Brockley Cross development plans revised

Parkhill Group, the owners of the Brockley Cross car lot, have submitted a revised application to turn it into flats.

The project has gone through a number of different iterations - all of them ugly. This one, produced, the developers say, in response to feedback from the Brockley Society, is perhaps the ugliest yet.

The car yard is a waste of space and contributes to the overall ugliness of this spot. It should be redeveloped and it should be primarily residential. But this thing is surely not the way forward and unless something high quality is built the risk is surely that it would just add another empty retail unit to this location.

With thanks to Jack for the heads-up.

96 comments:

Tim Arnold said...

What fresh hell is this? Just looking at that picture has made me clinically depressed...

Sal said...

Why oh why can't they make new structures around here in keeping with the Victorian vibe? Don't they get that yes, it may cost them more, but people pay more for beautiful places to live?

Robert said...

My god. In consultation with the Brockley Society? I remember having a number of conversations with the developer and his architect about this site - and at no time did we suggest that they build something akin to an oversized Black & Decker workbench. We were concerned with the height, so suggested that they incorporate the upper storey as a contemporary mansard roof that nods to the buildings opposite (I see that they have done this!!!!). We were not opposed to a modern design, though we advised them to try something not so fussy - with simple and clean brick facades. We showed them lots of photographs of lovely modern brick buildings that we thought might provide inspiration.

Our next recommendation will be that they change their architect.

Gio said...

It should be against the law to use grey in any building in this country! I would much rather some faux Victoriana than this heap of sh!*

joke said...

Just had to check it's not April 1st. This is a joke, surely?

Ian said...

Please name and shame the architect for this awful design. In such a prominent position too, it's enough to make you weep.

jack said...

The council are asking for comments from nearby residents by 18 April (not long). The planning app is here http://planning.lewisham.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=_LEWIS_DCAPR_60454

jack said...

*18 march rather

ian said...

Of course, simply looking at the application gives you the architects details......ahem.

Katy said...

Ye Gods, that's absolutely vile! Isn't it in the Conservation Area, too (albeit the border of it)..... I'm having a (rare) NIMBY moment here!!

Katy said...

The planning site says it's not taking comments from the public... How does this work? I'm rather keen to respond!

Tim said...

Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but the link won't seem to let me comment ...

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, although they're not really architects (which is no surprise) and their porfolio is "coming soon" http://www.murphyassociates.co.uk/portfolio.html

grand said...

I'm sure Kevin McCloud can't wait to show this one on Grand Designs ...

Renzo Joanna said...

At least it's in keeping with every single other crap new build in the area...


Part of the problem is that it just looks too big, it totally dominates all the other buildings around it - but I guess the developer is going to want at least 3 stories to cash in.

terrencetrentderby said...

Another example of excellent new retail frontage in Brockley any shopkeeper would be proud to rent.

Does a monkey approve all these crappy new developments in Brockley?

This one like the others will end up looking crap when it's eventually approved.

jack said...

Think you need to email Jan mondrzewski the responsible planning officer at Lewisham council. Could also contact councillor Darren Johnson (greens) as he seems to be endorsing the proposals. I just noticed that the planning submissions include sections of earlier posts on this blog under 'public oppinion'.

Robert said...

Murphy Associates are not the architects - they are the planning consultants. I am not going to name and shame the architect (though his name is in the application). I have met him a few times, and I like him - I just don't think this type of development is within his comfort zone - and he has been under a lot of pressure to get the space that Parkhill are after from the scheme.

Brockley Bob said...

Jesus, how can people get it so wrong. The attached took me 2 minutes and I've never even trained as an architect.

Robert said...

I would be amazed if Darren is endorsing this application. I'm pretty sure you have that wrong, though I will find out!



Objections can be registered by emailing: planning@lewisham.gov.uk
Quite the planning reference number in your email: DC/10/74808/X

We may well put a petition together for this one too - so I'll get back to Nick with the details.

Robert said...

Haha. Love it. I was thinking about asking someone to put together an alternative proposal - but now I don't need to.

ianerc said...

I looked. I threw up in my mouth a little.

Robert said...

I should point out though. The above image is also an out of date scheme, though it is the first time I have seen it - the current proposal on the table has "moved on" already. This application is a mess - it's hard to tell what is the current scheme from the ones posted. But Nick is right - all of them are awful.

dim wit said...

