Deptford arch plan gets underway

The Deptford Dame has found these images of the new retail units that planned for the arches beside Deptford Station. She doesn't like them much - we do.

Planning permission has not yet been secured, but as the Dame reports, some initial work has started.

47 comments:

highfootfall said...

It is an improvement.

I wonder which big chains are going to be invited?

Deptford has been pretty much abandoned to pound shops and bookies so a WH Smiths, Starbucks, Boots....will probably improve the area.

Curve said...

No way would a Starbucks improve the area. What about the lovely guys at The Waiting room?

Curve said...

I'd rather have a high street with independents not another clone of every other high street in the country.

Brockley Nick said...

It's got galleries, a theatre, cafes, pubs, food shops of all sorts, a pizza restaurant in a bus, a library and a brilliant market. Hardly "abandoned".

Smell said...

Anything that improves the smell of the highstreet.

Martin said...

It does have all these things. The area still hasn't progressed from dodgy to quirky though. Just like most of South East London. The great news is that these areas are about the last ones within zone 2 not to be 'nice' so probably it will happen at some point. I am saying that with hope as a recent new resident of Brockley.

Hugh said...

You want gentrification? You want Starbucks. Hip independent cafes and the like are fine when you're 22 and still see life as a pop video starring you. But if you want a cash return on your neighbourhood (assuming you own property) it needs to welcome the trappings of safe middle-class society.

Kurt Cobain said...

Starbucks? Are you from the 90s? A Starbucks might impress in a provincial town (or Ealing), but Deptford has to aim higher. You might as well have said Subway. Deptford already has a Waitrose, to gentrify further it needs a branch of Soho House. Or at least a Carluccio's

Hugh said...

LOL @ Carluccio's

Deptford Dame said...

On the contrary, I think the images are very impressive, some might say rose-tinted. My opinion about the designs is based on the details of the application; renderings usually undergo subtle manipulation to show the design in the most flattering light, unfortunately I sometimes get the feeling that the council's decision-makers also make judgements based largely on the pictures.

terrencetrentderby said...

It is common knowledge Lewisham's planning officers are blind chimps.

Matt-Z said...

Big shame Network Rail couldn't see that the Deptford Project railway carriage cafe was ideal for that new space. It was a place where your tea and cake took some time to arrive, and you weren't in too much of a rush. Even if one of the refurbished arches had a coffee chain, or indeed any other snacks/drinks high turnover outlet (which is fairly likely), it would have complemented rather than competed.

Network Rail are getting rather good at station rebuilds, turning dilapidated Victorian assets into bright retro/modern spaces, but they tend to follow the easy route of big-name franchises and homogeny when it comes to retail outlets. Given their psuedo-public status its disappointing that they can't think a bit more creatively and be more community-minded.

brockley man said...

Looks like the arches at Hoxton Station. Fantastic coffee shops and restaurant occupy them. Wonder what will be Deptford will get?

Nothugh said...

You funny monkey

NAT said...

Loaded word that 'improvement'. The improvement of working class areas has a Victorian ring to it, the difference was that that

type of improvement had as its aim an improvement of the lives of the lower orders, whereas I suspect that the improvement of Deptford advocated by commentatoirs here would make Deptford more amenable to people of their own socio economic grouping, and devil take the hindmost.

Martin said...

The improvement advocated by people here would make Deptford a friendly and inviting place. I don't think people writing here have anything else on mind rather than having a few places like cafes, shops and services (whether independent or not) that would make you think 'hey, I want to stop by'.


Improving a big area with a long list of social problems is a herculean task that many authorities have tried and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Having a few inviting places next to a transport link is a totally feasible idea.

Brockley Nick said...

Apologies if I've misrepresented your views, but when you say things like "I can't say I'm hugely impressed with the proposed design" and "My main gripe with this is the loss of the arch shape due to the infill at the sides." you give the impression that you "don't like them much." Are you saying you do like these plans then?


Which previous TfL renderings have been misleading? These ones even have puddles on the ground - very unusual for renderings.

Also when you say "I presume we are going to see the usual railway station chains." I suppose you're right, though all areas need a balance between chains and independents and it could be argued that Deptford has too few of the former. Regardless, I read a lot on your blog about the way the station is mistreated - the presence of a Boots (et al) would help to "normalise" the station - changing the way people view and treat it - less like a public urinal, more like a public resource.

Brockley Nick said...

Did the working class residents of Deptford get more utility from dilapidated archways than they would from a branch of Boots?

Deptford Dame said...

No you haven't misrepresented me, but in my comment I was making a distinction between the renderings and actual technical details of the planning application which explain the materials to be used, the extent of the side infill etc. My point being that it's not enough simply to make a decision based on the pictures, which is what some of the members of planning committees seem to do.


I'm referring to renderings in general, not those from specific sources, since they are created by whichever architect is working for the client (in this case Network Rail).


One of my long-term projects (roll on retirement!) is to do a post comparing the planning application renderings with 'as-built'. I figure that could be quite interesting!

Andrea said...

Are the puddles not just a result of the weather on the day that the photo was taken for use in the visualisation?

In my experience DD is completely correct about this issue. I've seen visualisations of some of my projects and wondered whether they could be construed as propaganda.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes of course, they are there from the photo. My point is, the usual complaint is that developers choose an unusually sunny and warm day with which to show their developments in the best light.


And yes, I think we all know that occasionally renderings look different to the development. I'd argue that more often than not these days, they are uncannily accurate. The biggest sin is usually the choice of shot (picking the most flattering angle) rather than actual misrepresentation. In this case, there isn't much room for deception.

Mark Racz said...

I want a Cafe Rouge with a Sports Direct stall.

