180 Brockley Road plans revealed

The public consultation for 180 Brockley Road has just got underway at Toads Mouth Too. To coincide with the event, the developers have sent us some images, from the consultation.

From Above, coming from Brockley Cross
From Brockley Station
From Foxberry Road
A few points to make here.

Since the very early days of BC, when we still wrote in the first person, we have been arguing that too much of Brockley's centre is given over to places for cars, rather than for people. This is not by design, it's an accident of bombing and then the area's relative decline in the post-war period. Blitzed sites were cheap and unloved and car lots came in to take advantage. Fair enough, but times have changed, Brockley has got busier and there is new demand for stuff to do locally. If any of us were starting with a blank sheet of paper to design a town centre, we'd probably start by putting shops and places to eat, drink and be merry right in the middle, near the station, to create a lively centre.

We've also argued in favour of the Brockley Cross Action Group's vision of a part-pedestrianised Coulgate Street, which would have many benefits and few costs.

This project would achieve both these goals and create - for the first time in Brockleys recent history - a coherent centre. The idea of redeveloping this site is one that's been discussed and debated on here many times, because it's an obvious and sensible thing to do.

The scale of what is proposed here may surprise some, although it's only 26 residential units, so relatively small compared to many other local developments. In our view, something largeish is not only a necessary evil to make the economics of the development stack up, it is a positive benefit that it is of a scale sufficient to bring a bit of critical mass to our high street. On the other hand, the character of the existing Coulgate Street parade, including Brown's, the Broca and Speedicars is one of the nicest things about Brockley, and we hope that quality can be preserved.

The quality of the architecture is of course partly a subjective question and these visuals do not convey a huge amount of detail, but the massing and the impact it will have on the look and feel of central Brockley is clear.

In sending these visuals, MacDonald Egan have explained:

Our sentiment at this point is that we have worked closely with the community groups, have listened and agree and are trying to help achieve their highest priority for the area being the regeneration of Coulgate Street, together with a design for the building that has their support too. 

With the work of the BXAG driving the landscaping of the station ramp/approach, the council’s recent footpath improvements and the refurbishment of the terrace on Coulgate Street leading to the thriving caf├ęs and shops, we have a unique opportunity to fit nicely into the jigsaw. 

Regarding the building design, we have also taken on board some suggestions/refinements from both Broc Soc & BXAG groups into the design and think we have their broad support for the design at this point. 

We hope to achieve the same level of support from the public consultation. Early in the process we also met the commercial neighbours along Coulgate Street as they will be directly affect by the road works and again seem to have their support for the ideas we have put forward for both road and buildings. The council’s highways department have also had input. Our only point would be that good design and architecture are always subjective to a degree, we won’t be able to please everyone, but we ask people to take a holistic view because ultimately if we cannot achieve a broad consensus and subsequently a viable planning consent the community (and us) are left with the existing Coulgate Street station approach, unfocussed village centre and the fragmented existing buildings on the site.   

If we continue to receive the broad support evident to date and maintain input from BXAG and Broc Soc hopefully people will accept that these organisations are well placed to represent the general community in giving us feedback rather than receive many different ideas from individuals. 

With support we hope to make this regeneration real and be on site toward the end of the year and all users of the village centre and station will see a difference shortly thereafter. 

94 comments:

Anonymous said...

I quite like the look of that. Cna they renovate the station at the same time.

Lady Well Enough said...

What I thought it might look like, pretty ugly, but that's my opinion and at least it's creating a center.

Closing that end of Foxberry rd. and extending the paving and trees would be a nice addition.

D said...

Certainly looks like a step in the right direction (though hard to see too much from the pictures). I do object to calling Brockley a village though - what's that all about?!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Looks like it's 75% flats, 25% shops, though admittedly, it's hard to tell from those images.

Anonymous said...

Be good to make that area pedestrian *and* cycle friendly too.

Brockley Nick said...

anon 1518 - yes, about that. Apologis if I gave a different impression previously.

Anonymous said...

Not ideal, but a great improvement on the status quo. Much will depend on detail and finish.

mb said...

