got grassed over for an indefinite period, the debate has settled down and we’d not thought much about it.
But Tuesday’s beautiful weather meant another trip to the wonderful playground at the top of the park and as we waited for our family to exhaust itself in the sandpit, we noticed that we couldn’t see the fast-growing towers or even the tower cranes building them – even when we stood on the bench at the highest point of the park (where we took the top photo). That’s not the only vantage point, so we walked towards the eastern edge of the park, where there is a gap in the trees and took the second photo. If you really want to see the buildings and the cranes you can, but Primrose Hill it ain’t.
Of course, there are more, taller buildings to come from Loampit Vale and Lewisham Gateway may one day surprise us all, but for most of the year (at least when the trees have leaves), from most vantage points, it seems that the towers will barely be visible. For those who really want to have their illusions that they don’t live in London shattered, you can still get great views of Canary Wharf down Tyrwhitt Road.

29 comments:

Cllr Mike Harris said...

...And we get 4 bedroom social homes for larger families, and a brand new swimming pool.

biff bifferson said...

the view as you come down brookmill with matalan on your right is grim as well. all you can see is this looming building. but dont forget 'lewisham is COMPETING'. we dont know with whom or at what though.

omegacentreportsmouth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brockley Nick said...

It's imposing as you come down Loampit Hill, no mistake. Personally, I like the drama and you also have to reserve judgement until the thing is built and the scaffolding comes off.

However, I agree that it makes the area feel very different. Personally, I think that's a good thing. Matalan et al can't get redeveloped quick enough in my view.

Timmy2wheels said...

I would love to cruise down Tyrwhitt Road on my bike, enjoying uninterrupted views of the Wharf...but I can't take my eyes off the road, cos it's in such f#<k!^& bad condition.

biff bifferson said...

the roads in lewisham are a disgrace, some real trenches - bad for us bike riders. agree on matalan and all that stuff, it's awful. that said, their shower curtains for a fiver are good. and mike ashley's house of meff is a good stop for cheap socks

max said...

Mike, a brand new and "undersized" swimming pool if you don't mind me adding.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with Matalan? You can get some good, honest clothes from there.

Transpontine said...

As recently highlighted on another SE London blog the view from Hilly Fields was one of the arguments used against building on it in the late 19th century. Not sure if you can still see 'Highgate, Barnet, and Epping Forest... the woods of Eltham... and the famous Knockholt Beeches' (all mentioned in 1888)anymore though, tall buildings or not. Maybe on a clear day with binoculars.

Brockley Nick said...

Just to be clear, I don't mind Matalan the shop, but those commercial units are hideous.

Anonymous said...

They're good honest commercial units!

Is there an example of better looking commercial units nearby?

Matt-Z said...

@ Mike Harris - and a working decent size pool closing down to be replaced by a school (admiteddly needed) on an unsuitable site

@ Anon 14:49 - Catford Homebase with its Crystal Palace-style glasswork and ornamental pond is good looking as retail units go.

eduardo caroccio said...

wickham's in a pretty bad state too. to be honest though, all the roads around london seem to be going downhill fast now that council's have less money to spend on repairs. has anyone experienced the joy of cruising down southampton way (linking peckham to walworth) yet?

Anonymous said...

Just been along Torridon Road,you would have thought the earthquake had been over here the amount of cracks.

Anonymous said...

Am I right in thinking there was a line in the budget this year specifically for road mending?

Tamsin said...

and further to Matt Z's comment to Cllr Harris - when, if I recall it right, a viable site for the school was identified by an independent group about a decade ago but nothing done about it because the Council and its officers were so focussed on their unsuitable ideas.

Nice quote from Keynes I heard on the radio recently - "When facts change I change my mind - what do you do?"

Anonymous said...

Bllody Nimbies, you live in a city!

Brockley Nick said...

Just once, it would be nice to think a random abusive anon who completely missed the point of the article and the comments beneath would pause, read it again, think hard about it and say:

"Oh sorry, I realise now that I've been a complete boob. You weren't complaining about what I thought you were at all - quite the reverse in fact!

You must think me dreadfully rude. Please accept my apology and keep up the good work."

Anonymous said...

While the anon's are apologising, how about Cllr Harris doing the same?

Recall the denial the Mayor had cut funding to Lewisham Homes way before the debt crisis, or the denial the previous government had told the council it would withold the Decent Homes funding?

Re Loampit Vale, the pool and social housing with a price of almost £30m to the public, originally they were to be provided for less than £10m.

Anonymous said...

Passed Lewisham Bridge school on the train today....I hope the parents are proud of the sows ear they have created for their children to attend.

despairing of Lewisham said...

Looks like someone could get a job with the developers. Their artist's impressions didn't spot the views that we'd loose.

Lets face it, some people just aren't visual. I used to feel real joy when I left Hilly Fields and turned into Vicars Hill. I now feel my heart sink, when I see the cranes and know that this is the last spring I will see the beauty of spring unfurling on the other side of the Ravensbourne Valley.

I thought how lucky to live in Lewisham have these open views, even walking down to the station, I loved the seeing that green valley. It was something that made it special.

The hill tops were saved from development because of their views of green hills.

Views of trees are good for your health, I can tell Nick doesn't see this when he wakes up in the morning.

Brockley Nick said...

Lewisham town centre wasn't a green valley before the arrival of the Loampit Vale scheme. The green hills aren't being built on, only the brownfield valleys. So what's your point?

Loampit Canyon said...

We diverge from tragic loss of views here. It is Lewisham who has agreed the bad buildings around the lovely Lewisham Bridge school. At least we will have one lovely piece of architecture left when it is all complete.

I despair too of loss of views, I walk round the other way out of park and I've almost stopped going into Lewisham, too oppressive on the Loampit Vale. Take note of developer's sales pitch though.They seem to think the new residents will do the same.

They give times to get to Canary Wharf and Greenwich...is there Blackheath too? Maybe not, after all that is still Lewisham.

Should we feel insulted?

David attenborough said...

Simple fact. There is a massive shortage of housing in London. Much as I love the the idea of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plains and valleys of lewisham and the rain forests of catford heavy with fruit, we need to build somewhere.

Geraint said...

If you are looking for green unspoilt valleys, I suggest you move to Wales.

hilly said...

I'd suggest they had more stringent planning policies, and didn't build so high when it cut across fantastic views. (You don't have to go to tropical rainforests to appreciate natural environments)

Just because we are in Lewisham we are saddled with this. What is wrong with urban dwellers appreciating the views across the valley. It is one of the things that made Lewisham tolerable for me and when I had the opportunity I didn't move out of the area. How I wish I had known.

As someone above has pointed out, the development is keen to stress how quick it is to get somewhere else.

Is this the development advertised in Hong Kong for buy to let opportunities? or was that one of the other set of tower blocks.

Anonymous said...

the traveling thing is important. If lewisham wasn't well connected it would deteriorate. Like Thamesmead, Woolwich etc... It's naive to think that transport is not one of THE most important things in an areas desireability. 'Lewisham, the most isolated Zone 2 area in London' will not attract many people with disposable income that they could spread around.

Anonymous said...

Deteriorate like Woolwich and Thamesmead. Really? We are well connected, I don't suppose any of the drama loving high rise fans (blinkered by got to have more homes, have to be tower blocks scenario), will have these flats looking down into their garden or homes.

By the way, that not fab photo is only of the cranes. The buildings will obviously be a block out more of the hillside.

Anonymous said...

So we're agreed that being well connected is important then? so publicising the fact that you can get to other places is perfectly sensible.

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