180 Brockley Road - Public consultation

The owners of 180 Brockley Road (the MOT garage and ACE van hire centre behind Coulgate Street) will present plans later this week to redevelop the site.

A public consultation will be held on Thursday, at Toads Mouth Too, Coulgate Street, from 3pm - 7pm.

The site has been acquired by MacDonald Egan, the team behind the redevelopment of Martin's Yard. When we interviewed MacDonald Egan's Martin Nash about the Martin's Yard scheme last year, he showed us some initial concept work for the 180 Brockley Road site. No doubt, their thinking has moved on considerably since then and we won't preempt Thursday's presentation, but we will say that it will be a very significant project, something we alluded to in our predictions for 2012.

The plans we saw were for a large mixed-use development, which would create a new row of shop fronts next to the Brockley Barge. It would create a more coherent "town centre" for Brockley and radically change the feel of this stretch of road. 

We'll bring you more details as we get them, but rest assured, this will be a big deal that will prompt a lot of debate over the coming weeks. 

200 comments:

Anonymous said...

Decent sized pub would be nice...

no guns, no knives and no prams

Anonymous said...

Fantastic news!! How exciting! I went and saw boxpark at Shoreditch High Street the other day and was thinking that kind of thing would be amazing for Brockley, given Brockley's lack of shops / suitable buildings. Hopefully we get something just as exciting ...

Anonymous said...

http://www.boxpark.co.uk/

Tim said...

Hallelujah!

mb said...

Where will i get my old banger serviced! A side issue, but do we know if the garage will be trading elsewhere?

Anyway, sounds good. Are all the tea factory units filled now? seemed to take a while. Empty units are a little depressing.

mp said...

since I haven't seen the Martin's Yard finished yet I don't know what to cheer at. It might turn out to be a bad thing. even thou I doubt there will be anything worst than the MOT place...

Anonymous said...

Already an honest pub next door. Please remain as-is.

Ross said...

i have seen the plans and, personally, they look pretty good. it will make not only a massive difference to coulgate street but to brockley road.

TM said...

Hardly likely to build a pub next to a pub. Something exiting still needs to happen at the Wickham.

A version of Boxpark wouldn't really look right on that site either.

I unfortunately can't get to TM2 on Thursday, it would be nice if the developers had a small exhibition at the Brockley Market as well.

Anonymous said...

Great news. The MOT place is fine but in the wrong place. A row of shops is far preferable.

Anonymous said...

why do people have objections to buggys (therefore children) in bars, cafes etc?

Ben said...

"Hardly likely to build a pub next to a pub."

Because that never happens...

Nobody cares about the Wickham. Barge is ok and very busy, always packed with families eating cheap food, not my cup of tea but it’s obviously very popular.

Brockley Cross needs a nice big pub, good beers and maybe food, comfy chair etc. Would be a great focal point.

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brockley Nick said...

"why do people have objections to buggys (therefore children) in bars, cafes etc?"

Argh, not this again. It's been discussed on a million other threads. Please knock yourself out on one of the Brockley Mess threads.

[The short answer is that some people are not very nice.]

Anonymous said...

Children should be seen and not heard, especially around other adults.

A concept lost on the corduroy brigade of Brockley.

Anonymous said...

This is great!!

Anonymous said...

A not very nice person there, being a twat.

Welcome to 2012 said...

I see this was one of the predictions which someone said was a "flight of fantasy". Hmmm. Wonder if they will come on and apologise.

Anonymous said...

Clearly Good news (although I agree the garage was a good one).

Feels a bit pointless saying anything more until we get to see the plans.

Any chance these can be made available before Thursday?

Brockley Nick said...

re: other garage options, there is the one on Geoffrey Road and Kar Klinik further up Brockley Road.

Anonymous said...

Great news.
One of the biggest problems with Brockley's shopping is that there is no central point, just a long stretch of broken up shops.
Having more shops in one place will bring more people out and help make the area more vibrant.
Just please, not like east dull wich.

Anonymous said...

I think you miss the point to write off the 'anti buggy' contributors. As usual comments on both sides are full of rhetoric and hyperbole but the fact is that many of us without kids (and some who do?) want some spaces and places we can enjoy without other peoples kids. Parents might have unconditional love for their offspring but often their behaviour is such that would not be acceptable from anyone else; I'm particularly thinking of screaming when you're trying to eat/read. That said far too much is made of this issue and there are many places that children are and should be welcome. Is there not some way we can start to develop community consensuses instead of every post becoming a divisive slanging match?

Mb – Green Tea Architects have expanded into the gallery space of th4 Tea factory so now the only vacant unit is the small Housemartins/People Before Profit grief hole which is thankfully up for rent (£500pcm).

Oh and Boxpark for BX? What an odd thought!

terrencetrentderby said...

will probably be an estate agent, a betting shop and somewhere that sells prams

a win win win situation for the good people of brockley

Brockley Nick said...

"One of the biggest problems with Brockley's shopping is that there is no central point, just a long stretch of broken up shops.

"Having more shops in one place will bring more people out and help make the area more vibrant."

Totally agree.

Anonymous said...

Hope this increases house prices so I can move to Herne Hill.

Matt-Z said...

The entire MOT garage site is within the confines of the Conservation Area, so don't expect a 12 storey pile of containers, or indeed anything too exotic.

I predict 3-4 storeys claad in yellow London stock bricks with mock-Victorian front elevation. Retail at ground level and undersized apartments above. Some of the cottages on Coulgate street have windows facing onto the car lot, so any development will need to allow some light through to them.

It's got the potential to be good for the area in consolidating a town centre, but not a dramatic imposition.

buggy village repairs said...

I run a buggy repair service, i will take several units if they become available - business is booming believe me, especially the double-buggy units, and we are also investing heavily in treble buggy unit. I can't sell them fast enough, must be something in the water around here.

Anonymous said...

Oh what a shame. I do like that garage. And I live just over the road from it. Shame to see it go.

Whatever replaces it, I hope the council planning department do a better job than they did on those new flats in the mews behind the Brockley Rd shops (Cranfield end), appalling and hideous they are!

Faux Berry said...