A new development may be a factor when TfL are prioritising station improvements so shouldn't be a bad thing. In a sense we're lucky that what was there before didn't really work so thumbs up from me, is hard to tell from the early renders though. Materials and finishes make a huge difference. The new Farringdon station building is a boring functional box but lifted by lots of limestone cladding.

mb said...

Snap!

Anonymous said...

You can object all you like but it is a village. Doesn't mean we have to talk like the Archers though so you can relax.

The scheme is taller than I imagined and needs to be better intergrated at the south end (agree with paving and trees) but hopefully they have that in mind.

Suspect the MDE materials/finish will be better than the new MDF shed overlooking the station.

Anonymous said...

I like it- though there probably be more shops at street level - especially with the view from Foxberry Road ... they are all ground-floor flats ... a waste of public area I think

quick brown fox said...

Why are the existing shops (Broca etc.) visible on the view from above but not from the station? It seems to be an inconsistency between the images.

The design could be worse, but I think it could be better - it looks a bit grey and concrete-y, reminiscent of the uglier bits of the South Bank.

In principle I think it's a very good idea, provided they get the balance between residential and retail/other commercial right. All being well this could be a major step forward in giving Brockley a decent centre and creating a good first impression on visitors.

Matt-Z said...

Agree with quick brown fox and others. Not amazing but not too bad and a step in the right direction. Quite high density though, and it's folly to think that none of the residents or businesses would have vehicles, so where would potentially 20-30 extra vehicles put themselves, and how does that fit with the enhanced pedestrian area stuff? I wonder if the usual back-and-forth with the planning department would see the number of flats reduced, along with the height of the development?

Brockley Nick said...

@Matt - I would agree with you about parking, although worth noting that ACE vans will no longer be in the picture, which will free-up 5 spaces or so. Can't imagine more than 10 residents cars as a result of this.

Anonymous said...

Looks like there should be more shops / retail there - too much accomodation on the ground level

Anonymous said...

We think its a continuation of the bland development that is also ruining Deptford at the moment.

It has no character or style that is in tune with area. How it would fit in with the local community is a mystery. The local community has been fine without the need for souless developments for many years now.

Anonymous said...

+10 -5 +(relocated cars in Coulgate Street) means that parking will be harder for station commuters. Not that I care.

Anonymous said...

I agree with closing the end of Foxberry rd and turning it into a square.

Too tall, poor design and really wrong argument for its size. If they paid too much for the land it is their problem, not sure why the residents would have to swallow it.

The one on the Brockley Cross used the same argument, then they still have not built it waiting for better times. When better times come they increase their profits. Old builder tricks, in a complacent Council.

Fattyfattybumbum said...

The moon and the birds in the last photos are hilarious.

I think its hard to judge from 3 computer generated images but any investment in what is currently a pigsty of a high street has to be welcomed.

In relation to the retail, the quality and design of the buildings are irrelevant if the quality of the tenants is not high.

Look at the prime retail unit across the street where some savvy landlord decided to let the unit to a 'junk shop' or the new supermarket on the west side who didn't even know where they were opening a store (Haynes Park, helloo?!)

We need high quality decent shops and restaurants who have a clue about presentation, service and quality to do Brockley proud and entice us to spend locally.

Generally though, GREAT NEWS!

Anonymous said...

Eliminate one floor and increase the number of shops...

Anonymous said...

Erm, the elevation from Brockley Station doesn't include the Coulgate St houses! I can't possibly imagine they're proposing knocking them down, so perhaps this image has been mis-labelled or somesuch?

Very hard to comment on much at all with this level of detail, tbh. Too general to be meaningful.

This is the one location in Brockley where I wouldn't mind seeing something reasonably tall go up - 5-6 stories easily.

mb said...

where does this 'to tall' thing come from? we've been buildiong over three stories in London for a thousand years!

Difficult to have any strong feelings based on these renders though, it's an outline.

Anonymous said...

As long as a tesco or similar doesn't take all those shops along the brockley road side bit!

mb said...

it does include the coulgate st houses? look at where the station is and look oposite doesn't show the common in detail which wouild help orientate yourself

Bloody eck! said...

Oh my God. Good grief. Jesus Christ. WTF... Waaaaaaaaaaaaah

Matt-Z said...

