Broc Soc proposes Mantle Road alternative

Brockley Society have objected to the proposed planning application for 6 Mantle Road and launched a petition against the current scheme. BrocSoc's Robert writes:

We have also taken the liberty of suggesting an alternative strategy for the site. Included here is an ‘artists impression’ of our sketch proposals. It is not a design, as such, just an alternative vision – using a montage of other existing London buildings as an example of the sort of scheme that we feel might work for 6 Mantle Road. 

 In short – we are hoping that the current application is rejected, and the developer, in consultation with local people, opts for a scheme that includes the following changes: 

- Further reduction in scale towards south of site, where development meets St Norberts Road - Potential for Pedestrian access to west platform of Brockley Station. 
- Higher quality design 
- More considered approach to public realm 
- Better mix of retail provision (small / medium rather than one large) 
- Mixed use – levels 1 and 2 of northern building could be for offices. For those that might not be aware – this site has always been used for business use – in fact the original use for the site was for a station building to the west of the railway line – which was demolished c.1970. 

We feel an element of office use would still be appropriate here – we are keen to see central Brockley develop thriving small business enterprises – such as the architectural practices that have already set up and are doing well. There is no reason why other small businesses should not chose to base themselves in Brockley – though this will be hard if every possible site has been used for housing. 

To these ends – we hope that readers might help my signing our online petition – which we will submit to Lewisham Planning in support of our case for objection. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/planning-6mantleroad/

BC certainly prefers the aesthetic BrocSoc have gone for here, although we think a bridge of some sort (as the current scheme proposes) could work nicely and would maximise land use. The call for more space for small businesses is reasonable, although they have not mentioned that there is already a major development nearing completion at Martin's Yard, which meets this objective. The developers might reasonably argue that demand for this type of space is as-yet unproven.

77 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like pebbledashed council flats.

kolp said...

Great stuff from Brock Soc and beyond their strict area too. But people that care about the public realm need to be more assertive. The current proposals are just turning the westside of the station into Blockville.

Robin said...

It looks a lot nicer than the current proposals.

It's also worth highlighting that pedestrian access to the West side of Brockley Station also means wheelchair users and those unable to use stairs will be able to use that platform, which is currently entirely inaccessible to many people with mobility impairments.

There is some requirement for stations to become wheelchair accessible, and this would be a point in favour of that.

SM said...

This is much better a proposal, and makes much better use of the space as well as being aesthetically way ahead of the current proposal. Something along these lines should be proposed: I particularly like the idea of the proposed 'modern' block and then the more classical brick buildings, rather than the monolith currently proposed.

We should all be writing in to the Council Planning Department asap to urge against this.

Anonymous said...

Much much better than the current proposal!!!

Anonymous said...

Much more organic. Like it.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell are the Brockley Society!?

terrencetrentderby said...

I propose a theme park called "Brockleyland". All games would be un-competitive with every child being a "winner" and all food would be organic and locally sourced. No rides as they are dangerous, noisy and therefore detrimental to property prices.

Corduroy trousers get in free.

Brockley Ben said...

@anon12:17 http://lmgtfy.com/?q=brockley+society

Who the hell are you?

Moi said...

Anon 12.17, why don't you just do 45 seconds of research before posting? Then you wouldn't need to post.

Monkeyboy said...

The one on the right looks a bit stranded and bunker like. Yep, no reason why they can't use that bridge idea to tie the two together. Also, they seem to have made a point of using brick, was that because "London stock = good"?

No worse than the original, possibly better of the build quality is better than what's been thrown up there currently.

Monkeyboy said...

...that last post was almost coherent. Almost.

Thomas said...

Signed. One thing I'd like is to not have to wait until either of these new developments are underway to have the huge pile of junk cleared away on that corner - it's even on Google Streetview from 2008, about 1/3 of the size it is now though

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=St+Norbert+Rd,+London,+UK&hl=en&ll=51.464058,-0.038393&spn=0.00269,0.004823&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=20.982131,39.506836&oq=st+norber&hnear=St.Norbert+Rd&t=m&z=18&layer=c&cbll=51.464176,-0.038286&panoid=v9-If2FEaU5LTPUhd08P-g&cbp=12,140.98,,2,8.51

And also, be nice if Westsiders didn't have to cross two ponds everytime it rains - water always fills up at the foot of the pavement by the entrance to the skip yard, and then of course, when you reach the station.

The Cat Man said...

Just registered my objection. The proposed building is discussed, I have a vote in favour of the Brock Soc version.

The Cat Man said...

hmm, did that make sense?

Norman foster said...

Looks OK....but hang on. Is it TALLER than the original? Thought that was assumed to be "a bad thing" because everyone knows that humans were not designed to live 15m in the air. Lock and load anons.

kolp said...