As said above, as long as the units sell. Otherwise it's just more empty space. Oh, and the garage is great, and have been nothing but brilliant to us over the years.

Brockley Nick said...

When I saw the first proposals, I mentioned that I thought it would be mistake for the new units simply to be for retail and that it would be ideal for a restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Not another restaurant. Especially one selling unfair fare.

Mr Breakspears said...

I think boxpark is AWFUL! It is so ugly, and what annoys me the most is that it is all Levis, Nike, Addidas, Ben Sherman...nothing unique or original, just more expensive bullshit.

Brockley Nick said...

"Another" restaurant?

The Orchard (part-bar, part restaurant, always packed)

Mo Pho (room for about 12 people, always packed)

Toads Mouth (cafe, shut in the evenings (at present)

Essence of India (sadly, always empty)

City Noodles (basically a takeaway)

Not a single (good) proper restaurant in this part of town and loads of demand for one.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Boxpark is hideous. None of that please.

A 'proper' restaurant would be lovely. As Nick says, all of the other businesses ARE good, but they are 'food plus something-else' type places, not 'pure' restaurants. Somewhere nice and good-quality, where you can take your parents for dinner.
Then maybe The Orchard will revert to something a bit more bar-like and therefore I can actually manage to squeeze in there sometimes! Love you Orchard but you're just too packed and food-y these days ....

Brockley Nick said...

PS - it's definitely not anything like Boxpark and it's not particularly like Matt-Z's prediction...

Anonymous said...

Essence of India is pretty good and seems to be gradually picking up business.

They have a feedback form on their website and I suggested that with a few more homely touches (eg curtains) they may attract a lot more customers. However, as yet they have not heeded my advice.

terrencetrentderby said...

i take my parents to city noodles and they're grateful for it

Brockley Ben said...

Another plaudit for the soon-to-be-defunct garage. Nothing but excellent service from them.

Sorry to see them go - but excited by the prospect. And yes, a restaurant would be great.

Anonymous said...

I hope they turn it into something decent for all, not just for the graspingly aspirational gentrifiers.

I also hope it is not too ugly a development.

D said...

Not particularly wanting to side with the anon (15.59), but Nick you have just named 5 food places. OK, you've mentioned their limitations but nonetheless food outlets do still outnumber pretty much every other type of shop in Brockley so I can understand people wanting something else. There is more to life than eating out.

Anonymous said...

Surely there could be a variety stuff if there is a "row" of shops?

Brockley Nick said...

@D

1. Only one of them (Essence of India) is a restaurant. Yes, there are other places to eat, but a restaurant is as different to a cafe as a butchers is to a bakers. In other words, this WOULD be something else.

2. I didn't suggest that they should include a restaurant just because I would like it, but because I think it would be a success. As discussed many times before, there is clear evidence of demand. I would also think a bar would work well too.

My main concern is that we don't end up with a parade of empty units, trying to provide retail when the market wants leisure.

Increasingly, the high street is a place where people go to go out, rather than go shopping. It would be foolish not to recognise that and give people what they want.

In any case, this development is big enough for both retail and restaurant / bar space.

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall MDE's projects usually look pretty well designed and modern yet sympathetic so let's hope for something to reinvigorate the heart of our community. Thursday at TM2 eh?

Brockley Nick said...

"nonetheless food outlets do still outnumber pretty much every other type of shop in Brockley."

No they don't. There are at least 5 convenience shops for every eatery.

Will said...

...and at least 5 bookies for every convenience store...

TM again said...

We could go a long way towards sorting out the restaurant problem if La Lanterna reopened and became like La Querce and Gulen's "night club" transformed to something like Meze Mangal.

Problem solved.....ish or shish tee-hee.

PS should have been exciting not exiting earlier.

mouse said...

I went to Essence of India years ago and had a curry with lamb that was so chewy it was inedible. When I complained that the lamb was tough they smiled cheerfully and said "yes, lamb is like that". Haven't been back.

I would welcome more restaurants if they're good quality...though I recognise that my fantasy of a sushi bar in Brockley is unlikely ever to be realised.

Mb said...

To clarify my earlier post, the development sounds like a net win. There are plenty of garages near by, just hope that brockley park cars will survive as a bussiness elsewhere in brockley or lewisham. It provides skilled work and bussiness rates that we all benefit from.

On the "what are we hoping for" front, I'd like a great butchers and fish mongers. Although Brockley Market is hovering up a lot of demand, in fact it's another undeniable indication that there is a customer base out there.

Oh, and a Nandos (there, I said it)

Anonymous said...

Waitrose please!

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, La Lanterna isn't going to become something good anytime soon.
If I was going to set up a restaurant in Brockley, I'd far rather use newbuild premises on the site of that garage than take over the Lanterna site, which is already pretty used, abused and battered. Much harder to make it look appealing and give it 'curb appeal'.
Just look at how well The Orchard has done at taking an almost-new space with plenty of frontage and making it look inviting and appealing.

Also, what other retail offer do we need around here? Food-wise, I think there's something for everyone. Not convinced a bookshop would get enough footfall. Ditto clothing shops. We already have a very good gift shop. What other kinds of shop could there be?

Anonymous said...

Brockley Nick said...

"Another" restaurant?

The Orchard (part-bar, part restaurant, always packed)

Mo Pho (room for about 12 people, always packed)

Toads Mouth (cafe, shut in the evenings (at present)

Essence of India (sadly, always empty)

City Noodles (basically a takeaway)

Not a single (good) proper restaurant in this part of town and loads of demand for one.


You forgot to mention:

Broca
The Barge
Top Chef
Brockley's Rock
The Wickham Arms
The Brockley Mess


So yes, actually, another restaurant.

Lou Baker said...

The anti-child comments on here are outrageous.

"We want some space to enjoy without kids."

Would such a comment be allowed if the word kids was swapped for women, or blacks , or gays or the disabled?

No. Absolutely not.

Kids are just little people. Little people with a brilliantly uncynical world view. The reason so many of them grow up a bit warped is because so many adults are screwed up.

Like the child hating anon who posted that hate-filled bile.

Anonymous said...

Sorry anon, but none of those are restaurants!!

