Goodbye to all tat

The Brockley Cross car lay-by is going, to be replaced by a wide pavement, planted with trees and indented with a proper parking bay. The area has been fenced off and the road is being dug up.

The large scoop of grot - which has variously served as a parking bay for vans and hearses but rarely as the short-term parking facility it was intended to be - had the effect of turning Brockley Cross in to a six lane car pile up, wrecking the location's prospects as a sustainable business location, leading to many empty or zombie units.

Its replacement is the biggest single improvement outlined by the master plan. So far, to our untrained eye, the quality of work on the new paving seems to be high.

We'd argue this little patch has been Brockley's biggest eyesore for many years. Which is the new champ?

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

Could've been a perfect place to put some bike racks.

Brockley Nick said...

Still could, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you say that it would still serve as a car park though? Bike racks and paving would make for a great open space for Tickle Me to potentially use in the summer.

Anonymous said...

The parade of shops on Brockley Rd next to the petrol station and opposite the bottom of Wickham Rd is pretty grotty.

@HighStreetBen said...

Well said Nick!

Living right near it, not once have I actually ever been able to park there - so cant say I'll miss the 'parking'! Cant wait to see it done.. and yes please on the bike racks

Pete said...

You must have written this in a hurry Nick. Apostrophes are all over the shop! Not like you at all :-)

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon 1251 (I assume you're also the first anon - please use a name :))

Yes, but the pavement will be much wider and could probably accommodate some bikes. Click on the links to see the master plan

Brockley Nick said...

@Pete - one apostrophe! (now fixed, thanks). And yes, I have a pitch in five mins...

Anonymous said...

More car bashing.

Anonymous said...

I'd say the improved pedestrian safety is more important in the context of the master plan but this is a key piece also. Hoping for a green space feel to that side of BX...

Anonymous said...

The chap with the black Mercedes slk is going to be annoyed...

Anonymous said...

The pavement outside the timber yard where the vandalised phone box is will have trees too according to the plans...

quick brown fox said...

Another contender for biggest eyesore: the Royal Mail sorting office at the bottom of Harefield Rd, and the expanse of concrete in front of it, complete with a line of recycling bins.

Agree about the shops opposite the bottom of Wickham Rd too.

Anonymous said...

Is there a rotting car outside Broca still?

Anonymous said...

still a swimming pool on by the station when it rains.. I thought they were supposed to have fixed that?

Oli said...

>still a swimming pool on by the station when it rains

Yeah - they lifted up and removed one paving slab a month ago and just left it!


Utterly pathetic.

Anonymous said...

When I was a lad we used to walk through puddles. Or around them.

What's changed?

Fattyfattybumbum said...

I fear this will just end up as a massive bin storage area.

Separately this week the Council has just allowed the erection of 2 new back lit plastic shop fronts down in Ladywell with the wonderful names "Hungry Hut" and "The Village Chicken Hut". Its incredible how these places haven't even opened yet they already look really dated.

Lewisham Council sure knows how to maintain its public realm, the borough is simply a joy to drive through ;)

Anonymous said...

Now we just need Mike + Ollie to open their restaurant in Brockley Cross ;-)

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with "Hungry Hut" and "The Village Chicken Hut"?

If it had a painted wooden sign saying "Mungo's" you'd use it, presumably?

Anonymous said...

If you fail to comprehend the importance of the public realm in our experiences of life you should probably avoid the argument.

Subsistence cf. a culturally fulfilled life, or as it is more commonly characterised on here: Fried Chicken v Mung.

Ignorance is not an excuse.

BXer said...

Anon @ 14:07 ... Agreed!

Brockley Jon said...

@Anon 14.04, I think you'll find "The Village Mung Hut" would be much more in keeping with the area.

RichSE4 said...

Who is carrying out the works? If it is the same contractor who did and has returned to rectify the pathing and flooding at the railway station, then God help us.

JPM said...

Well done to all those concerned, including BC, in moving this thing forward.

Fattyfattybumbum said...

Anon 14.04 - "What's wrong with "Hungry Hut" and "The Village Chicken Hut"?"