In this context who Broc Soc are doesn't really matter. What they are saying does. Their visual submission is NOT a polished proposal thrown together as it was it still looks much than the current Blockoblock proposal, which was so focussed on cramming as flats as possible not even a couple trees were considered for the public realm.

Accessible for wheelchair, mobility for platform one as I've stated before should be mandatory for whatever ends up there.

LC said...

I've signed- the current proposal is ugly, looks strangely dated already and offers very little to those already living in the 'Westside' (and the rest of Brockley!) thanks to only offering one large retail unit. We don't need yet another mini market/supermarket, so one large retail unit makes no sense.

Tobi Jenkins said...

Build it fast and build it cheap. That is whats wrong with the first plan IMO. I much prefer Broc Soc's version and have signed the petition.

Tobi Jenkins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aricana said...

Many thanks to the Brockley Society for raising these objections and i've signed the petition. Hope others will too.

Anonymous said...

Where can I sign 'for' the original plans? I hate NIMBY-led surveying.

Brockley Kiwi said...

I like the feature block on the left and the graduated skyline to the right. However, the houses on the far right look quite miserable and souless. Maybe some more formal connectivity to the other buildings or more detailing would help.

I'm a big fan of the clouds in the orignal design. Can we get those too please?

Danja said...

The white block looks nicer than the developer's proposals, but would probably end up ruined by a poor render finish.

The other stuff is really dull, and the block on the right looks stranded and out of scale as a result.

The bridge in the developer's version is a neat idea, and given that it is only necessary to keep that bit clear at ground level because of a sewer wayleave it seems churlish to try to prevent the landowner from developing the ground above it all. If the sewer wasn't there, it would be built on, and there would no reasonable grounds to object to that.

Danja said...

Where can I sign 'for' the original plans? I hate NIMBY-led surveying.

Write to council in support of the application - an email with the planning application reference and your name and address will do it.

Anonymous said...

Thought that provision for station access is included in the next plot along. Surely you can't expect private land to be used by the station unless they purchase it?

Anonymous said...

It says in the BrocSoc bullets "Better mix of retail provision (small / medium rather than one large)", yet under their image mentions ground floor as "restaurant use" and there is no other retail I can spot.

Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Looks like there is a little retail unit to the right of the restaurant on the picture ...

Anonymous said...

Duck or bleed Norman foster

Anonymous said...

As someone who lives in BX and bothered to object on several grounds including height I much prefer the finish but want a reduction in height not an increase!

Finish really is so much better. Costs aside the architects should be embarrassed. In fact most of them should looking at recent British buildings.

Anonymous said...

I am also signed up for the Broc Soc vision. The use of London stock is an obvious imrpovement and if it is necessary to go higher at one end to allow for greater variety and standard of design then this seems perfectly fine with me. It is schools ahead of the build it high and cheap rubbish of the first scheme.

Brockley is a desirable place to live nowadays and there are big profits to be made from these sorts of developments. As a community we should be welcoming of development but clear that it is not good enough we will not have it.

Anonymous said...

The conservation area may be desireable but have you see the tennants of Jude? Hardly A listers.

kolp said...

Exactly if you want to develop in Brockley step up your game. Have some respect for the place.

Anonymous said...

13:50 And copying spelling from beercans. Class-y.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! There is loads of profit to make here, so in return developers should do things properly, in consultation with the local community (at least having *some* regard for what they want and the surrounding area).

Jeremy said...

Yes but how will this development affect the value of my nearby 4 bedroom Victorian townhouse, purchased for a song 10 years ago?

Anon 13.50 - I know, complete ruddy plebs! One of them even looked like a single mom, probably on benefits and probably indifferent to Brockley Max, BXAG, Brockley Society and all the other ethical things Greater Brockley has to offer.

Anonymous said...

I am sure the educated civil servants in Lewisham Council's planning office will make this all ok.

Anonymous said...

Related to this, 1 Mantle Road (opposite) has the go-ahead and has a massive retail space underneath as well (Development application: DC/10/75723/X ... check out the 3D images) ... how many large retails spaces can this road support? It looks like this development is kicking off soon (Development application DC/12/79419/FT is finalising bits and pieces).

Anonymous said...

All good business for the Barge which is busy busy busy

terrencetrentderby said...

there is a 10 year waiting list to join the curry club

JPM said...

I don't agree with much that Brocsoc has to say these days - but I do like their rendition much more.

lll said...

Hunt, Clarkson, Kyle, Paxman, Bamber...there's something about Jeremys

Anonymous said...