Will said...

My only reservation about having a Waitrose is that it might be bad news for Degustation, which is the only decent shop around at the moment. But hey, that's the competitive market for you. Waitrose would be brilliant, and could provide just the catalyst the area needs to achieve critical mass and start improving.

Anonymous said...

No, a Waitrose would be terrible and would probably put the lovely Costcutter family out of business. I like them and appreciate their business, I don't want a supermarket to step in.

And it wouldn't be Waitrose, it'd probably be Tesco. They're putting medium-sized stores all over the place in SE London at the moment, there are 4 Tescos between Lewisham and Catford for goodness' sake! And the two on Loampit Vale. They'd snap up that garage site, it'd be just their thing.

NAT said...

'A large mixed use developement', so hopefully nothing as unambitious as a supermarket.

Will said...

That Costcutter is awful – I'd far rather have a Tesco. Their fresh fruit and veg isn't; the choice of meat is pathetic; their milk goes off almost as soon as it's opened; and the rest is just over-priced and poor quality. And as for being a 'lovely family', I've never had anything but service with a scowl there.

Anonymous said...

I think you live in a different world to me, Will!

I'll grant you that the meat is terrible, though. I don't buy meat there, I use the butchers in East Dulwich, or Brockley Market. In fact I reckon Brockley Market has taken a fair bit of business off that Costcutter in the last few months, now I think about it ...

Anonymous said...

That costcutter is vile. The people there are awful, and the stuff there is almost worse.

pip said...

I am a big fan of Waitrose, but I don't think there would be sufficient demand in Brockley to keep them in business. I'd love to be proved wrong though....

Anonymous said...

Waitrose? You must be having a laugh! Costcutter have not had to compete, well maybe now with NISA, but staff barge past you, stock is out of date, items double charged and cards take forever to clear. 3/10 is generous.

As for the kids point, we discriminate on the grounds of age more than any other if you're looking for precedent. I agree there should be places to enjoy quietly and with kids.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

hopefully they will build something that also looks good.

Shops, I guess supermarket and restaurant are a must... and sicnerely the only options they have to fill them.

What about giving also some help to finish La Lanterna!!!! It would be benificial to everyone to have occupied commercial space rather than empty!

I am so glad to see Ace van & the MOT going!!!

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon 1725 - hilarious straw clutching!

None of those are restaurants. The Wickham doesn't even sell a wide range of crisps!

We have O restaurants serving the the following cuisine in Brockley (not even greater Brockley):

English
Greek
French
Spanish
Mexican
American
Indonesian
Brazilian
Lebanese
Japanese

I could go on...

We have nowhere that meets the following criteria:

Table cloths
Table service
Good atmosphere
Decent food
Food-first, drink-second

If somewhere meeting these criteria and offering one or more of the types of cuisine listed above opened near Brockley Station in a new premises, it would be an instant hit. As would a good bar.

Those establishments would increase Brockley's appeal as a destination, which would help support local shops and other services, in a virtuous circle.

It's obvious stuff.

Anonymous said...

From that list of Nick's, I reckon something European would be good - French, Italian, Spanish. If I want Japanese I'll go into town or to Sapporo, and the many good Turkish places springing up in New Cross and Lewisham are close enough to Greek to satisfy my hummus/kebabs/spinach-and-feta-parcels/roast aubergines craving. Something broadly European or maybe modern British with a good wine selection please.

Anonymous said...

... And oh god PLEASE not bloody Meatwagon.

Anonymous said...

Speedicars could have a new office, and a bloody great big neon sign

NAT said...

European or Modern British AND with a clocktower attarched.

Anonymous said...

On a serious note, those advocating the pedestrianisation of Coulgate St might want to consider the public-space opportunities that this re-development could offer. It would be great to link up the space outside the Barge, the space by the mural (PLEASE TELL ME THEY WON'T GET RID OF THE MURALS???????), Coulgate St and the currently-being-redeveloped area outside the station into one proper community space.

it's a shame said...

I hope the building isn't going to be like the one across the tracks - a typical box with balconies. Let's hope the Brockley Society fights their corner (if a fight is needed) and doesnt allow something to go up like the non-descript box in the mews.

Yes we need a decent restaurant like Le Querce. Reckon it would have more than enough customers.

Also funny to see that Lou accuses others of spewing bile just because they are expressing an opinion different to his own. I have kids but a) think it is understandable if people want a kid-free space [kids aren't adults, don't behave as such, and it is right to have spaces where they cannot go] and b) Nobody should have to suffer another person's toddler screaming throughout a meal they are paying good money for, just because the parent does not want to deal with the situation or remove the child from the restaurant until they have calmed down.

Anonymous said...

what's modern British, plastic pork pie?

Sorry but British can't cook, including Jeremy Oliver, so please European or Asian

TM said...

You have to be careful what you wish for sometimes. I cannot see the Murals surviving a commercially viable redevelopment.

Having lost Mersh Bros MOT station to redevelopment here goes my second choice. Hope Brockley Park Cars find another site in the locality or enjoy their retirement.

Mb said...

Yes, hope they find a way of keeping or at least reproducing the murals. The like the three multicoloured ones my self.

TM again said...

Who is Jeremy Oliver? Jamie's brother?

;0)

Anonymous said...

Brockley Park Cars have been absolutely brilliant over the 13 years we've been here - totally trustworthy and excellent work at a decent price.

Are people SERIOUS about wanting a Waitrose?! Surely a development that fosters small businesses that works as a focus for the Coulgate Road area would be preferable? Not another chain that works against (and destroys) independents ...

And sorry - can't resist the 'child hating' thread - again. It's not the children who are the problem - it's the parents who think that they are entitled to use the space as a large playground for their children without a second thought for the other users of the space. As the parent above said, it's understandable that some people want somewhere relatively peaceful to go to have a coffee and read a book without being obliged to manage other people's children.

NAT said...

TM Jeremy Oliver, but can't cook worth a spit apparently.

Anonymous said...

@TM I think you're right, sadly. Can't see the developers having much truck with much-loved and idiosyncratic community murals. I do hope that BrocSoc and the BXAG do the best they can to retain them.

