180 Brockley Road plans reviewed this week

This week (Thursday), Lewisham Council's Planning Committee will consider the application to redevelop 180 Brockley Road. The report prepared for the meeting recommends that the development be approved, subject to some further points of negotiation and clarification.

We've picked out what we think are the most salient points:

On parking issues...

The works listed in the Transport Assessment can only be viewed as suggested works. These include:

• Coulgate Street to become one-way northbound from Foxberry Road to Brockley Road
• Widening of the footway on the eastern side of Coulgate Street
• Pedestrian refuge, drop kerbs and tactile paving on Coulgate Street at the junction with Brockley Road
• Rationalisation of the on-street parking on Coulgate Street
• Closure of the existing crossovers on Foxberry Road and Brockley Road and the re-instatement of the footway

These suggested works would result in a rationalisation of the existing parking spaces on Coulgate Street and would re-provide 13 of the existing parking spaces in the form of 6 short stay parking spaces; 1 loading bay; 2 drop off spaces adjacent to Brockley Station; 3 taxi spaces and 1 disabled space. Two further disabled spaces and a loading bay/3 short stay parking bay would be provided on Foxberry Road... The report concludes that there will be no adverse impact on parking as a result of the suggested works.

On the pedestrianisation of Coulgate Street...

It is very important to make clear that the Council’s Highways Team has confirmed that the works to Coulgate Street have received LIP funding and are scheduled for the 2013/14 financial year. The improvement works to Coulgate Street will go ahead whether or not this planning application is granted. The £90,000 S106 contribution set out in the draft heads of terms and earmarked to go towards these improvements will not be sufficient to cover the cost of the works on their own, but will serve to improve the scale and quality of the changes that the Council will be able to deliver.

On the commercial space...

Concern has been raised that the ground floor commercial space should be let to small businesses to add to the diversity and unique character of the area and create a thriving hub and shopping/leisure destination. As such, a condition is recommended requiring the maximum size of a single A1 unit to be 190sqm. This would ensure that the large commercial space fronting Foxberry Road is divided into at least two units to add to the diversity provided by the centre, promote small businesses and retain the unique character of the area.

The principle of high quality scheme which proposes a mix of ground floor commercial uses (that includes a retail element) and residential uses above and will make a contribution towards the much desired improvements to Coulgate Street will be acceptable in principle.

On the fate of the MOT centre...

The business will be looking to relocate locally to retain its existing customer base. Although this is likely to be on a smaller scale as the current site is too large. The tenant has confirmed that there seems to be some suitable sites available but it is too early to sign up to one of these.

In conclusion...

On balance, the development would deliver regeneration benefits and improvements to the townscape on a key site in the conservation area which is situated in a highly sustainable location. This application has been considered in the light of policies set out in the development plan and other material considerations including policies in the Core Strategy. Officers consider that the with the necessary conditions and obligations in place, the proposal would result in a high quality development that would support the regeneration Brockley Cross and the proposal is therefore considered acceptable.

63 comments:

King Carbuncle said...

Why does this once in a lifetime development have to be so damn ugly? To say it isn't is about as fanciful as the hoard of hot air balloons drifting over it. A crying shame, it's going to destroy the whole feel of Brockley.

The Real Welcome said...

Looks nice to me. Even if you don't like it, to say that it is going to destroy the whole feel of Brockley way OTT. It's just one building. And one that replaces an open sore, at that.

Aricana said...

I find it really hard to imagine from the image above and those previously published how it will actually look in situ and don't find it that appealing on its own.  That said, I think the new commercial units will help to further regenerate the area.

Gio said...

Wouldn't it be a bit of a waste of money to pedestrianise Coulgate if there is a possibility that it'll become one-way for traffic in the future? Or have I read that text incorrectly?

Ben said...

Anything that gets rid of those bloody Ace vans

BLS said...

Shops good. MOT garage bad.

Tim said...

The "whole feel" being a few shabby vans and an MOT centre? Don't be silly. It's progress.

Daniel Woods said...

looks okay to me, the mot place is just a waste of space, would have to be pretty bad to be any worse. more space for some independent local businesses would be good.

The Thinker said...

This proposal is way too tall in comparison to the surrounding buildings and the wrong type of building materials, it's going to be large and cheaply built and stickout like those oversized monsters at the bottom of Loampit Vale.

or dare i say it, Surrey Quays Shopping center...