Anthony Gross said...

wow. loving this conversation. There is always the sense of enemy and victim.. or passive observation... Basically: what are YOU doing in the area? It's up for grabs. If YOU don't bring something then it's hard to complain about any direction it's going. Yes it's run down, but in the most beautiful way, a very chill multicultural way... it 'resists' also, which is important and a strong identity. The area was definitely dis-enfranchised and abused since the 50's, and slowly things happen.. the station, the arches, a Richard Rogers building above.... You have to face it it will kick off: Deptford could become a Broadway Market cause of the pedestrian high street, transport and the art locals everywhere. I would brace yourself for that! It's going to happen. All I can wish for is that it resists for as long as poss and stays real. Tricky though: improvement of living standards, shop quality, etc which is desirable is the SAME thing that is destructive and alienating to long standing residents/grass roots culture. Having created The Old Police Station and Enclave (and in 2004 temporarycontemporary at the Old Seager Distillery) I can see the same values to 'progress' are the same that 'destroy'... The worst thing is generic crap... so I love the waiting room... Why talk about a Starbucks in the station arches when you could talk about YOUR nice idea for something there instead.....
It's in our hands to do something to shape it all... really

trippy said...

I'll have what he is having!

The Thinker said...

Remember Deptford has been tipped as the new Dalston and could well be the next Shoreditch ;)

The Thinker said...

I'm in favor of progress, but not sure what you mean by "in our hands to do something to shape it all" we're not god, the mayor, the planning authority or indeed a rich property developer or rich business owner.

Change is happening, both good and bad but to most people they can only vote with there feet to support a local business with there custom or not as they choose.



Please note: Entitlement and power is not freely or equally distributed to all, including the idealists all though they wish it where ;)

Headhunter said...

The problem with poor old Deptford is that it had a lot of its excellent Georgian and Victorian housing stock cleared to make way for concrete social housing in the 1960s. Deptford was a wealthy area in the 1700s due to its maritime links and had wonderful Georgian buildings - like Greenwich. Lots of this was cleared after the war - much of it was damaged by bombing and general lack of care but lots of it was very much reparable but was simply destroyed.


This makes Deptford all the more difficult to gentrify (for better or worse) as the sort of people who have moved to places like Dalston and Shoreditch like to live in period buildings rather than concrete, 1960s ex social housing or even the bland new builds that are springing up all over Deptford. This means that Deptford will never gentrify as easily as other areas.... Some may think this is a blessing....

The Thinker said...

The above is not me that's some one else using the same handle?

Headhunter said...

In know... It was me....

terrencetrentderby said...

I always envisioned Deptford as a sort of smelly and bedraggled version of Shoreditch. An occasional place to go and slum it for the gentry in Brockley, sort of a pound shop zoo.

question said...

Anthony, you're encouraging people to get involved in the 'regeneration' of deptford, which is good, lots of 'local' people already are - but could you let us know how you've been involved?

The Thinker said...

TTD you clearly feel that you are a Prince who neighbours the wretched and the damned... However it is not for me to suggest otherwise, nor indeed how you dispense your coinage from your silk purse as either a dandy or a lord...

The Thinker said...

Thank you for rectifying that Headhunter, misrepresentation, certainly has no merits.

terrencetrentderby said...

On that note I'm off to Deptford, dressed in my velvet dandy finery, coin purse in hand to gloat at the low born

Headhunter said...

OK but I didn't rectify anything - the comment was always by me - Headhunter... I think you misread right from the start... I can't edit comments once I've made them

Headhunter said...

Always showed "Headhunter" on my screen.....

The Thinker said...

'Cough'... Artistic License... I remember the hot air balloons used in 180 Brockley Road proposal... where they seemed to forget things like street lighting. @Brockley Nick any more news on that? Also Birds development... that post seems to have vanished completely... Remember 'God is in the detail' ;)

question said...

well done Anthony - thanks for the reply

Monkeyboy said...

All your work sound excellent, I'm glad it's happening. I've always had an issue with the 'problem' of gentrification. London is dynamic, people want to live here. No one wants to pay £300k for one bed flat, if they can scrape it together to live here they will. Transport, house prices, amenities all influence who moves here. All those factors feed back and interact. Areas also 'degentrify' people move out, the highstreet declines, house prices drop. i dont see anyone cheering at the new oportunities to buy somewhere - its complex. Grass roots art initiatives are the advance guard of gentrification, look at the east end for proof. I'm not hanging a plus or minus againsta that - its both a sympton and cause of change. the only alternative to the HORRORS of gentrificationis some kind of draconian measure to prevent people sellijng their property at a price they choose to who they like and a committe defining exactly who get to open what shop where. neither is desirable.

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Anthony Gross said...

this is interesting: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/bristol-town-stokes-croft-is-under-risk-of-yuppification

Guesty said...

It's people, the people that live, work and shop in area, that defines it, more than amenities, like shops.


Deptford has a lot ethnic and working class people that shop there. It has had so much spent on it, including new or renewed; streetscape (including the removal of the anchor), library, school, a square, a plush park, the station, there's a Deli
all that yet someone will refer to it as rundown.


That is an unconscious comment on the people who dominate the area.

slasha666 said...

Do you really wan't any of these big non-taxpaying giant there, I think not. Maybe the council could lower rates a little and that would pull in people wanting to open shops again, and not just multinationals that can afford virtually any rates...

slasha666 said...

No it does not have a Waitrose, who told you that, Deptford only to creek bridge, Waitrose is in West Greenwich......

slasha666 said...

An independent Cafe/Tea house and maybe some form of community eatery, say something Asian.

They could invite for instance, the 'Greenwich co-operative development agency' who are involved in many projects, ranging from arts, music and food?

Brockley Nick said...

Same same. 50 yards across the border.

karl brown said...

Its an urban myth, all these big companies pay tax, employ people and create wealth. so are you against companies bringing employment

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