Lady Well Enough said...

what would be really terrific is a small, dark, seedy bar with excellent acoustics and sound, showcasing the best of london's live (and I mean not old and playing covers) and vibrant music scene.

st doughnut said...

I agree with Lou, the whole "seen and not heard" thing is a bit Victorian isn't it? We were all young once.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, but please use other threads to have this debate. There is a new debate raging on the Brockley Mess thread.

NAT said...

LWE, I'd warmly second that if you were suggesting it for anywhere else in Brockley or environs,and visit and enjoy it, but as this is nothing less than a new civic centre in the making I think that the club you describe being here would be to the detriment of both.

Anonymous said...

So, let's turn Gulen's into the dark seedy bar with style (as opposed to a dark seedy bar without style, as it is now), and have our community hub on the old car dealership ...

Mb said...

There is a down side to all this, Hugh may decide its now a nice enough place to stay....FOREVER.

Anonymous said...

Will tries to live in a different world but is clearly to poor to do so. Instead he bitterly inhabits Brockley pouring scorn on its residents and wishing for the day it could socially cleansed.

Anonymous said...

Nick - the above mentioned list of establishments are places where you sit down, order a meal off a menu and eat it (possibly swapping the order of the first two). They are restaurants.

If you want to pay extra to contribute to somewhere elses tablecloth & Daz bill then feel free to do so, but please try not to be so snobbish.

Tim said...

Anonymous, I find what you have just said quite remarkable, and that's not a compliment.

Do you honestly believe Brockley has an abundance of good restaurants, and it couldn't use a few more places with things like alcohol licenses and evening opening and, dare I say it, table cloths!

Brockley Nick said...

"Nick - the above mentioned list of establishments are places where you sit down, order a meal off a menu and eat it (possibly swapping the order of the first two)."

No they aren't.

"They are restaurants."

No they aren't.

By all means walk in to the Wickham and ask what the chef recommends this evening and see what happens.

Or take your partner for an evening meal at the Toads Mouth. Oh, it's shut in the evenings.

Please try not to be so willfully obtuse.

Honestly, if there were loads of restaurants in the area and I wanted another one anyway, I'd happily say so. But there aren't and to pretend otherwise is the height of idiocy.

TheOracle said...

Any redevelopment should hopefully be an improvement. Though I predict the developer will claim that small units cannot be made to work (ddue to rents). Then ideas for a Tesco, Sainsbury, or some other store will be slowly intoduced as potential occupiers. Surpise....

Anything is better than nothing... but give me a Waitrose.

Anonymous said...

"Are people SERIOUS about wanting a Waitrose?! Surely a development that fosters small businesses that works as a focus for the Coulgate Road area would be preferable? Not another chain that works against (and destroys) independents ...

It depends if you believe that something being independent makes it good. In fact I think it's just as hard, if not harder, to make something that works well do so over a large scale and outside of the confines of a family shop.

The 'bag for life' brigade like to put all the good companies on one side and the bad on another but real life doesn't work like that. Keep you independent tat - I'll be across the road buying a pint of milk for less than a pint of beer.

Brockley Nick said...

It obviously won't be a Waitrose - they don't have a single branch in SE London (depending on whether you count Bromley) and this site is not anything like where they like to locate.

I hope the plans will not create suitable space for a supermarket, as the space could be put to much better use as leisure space, with a bit of retail.

I do not believe that it will be occupied by a supermarket.

Anonymous said...

I hope that whatever it is, it sells good, honest fare. Not artisan fare like in the Coulgate St shops.

Danja said...

Admittedly it's a bit of a sideshow for me, but I'm glad this is McDonald Egan - I can't think of a better developer which is active in this area for something as central to a reshaping of Brockley as this.

And, they use good architects who are smart enough not to do crap chuck-it-up cheapness, or dull unimaginative repro.

I hope the LBC have some balls and press them to the fullest on the build budget. LBC seem to be willing to do so when it is what it takes to get a load of flats hidden behind repro fakery past local objection, so let's hope they do the same when a developer starts with what I expect will be reasonably sensitive modernism which is naturally tempered upfront by profit motive. They need to be pushed, they are developers, and this site deserves it.

NAT said...

@22:24 Bedtime!

B&T said...

A gym would be good.

Anonymous said...

Would love a Waitrose. It would encourage people to move here, all shops would do better from those people's disposable incomes. Costcutter is quite the most frightful shop I have ever seen and the service best described as non existent or impossible.

Cannot wait to see the proposals. Exciting.

Brockley Nick said...

Well it won't be a Waitrose.

Also, Costcutter is not my favourite shop but the criticism it's had on this thread is way over the top.

NAT said...

Pleased to hear it's probably not a supermarket.

What Danja posted is very encouraging.

Anonymous said...

Costcutter is fine but going by the dog whistling on here I can guess why some don't like it.

How about an Iceland? Nowhere nearby for frozen stuff.

Brockley Nick said...

It won't be an Iceland either. It won't be a supermarket.

Danja said...

What Danja posted is very encouraging.

But also not.

I do think that LBC planning fail to force developers to sacrifice profit for quality unless it is necessary to provide fake mock-historical detail. Here, they could with justification argue that to enhance the conservation area (I am assuming this is within it, just) the budget ought to be equivalent to producing a high-end mock-Victorian parade, and that if McDonald Egan want to do sensitive modern that is no reason to cut the budget for aesthetics - that would be a level playing field.

Anonymous said...

The pattern of commercial development in Brockley seems to be consistent with other parts of London that support a large dormitory population of city workers.

More flats and supermarkets and the gaps between them filled in by takeaways, bookies and off-licenses.

The various public and private corporations seem quite happy with this and deviations seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

Presumably the priority for the company behind this development will be to make fast buck.

So many developers seem to dream of their speculation being bought out by supermarkets with deep pockets.

The local council seem to be quite happy to have one large business rate payer rather than many.

There is supposed to be a grand Local Development Framework that covers local policy.

Can anyone say whether this means more of the same? When we look to the future, does it have a Tesco written all over it?

http://www.tescopoly.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=403&Itemid=202

Westsider said...