Come on, they are the most unimaginative $h1test names ever (sorry Nick). Their signs are the cheapest 1970s tat they could find. They are making a profit by churning out low grade unhealthy crap which clogs the arteries of the poor and the young - should I applaud that? Eating that rubbish everyday makes people aggressive which I could do without.

I think its bonkers how in Ladywell there is only one place you can buy vegetables of an evening... but 5 fast-food places where you can buy chips. Do people really live off that rubbish? When I was a kid (cant believe I just said that) a take-away was a rare/birthday treat.

What the hell is a mung anyway??

Anonymous said...

There are 5 places where you can buy a coffee. Where's the complaint there? All those calories, making people aggressive...

Oh I forgot. It's "ethical".

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is more ethical than tortured battery chickens - your point is?

Anonymous said...

That's the thing about ethics - they're not a universal constant you can just enforce on others - we all have differing interpretations of what those mean. Hence battery chickens, as you call them, still produced and enjoyed by the many.

mk said...

I have mixed feelings over the general pavement widening around Brockley Cross. On the one hand, it's good to hand more space to pedestrians and improve the public realm with trees and suchlike, but is Brockley Road likely to have the kind of footfall that demands such extensive widening?

It's made it much harder to cycle down to BX now, as the car lane isn't wide enough for a car and bike side by side.

There would have been plenty of space I think, to both widen the pavement and provide a decent bike lane and bike racks along that stretch of road, which potentially could have calmed traffic and improved access to the parade of shops.

Fevvers said...

anon@15.23 I think you're confusing ethical choice with ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Many people hurt animals and humans. They are wrong to do so.

Anonymous said...

If 'the many' were given the full facts and the option of free range chicken at the same price only the bastard would chose the battery chicken.

Moi said...

I would have thought there was a market for high quality free-range fried chicken. It would a) make it stand out from the other offerings available and b) target a different market (yes yes, the 'eethical' market, the 'mung' one, whatever - the market that is a little more discerning about what goes in its body but still likes the odd bit of fried chicken). Sorry, I guess this should be on the Ladywell chicken shops thread.

Fattyfattybumbum said...

"There are 5 places where you can buy a coffee. Where's the complaint there? All those calories, making people aggressive...

Oh I forgot. It's "ethical"."

Five places selling coffee in Ladywell? really? I can only think of Oscars which is 1 place apart from Rumbles which is closed in the evenings so doesn't count.

There are hardly any calories in coffee unless you ask for cream and marshmallows or something.

The difference Anon is that people don't drink coffee as their main source of sustenance or feed their kids it as their primary daily meal.

People just make excuses to eat that junk by saying they are 'too poor' or 'haven't enough time' to cook normal food with vegetables. Yet scoops of veg are only a quid down in Lewisham, and they last longer than a box of chips. Its pure laziness.

Aricana said...

The master plan looks great but look who is undertaking the work - CONWAY. Are there any examples of their good workmanship in Brockley?

Who can i contact about the station area works? The repairs that Conway are contracted to make right but appear to have abandoned.

tj said...

back to the subject, and away from the now constant mung type comments, I also think the parade of shops opposite Wickham Road/Breakspears could do with a spruce too.

Moi said...

It's not just laziness, it's also ignorance. Despite all the tv shows and government advice etc etc, some people just don't realise that what they eat is important; many many people have never learnt to cook. Listen to Jamie Oliver on the subject. We are now seeing at least the 3rd generation of people who were never taught to cook and don't have any basic skills in that department and who have become addicted to excessive amounts of salt and sugar thanks to irresponsible fast food joints and supermarket ready meals, which are laden with the stuff to make them taste of something. And the consequences are evident. A 3rd of all adults in the UK obese; a spiralling diabetes problem etc. We only need to look to America to see where we're heading, and the rest of Europe is beginning to follow in our footsteps too. The most obese children in Europe are now Italian, and this is being attributed to the fast food movement that has hit Italy relatively late; the current 30-somethings are the first generation there who don't see home cooking as a way of life.

Rice N' Pea said...