@Fattybumbum

Picture 1 also has an intriguing rooftop swimming pool (or is it a lawn) at the north end of the building.

Fattyfattybumbum said...

@mb - yes the images do include the houses on Coulgate street??

Anonymous said...

Mb - pic 1 shows the Coulgate houses, pic 2 doesn't, despite being apparently the view from Brockley Station - therefore should be looking straight at them, surely?!

Fattyfattybumbum said...

@ Matt-Z : hilarious that stuff eh? I believe they call it aspirational living, which I am not sure SE4 is ready for ;)

Anonymous said...

Actually, no, I'm wrong, it DOES show the Coulgate houses, it's just that the very annoying 'DRAFT' text is sitting right over where Browns is, so it's very hard to make out what's going on there.

Anonymous said...

Dreadful, but not unsurprising, neither it is unsurprising that the developers are using a local blog to perform part of their PR function.

It's low on about everything - creativity, imagination, 'public realm', square footage for the residents, it's just lowest common denominator stuff by a developer who doesn't give a toss about the neighbourhood.

Ez said...

@Anon 15:37. Unless it's pastiche, new architecture does not "fit in" but redefines. Tourists don't flock to see Brockley's heritage buildings after all, some of which are in fact pretty "soulless".

1950's post offices, dilapidated Victorian terraces fronted by garish shopfronts and cars behind wire fencing don't do it for me, so I welcome a change. If the materials are right, the new development will complement Jude Court (which could be worse) and the Broca/Brown's terrace.

Anonymous said...

Jude Court is awful. I hope these guys raise the bar. Where will the murals go?

Anonymous said...

Any idea how many new shops this would create Nick?

Anonymous said...

Jude Court isn't good, but it's better than the block opposite. The murals should go into oblivion.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to like it, particulalrly the broken edges against the skyline, seems rather interesting. If finished with quality materials (a major issue for Jude and the Tea factory) I think it might look rather splendid.

Matt-Z said...

@ anon 16:04 If the murals go, paint more. Although 'You are now entering free Brockley' wouldn't ring true if a CPZ was introduced.

mp said...

pretty sure It will look like that pile of crap named Jude court.

Anonymous said...

It's nice that it's not 'blocky' - I was worried that they might be proposing just one big monolithic building, whereas this looks like several different buildings, which is much more in keeping with the scale of the neighbourhood.
It would be nice to see it link up with the space outside the Barge, so that the edge of the new development blends into the existing area. And of course that would be the ideal spot for a proper local square, with seating etc.

Ez said...

People need to be realistic. This is a small commercial development in a relatively poor area of inner London. It is not going to be designed by Foster/Rogers and clad in stainless steel and limestone roach.

Anonymous said...

I like the infinity pool opposite Cranfield Road.

Anonymous said...

@Ez, take a look at their portfolio before giving us an architecture lesson. I'm hopeful this will be better than Jude.

Anonymous said...

Oh, no advertising by the look of it - YES!

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, they mentioned that the ad hoarding that acts as the gateway to Brockley will be going, which is a definite plus.

Not sure how many shop units this will create, hopefully that's something we'll learn from the consultation event.

Tim said...

I quite like Jude Court and Tea Factory. People need to be realistic. Is it better than the current situation? Yes!

Anonymous said...

What a pile of rubbish! Usually Brockley standard. Too few shops, to tall and Council house look. The rendering from the station is missing, is it because its back will look huge and hugly behind the existing buildings?

The architect has really wasted his/her time going to school. @Ez we do not need Norman Foster, we need an architect with a bit of imagination. Something more like the tea house rather than Jude court.

I am surprised also that BS, BC and BXAG are lobbying in favour, and kept this quite for so long.Is it that they are starting to think they better represent the residents than the residents themselves?

Will get my vote against at the consultation from the Council.

The developer even dares making a threat... if this is not approrved, it will remain like it is. Well so be it if you cannot improve it.

Faux Berry said...

What happens to the takeaways on Coulgate st? they don't seem to feature...

Anonymous said...

I think it needs more shops - this THE town centre development, not a block of flats on the fringe of brockley ...

Faux Berry said...

brain turned off. ignore me

pip said...