It's going to take a lot of natural light from the high street and they've put hot air ballons in over street lighting....  Who are these cowboys.

Is this really a serious proposal? It's January not April?
Is this how the 2013 starts? Build something with 80's pastiche.

I would rather put up the currently MOT center, until someone puts a serious proposition forward.

I don't think there is a problem with expecting some thing much better, after all you'll expect this building to be around for some time, and I hope to be around here for some time.

Daniel Woods said...

what are you talking about, its about the same height as the barge building, the same as the parade opposite, and the same as the browns/broca site with the flats on top.

Monkeyboy said...

It's about the same height as the cinema that used to occupy the site so perfectly in keeping height wise, not that height=bad. That would be lazy knee jerkery. Also not sure how you've determined tht the materials will be cheap? Not clear on what '80s pastiche is either? I know what Victorian pastiche is, it's at the end of Malpas road and its done poorly

At the moment we have a tatty set of unimpressive huts. There isn't a competing proposal so unless we wait an unspecified amount of time for some one to build some thing better perhaps we should look see what is actually being offered

King Carbuncle said...

 Er no what are you talking about? If you looked at the plans you'll see it's much taller than any of those buildings, it'll be about as big as the block of flats on the west side of the station.

The Thinker said...

Dan, I count 4 floors and roof gardens, that's another floor higher than the tallest 3 floors on Coulgate Street and the barge is 3 floors.

So It is substantially higher.

Monkeyboy said...

It's about the same height as what was there before the mot garage, a cinema. Everyone get all foamy mouthed once you build over two stories I just don't understand it.

Brockley Nick said...

Surrey Quays Shopping Centre? In what possible way is it like that? Completely different form, function, scale, access and purpose. Why not just say it's like the E&C Shopping Centre or Trellick Tower and be done with it!

Monkeyboy said...

Square, lots of glass and it doesn't have a pitched roof of slate so EXACTLY like Surrey Quays. ;)

King Carbuncle said...

Monkeyboy, apart from the fact that you are comparing two completely different buildings, one of which was way before everyone's time here. The old Ritz cinema was two storeys with a pitched roof so nothing like as tall as this flat fronted building up to 5 storeys tall!

King Carbuncle said...

'Given the thumbs up by serious people who have looked at it seriously' Oh really? Lewisham council will put through anything to get more money in the coffers. So I don't really count their judgement.

Obviously this is better than an MOT garage but ultimately this is a once in a lifetime chance for Brockley to do something with this spot, and unfortunately, it's going down the most obvious, dull and faceless route possible. This was the only option looked at and the easiest for the developer to do. Still trebles all round for them though!

Monkeyboy said...

Ok, I concede that point. Still don't see why any new building is duty bound to match those immediately next to them in height. Why is five bad? What about four or three? We wouldn't have invented stairs if we were confined to single storie. The height obsesion is a bit weak.

The Thinker said...

You mean over 3 stories, so It is substantially higher than the neighboring buildings. Your trying unsuccessfully to trivialize the height issue of adding another level. But everyone can see it, and it's a reasonable issue, which isn't lazy if you put a lift in or knee jerk , if you want to urbanize the suburbs. I'll get me crunk on shall i monkeyboy...

Trushbin3000 said...

Is it taller then the Barge?

http://acolnet.lewisham.gov.uk/ACOLLATEDOCS/90851_8.pdf

Skyscraper said...

Well if height isn't a problem why not make it 10 storeys?

The Thinker said...

 We're talking aesthetic, due to materials used, not from and function Nick... lol ;)

Monkeyboy said...

Ok, so we've found your red line in the sand. Two is perfectly acceptable, three is awful. It's not much of an argument. Urbanisation? Not sure what you mean. We live in an urban area, not the Lake District. The Victorians urbanised the area 150 years ago I'm afraid.

Everyone cannot see it, some agree with you, some don't. Some are ambivalent.

The Thinker said...

No you miss quoted me again... read my comments again.... Do you want me to teach you about urbanization and pastiche architecture? What's suburban and urban and rural?

Monkeyboy it's never too late to go back to school. lo ;)

Matt Hero said...