Never thought Id be saying thia about them but in this case I like their version. lewishams approach seems to be pack em high get the council tax and bugger the impact on the locality. just look at the monstrosity by lewisham station. the things there saying about that devekopment know was exactly the same i heard when the built the Aylsebury and Heygate estates. Cos thats all the new development is a posh estate.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested to know who produced this alternative design?
was it as architect and did they look at planning the space or did they just do a (kind of) pretty picture?

I find it quite a strange move for local objectors to a development to propose what they would like to see with an alternative design rather than just words.

It seems to me that a hastily done sketch could be counter-productive if it does not engage in all of the issues around making a development like this work, such as the number and size of properties etc. It may appeal visually to some people, but runs the risk of looking naive and uninformed. (and I don't think it looks much better, aesthetically).

as I said, seems like a bold move, would be interested to know more about how the alternative proposal came about.

Anonymous said...

Anon 15:45 ... Are you the developer? :)

Col said...

This is so much better than the original plans. But I doubt the density of flats is there to satisfy the developer and Lewisham council, as mentioned above they just care about maximising council tax returns.

Looks like we're going to have 5 big blocks within right next to each other, four on the west side and the one where the MOT garage is. I get the brownfield site, close to station argument etc etc, but it's really changing the face of Brockley and not for the better.

Anonymous said...

Do new pubs get built anymore???

Anonymous said...

Most local (conservation) societies have architects and designers in their membership.

Where is the precedent for this five storeys rubbish?

Lewisham are liable to ruin Brockley if they do not receive proper comment from local people on these planned buildings.

Brockley will feel crowded and we will lose that open, dare I say it, village feel if we are blocked in like some kind of bastard Tetris game.

Anonymous said...

No just new benches to support al fresco drinkers priced out of pubs...

Anonymous said...

If Brockley is a "village" then the barge in the village pub.

Hmm, great village that.

lol@alfresco hobos

Anonymous said...

I know everyone thinks they are funny but there are so many misses on this site, example above.

Tobi said...

Anonymous replying to an anonymous post is rather annoying. Esp when another anonymous chips in to disagree with the first anonymous...wait, or was that the second anonymous??

Anonymous said...

We anonymi tend to look at a posts content, rather than the posters name. Stops bullying and pidgeonholing.

K said...

When there's another entrance to the station - is that going to have a knock-on effect of making the footbridge a dodgy cut-through?

Just out of interest is Broc-Soc objecting and raising a petition to the MOT building proposal and/or issuing new drawings for every development locally?

K said...

When there's another entrance to the station - is that going to have a knock-on effect of making the footbridge a dodgy cut-through?

Just out of interest is Broc-Soc objecting and raising a petition to the MOT building proposal and/or issuing new drawings for every development locally?

Divided said...

Hmmm - in principle I support the changes to the plan, but I really don't like the aesthetic of the new mock-up. Looks rather depressing to me. Ah well...

Brockley Nick said...

I think we should avoid calling BrocSoc's images "a plan" - it's just a concept image, not a developed proposal. It's just a debate starter from them.

k said...

those signing the petition are refering to a Broc Soc 'proposal'

mk said...

Interesting question from previous Anon. Do pubs ever get built anymore?

Ties in with nightlife thread and the fact that so many pubs have closed around Brockley over the years. Wouldn't there be a good argument to build a replica pub of some kind?

Anonymous said...

Why when the Barge does traditional fayre

bumbags said...

you say the first design "changes the character of West Brockley". I'm not sure that sounds like a bad thing...
I don't like the two little lonely houses stuck out on the right of the second design, and the staggered roof just looks a bit odd. The buildings look like a 70s pastiche.
Yes, platform access should be specified.
In fact, the bridge in the first is interesting- if the design of the main frontage in the first design were better it would be great.

Anonymous said...

Agree the current scheme is poorly designed. The 'bridge' element will be difficult to pull off sucesfully - they rarely look good and end up looking like a missing tooth.

I don't think two storeys of commercial space is realistic or viable in this location. Would prefer restaurant space on ground floor (not just shops/banks - don't think there is enough demand?) that wraps around the ground floor and opens onto the path to the footbridge - would make the path safer and more inviting. Also think there is scope for a taller element - which would provide a bit of variation on this part of Mantle Rd (Jude Ct, 1A and Maypole site are all 5 storeys).

Robert said...

Just thought I'd stop by to pick up on a few points:

1. We are not proposing pebble-dashed flats for the site!

2. Agree whole-heartedly with the idea of providing wheelchair access to west-platform. This must happen soon.

3. We don't have objections to the bridge in principle - though we deliberately tried to suggest the introduction of small, moderately priced family town-houses, for which there is high demand(need) in Brockley.

4. Yes - the white building in our alternative view is one storey higher. We our conscious of the developer's cost margins - and think that focused extra height here, followed by a staggered drop in scale to the south is a better approach than one large block. Having said that - we understand that others, including Lewisham Planning, may take a different view. We'd prefer it to be smaller ourselves, but are aware of the financial practicalities.