It looks a bit like the Barbican to me. I applaud the idea but not the specific design, which is a bit dated.

Hard to tell how this is more pedestrianised than at the moment - it looks from the pictures as if you'd still be able to drive the full length of the street. Even with this somewhat unappealing design, I would welcome it if it meant a proper outdoor seating area for the Broca or other cafes. If the road remains full of parked cars it's pretty hopeless.

Ez said...

@Anon 16:28. I have and, yes, there is always hope. Be nice if MacDonald Egan possessed a camera, though.

@Anon 16:43. Crofton Park dweller?

Mb said...

I still struggle to see how you get angry, or lep with joy actually, at three early images.

As for using a local blog, well better than a local paper hardly anyone reads or those little yellow posters stapled to a tree.

BrockleyKate said...

Right. Just got back from the consultation. Some additional info ...

- The murals will go, but there is a plan to photograph them, blow them up really big and put the pics under the railway bridge to brighten it up. I suggested that they could commission Known (the graffiti artist who created them) to re-do them under the bridge instead. There was some muttering about cost, but BXAG are interested in fundraising for it.

- The planning gain will be delivered through public realm works rather than affordable housing. In layman's terms this means that the developer will pay for works to the wider public realm around the site, rather than subsidising some of the housing units. The housing will therefore all be for market sale, I understand.

- There will be 23 residential units, of which 1 4-bed house on the northern edge of the site, 1 3-bed, 11 2-beds and 10 1-beds.

- They did not know about the fact that the southern edge of the site is used as a stage for Brockley Max each year, but said they would take that into account in their public realm planning.

- BXAG are looking at creating some vertical planting on the north and south sides of the site.

- The commercial space will be classed for planning purposes as retail (A1, I think it is) and offices; it won't be classed as suitable for fried chicken shops or bookies.
Not clear whether this rules out restaurant/bar usage too.

- The commercial space will be flexible, so it can be easily subdivided or opened up, making it appealing to a range of sizes of businesses.

The architect and developer seem very keen to hear people's views and very open to discussion, which is really positive. They do appreciate the immense regeneration opportunity which this development offers for the wider community, and therefore the site's key importance. They are very keen to get the council to appreciate that as well (as are BXAG). They would therefore appreciate help from local people in lobbying the council in support of the development.

david s said...

I've just been at the presentation which was interesting. I suggest that, if people feel strongly about the proposals and they are able to, then they get down to the TM2 before they leave (supposedly 7pm) as there were four or five people presenting the plans and only a similar number of locals. Bear in mind that they're not obliged to do this public consultation at all so there may not be another one, although of course there will be regular planning process which may include another consultation when the plans are finalised.

On balance I was very much in favour. Their current plan is to go for high quality building materials and some (reasonably significant) improvements to the 'public realm' (e.g. make Coulgate St pedestrian friendly and one way, though not pedestrian). Plant some trees etc. There seems to be a a bit of a toss up between these improvements and including more affordable units, but I was of the opinion that the improvement to the streetscape and making the building higher quality was of more importance than including four affordable units.

In terms of the commercial units, it's very open ended at the moment. Could be four or five different shops / restaurants / offices or potentially one bigger one. But they were keen to have a good range of shops and not the kind of shops (bookies, more takeaways) which would impact on the value of the flats above.

Still a lot of detail to flesh out so, like I say, get down there if you can to get your opinion heard.

david s said...

aah, much duplication!

Anonymous said...

Sounds all good except for the potential to be one big shop - sounds like it's already edgeing to becoming a tesco...

Mb said...

My two cents worth.... Vertical planting? Is that the green wall idea? Will need some assurance that it will be maintained or could look shabby. Mind you the BDS climbing club would relish the challenge I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Good news on the murals. I hardly ever need to go under the bridge.

I vote yes said...

So Class A1 and B1.....

We would also want A3 (restaurants/cafe)and A4 (drinking establishments).

The planning system is blind to betting shops (professional services Class A2) and chicken shops (takeaway A5) so not much that can be done to stop that as if the units were sold off the use could be subsquently changed. I can't see a reason why A2 would not be allowed.

Also it would not make sense to ban A2 which includes uses meant for high streets such as banks but allow B1 which is an office not normally accessed by the public.

its a shame said...

