One Tree Hill Up Dawson's Creek

James Van Der Beek: I ordered you some food. I, uh, I don't really know what girls eat.
Busy Philipps: Oh, sweetie, we don't. We don't eat. We just live in caves, having our periods, until it's time to have sex with the first guy who buys us a wine cooler and reminds us of our dad.
- Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23

The vast majority of new businesses that have successfully opened in the area in recent years are places where people do things other than shop - cafes, restaurants, bars, salons, takeaways. Of those shops that have prospered, many offer places to sit and drink or draw people in with events.

Thanks to the rise of internet shopping, the spread of small supermarkets and the area's increasing appeal to city commuters who shop in town before heading home, there are fewer and fewer gaps that local retailers can fill. Meanwhile, Londoners' shrinking homes and rising disposable incomes mean they want more places to hang out locally.

A while back, BC had a mild Twitter tiff with the Chair of Lewisham Council, Alan Smith about this issue. The development of 180 Brockley Road (which has plenty of room at ground level for a supermarket, but not much space for anything else), we contended, was more evidence that the Council didn't doesn't do enough to encourage the borough's experience economy and puts too much emphasis on providing shop space that people don't really want. He shot back: "What applications for bars have we turned down?" Well, here's one they're doing their best to knee-cap. Kate writes:

"I am one of the three friends who have applied for planning approval to open a local drinking establishment in Honor Oak Park called One Tree Hill.

"We've been waiting to hear back from the council on their decision before responding so we could provide further information. Unfortunately, we have been contacted by a Lewisham planning officer who has informed us that he will recommend refusal of our planning permission from A1 use to A4 due to concentration of A3/4 uses on the street.

"This is obviously disappointing news to hear, particularly as the feedback we have seen on the local online forums have shown great support for this. We, like you, believe the local community would benefit from a new and additional place to provide a local night out."

"We've been given an extension period to provide evidence from an estate agent to show that we were the only interested buyers. We are hopeful that the result will be positive.

"We notice there has been speculation gathering recently by local residents so we intend to post to explain more about who we are and what we want to offer and hope we can show the council the local community is behind us."

So what do you think? Is Greater Brockley in danger of turning into Faliraki? Or would another bar be a welcome addition to the area?


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