I worked in a chicken shop once during a long, shameful and destitute summer.

No matter how cheap the meal deals were the clientele still complained about the price, biggest bunch of cheapskates in the world. Margins in chicken shops are actually tiny. These people would eat their own mother if she came with a can of Fanta and Wings for £2.99.

Like the idea of free range fried chicken but would be too expensive for your usual chicken aficionado.

Ben said...

@Moi

Jamie Oliver is a tosser and makes me want to eat more junk food.

Fattyfattybumbum said...

@ Rice n Pea - ha ha your comment is hilarious!

Moi said...

@ben, I know he's a bit of a marmite figure but I love him, albeit I do understand why people find him irritating! He has actually worked hard to try and make a difference, and I think he has succeeded in making a small difference. His TED speech is interesting and shocking and worth watching (although his inability to stand still does grate).

Tamsin said...

Agreed - in the series about school meals with the Kidbrooke School dinner ladies he came over as a really nice lad - naive, but trying really hard, passionate in his convictions and so frustrated at being stimied at every turn. Another nice vignette was that in the middle of it all he had bought a new car for his wife - who he felt he had been shamefully neglecting while he was so taken up with the project - and was so nervous about whether she would like it.

I reckon one of the few TV "celebrities" who deserve that status.

Tamsin said...

Agreed - in the series about school meals with the Kidbrooke School dinner ladies he came over as a really nice lad - naive, but trying really hard, passionate in his convictions and so frustrated at being stimied at every turn. Another nice vignette was that in the middle of it all he had bought a new car for his wife - who he felt he had been shamefully neglecting while he was so taken up with the project - and was so nervous about whether she would like it.

I reckon one of the few TV "celebrities" who deserve that status.

NAT said...

I would use a certifried chicken take away, perhaps cooking to the Col. Sandals recipe.

Moi said...

@Tamsin, yes i agree - at least he tries to use his celebrity clout for the greater good, unlike many 'celebrities'. Anyway, enough of the one-man Jamie fan club.

Tim said...

How can you not like a cheerful family man who tries to make the world a healthier place!!??

What is WRONG with people???

Anonymous said...

His tounge is too big and his 30 minute meals take about an hour. Other that that he's fine.

Anyway, BX will be better when it's all done and can Conways SORT THE STATION WORKS OUT

Ian on the Hill said...

And rather more on tack...this should look great and might discourage the conglomeration of anal oriffices who currently block up that section of road from hanging around.

Bike racks sounds like a great idea.

And, I hate to say this, I rather like the sorting office itself. It's the bins and area in front that are souless and ugly.

Brockley Nick said...

I used to wish the sorting office would go, I don't any more.

My original view was based on the feeling that this stretch of high street in its current form was too small ever to attract enough footfall ever to become a vibrant and successful shopping and leisure area.

My change of heart is based on the plans for 180 Brockley Road, which, if not messed up, will make the high street much more substantial.

The sorting office is OK. Hardly an eyesore and does a useful job.

kolp said...

There's so many people that moved to Brockley that don't actually like Brockley...

Brockley Nick said...

@Kolp - wishing that some aspects might be improved is not the same as not liking a place, obviously. Some call me Panglossian, but even I do not believe this this Brockley is the best of all possible Brockleys. Hopefully we can work as a community towards making it even better. Good to discuss ideas, no?

Monkeyboy said...

Googles "Panglossian"

@HighStreetBen said...

So far so good with the Conway works - seem pretty good to me (acknowledging that mistakes were made at the station). Within every contractor there are better and worse site workers- Brock Cross seems to have better ones at the mo.

Am hoping less area to park up on the southside of BX will stop the boy-racers who think its acceptable to stop to shout / hang out with their bass & tunes turned up to volume 11, post-midnight, most eves! Or will they just block one lane of the road to do it once the parking's gone.. thoughts?

Tamsin said...

The Reverend Dr. Pangloss - Candide? Very swanky reference, anyway..

Anonymous said...

I also went to a private school.

Anonymous said...

As did I.

Tressilliana said...

Anon 14.40, if you're suggesting that Nick went to a private school, I believe you are wrong. Local comp, in fact.

