Coming soon [sic]: Lewisham Gateway

The first phase of Lewisham Gateway will include two new blocks and a new public space "Confluence Place"
The first phase of Lewisham Gateway (née Lewisham 2000) is really happening. It's only taken the most buoyant property market in history for this development to finally get off the ground, but the hoardings started to go up yesterday. The official website (with its entertainingly truncated timeline) says:

From Monday 14 April we will start putting up hoardings around the site of our first phase of works. The road network and public transport will not be affected and Station Road will remain open. See this online map showing the location of the hoardings. Initially the hoardings will include posters with information about what is happening. At a later date they will be fully clad with visuals, information on Lewisham Gateway and signage. In the coming weeks we plan to close the section of Station Road between the DLR and Lewisham Road.

Lewisham Gateway will slow traffic through the centre of Lewisham, by removing the roundabout that cuts the station off from the shopping centre and forcing cars to take a more convoluted route through town. But by doing so, it will create a more pedestrian-friendly environment, as well as creating more homes, shops and public space. The first phase will replace the bus stand.

Together with Renaissance (which is entering its final phase) and the Thurston Road buildings, which are now flying up, the impact of the Gateway on Lewisham will be dramatic and, while it will mean more frustrating travel, the net effect should be positive.

BC's colleagues work for Barratt on Renaissance, so feel free to dismiss this comment, but the Glassmill leisure centre has already been transformative and the skyline has quickly absorbed the towers, which were once the subject of so much apprehension by so many. If all this new development helps bring Lewisham to life at night, it will be a massive improvement.

Lewisham blogger Paul has done a sterling job of charting the Gateway's "progress", here.

61 comments:

M said...

The Catford dog track redevelopment is underway too.

James Waygood said...

As a cyclist and a motorist, I certainly won't miss that roundabout! Whilst the official website recognises the problems the roundabout causes for both pedestrians and cyclists, anyone know if there's any information about accommodating cyclists in any of the pedestrianised areas or not?

It would be nice to have a cut through along the route of the old road instead of being piloted around on the new traffic diversion. But am certainly aware about the problems of shared pathways can cause with both cyclists and pedestrians not being as accommodating as they should be.

Paul said...

Worth clarifying that the first phase does indeed replace the former bus stand with flats and a park, after which there'll be a lot more building work to do, but in addition the huge highway reconfiguration (roundabout removal etc) is wholly part of this first phase. It's just that at the centre of the new road network (which should be complete by mid-2016) there'll be a major construction site for several more years after that.

Thanks for the link to my Lewisham Gateway info page. Anyone wanting maximum info return on time investment could do worse than jumping straight to the 27-month plan - a long post, but giving a detailed step-by-step guide to what to expect over the next couple of years. Most of the rest of my content is currently conjecture, opinion, photos and primarly transport nerdiness ;)

Tim said...

I've been reading about this for years, and I've looked at the blog and read various other things. So here's my question: As a bloke who lives in Brockley, does this really affect me in any way? All I can see is a re arranging of bus stops, roads and the roundabout? Maybe some flats. Maybe a little park.

Is this going to improve my life at all? Does it make it more likely I will have things to do in Lewisham? Why? Thanks.

Michael Harris said...

I remember before I got elected in 2010 attending a local planning meeting on Loampit Vale and the Gateway and against the NIMBYs voicing quiet and apprehensive support only to be shouted down as a traitor. Now the pool is in full swing and the idea of a new park, road junction and restaurants is looked forward to. It's going to be a great development - too little social housing - but the infrastructure improvements worth it.

Give a dog a bone said...

It's gonna transform that area and make it more pleasant etc but unless they have some nice pubs/cafes and a cinema you probably wouldnt want to stroll down there from Ladywell or Brockley of an evening. It is a disgrace that Lewisham centre has been neglected for so long when the likes of Bromley have had huge investment. I would hope it would dramatically brighten things up a bit which wouldnt be hard. I find going shopping in Lewisham centre a depressing experience and that wont change with this development.

max doom! said...

never cycle round that roundabout. have you been down the new bit round the back of matalan? they've put a sign and a traffic light in the cycle path, added a bit for buses to go flying straight over and generally made it a baffling ordeal.