Another pub would be nice.

Woodman said...

Totally agree - I'm not too sure what everyone has got against this one in particular when it looks exactly the same as everything else that keeps getting thrown up here. Open question, because I've been wondering: When was the last time anyone saw an architect draw a curve?

jack said...

In the submitted documents he has written to jan (the planning officer) he says he would support the mansard design submitted by brockley society. This is the architects take on that mansard design (hence the roof windows) although not sure sure how close it is to what the society envisaged! Maybe worth emailing Darren.

Robert said...

I assure you it is a million miles away.

Anon One said...

Your comments do matter! The updated design statement from Murphy Associates (last document on Council site) reproduces the Brockley Central article and thread from 3 years ago. Fair play to Murphy Assoc, especially given there doesn't appear to be any editing out of the criticisms. However, I still feel this is too high. The elevations take the building on the corner of Brockley Cross not the neighbouring newsagents (2 storey) on Malpas Road. This is disingenuous. The economic arguments in the statement for a fourth floor I also find specious. The plot was bought for just £190,000: peanuts for land in zone 2 that can provide flats with just three storeys.

theNewCross said...

There are bad new builds (common) and then there's this (uncommon depths of bad). I wish you strength in your battle Brockley-ites. Brockley deserves proper architecture.


And proper architects. The design and access statement looks like it was typed on Word by an intern, is full of spelling mistakes and makes reference to Southwark planning guidelines and neighbouring developments in Lordship Lane. Half of it's been incorrectly copied and pasted from another document!!??


I would think incompetence would be a good start as grounds for objection to this development if nothing else.

theNewCross said...

WTF?

Brockley Nick said...

Ah right, thanks for clarifying. It is the most incomprehensible application I've seen in a while.

Robert said...

Yes. There is also an email from me in the D&A which needs some explaining. At one point we were presented plans which came close to something respectable. They were not great, but it was OK - and ten times better than what was previously on the table. At that point we (BrocSoc) decided to cut our losses, and suggested that we'd support the scheme if they took that approach. The planners disagreed, as they didn't like the idea of a Mansard roof on a contemporary building. These plans were never submitted as an application, and something much worse was put forward instead - hence my letter. Broc Soc have never supported any of the proposals that have part of the application.

maisie_moo said...

Really??! I don't want anyone building on a prime spot in Brockley if they don't even care enough to proof read their own application. If this was a job application and this was their CV, they wouldn't even get an interview.

theNewCross said...

I keep re-reading to check I haven't misunderstood or gone mad.


But no, I definitely screen grabbed this from their design and access statement, and it definitely refers to Lordship Lane.

Greenie said...

I second Tim Arnold. Where and how does daylight get in? Why these disgusting colours? Why the shape? Just why? Any tenants will immediately be reaching for the antidepressants and anyone looking at it may experience dry boak rising in their gullet. This is disgusting - bring back the Victorians now to give these 'planners and architects' a good hiding.

Chris said...

Instead, why don't they just put a new entrance to the train station?

Ian said...

That is fantastic!

hopper said...

There was a piece in the Evening Standard the other day flagging up Lewisham as one of the few boroughs without a cinema. Much better use for the police station - could be a small one like the Shortwave in SE1

Ben Pearce said...

Has the design and access statement been copy&pasted from a different application for Lordship Lane SE22?! This reminds me of the brutalist-pastiche car park near the Tower of London..

Moira said...

It appears the company is run from a flat and a Murphy Associates at Companies House is dissolved.

Will said...

Personally I'd much rather have a well-designed, good-looking building that's five or more storeys high, than this monstrosity. If the developer were allowed to build higher, the council would be able to insist on a better-quality building (in terms of design, materials, etc.); but the larger scale would offset the extra costs giving a bigger profit for the developer. Everyone wins. By insisting on so few storeys, budgets are squeezed and quality goes down, especially with land prices so high.

JPM said...

This is a result of a few individuals - under the banner "Brockley Society" - (that's you Rob) deciding what we as residents should want. Now it's gone wrong they distance themselves.
But it is too late to distance yourself. You have repeatedly opened Pandora's Box by doing deals with these developers. You have not the right to represent anyone but yourself.