They are over stating their case imnplying that thye have Broc Soc backing - to my knowledge Broc Soc havent given an opinion on this - I personally think the design is a boring collection of boxes, for what is the heart of Brockley.Brockley is recognised accross London for its intact Victorian surroundings - both Fxberry Road and Colgate Street reflect this - the design is a big old sore thumb. It is neither new and exciting, nor it is pastiche - it is just cheap building.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Southwark Crown Court.

We can't expect anything too good, its Brockley and no doubt the architect is doing his best to leave us with a building thats as innocuous as possible.
It does seem strangely out of place though, compared with the surroundings. There's nothing we can do, its progress Jim, but not as I know it.

Anonymous said...

Seriously Nick, you can report the news without the anti-car crusade. Not everyone agrees; move on.

Crofton Park La said...

It seems to me that the developers are making all the right noises. I like the suggestion to recommission the murals and all the public realm promises. I'm in favour of the development in general, but as someone suggested before, there's nothing unique in the look of this development. To my mind, they should either be trying to blend in with the immediate surroundings, or trying to design something really new that Brockley residents would be proud to show off.

To me, right now, despite the promise of top quality materials, it just looks like cheap rehashed designs of buildings already going up all around East and SE London.

Anonymous said...

Firstly thanks to Kate and David.

To my mind the reports are almost entirely positive; public realm improvements, greenery, market rate flats attracting young dynamic spenders, quality finishes, advertising removed, modular commercial space etc.

My only gripe is with regards the murals. When your kids go to big school you take the nursery drawings off the fridge. Please don't redo those bloody murals, time to move on. I would however welcome doing something with the bridge - bright colour scheme and/or lighting as per the bridge near London Bridge.

Anonymous said...

The Canal cottages are not Victorian.

Parking will remian a big local issue and is relevant to this thread.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there lovely tiling under the bridge that could be spruced up?

Anonymous said...

Will there be a place where one can purchase no-nonsense food?

shoreditch twit said...

What a relief to hear that they're not including any affordable units! - Only on BC.

What a piteously sad day it will be when all those that dare to trust in the good intentions of a property developer see the chickens(shops) coming home to roost.

This project could be so much better, but you'd rather let the baddies tickle your petty anxieties and aspirations. They'll be laughing all the way to the bank.

Good honest local said...

@twat, so how are you going to influence the developer to produce something that you believe would be better? Bearing in mind they own the plot and unless you intend to re-write property law, will build something? Stop being a self righteous champion of the little man and actually propose something.

TheOracle said...

I too find it irksome that Brockley Soc/X Action Group place themselves as the guardians of the area. However, this is a bold venture that should find support. The height is absolutely fine given the building's distance from those opposite, and no sun will be lost as far as they are concerned. It's also in an excellent location, close to the station. I just hope they will be bold with the design and make a statement. Build it and they will come.

TheOracle said...

I should also add, after just viewing this company's website, it does not appear to have much in the way of completed projects in its portfolio. Those which are listed are either unfinished, ugly, or perhaps destined for development by another firm once this 'developer' (planning permission getter?) gets the actual planning permission via which it raises its profit. In other words, anything we are likely to give the thumbs up to could be later dumbed down by the (actual) developer.

kolp said...

"I too find it irksome that Brockley Soc/X Action Group place themselves as the guardians of the area"


Both those organisations Oracle are open to all, who live in the area & beyond in some cases, the work they have done over the years has given them the right to be interested in the developments in the area and maybe even some influence, but that's little more than most of us have. So you needn't be irked.

Anonymous said...

mr bland hits Brockley

Anonymous said...

all these things you hope for aren't going to happen via this blog. do something

Danja said...

You need to get out in your coracle more, they have finished loads of buildings, many very local.

They obviously think more about the images of their projects on their website when they are live (for them as developers) rather than completed, but that is understandable.

A developer, yes of course, but with much more class than most active around this area.

Danja said...

And for myself, it's difficult to judge the scheme and as I said before, the council need to keep the pressure on material quality as it will make or break this. If they are going for yellow stocks like it sounds, there is such a range of cost versus looks.