Max Calò said...

Oh yes, the pool is so much in full swing that it's now very often overcrowded and sadly it's overcrowded by design as the Council was in the position to build a larger one, but it decided against.



As the plan to fit more and more people around the station proceeds the overcrowding can only worsen.
Are there any plans for additional provision since Lewisham has already increased of 30.000 in the past few years and with these new developments will increase even further?

James Waygood said...

Yeah, that new bus bit is bloody stupid. It's also a problem for pedestrians walking along that bit too as no-one really expects a bus to come screaming straight at you from the T-junction. Such a dumb place to put the bike crossing by. They should make the entire junction a traffic light controlled cross-road.

I usually use that bit around Matalan as I cycle from Crofton Park to Greenwich for work. But if I'm coming/going from Tesco or the station, the roundabout is unavoidable unless I fancy cycling all the way to Elverson Road to circumnavigate it!

Never had a major issue on the roundabout, but it's damn scary none the less! It's crazy enough. There have just been times where I've taken one look at the traffic, and got off a pushed the bikes as a pedestrian through the lights :/

James Waygood said...

I'd say it does, as many Brockley people, like myself, use Lewisham quite a lot. Either for the Tesco's (if they don't fancy the horrific Sainsbury's in New Cross), or as a transport hub for rail, bus, and DLR services.

terrencetrentderby said...

Lewisham has been dead to me for years, not any more.
Who would have thought you could not only polish a turd but stick a little cocktail umbrella in it too.
Will all the people there be replaced too?

terrencetrentderby said...

Your strength in standing up to the facist NIMBY's will not be forgotten. Be the change to wish to see in the world as Gandhi said.

Michael Harris said...

thanks dude x

Michael Harris said...

It didn't decide against, it didn't have the money.

maisie_moo said...

Totally agree - I only go during the lane swimming sessions, and it doesn't take many people for it to become overcrowded (especially if you get people who are a bit delusional about whether they qualify as "slow", "medium" or "fast"!)

Max Calò said...

My question was about future plans actually.


And are you really saying that they couldn't add 2 more lanes if they wanted?


BTW, on finances you can say all you want since all financial arrangements are secreted from the public.
What we do know thogh is that Barratt received £20.5m from the Government, the land from the Council in exchange for building the pool, that it built very little social housing and that sold off plan to investors in Hong Kong before marketing to locals.

Michael Harris said...

We got a pool and some social housing. We have no powers to prevent it being sold off plan to investors in Hong Kong (we wish we did).

Max Calò said...

Question still standing. Does the Council have any plans to increase pool provision anywhere in the borough?


Fair question I'd say since the Council is pursuing an increase in users.


(and we have a pool to replace another, whose land will be redeveloped I assume)


You do have powers to prevent your commercial partners selling off plan in Hong Kong. Since you're partners in the development you put can ask your contractual counterpart whatever you want, can't you?

Michael Harris said...

Yes, they have the commercial right to tell us to mind our own business.

Frankly, the Hong Kong issue is marginal. If you go to speak to the new tenants in that block it has a lot of local owner occupiers.

Do we have plans for another pool? Not to my knowledge since Forest Hill has been refurbished and we have a new pool in Lewisham Central. Lewisham does OK in comparison with other councils for pools, the pressure point is for housing and, of course, we still need a cinema...

Max Calò said...

Luckily I'm not going to canvas the occupiers of Loampit Vale any time soon...


Re pools, Forest Hill Pool is a replacement for...Forest Hill Pools, newer which is nice but slightly smaller than the old one, and Glass Mill is the replacement for Ladywell Pool. There are no extra pools at all.
Could you please acknowledge that the new pools are not "new" meaning "extra" but all replacements to existing provision.
On the other hand you have new land to redevelop on the site of the old Ladywell Pool.


And what logic are you following to say that because there's no cinema in the borough then we should not think about pool provision?
There's no space centre either, does it mean that we shouldn't have a new nursery?

Tim said...

Ok, so that confirms to me that this is no big deal, apart from probably slowing my escapes from London on the A20/A2.
Thanks.

maisie_moo said...