You are not brokers for Brockley. If you had meetings with these individuals, they clearly have not (or have?) taken on your thoughts.

They tried it on at Ashby Mews and failed.

I hope that all those who have posted will say No to this.

And represent yourself personally.

Julie said...

Omg. We need a design review panel to check this heap of s@@t out. There r enough architects working at decent practices who live in Brockley who can help here. The problem is brockley Society is not fit for purpose anymore and just has not got the calibre of design professional involved to cope with the interest brockley is generating now from developers. Perhaps brockley Society's 'biddies' were ok when the area was a sleepy corner of south east London and when it was all about preserving things, but not now! Someone with some taste please join that rag bag group.

Danja said...

It doesn't look anything like the Minories car park, which has the merit of being a fine piece of (dishevelled, could do with a good clean) brutalism with no pastiche about it.


This is just laughably inept. It looks like someone got photos of three rubbish developments and played paintshop collage.

JPM said...

SUPPORTING PLANNING STATEMENT1 & 1a Brockley Cross,Brockley, SE28 2AB.
Application Reference: DC/10/74808

"1.03 Following comments from the local amenity society (aka "Brockley Society") …and subsequent discussions with Planners, the design of the building went through a series of changes including the exploration of a mansard roof, a taller building with an uplift at the western section."

"1.04 It is as a result of these discussions that we have spent time reviewing the redevelopment proposals for the site and amended the scheme to ensure that it would not only address Officer concerns but those of the local amenity group (Brockley Society) but would provide an attractive mixed use development with part commercial and part residential to the ground floor with residential to the floors above."
Once more, I remind you, Rob: You do not represent Brockley, anymore than I do.
So... man up. Take the blame, and do not try to distance yourself.

Julie said...

I am going to do a PETITION TO DISBAND BROCKLEY SOCIETY AS IT IS NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE- everyone please sign

Brockleyer said...

I agree. London needs flats. People needs places to live but the rest of us have to look at it for years. I'd support well-designed 5-storey building if that generates the funds to produce an attractive design


(modern, with a nod to the victorian surrounds for me. keep the mansard roof and start again with the rest...)

se4ever said...

I cannot believe what I am seeing here. How did such a building make it out of the twisted imagination of whoever dreamt this thing up into a planning application. This building belongs no where. It is wrong on all levels. I thought I was missing something so I read the D&A statement on Lewishams website. It then became apparent that the creator of this thing is confused. So much if fact that they do not seem to even know where the site is! I am a designer of buildings living in Brockley. I have had many a conversation with Lewisham's planning team about the smallest detail which may perhaps be inappropriate or incongruous or may set a precedent which may not be so well executed by the next contractor.....and now I see this.
Some body pinch me.....!

Monkeyboy said...

what are you babbling about? the brockley society didnt create this, the brockley society cannot block it.

NAT said...

Julie, I would suggest you go to a few meetings, perhaps join for a while, then come back to us.

Peep said...

In my view this is the strategy the architects are using to keep the previous design. Why are they changing it? I thought they went through planning already.

Stephen said...

Thank god you are not a planning officer. The Victorians didn't build pastiche architecture they built Victorian architecture. Style has nothing to do with the fact this building has been badly designed and is completely insensitive to its surroundings.

Guest said...

Congratulations to the brockley society...

Giom said...

I sent a protest email to planning@lewisham.gov.uk with ref DC/10/74808/X as suggested. Let's set up an online petition!

Ben Pearce said...

Sorry, no: Bad phrasing from me - I mean this looks in form like a pastiche of a brutalist car park, with a random mansard from the Victorian days plonked on the top. Like a cherry on a rotten cake!

Sue L said...

How very rude you are towards lots of people who clearly give enough of a sh*t to volunteer their time with Broc Soc. Put up or shut up, ie help out yourself or accept that others are doing their best.
Re the design, I agree it's hideous, but that's probably not Broc Soc's fault.

Damian said...

Slightly off subject but does anyone know why work on the coulgate street development hasn't started? I thought work was to begin late 2013

JPM said...