"other parts of London that support a large dormitory population of city workers."

Such as?

"Can anyone say whether this means more of the same?"

I think Nick just did, didn't he?

fidgad said...

Interesting to see how many comments this thread attracts.

About the same amount as the one about local schools.

Call me cynical but it's probably something to do with property values.

Or perhaps I am wrong?

Vesta Curry said...

I really don't understand people's obsession with Waitrose - I mean they're nice supermarkets (though very expensive) ... and I do like to pop into the one on the King's Road and get those pale blue chicken's eggs and all. But, they tend to be put up in relatively moneyed (monocultural) Zone 3 suburbs. If that's the kind of place you want to live in ... what the frick are you doing around these parts (i.e. relatively groovy, patchy and scuzzy Zone 2)?

RE MOTs and other car stuff (clutches etc) I must admit I have totes fallen for Hatcham Motors down in NXG - They really are ace and I can't talk highly enough of them.

Brockley Nick said...

Surely the fact that it's about our town centre is the key factor.

This is about where we can go, what we can buy, what happens to our other local businesses, what our daily commutes will feel like.

Not that there's anything wrong with people being concerned about the value of their most expensive asset or whether they can afford to live in the area, but I don't really think that has much to do with it in this instance.

If people don't really care about a project as significant as this, then what are they doing reading hyperlocal news?

Anonymous said...

Brockley is an area, it isn't a 'town', it doesn't have a 'town centre'. I think you'd rather call it a 'village', but that would be just too pretentious?

Brockley Nick said...

Brockley does have a town centre, which is why Lewisham Council used to employ a Town Centre Manager to look after Brockley. I wouldn't call it a village, because it isn't. I don't know why you think it sounds posh - the official designation is a "neighbourhood local centre", which is rather a mouthful, but rather more twee sounding. Lewisham and Catford are officially town centres.

Can we just accept that some words are useful rather than say everything is a snooty affectation.

Make your point about this story, if you have one.

Tamsin said...

Like a lot of jargon "neighbourhood local centre" is usefully precise - and the place does what it says on the tin... It's a "centre" - in that people gravitate towards it for shopping, eating etc., and it's at "local" level in that nearly all such people live nearby, and serves the "neighbourhood", not further afield.

I believe the area around the White Hart where Queen's Road and New Cross Road join is similarly designated.

Anonymous said...

I know it may come as a surprise in Brockley, but some people are at work between 3 to 7 on thursday. Any chance to see/comment the project during the weekend?

Will said...

Looks like Anonymous (is that your real name?) had one too many in the Barge last night... I'll let readers decide who's bitterly pouring scorn...

Anonymous said...

OK, so here is a novel idea that I have only seen one other person mention, anonymous @ 14.48.

Why don't you all stop bitching and moaning and go along to the Toads Mouth on Thursday to see the plans. You can then make constructive comments to the architects and planners.

Isn't the what the Brockley Design Festival was all about? Local people having a influence in the design of the local area? This is the ideal opportunity for that.

So stop being horrible about the Brockley Mess (has nothing to do with this) and discussing what constitutes as a restaurant and get yourselves down there and have your say.

One bit of advice though, don't let you say be as unconstructive as the comments here, it will get you nowhere! You have a realy chance to influence something here!

D said...

Nick - you can see why people might think that Brockley's Rock is a restaurant, considering that when it opened you happily told us about "Brockley's Rock, the new fish and chip restaurant on Brockley Road". Or does that not suit the current argument?

Either way, my point earlier was that a high street made up almost entirely of places to eat, crap convenience stores and bookies isn't a high street at all. When you think of the typical generic high street that you see in every town and city in Britain, you think of clothes shops, stationery shops, electronics shops and all sorts of other things - all of which give people a reason to visit during the day, and all of which are massively under-represented in Brockley.

TheOracle said...

I must admit I don't see the issue with calling Brockley a village.


vil·lage/╦łvilij/
Noun:
1.A group of houses and associated buildings, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town, situated in a rural area.
2.A self-contained district or community within a town or city, regarded as having features characteristic of village life.

The fact that some want to upgrade some of those features that characterise (reclaim?) village life shouldn't lead to accustaions of snobbery. Lewisham is a town SURROUNDED by villages. But
call it a hamlet if you like

Nick, perhaps I won't get my Waitrose, but a Morrisons, anything other than the rolling plunder of Tesco, please.

Having said that the owner of Costcutter has always been a delight in my opinion.

Brockley Nick said...

@D - yes, Brockley's Rock has a restaurant element to it. But it is not a pure-play restaurant is it? In the same way that Sounds Around is not one of those electrical stores you want, despite the fact that it sells some electrical stuff.

"When you think of the typical generic high street that you see in every town and city in Britain, you think of clothes shops, stationery shops, electronics shops and all sorts of other things - all of which give people a reason to visit during the day, and all of which are massively under-represented in Brockley."

I'm not arguing against any of those things. Any one of those things would be great. I am saying that I don't think Brockley will sustain many of those types of business and it would have a better chance of doing so if there were more leisure options to draw people in.

I speak as someone who co-founded a small business that benefits greatly from being next to two nice pubs / restaurants which draw people to the street to look through the window, pick up a leaflet, talk to us about courses, etc. And as someone who has seen a number of clothes shops on the same street come and go because it's incredibly difficult to make money from independent high-street non-food retail, even in the West End with pepper-corn rents.

Here are the types of shop that I think might have a chance in this location:

1. A bakery (that made its own stuff)
2. A children's clothes shop / gift shop (Magi has a limited range for gifts)
3. A greengrocer
4. A florist that also sold a few things for gardens / gardening
5. Maybe a fishmonger or butcher

All of these places would benefit from a restaurant next door.

Anonymous said...

If we are lucky maybe we'll get a Gregs!

Ali Afro said...

Waitrose do do small format stores...

http://www.leggettdisplaygroup.com/barcode/2011/03/02/waitrose-launches-little-sub-brand-for-convenience-stores/

But I agree with Nick that it probably won't become a supermarket - I just don't think it would get enough footfall during the day. I suppose Tesco might take purely for the sake of world domination but I hope not...