I went to Forest Hill pool once, won't go back. For lane swims they rope off individual lanes, so it's virtually impossible to overtake slower swimmers. I understand why they do it - there are only 6 lanes. It is a small pool. You may be right that we do OK compared to other London boroughs as far as council facilities go, but that's a very low benchmark, and unlike some other boroughs we don't have any private gyms with pools that could take off some of the pressure.

Monkeyboy said...

what about for lewisham as a whole? which will possibly increase revenue so improve your lot indirectly? you know, living in a comunity?

DD said...

does the traffic really need to go slower? that roundabout is one big jam...

Nick said...

"Confluence Place"! Who pitched that?! Worst park naming crime since the Adizones.

rubber duck said...

For the record, you weren't shouted down as a traitor but because you didn't know what you were talking about - and that doesn't seem to have changed

maisie_moo said...

A bit harsh. As naming crimes go, basing it on an actual local geographical feature must rank pretty low on the list.

Michael Harris said...

Bravely anonymous.

Tim said...

Fair point.

"rubber duck" - can you be a bit more specific and tell us why the councillor doesn't know what he is talking about? And also, why is it ok to shout people down at public meetings?

Thanks.

terrencetrentderby said...

Good question, NIMBYs always seem to resort to verbal abuse when they can't get their own way.
Bit of a shame considering so many people died fighting Hitler.

Max Calò said...

I was at that meeting actually, but I didn't do any shouting down of anybody despite the woman from Transition Brockley really asking for it with a series of rather misanthropic borderline optimum population arguments.


And I wasn't the only one not shouting down anybody else. There were many people there with a pain threshold high enough that they can refrain from shouting down the provocations.


Personally I think it's ill-advised mostly because it's a high density residential development in the middle of a major artery with the consequences in terms of traffic and pollution this entails. The proposers have failed to come up with a scheme that can deal with this rather major flaw and as such I'm not celebrating the advancing of this scheme.
I don't think I'll go there shopping and dining because I suffer from asthma, and if it's going to make the air quality even worse than the roundabout then I'd better stay away from it just as much as I stay away from the roundabout.

rubber duck said...

the first stop-off point for people who can't answer a question - criticise anonymity
By the way, many of the people at that meeting would have been from lewisham central ward - hope you address them as NIMBYs face to face

anonymouse said...

Unfortunately all the same feel goodisms were trotted out when the High St was 'pedestrianised' and the Riverdale built. But the evening attractions never materialised.

slightly confused said...

I can't work out from the pictures how the road system will work?

Max Calò said...

Paul has posted this very helpful 27 months plan.

Pizza snob said...

Just for laughs I'm hoping Conway do this project.

Michael Harris said...

I would if I knew who they are.

Michael Harris said...

Why do you think the air quality will be worse Max?

Max Calò said...

Because the traffic will slow down and the peak time will get longer.

Michael Harris said...

That's not what the traffic dept say - or TFL. I hope they are right.

Max Calò said...

That's what the proponents have admitted actually. For years they said that the scheme would not have made matters worse but then when submitting the details they admitted that it would make matter worse.

Max Calò said...

This was a couple of years ago though (by memory, I tried now to find the news but it seems to be lost in cyberspace among the years of Lewisham Gateway news and documents generated), I don't know if plans have changed in significant ways since but anyway it's happening now so it's all become a bit academic, we'll know the outcome in a few years when it's done. I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

Anon said...

So Phase 1 is beginning 10 years after it originally should have started or 8 years later than when the Urban Regeneration board said it would, and 6 years after that board which was supposed to track Lewisham Gateway ran out of funding. It is beginning 2 years after the whole scheme should have been completed.
I don't know where Michael Harris gets the idea the council did not have enough funding regarding the new leisure centre at Loampit Vale. It was to be built by the developers (20m ish) plus a top of 7m from the council with part of the money from the sale of what is now the Z Tower at Deptford. The 7m got sliced and where the money went the weren't entitled to know. As Max pointed out, the developer got 20m from central government.
The Mayor himself personally produced a colour brochure that the new leisure centre would have two full sized pools, he didn't say hoped for, he said planned.
Getting back to Lewisham Gateway, has it been updated to reflect the change in high street shopping in the past 10-12 years, because the danger is the retail & entertainment side could be out of date and obsolete before the core part has been built.
A directly elected Mayor was to supposed to be get things happening faster than the old type of council structure, as far back as 2003 the Mayor announced the closure of Ladywell Leisure Centre in 2007, because of a stupid decision he made when first elected in 2002. Unofficial Mayor of Lewisham Max Calo successfully campaigned and got Ladywell to remain open till the new centre was opened.
Apart from demolishing the Ladywell centre what plans have been presented to the Mayor or council for the lands future ? If nothing has what have the councillors, Mayor and planners been doing for the past 7 years?