The planning application submitted to LBL is incorrect.
The applicant Mr Paul Tuck is not a director of “Parkhill Properties Ltd” (number: 04615067). Mr Tuck is a director of “Parkhill Homes Limited” (03777741).
Parkhill Homes Limited has no subsidiaries. Therefore, the planning application is void. The correct company name should be entered and resubmitted.

JPM said...

That development is not now going to be delivered. (Not that I ever thought it would.)

fromthemurkydepths said...

You are assuming that an architect gets anywhere near these designs. And if they do it is not then altered/ruined by the developers.

fromthemurkydepths said...

This is beyond woeful. Everything about it is terrible.


The average development has improved in quality in the past 5 years from the nadir of 10-20 years ago, and this is a stark reminder of the trash that is still proposed. The developers are clearly in it for a quick buck. Lewisham need to refuse this and point the developers in the direction of the many better recent developments. This has no place on a quiet backstreet, but it's an insult in such a prominent spot.

hooglie said...

This is beyond depressing.
The growth of Brockley and the area is such an opportunity for Lewisham to up it's game slightly, and become a modern new area for people to actually want to live in. this building will ruin the whole look of the area for many years to come. How do they get away with it, is Lewisham council just soft on proposals?
I have written to the email address above with my concerns, will there be a petition too.
There must be something we can do?

heckmcbuff said...

We really need a drive-through burger joint with waiting staff on rollerskates. That would fit in perfectly.

Damian said...

Ah, we're new to the area and when we saw Ace Hire had moved their offices we thought if was imminent. Shame. Thanks for the info

Brockley Nick said...

News to me that it's not happening. JPM, where do you get that from? It's no surprise that it's not started on schedule - has any development ever?

Andrea said...

Really? Never heard of Victorian Gothic?

AliAfro said...

I have no idea what happened in this case but there are plenty of planning applications that say "we have taken account of local opinion and changed x" when in fact either nothing has changed, a tiny detail out of many has been changed, or the change made bears no resemblance to the change requested... @JDM I'm not sure you can necessarily draw the 'its all BS's fault' conclusion that you have done based solely on a statement made by the developer or their planning consultant (although equally you may be right). PS Completely agree that its a sh1t design though.

brockley man said...

How can that application be approved?
Can an on line petition not be set up objecting to the design?

Monkeyboy said...

its not been approved, the best way to object is to email planning with your name and address referencing the case number. They have to register that, a petition has no legal weight.

planning@lewisham.gov.uk

ref: DC/10/74808/X

Guest said...

... and the commercial area has shrunk to the point nobody will be able to do anything with it. The ground floor should all be commercial, it is an important position and another undersized empty shop, tea factory style, is not the way to go. Will the Council listen??? I am sure not!!

Julie said...

Sue L - come on now - you are not telling me you look around the room at those Brockley Soc meetings and think WOW WEE these are QUALITY contributions from these people. But hey you are right I should join and so should a whole host of others so the 'old guard' can rest up and take more of a back seat and allow those who have an idea about design and architecture to take the lead. God help us it is not happening at the moment. The person giving design feedback from Brockley Society to developers should be qualified to do so otherwise we will end up with a right load of crap to pass on to the next generation. So- just leave the architectural design to people who 'get it' or who can articulate their critique of a developer's efforts better than Broc Soc have done of late.

Monkeyboy said...

wow, thats an...erm....robust response.

Tim said...

Julie, who are these people? Are you one?

Monkeyboy said...

well shes certainly passionate

brockley man said...

Im emailing then now. Hope others will to.

Robert said...

Julie. I'd be happy to meet you for a coffee sometime, so you can grade my knowledge of and passion for design. You don't know me, so I don't take offence at your remarks. Or if you'd like, I am currently planning a walking tour of Brockley to talk about some of the interesting post-war buildings in the area. Why don't you come along - it'll happen later in the spring (I'll publicise it here) For your information, BrocSoc planning meetings are usually pretty lively - with a flurry of differing opinions. And the age range of those that attend is also quite varied. I must admit - I am usually one of the more pro-development voices in the crowd - though I'm liable to come down like a ton of bricks on bad development (such as this application). I've worked in Communications for a while, so for that reason I often end up being the group - but that isn't entirely representive of the contributions that others make. I love buildings and good quality design from all eras. I also have a detailed interest in what buildings mean and contribute to cities. I have studied a masters in architectural history and theory, an architecture degree, a fine art degree, and I have worked with some of the best architects in the country for over fifteen years. The rest of the BrocSoc Planning group come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, including some award winning designers, and some "biddies" as you generously describe the older people in the group who have a wealth of knowledge of the history of the area.