It is strange there there seems to be more interest in this plan now than when it was first announced and these renders first appeared. But anyway.....

The planned development is - as you can see - not uniform in height, but rather reflects the varying heights of the existing buildings which back on to it (e.g. it is one / two storeys where it is adjacent to the Coulgate Street cottages, higher where it sits behind the building that houses Browns). 

Monkeyboy said...

Height isn't a reason on its own. They are not proposing 10 stories.

Monkeyboy said...

You object to a light industrial unit and van hire lot being replaced with residential and small shop development because that "urbanises" the area? Nope, don't get that.

Anon said...

@matt

There's not more interest 85 on the first post 25 on this one.

terrencetrentderby said...

I hope the NIMBYs don't scupper this.

Anonymous said...

The NIMBYs have been onto this since the first comment in the thread.

Badgers view said...

 Square boxy compact flats in high density developments with a few shops underneath seem to be the way developers make a profit these days.  How is this proposal going to benefit the area?  The residents will simply complain about any business that disturbs their slumber after office hours.   The buildings that previously occupied this site and the MOT garage were not residential, this is a big change of use and it will restrict the type of business that can occupy the modest commercial units that are proposed.

Every development that largely consists of small apartments (doubtless with exhorbitant maintenance charges) is turning Brockley into a characterless dormitory suburb next to a rail line.

Thumbs down!

The Thinker said...

Nope you don't see to get much... Monkeyboy.

You miss quoted me again...and you've reworked and rehashed what I said to blatantly deriding my opinion to promote your skew.

Creating a false, untrue, and bias opinion, which is not my angle at all.
I suppose you were hoping others will join in and quash, my opinion.

shame on you..

I don't feel wrong in expecting more for what is essentially central Brockley, for what could potential be a Jewel in the crown and a real destination befitting Brockley, for many years to come, for both residence, visitors and the local economy alike.

I don't like be short changed and this proposal seems, a short measure in my opinion. (all though too tall in stature lol no pun intended ;))

I don't think we should settle for mediocrity or less (that's being polite). The public purse is also being spent, I'm a local, so there is entitlement.

This proposal is just one proposal at the moment at this time of downturn. Which doesn't mean it's the best and only option.

Maybe Jeff Lowe's proposal for Ashby Mews could work better here?
It could be more a kin to Haverlock walk but slightly more prominent.

Maybe the net, could be cast further for other suitable interested parties and partners? Later on.

There are plenty of local shops closing or have closed in the South East and others that need to relocate. The post office is up for redevelopment Brockley and surrounding areas are in flux.

I'm sure some want to see high street coffee chains and other don't, the NIMBY and Mung remarks aside.

The really questions in my mind are:

Is this particular plan right for Brockley now?
Do you think it's right for the near future?

I will put my thought and objections to the relevant people, to try and avoid misquotation and misdirection.

Which is clearly going on here far too often.

Monkeyboy said...

I'm merely probing for weakness and inconsistency. As a self proclaimed Thinker I'm sure you can cope with a little provocation without a huge dummy spit......oh.

david said...

MOT garages - bad. Independent local business - good. Waste of space - presumably meaning an unused resource. Brockley Park Cars - locally owned independent business servicing, repairing and performing legally required MOTs on local people's cars always busy = good or bad, I can't follow your logic Daniel?

Brockley Nick said...

I agree that Daniel's logic is somewhat contorted, but the article makes clear that the MOT garage plans to stay in Brockley. So this will be a big net gain in terms of local employment. More than 20 jobs in the new commercial space. How many at present? 5? The ACE garage is mostly unstaffed.

Brockley Nick said...

"Boxy" is how you could describe almost any house in Brockley, or indeed anywhere. The design is clearly references a traditional high street, grown up in higgledy-piggledy fashion (hence the recesses and height varioations). The review contains much discussion about brick stocks and, so long as the developers are made to stick to their plans, the materials should fit nicely in.

"he residents will simply complain about any business that disturbs their slumber after office hours."

No they won't. And they won't have a case if they do.

" this is a big change of use and it will restrict the type of business that can occupy the modest commercial units that are proposed."

The units will each have a use class. This will determine what types of business can use them. Same as any property.

"Every development that largely consists of small apartments (doubtless with exhorbitant maintenance charges) is turning Brockley into a characterless dormitory suburb next to a rail line."