Personally I vote for another Orchard-esque venue or at least something in the food and drink category without being another takeaway.

Perhaps a critical mass of evening venues would increase the number of young professionals (of which I am one) spending their leisure monies locally...

I think a combo food and drink establishment a la Orchard would do best - Not saying a trad restaurant would be doomed but maybe a bit risky unless its kid friendly in the day to attract the mums (and stay at home dads?).

Finally: kid-friendly venues are fine and so are kid-non-friendly venues. Theres a place for both. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

ANOTHER bakery, Nick?

Another grocer?

Ali Afro said...

Just google "waitrose launches little brand" if the link doesn't work

Crofty said...

In my dreams, the new shops would include a greengrocer like the one in Nunhead. That'd be ace! I have to say I reckon there's already more than enough cooked-food places, whether they are "restaurants" or not. What the area needs desperately I reckon is more fresh ingredients places. Praps the success of Brockley Market might make someone realise there's a market for this...

Anonymous said...

Because Lewisham employ a town centre manager doesn't make it a town, that's the most absurd reply and not up to your usual factoid analysis.
Personally I'm hoping for a Tony & Guy, a Cafe Rouge, and a Richer Sounds. Bromley in other words. And for those who long for a Waitrose, Bromley has 2. The one on Burnt Ash Lane on the edge of the Downham Estate between Grove Park and Sundridge Park is only a bus ride away.

Anonymous said...

A little waitrose would be perfect in brockley - none nearby, plenty of locals into organic / fresh / farm produce and willing to pay for it too...

Anonymous said...

There is also a Waitrose in Beckenham - only 4.5 miles away. That's nothing.

Anonymous said...

... unless you don't have a car, like many people in Brockley now ...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know when the Brockley Cross regeneration / paving / trees starts?

mb said...

Everyone has an opinion about what they would like, when all is said and done it will be someone or some comapny with the money and willingness to risk it setting one up that will decide it. The ustomers it attracts will decide if it stays. Local councils and developers can try and shape it but retail is at the pointy end of a market economy, talk is easy.

Train spotter said...

Both the Waitroses at Bromley and Beckenham are next to Railway Stations if you don't have a car.

If you prefer the tube/DLR there are more Waitroses at Canary Wharf and St Katherines Dock.

Anonymous said...

OMG a gym! Great idea, whoever suggested it up there ^^^

I would SO join a gym in Brockley, if there was one here.

Anonymous said...

Go to Goldsmiths Gym tubs.

Cheap and great equipment.

Changing rooms a bit prison/rapey though.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the Goldsmiths gym is shit.

Anonymous said...

A gym? Save your breath as this simply will not happen on this site. Maybe when the timber yard is developed but too soon, too small and not sufficient demonstrable demand.

In my view there should be several street level units to allow for a number of businesses to locate at the heart of Brockley. Those businesses may be like the Green Tea Architects and have little to do with the hyper-local community and economy but more likely they will be established businesses seeking to benefit from significant footfall around the station so convenience stores over those selling comparison goods although an oddity could be interesting.

I really hope that the advertising board facing BX goes and begins the removal from BX of the dirge of unsympathetic sites and the focus of the public realm is moved back to local pedestrians and not through traffic. If BXAG are reading can some of these be challenged on planning grounds?

Lastly I for one will not be sad to lose the murals; they are overrated and will almost certainly go.

CPZ Needed said...

With Malpas RD, the new building under construction on Coulgate, the security Vault on Harefield mews, the new development on the west side of the station the population living around the station is doubling, so are the number of cars.

Will this project finally also bring the CPZ into Brockley station?

Mb said...

Save the murals!

Or perhaps more practically, reproduce them or donate/give permission to use some wall space for something new. If nothing else it will provoke much hyper ventilating and noise on here "my six year old could do better..." etc.

Can do without the maya Angelou though, bit of a poor one.

Others will have a different opinion no doubt but they're not permanent so can be removed if tastes change and shouldn't add anything to the cost.

Ed CPZ said...

I hope so.

Anonymous said...

Murals are for kids, gangs and and primitive societies; let's keep it that way.

NAT said...

Oh right, 12:46, gangs of apostles and such.

Anonymous said...

CPZs are for vegetarians.

Leonard's Da Vinchi said...

True say...

Brockley Nick said...

"A gym? Save your breath as this simply will not happen on this site. Maybe when the timber yard is developed but too soon, too small and not sufficient demonstrable demand."

Exactly right.

@MB

"Everyone has an opinion about what they would like, when all is said and done it will be someone or some comapny with the money and willingness to risk it setting one up that will decide it. The customers it attracts will decide if it stays."

Exactly right. I was not talking about what I would like to see to suit my own personal preferences, but what I think would actually work. Now, you might say it's awfully convenient that what I think would work is a restaurant that I would also like to go to, but that is my best instinct about what is commercially viable in an area like Brockley (which does not have a large high street like Forest Hill, East Dulwich or Eltham) in an era when huge swathes of the retail sector are moving online.

"Local councils and developers can try and shape it but retail is at the pointy end of a market economy, talk is easy."

I disagree slightly. I think, for example, that a supermarket (not Waitrose) is commercially viable on this site, but I don't think the developers would propose it nor the Council approve it. We shall see.

Mb said...

"Murals are for kids, gangs and and primitive societies; let's keep it that way"

Well yes exactly....keep the murals. This primative adolescent gangster likes em.


I'm enjoying this already.

Mb said...

So long as we retain the slightly disturbing bunny mural I'm happy.

Anonymous said...

The bunny mural is a bit rapey (a word I picked up on BC incidentally).

TM said...

You have to be posting on an i-phone to use rapey (sic).

Anonymous said...

the "community" murals or whatever they are make brockley look like peckham

Anonymous said...

Sainsbury's would be better in Brockley Cross somewhere - might even spark off the regeneration of that bit ...

Tamsin said...

On the other hand I adore the key in the side of the wall above TMT. Sutble, under-stated trompe d'oiel - that is technically excellent. It continues to look as it if really is three dimensional and casting a slight shadow for a surprising length of time as you're walking past it.