Of course, the actions that BrocSoc decide to take can't possibly represent the interests of everyone in Brockley - my goodness - you all seem to have such different views on things, and of course, there are many vested interests. We try our best to do what we think is right.

Robert said...

I spoke to the developer, MacDonald Egan, a couple of weeks ago. Apparently Planning Department are dragging their feet on agreeing the Section 106 - so it doesn't officially have planning consent yet. Though this should be resolved soon.

impartial observer said...

Julie,

Looking at the comments you are making, I guess you must be quite young and want to change the world.

However, simply shouting and throwing around ageist insults is not big nor is it clever. It is just rude and annoying and people turn off.

If you think you have some kind of special contribution to make and have something to say about this sort of development, get involved with a community group or form your own. Or indeed, go to one of the council meetings open to the public and make your point directly to the politicians we vote into office.

Best of luck with your campaign.

RB said...

And if there's one thing London needs, it's higher house prices... right?

Michael said...

Truly terrible, terrible architecture. Should not be built. Putting up a decent building here is not hard and will be profitable. But this is awful.

Brockley Badger said...

Does it need a retail element when there are so many other crappy little units already nearby? All this will do is drive up the cost of the build and ongoing council tax costs.

Anon said...

They don't say they are architects - planning, urban design and conservation. It is really relevant that a business is run from a flat? The company is still registered as live and trading.

JPM said...

BSc (Hons), Architecture

2012 – 2013

anon4 said...

If this had been proposed then what side of the fence would people be on? In favour or a pastiche? Its higher than the residential properties to the right … with its three storeys of generous floor to ceiling heights and OMG it has a flat roof or is it a parapet concealing a pitched roof and it has a curved frontage.

FactsNotFiction said...

How is it really relevant if the business is run from a flat?

There is an abundance of home workers and contractors in Brockley and the rest of the world... and how do you qualify as run?

J said...

e-mail: planning@lewisham.gov.uk and address it to Jan Mondrzejewski (Application Number DC/10/74808) to say how out of keeping, huge and ugly it is. Closing date is 18th march.

seb said...

...at least the existing garage provides a service and employment, this looks like an overgrown monkey wrench: all walls, no windows, I can't see how they could have made it much uglier...

Jay Osgerby said...

Please dear God, we can't let this happen. Does anyone have any old photos of the site pre the car park? was it a bomb site? Not to create a pastiche but just as a starting point for a visual narrative?
Corner sites like this are a gift to an good architect and often can produce great things.......

Robert said...

It was originally a walled garden for the detached house behind. Not a bomb site no. And I agree - someone could produce something wonderful for this site. I have been talking to the developer about the possibility of running a design competition, should, and when this application fail. I've not had much positive feedback on this idea as yet - but it would be an interesting way forward that would go some way to repairing Parkhill's reputation locally - as well as getting a good scheme on the table that everyone can get behind.

Progress? said...


It was originally a 700 seat cinema called the Brockley Ritz. There is a photo superimposed on the current site on this rather impressive history website. The last incarnation of the cinema was pulled down in 1960.

http://lewishamlostcinemas.wordpress.com/

I guess it must have been like one of those Picture Palace cinemas that are preserved in posher parts of London.

Annoymous said...

It was a space created by the road network and may well have ben the garden to the adjacent house. It was not the cinema. Think the historical overview covered this.

shivani said...

The image on this blog is not the scheme. Look at the plans. It is a better approach and no silly mansard

quart in pint pot said...

All led to believe that the council do not want taller. If I was the developer, I would want taller and design refinement and I agree - budgets get squeezed and quality goes down. I would put in a taller building, still keeping a curved frontage - like the pub and if that was refused, Appeal!

Jemmi said...

If you read the addendum you will see that the update does not relate to Lordship Lane.

Woman of Brockley said...

Progress?, you've confused this site with the one by the station. That's also due for re-development and is currently a used car/van hire business.

Ruth _ said...

This building is an insult to Brockley residents and a disgrace to the designers.

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