No, small flats mean people spend more time out and about, using local cafes, pubs, restaurants and public spaces. It's large houses that people spend all their time in. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if you're worries about being a dormitory suburb, then you should embrace high density and small units.

Brockley Nick said...

Another misuse of the term NIMBY. A NIMBY is someone who doesn't want something to happen. The majority of complainers (though I disagree with them) simply want something better / different to happen here. BBNQSHIMBY* would be a better description, if you must be so reductive.

*Better But Not Quite Sure How In My Back Yard.

brockmk said...

As others have commented, the design is pretty bland, but I've yet to see any development around south-east London that values aesthetics.

I'm not clear on the plans for Coulgate St though. Will it be fully pedestrianised or are there plans to retain parking spaces? The latter would be a half-measure in my opinion - it would be much more pleasant to make the street inaccessible to vehicles.

It would be nice to know what kind of uses are proposed for the commercial spaces below the flats. A new development such as this is sure to demand high rental costs, so what will be done to attract independent/creative businesses to these units, in line with Lewisham's broader creative industries strategy?

david said...

Sorry, Nick, I was being a little argumentative; I just get annoyed when it appears many of those posting comments screech for a bar, deli, coffee shop or Waitrose above anything else without considering what the wider community wants or needs. All of those things are businesses I'd welcome and support (although maybe not the Waitrose) provided they were any good, but it does not automatically follow that's what is already there is a bad thing.

I think this new development is exciting and will bring some much needed focus to the Coulgate St area, scrubbing it up and making visitors first impression of Brockley when they step off the train a positive one (although kudos to Browns and the Broca for already doing this). I'll be even more welcoming of it if the garage, as the article suggests, is able to relocate locally. Good news all round.

anon said...

Going to be great.

Daniel Woods said...

meh. number of jobs for the space.

Daniel Woods said...

contorted? i'll spell it out for you nick/david. new proposal, more units,  better use of space, potential more local, independent businesses.  better use of space = means less waste of space. do you follow? it's quite simple.

Tim said...

Perhaps if you attempted to form meaningful sentences and use conventional grammar, you would better convey your message?

Monkeyboy said...

Is there a new proposal that this one is freezing out? The lot is privately owned, like it or not there's little that can be done if the owner decides to follow a particular route so long as it meets the relevant regs. Bit like those who complain that the ELL should have been better, there was no alternative that was funded and ready to go so the argument was moot.

Daniel Woods said...

tim, quite common to use abbreviated sentences for emphasis. the logic of this is that reducing the language down to key words makes it clearer and easier to understand, but this is obviously lost on you. 

cbw said...

Exactly. There is no alternative on the table at the moment. Beggars, choosers, etc.

Those who aren't a fan of the design would be best advised to engage (or would have been bet advised to have engaged?) with the planning process to encourage the design to move in the direction they want (whether that's lower-rise, less boxy, whatever) but we have to face facts: taste is subjective and the planning system cannot please everyone in that regard.

As much as I love the idea of having an architectural marvel in the area, such buildings are usually more expensive to design and build, often therefore less commercially viable and frequently polarising. Plus no such marvellous design is forthcoming and as far as I've seen nobody here is promoting or proposing a competing design.

If forced to choose between this (in my humble opinion) unremarkable but inoffensive building and no development on the site for the foreseeable future, I would prefer to see something done. I sympathise with the "this is a key site, we must get it right" argument to an extent, but fail to see how this proposal is so obviously wrong that it should be recited out of hand in favour of the status quo - the objections above are predominantly a matter of taste. Pleasing everybody all of the time is, naturally, impossible - and in situations like this, the objectors tend to be the most vocal.

I do however think that the developers should be pushed as hard as possible to make the maximum contribution to public realm improvements and that the quality safeguards as to materials etc. should be strictly enforced. I'd also love to see full pedestrianisation of Coulgate St., but that's my selfish opinion as a non-car owning resident who hasn't the first idea of what the impact on parking would be.

Tamsin said...

Gourmet beggers can choose to stay hungry until something worth eating is presented to them.  No need to gratefully gobble up what is first offered.

Developers often start by fobbing one off with what maximises their profits at the expense of aesthetics and quality (they after all don't have to live in or next to it) - but when their first (and even second or third) ideas are rejected are capable of coming up with something much better all round.