Not keen on Bob Marley and Maya Angelou (rather flat in their execution) - and, like MB, I find the bunny slightly disquieting - but the other ones are better in their Emmett-like busy-ness. Fun to explore with children.

Get off your arse said...

It says a lot about living in London when we're talking about the MOT garage site and someone says "it would be better off on Brockley Cross"...

Anonymous said...

A Sainsbury's store dear, not the MOT site ...

Anonymous said...

Amazing - i saw the number of responses and expected something of substance or a genuine disagreement but can i just clarify that this entire thread is based on plans a handful of people have seen and are probably out of date.

Also some people want child friendly places and insist that everyone else bows to their needs and other people want child free places and insist that everyone else bows to their needs. Good luck on that one - can we just lock you all in a room until there is just one left and end this debate that way?

You all have far too little to do.

What about a Snow Dome like Milton Keynes?

Anonymous said...

15:15 - we're all talking about a Sainsburys store - but find the implication that the MOT site is more than insignificantly distanced from Brockley Cross puzzling. It's a bit like saying "how about something a bit closer to the station?"

The Cat Man said...

A specialistorganic catfood store would be ace!

Anonymous said...

Cat Man! We thought someone had bummed you into next week!

Anonymous said...

There's a little Waitrose at the South Mimms services on the M25. Not far by car. The Beckenham Waitrose is adjacent to the station, is that too difficult? So is the Bromley South Waitrose. Be adventurous.

Brockley Nick said...

You don't need Waitrose if you have the internet. It's called Ocado and it's awesome.

TM said...

or Waitrose online as well now.

CPZ Needed said...

Nick, you are slightly out of touch ...

"Waitrose launches ad campaign to rival Ocado"

Waitrose will stop supplying them soon.

Anonymous said...

if you want to kill the high street use the internet

Brockley Nick said...

@CPZ - no they won't as they have a long-term contract.

But sure, eventually, maybe, if Waitrose sort themselves out. Let's have this conversation when they do.

Brockley Nick said...

"if you want to kill the high street use the internet"

No, if you want to kill the high street, pretend that the internet doesn't exist and you don't need to adapt.

Ben said...

Waitrose would be great to pick up a quick healthy dinner/snack after work.

Always found Ocado v. expensive for big shops.

Anonymous said...

Waitrose Schmaitrose.

Arty Zan said...

Maybe the Broca food market could move over from the dark side and give us another local option for fresh food.

Danja said...

The FT AV nickname for Ocado - Webvan 2.0 - seems apposite to me. Burning through the IPO cash at a rate of knots, share price plummeting...

Brockley Nick said...

@Danja - I never miss an opportunity to point this out to my friend who works for Numis.

But alls I knows is that the vans come exactly when you ask them to, bringing you exactly what you've ordered. This cannot be said of any of the other supermarkets' online services.

So to all the people who say that as soon as Tesco et al starts to take online seriously they will blow Ocado out of the water, I'd like to see any evidence of their ability to do better.

Anonymous said...

Nick you have the patience of a saint having to read through some of the guff people post, myself included.

quick brown fox said...

@Nick - hear hear. I've used Ocado, Tesco and Sainsbury's online, and Ocado is streets ahead (no pun intended). They aren't cheap, but you largely get what you pay for, and I scour the special offers, stock up on non-perishables when they're half price etc. to mitigate the cost difference. I loathe going to supermarkets and have been maybe twice in the last year.

Anonymous said...

London has lots of restaurants and is so easy to get to on the new Overground.

Brockley Nick said...

@QBF - likewise.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't we just settle for Pizza Express?

B&T said...

I don't agree that there's not sufficient demand for a gym. It might not be the right site and whatev, but I'm not sure why - a little Fitness First like the one by London Bridge station would be great. By a station is the perfect location for a gym, so you can nip in on the way to work or the way home.

Anonymous said...

"No, if you want to kill the high street, pretend that the internet doesn't exist and you don't need to adapt."

Huh? How does that make sense? Plain English please not gobbledegook.
If I pretend the internet doesn't exist and I shop on the high street: a) I don't need to adapt I'm just carrying on as usual; b) by using the high street I can't be contributing to its demise. Your assertion that using the internet somehow saves the high street is a contradiction.

Tim said...

Anonymous. Read it again. It makes perfect sense. He is suggesting that the internet has transformed the nature of retail and this cannot be ignored. If the high street is to thrive, retailers need to realise that the internet has changed peoples behaviours and they need to change too. Some retailers have embraced that, some haven't.

Anonymous said...

Keep the murals! Leave a bit of colour in the world please! Admittedly the bunny IS a bit rapey, still more exciting and a better introduction to Brockley than a bare brick wall.

Brockley Nick said...

@B&T - it's not that there wouldn't be demand necessarily, but that that site is not the right size for a gym. Most of the development will be housing, with just ground level retail.

Anon - it was plain English. There's no point telling people not to use the internet, like King Canute. You have to recognise that it exists, that it is really useful, that people like it, that they are going to use it more and more in every aspect of their lives and that every big change brings big opportunities.

So encourage businesses that thrive in an internet age. For example, because we can order our groceries online, we have more time to sit in cafes buying expensive coffee or because it's never been cheaper and easier for businesses to use the internet to reach customers, niche businesses offering specialist services are more possible, etc, etc. In short, we'll have fewer places to buy "stuff" and more places to buy "experiences". All in all, that's quite positive, so long as there is still relatively cheap and easy access to "stuff" for people who are relatively immobile or do not have access to the internet.

Aricana said...

@ Nick - thanks for the sharing the news about this development. Hope i can leave work early enough to get to the consultation event at the TM.

By the way I think the Goldsmiths gym is great. They recently installed new equipment, run different classes and it's affordable. Only problem is the changing rooms, but these are being refurbished at the moment.

Anonymous said...

every time you buy something on the internet that you can equally buy a short walk away then you are undermining a local business, it's pretty simple really

Brockley Dogging Society - Stating the Bleeding Obvious Think Tank said...

Every time you buy anything from shop A that you could have bought from shop B if you'd only walked another 300m you undermine shop B.

Easy really....SAVE SHOP B!