Overall, a bit timid, I think, but I can see why, given the vocal (minority, here?) shock horror reactions.

The massing looks pretty clever and subtle to me. It's far from being a monolithic hulk like the other side of the tracks. All that variation is lost space for sale.

It's a given we aren't adding a few cottages along a canal bank in countryside, I think.

Anonymous said...

Who are the ARCHITECTS INVOLVED?!

VERY important to know what kind of practice they are!

WHO ARE THE ARCHITECTS?!

David S said...

@Anon 10.38

The architect (who was at the presentation yesterday) is http://www.emolipetroschka.co.uk/

*

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks David - now I remember the developers talking about the Old Kent Road project, which they said was a great example of his work. On that website, I particularly like The White Building. That is what I would like BCHQ to look like one day.

Anonymous said...

Interesting portfolio I'd say; promising.

mk said...

Was there any detail on the percentage of affordable housing in this development?

Simon Fraser said...

This may all look great but never ever trust anyone who use the term village in relation to Brockley. Brockley is not a village. Don't trust anything these people say. What starts out as a sustainable building build with the highest standards, turns into a reality of square concrete blocks with small windows.

LWN said...

Brockley village? Why, when developers stick large scale developments in an area (I know this doesn't have many flats, but it looks huge) do they then think it makes it a village? Daft. They have made it even less like a village than it was! Marketing bullsh*t.

Anyway…

Architects drawings always look quite good. Look at any book from the 1950's that has images of highrise buildings and they look amazing (and you can't fault the logic either). The awnings, the trees, lack of traffic all look great. The big problem with this is that it looks like it could be anywhere. It takes no cues from it's surroundings or it's not unique. It feels a bit oppressive and, well, drab. Finishes are key.

So is the ability of the builders to stick to their plans rather than changing specs at the last minute or adding extra stories and then applying for retrospective planning which they always get in lew of 106 money.

Hoping said...

A Starbucks a Pizza Express and a Sainsburys please!

Anonymous said...

I guess the marketing people know that the English really yearn for a simple countryside existence in a dinky little cottage surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Calling an urban centre a 'village' along with countrified street names like 'badgers view' make an enticing package that appeals to the nesting instincts of professional types.

They should go the whole hog and have old style forge (hammering out software on iMacs), an dairy staffed by milkmaids purveying Thomas Hardy style organic goodness. The maybe an open space with a maypole where Morris dancers can prance and sing traditional songs. A rendition of 'O-o I was a computer programmers in old Milton Keynes Town' and other old favourites.

Brockley could where 'Tech' meets 'Worzel' and the marketing can have us forget about all of this living in London business.

That sort of thing is best left to developments like SE8. Their huge posters of the beautiful people enjoying a sporty, healthy city life brightened up Deptford for a time.

TheOracle said...

Danja

"You need to get out in your coracle more, they have finished loads of buildings, many very local."

Admitted, I may not get out as much as a staffer at RPC, but I do expect a company to supply the information I may need in order for me to make a 'coracle'.

The buildings, all but one, that were listed on this company's website, are, to my mind, uninspiring. I am not against them, just once more attempting to have some input in an area in which I reside.

'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

@hoping

Please leave Brockley, there is nothing for you here.

Anonymous said...

Pizza Express would be nice.

Any Italian/Pizza restaurant in fact.

Please no more estate agents, bookies or any community/arts crap places.

Wouldn't say no to a Sainsburys either!

Time to grow up Brockley.

Anonymous said...

M&S Food!!!!!

Anonymous said...

it would be nice to have some sort of therapy centre, with physios and counsellors and maybe even dentists, that sort of thing. or something like the sunflower centre on Tressillian Road.

Anonymous said...

it would be nice to have some sort of therapy centre, with physios and counsellors and maybe even dentists, that sort of thing. or something like the sunflower centre on Tressillian Road.

Anonymous said...

Dry cleaners, patisserie ( something like Jade in Blackheath), florist, Holland & Barrett
Italian restaurant, Cafe Rouge or any nice other restaurant/ bar please.

Anonymous said...

Cobblers/key cutters would be handy.

Anonymous said...

There's plenty of cobblers on Coulgate St as it is...

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