Monkeyboy said...

By the way, can someone define "boxey"? It's the first objection to almost every proposal. I looked at the building that Browns and The Broca occupy, it's box shaped with no pitched roof. It's devoid of any architectural flourish, it has basic shops below and residential above as does the high street (something the Victorian developers "cashing in" realised was a sensible model)

It is however 150years old and therefore passes scrutiny. The development ain't no St. Paul's but not actually fundamentally different in concept to the rest of the street. Shops and retail, bog standard for the last century or two

david said...

Daniel,your original argument appeared based on the notion that because the new development will include space for new local businesses it is inherently good - thus implying that Brockley Park Cars are neither local or a required service; which is incorrect on both counts. Your revised point seems to be that they are using the space badly. Admitedly since they stopped selling cars as well as servicing them a couple of years ago and sublet part of it to Ace Vans the space has been less well used but presumably that decision fits into the fact the new development is being proposed anyway.

My point is that we shouldn't assume local businesses we don't personally use to be bad, non-local, vaguely evil, mung-based or honest-fare. Brockley's strength is its diversity. I welcome the new development and am excited by what might be in there. I'm equally really pleased that the best garage I've ever used are moving in the local vixinity (fingers crossed!). I want to be able to get my car fixed, get a nice coffee, buy my still-imaginary kids some shoes, collect my parcels, go for lunch, go for a beer, do some other stuff I haven't even thought of and maybe even have sone fried chicken if I want it, all in my local area. Brockley does that; thanks.

david said...

Nick, sorry for thread hijacking but it's sort of relevant; the Disqus comments tools seems a little tempermental. Dropped earlier this morning and the blog seemed to be running the old comment system whereby I entered text and numbers after writing a coment. My coment published, but now Disqus is back and my comment's disappeared. Also since you introduced it the blue-on-white mobile site has disappeared (although that may be my device).

Brockley Nick said...

I turned off the old mobile site as it was pointless and annoyed people.

Anon said...

 "boxey" Looks like a box... simples ;)

Anon said...

Another new and useless Acronym, to exploit at the next houmous and hupperware party ;) haha

cbw said...

That's fine (and gourmet beggars is a particularly amusing image) but what exactly do we want? It's a bit rich to just say "too boxy... REJECTED", "too profitable... REJECTED." "not pretty enough... REJECTED".

How would you improve its aesthetics and quality?

Nick said...

Tamsin we're not begging, we're choosing.

Why is there an urgent need to build this right now?
Why should we accept the first proposal on the table?

Also my design services are certainly not for free to developers or anyone else. So going in to detail and coming up with a better more refined solution for a developer because:

a) they can't be bothered to
b) they don't want to
c) they don't care to
d) they can't

spend money on design, good or otherwise is just plain crazy.

Clearly engagement with the local community, has been shallow to this point and needs more depth to bring about a real positive and much needed addition to the area, the potential is huge.

What's on the table needs some work, the onus is on the developer to do the leg work and win us over, if they want our approval or by default, us not to object.

That's why it's an application and people need to vote with there feet.

Monkeyboy said...

Who went to the public consultation a while back? I know I didn't. Consultation requires some effort from both sides. what other consultation should they be engaging in? Genuine question.

The only objections that can be considered are ones to the planning authorities, blogs and tweets are just background noise.

Anon said...

Found this architecture and public engagement!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq5QgA0eEXk

cbw said...

That's all very well but I think at this point in the process you've got it the wrong way around - the developer doesn't need to win each member of the local community over. Based on the report a over this likely to be approved unless people come up with a well-reasoned argument as to why it shouldn't be and, as Monkeyboy notes, submit it to the planning consultation. Nobody's asking you to get your draftsman's pencil out and provide your "design services" for free, but if you can't come up with a list of coherent points of how this could be "better" and "more refined", then the conclusion is likely to be an approval.

Anon said...

Does anyone know the result of last night's meeting?

Brockley Nick said...

Coming up

Catherine said...

Maybe I need to amend my 5 storey Victorian house in Brockley?

Catherine said...

Seems basically alright to me, but uninspiring. Would be nice if they could add that aspect - or provide funds for the ample creative talent in the area to do so

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