D said...

Though every time you don't buy something from a local business because they dont stock it or because it is cheaper online, they are undermining themselves. There's generally not much they can do about it though.
I still think it's crazy that something as big and powerful as the internet has been allowed to exist entirely unregulated.

Anonymous said...

You mean you would like it regulated, like they do in China?

Brockley dogging society - etc, etc.... said...

Yes, whatever. So are we agreed that buying something from a high street retailer is not morally or ethically superior to buying it from the Internet or old fashioned mail order? In the same way that choosing one average high street retailer is no better or worse than buying from another? In a market that can only absorb so many flat screen TVs shops big and small, on line or on the high street will compete for our custom.

And regulate the Internet? How and why would that 'save the high street' or do you actually mean 'set the high street. In aspic in a form I find acceptable' high streets change. Not many specialist tripe sellers around. Why not offer massive tax subsidies for offal shops?

This is all very tiring, once the rash as cleared up I'm back up hilly fields.

D said...

It wouldn't 'save the high street' but it would offer some form of protection to people's livelihoods. I actually wasn't just talking of regulation in regards to online retail either - the whole thing has the potential to be incredibly destructive to society. Providing a free platform where everyone can become a self-appointed 'expert' is not a good thing in my opinion (I'm a web developer by the way, so these aren't just ludite rantings!). I guess I just find it weird that governments (yes, possibly aside from China) have shown no interest in applying any kind of control over it all. I can't imagine anyone being too keep on them de-regulating the nuclear industry and letting any joe bloggs have a go?
Not that this has anything to do with buildings on Brockley Road though.

Matt-Z said...

Erm America is quite keen on controlling the internet.

Anonymous said...

I can't make it tonight but assume there will be rolling news coverage courtesy of BC...

Anonymous said...

"because we can order our groceries online, we have more time to sit in cafes buying expensive coffee.... In short, we'll have fewer places to buy "stuff" and more places to buy "experiences"."

You seem to want a food mall rather than a street of shops.
Of course the internet exists, I use it all the time for work. Hardly ever buy anything on the net though, not if I can get it in a shop. We're all different I suppose, personally I'm making a determined effort not to be a pointless consumer, I don't buy therefore I am.

Anonymous said...

IMHO most expensive coffee experiences are for people who don't like coffee.

mk said...

I'd like to see something different. We have coffee shops, grocers and a baker already.

We could do with more places to eat out, so I wouldn't be averse to the idea of a restaurant.

But Brockley has a lot of musicians atm, so maybe a music instrument shop with some space for live performances? Take advantage of the fact that it won't be a combined shop/residential unit and on main road, so no noise restrictions...

Brockley Nick said...

"You seem to want a food mall rather than a street of shops."

Interesting choice of language. You might just as easily say

"You seem to want a shopping mall, rather than a street of cafes, pubs and interesting places to visit."

"Hardly ever buy anything on the net though, not if I can get it in a shop."

That puts you in a minority, but not the inherently virtuous minority you seem to imagine. And you can either tell the majority they're all wrong and should be more like you or accept that other people's preferences are valid and that therefore business (because small shops are businesses) need to adapt.

"I'm making a determined effort not to be a pointless consumer, I don't buy therefore I am."

You're the one who seems to gain a sense of moral superiority from the type of retail outlet you frequent. I use the internet because it's quicker and I can spend less time shopping and more time doing other stuff.

Local independent business is great - I spend all my time bigging it up and I run an independent business - but the best local businesses in Brockley are the ones who do not act like we owe them a living, rather they see us as an exciting market to serve.

Anonymous said...

Yeah ditch the hideous rapey bunny mural. Keep the swirly coloured ones.

THNick said...

Anon at 11:11, if your opinion was really humble then you wouldn't feel the need to share it with 100s of strangers.
In my opinion (which is inherently better than everyone else's), there are plenty of really good, reasonably priced coffee experiences. But my opinion about what is expensive might differ from yours as well.

Anonymous said...

If mural > brick why do we not paint murals on all our historic buildings? Because they are mostly sh1t.

Anonymous said...

The murals, not our historic buildings ;)

Anonymous said...

'"Hardly ever buy anything on the net though, not if I can get it in a shop."

That puts you in a minority, '

Is that true, do more people shop on the net now in the UK than shop in shops? Why are there so many shops still open? I'm not being facetious, I'd like to know.

Anonymous said...

"Is that true, do more people shop on the net now in the UK than shop in shops? Why are there so many shops still open? I'm not being facetious, I'd like to know."

@ anon: its not really true. People that spend a lot of time surfing the net tend to shop online more than people who don't.

Anonymous said...

Any more pics or detail about this yet?

TM said...

As a vaguely connected comment, the Wikipedia Brockley entry has a picture of "Brockley High Street" taken from outside Crofton Park Station!

This is despite there being a separate Crofton Park entry.

Is anyone local prepared to admit being responsible for these?

Anonymous said...

Agreed ... that's not Brockley, someone should replace it of one showing Brockley station, browns, the common, etc

Is BX renovation happening? said...

Hello, does anyone know what is happening with the regeneration plan of Brockley Cross. I remeber from the consultation that kick off date was February this year...

Is this still happening?

Prince Peter the Pumpkin Eater said...

Someone mentioned:

"No, a Waitrose would be terrible and would probably put the lovely Costcutter family out of business."

I don't want or need a Waitrose, but what's this about the 'lovely Costcutter family'?

The shop's handy enough but let me know if you ever see any of the women at the till crack a smile. I think the next smile's due along with Comet Hale-Bopp.

Prince Peter the Pumpkin Eater said...

How about the new shops include: a butcher, a baker, a greengrocer, an ironmonger/hardware shop.

Please can they not include: a bookies, a Money Shop, a nail bar, a trendy cafe, a chi-chi gift shop, or yet another fags-and-cans corner shop.

fred west said...

you forgot a candlestick maker. brockley cross already has enough pointless shops.

i'd be happy with a quality restaurant, even a chain one like pizza express.

MOT Marston Green said...

What is the verdict then? Another starbucks, mcdonalds or wilkos? It's quite a large property if I remember correctly.

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