5. The houses to the right of the view are taken from an existing public housing scheme in London - which has won some awards (although we have added a mansard roof in places - that perhaps the original architect wouldn't appreciate!). They were used as a good example of buildings that are simple, relatively cheap to construct, but are well designed. However - they are just included as examples - we certainly wouldn't be campaigning for this site to be developed exactly as we have presented it. Our choice of buildings was simply made to stimulate discussion.

6. Yes - there are lots of people involved with the Brockley Society with architectural experience - which is very useful in times like this. Depending on how the developer, and the planners react to our suggestions - we might consider the idea of developing the proposals further - and if we take this route, then we will certainly consult more widely to get a range of views before producing any more options.

Of course - this is what the developer should have done in the first place.

7. Regarding the development proposal for MOT building at 180 Brockley Road. BrocSoc and BXAG have had a number of pre-planning meetings with MacDonald Egan, the developer of this site. To their credit, they have gone out of their way to gauge local opinion - and have yet to submit a planning application. We believe that they are working hard to produce a design that attempts to meet a range of needs - the local communities, Lewisham Plannings, and their own!

Robert said...

Also - thank you to everyone who has signed the petition, and left positive comments. Please forward the petition link on to others who might be interested!

We think that this is a very important development site in Brockley - which is why we should give the developer, and the planning team, a gentle push.

Geoff Capes said...

A local gym with class space would be a cool and valuable addition to Brockley.

Mb said...

TfL and/or the DFT have money and a commitment for step free at brockley so no need for the developer to stump up for that, so long as they build something that doesn't prevent a scheme happening. Wonder if lewisham or TfL have reserved space for that? 2014 is the latest I've heard.

Anonymous said...

Anything better than the one that has been proposed... the picture makes it look like it will be built by Higgins Construction (the cowboys who were based at the site and who have wreaked havoc on all council properties in Brockley with supposed 'improvements').

Result: it would fall down after a few years (although that would have been a good thing!)

Ed (CPZ) said...

Jude has already obstructed views of CP Hill (and any sense of space) from the tea factory and environs and another new build of the same height or higher would complete the ruin of the view S/W.

Perhaps selfish but I believe that these buildings are just too high and are changing the character of BX irreparably. The tallest old building must be the white block south of the mews development entrance, which sits on a site higher than the mantle road boxes yet is at broadly the same height.

I cannot believe that developers with sites next to a zone 2 station do not have the vision to make fewer more desirable properties and save us from a future as a shoe box dormitory with nothing but overpriced convenience stores.

I approve of Broc Soc's proposal as a talking point but can't see why we pander to developers who want to build twice the height of the local housing stock, at least without reference to the surrounding area. Wasn't there a masterplan to try to promote joined up thinking/planning?

JPM said...

@Robert

"7. Regarding the development proposal for MOT building at 180 Brockley Road. BrocSoc and BXAG have had a number of pre-planning meetings with MacDonald Egan, the developer of this site. To their credit, they have gone out of their way to gauge local opinion - and have yet to submit a planning application."

How did they 'gauge public opinion' - do you mean through you?

Anonymous said...

@JPM - no, they have actually organized open meetings to meet with local residents to collect feedback.

Aricana said...

Is there any news about the approved Wandle housing development on the west side, which was due to be completed by summer 2012. The entrance way is beginning to look like a permanent rubbish tip. Is there anything that Wandle housing or the council could do to stop this - maybe install CCTV?

AspinallRuled said...

I much prefer the developer's scheme to the Broc Soc one. Although more than one retail unit would be good. Surely a business owner could divide the premises? And the scale decreases from north to south on both. Broc Socs' design looks rather boxy to me.

JPM said...

Sorry. I'll certainly take a look at 180 Brockley road. It's a key location.

The Mantle Road proposal by Brocsoc looks much better than the one forwarded by the developer. I don't like the bridge across. I certainly don't buy the claim that in order to make it economically viable it has to be dense. It depends on how much the site was puchased for, surely.

Anonymous said...

@JPM - yes it depends on the price, but the Council seems to be in the business of bailing out overexposed developers.

In the old days if you paid too much, you would loose money.

Anonymous said...

That is'nt very nice to saying that abt pepole who are living in a Jude court apartments. We might not be a lister but aleast we are on the property ladders.

Count Arthur Strong said...

I also prefer the developer's scheme which at least doesn't pretend to be something it isn't and uses contemporary materials rather than some old/new pastiche.

But then that's only my opinion and I don't live that near so won't be commenting to the council formally.

Anonymous said...

What do the BXAG have to say about this? Would be keen to see them involved - this is potentially just as important as the 180 brockley road site to get right ..

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