Anon said...

One of the other developments in that area says the air quality will be above certain guide lines, I assume that's the floor the affordable homes will be on.
With the traffic lights, pedestrian crossing points, and crossover of traffic turning right or left. Rennell Street could become congested with all the traffic?

Anon said...

Have you quit Lewisham Central, as you seem to have been airbrushed out of photos and replaced?

Michael Harris said...

I'm standing down at the next election. One term is quite enough ;-) Joani has been selected to replace me as the Labour candidate for the elections in just a few weeks...

THNick said...

If it creates a decent nightlife, as is planned, then yes. Or if it turns Lewisham into a proper shopping destination. Or if the increased local population justifies more services that you enjoy in Brockley (Brockley market doesnt exist because of demands from the BCA).

MalcolmB said...

As BrockleyCentral has reported many times before there were plans which came to nothing to include a cinema on the site. Within living memory there were two or three cinemas within spitting distance of the "Lewisham Gateway" site: now we don't have one in the whole borough.

There isn't a single shop or facility within central Lewisham that makes me want to visit there. A pocket garden and new flats are not going to change that. Lewisham is ever more becoming a dormitory borough for those who want to live close to the centre or Docklands, without the fancy prices, but spend their days and evenings elsewhere. To my mind, that's a odd idea of regeneration.

Poo said...

Lewisham really is a terrible borough town planning wise. In just glad I'm a short bus ride from lovely Peckham Rye and East Dulwich. Maybe Lewisham should merge with Southwark as they seem to know what they're doing?

Turner and hooch said...

They need to rip up Lewisham centre and start again, grimmest of the grim. Even if they built a cinema it would probably be a multiplex with all the hollywood rubbish and people talking throughout the movie and looking at their phones, throwing popcorn etc

terrencetrentderby said...

Err doubt it's going to be a arthouse cinema.

Maybe they'll have OAP evenings?

Headhunter said...

What's horrific about the Sainsbury's in New Cross? It seems a pretty standard sort of place if you ask me... No worse than Tesco in Lewisham anyway...

Turner and hooch said...

I dont mind a multiplex per se but just know that the type of people you would get in a Lewi central cinema would probably be the types who talk thoughout a film, check their phones, talk on their phones, munch on vast containers of popcorn as if they have been starved their whole lives etc. Dunno why we are talking about this as our valiant mayor Bullock would never be able to deliver one anyway.

terrencetrentderby said...

Can't get rid of the people unfortunately who will no doubt besmirch anything built with their heathen ways. Walking around Lewisham Town centre reminds me of what a zombie apocalypse might look like.

Turner and hooch said...

Ha, the Lewisham Council film office should encourage whoever is making the next zombie flick to shoot it down Lewisham central. They would save a ton by not having to pay for extras and the place already looks ravaged by the undead as is.

Mark said...

you owned much of the land; so you could have prevented this.

mark said...

Yes, they only have a commercial right if YOU do a deal with them without any safeguards!! No it is not a side issue. These developments are not affordable.

Mark said...

yes enough for us. But what did we get another Labour Cllr just walking and talking the Mayor's line.

Michael Harris said...

If you look at my voting record, my public speeches, my website etc you'll see that isn't the case.

Nathan Slack said...

Cinema would be awesome and attract more restaurants to the area.

Guest said...

Do you have a map showing exactly what the new road layouts at the Lewisham roundabout will involve? Traffic lights? Stop signs? One-way-systems? Works have already started, so somebody must have the answer

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