TC said...

I didn't have the luxury of attending a private school but I understand the establishment that I did attend was approved.
;0)

kolp said...

Nick I was just expressing sorrow for those people that are living in Brockley but pining for East Dulwich...

Anonymous said...

Anon 14:40 - Most private school alumni agree that we should try to avoid the indefinite article in this context. I went to private school or I went to X, not I went to a private school.

Brockley Nick said...

@Kolp why do you pine for Kent? Why do you hate Brockley?

Danja said...

Careful, you will get smitten or smote or smited or something if you carry on like that.

Brockley Jon said...

Eh, did I miss something? Isn't Kolp just pointing out there are plenty of people around who go "oh I moved here cos it was convenient for Shoreditch, but it's a bit grim, and there's nothing to do!" (missing the vibrant community underneath their noses). You normally hear them on the train.

Brockley Nick said...

Jon, I'm sure Kolp will be happy to clear up any confusion.

Anonymous said...

"Despite all the tv shows and government advice etc etc, some people just don't realise that what they eat is important"

It's only important if you you want a healthy lifestyle or some such. If you don't care about a healthy life style and would prefer to do other things than worry about cooking, then why is what one eats important.

It's not up to the thought police to tell anyone whether what they eat is "important".

What I eat is one of the least important things in my life. And that is not because I am ignorant.

Tressilliana said...

Anon 17.13, it may be unimportant to you but if your eat what you like approach makes you ill the rest of us will be funding your treatment and sickness benefits from our taxes. Which does make it our business, a bit.

Tamsin said...

On the other hand if you die when you're 50 of a coronory, we won't be funding your care when you are 90 and suffering from Alzheimer's or some long-term, expensive to treat, degenerative disease. The argument that preventative medecine saves the state money overall does not actually add up. Think Brave New World . The most pragmatically ruthless and economic policy is to keep people healthy then let them die quickly.

Not that I personally advocate this, of course. The Cancer Research ad, "I shouldn't be here", "I shouldn't be here", "My mum should be here" literally brings tears to my eyes. I just don't like the false arguments, or to put it charitably just sloppy ones, that the media and politicians so often expect us to swallow.

Bender said...

It's a shame there's no restaurant in Brockley X.

I curse the ancestors and children of the owners of La Laterna!

The problem with Brockley X is the distinct lack of decent sized commercial units. Hope the new development will address this.

Anonymous said...

"it may be unimportant to you but if your eat what you like approach makes you ill the rest of us will be funding your treatment and sickness benefits from our taxes. Which does make it our business, a bit."

Everybody has to die: it is just a matter of whether it happens sooner (far cheaper - no pensions for you to fund) or later (more expensive for you). If I eat myself into an early, pre-pension age, grave you should be grateful. It will also lower the unemployment levels, for which you should also be grateful.

Fevvers said...

"What I eat is one of the least important things in my life. And that is not because I am ignorant."

Er, yes it is. Either you are young and ignorant, and will eventually learn to care about what you eat, or you are old and ignorant, and won't be around for much longer.

Anonymous said...

@Fevvers: how pompous can you get?

I wouldn't tell you that your life style choices were based on ignorance if you had weighed up the choices and made your own decision even if I disagreed with it (which I probably would).

Live life a bit and don't care if you die young - you'll probably die young of worry and constipation the way you're going.

Anonymous said...

There is a restaurant at Brockley X - The Brockley Barge.

Decent simple grub.

Tressilliana said...

Yes, if you drop dead at 50 it saves us all money, unless you leave dependants that we have to look after. But it's at least equally as likely that you will suffer years and years of increasing ill health which will make you unable to work. So I stand by my point.

Cheerful conversation for a sunny Saturday morning!

@HighStreetBen said...

The Barge isnt in Brockley X though..

Its good value and has some very good and varied real ales - but (in my opinion) good food it aint! Having worked at a couple of Wetherspoons I can vouch that the freshest food you can buy there is a fry-up.. bar salad every single other thing is microwaved/ boil in bag.. even the pasta!

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