Lewisham Gateway: More detailed plans revealed

Lewisham Council have released new images of the Lewisham Gateway scheme, that give a stronger impression of how the project will interact with the current area.

These images replace the original pictures that were intended to give an impression of the size of the development.

The developers had promised high-quality architecture for the scheme and we believe that, despite the fairly identikit "modern urban living" feel of the designs, that they are of a high-standard and would vastly improve the current site.


leenewham said...

It shows some tall buildinds, nothign about how people will interact with these at ground level, no piazza, not cafes, no waterfeatures for kids to play in.

Basically these images do nothing to sell the idea to people. And it looks rather insipid and boring with more non-descript glass pylons pushing up into the sky.

I am all for the development, don't get me wrong, but if the council or architects are serious about selling this to the public, INSPIRE US for gods sake! Make us drool over how this makes our lives better as a PUBLIC space. This, frankly, is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Brockley Nick said...

Hopefully, they will release more images soon - the official site is still pretty low on content for a proposal of this scale. The developers' PR people have promised to send more information when they have it.

I think they do at least serve a purpose in that they bring they give people a better idea of scale and they hopefully address the fears of people who worry about the impact of tall buildings.

Anonymous said...

These are 'artists impressions' and need not bare any relation to the buildings that are finally put there – they are just to woo the gullible and dim-witted into thinking that there is something more behind this other than the foolishness of the Council to pursue something other more imaginative option and the greed and avarice of the developers.
Perhaps, rather than poring over the pretty pictures you might care to read some of the other documentation, for instance, the journey from Lewisham Road to Belmont Hill is predicted to rise from 137 seconds to 318 seconds, in itself not very noticeable you might think, but important enough for the thousands of people who will have to navigate the new road system - by car or bus - every day, and the residents of the new buildings will surely be sitting on their balconies enjoying the crisp evening air.
It's a case of the right picture being worth a thousand words – to the foolish – which is what the developers and the Council think of you, the Lewisham resident.

Brockley Nick said...

Hello Anonymous

If you read the earlier coverage of this project, you will see that issues like local regeneration, proximity to public transport, public transport investment, ancillary retail, green space, road layouts and journey times have been discussed, although not in exhaustive detail, as this is not the forum. That's what the public consultation is for.

It's not a question of being seduced by pretty pictures, although of course, planning permission will be contingent on certain design standards being agreed. Quality of design makes an important contribution to our quality of life and these renderings are part of the development process. When there is other news to report, I will try my best to report it.

Personally, even though I have to make the journey you describe on a regular basis, I would consider a slightly longer journey time a small price to pay for a properly regenerated town centre, with the associated benefits that it would bring. Nearly all the opposition to this scheme seems to be based on whether people will be able to drive around Lewisham town centre quite as quickly as they can at present. That seems like a pretty short-sighted view to me and it's the kind of philosophy that has blighted many of our city centres for the last couple of generations.

You're entitled to express your own views of course, that's what this blog is here for, but it would be nice if you could avoid accusing people of being dim-witted and foolish.

If you have other documenttation you wish to draw our attention to, please post a link.

Anonymous said...

Let's try and look at it another way, a bit more parochial perhaps, but it may help.

The council say they are going to 're-develop' the Brockley Cross junction, they say that traffic flow will be maintained and they consult the local residents but ignore their wishes. When it's finished you find that traffic is taking three times as long to get from one side of Brockley Cross to the other, and causing tailbacks worse than ever.

As part of this realignment they knock down a few local shops and put in a nice big McDonalds.

And a developer makes a nice profit.

How's this then Nick?

Bit more 'up your street'?

Brockley Nick said...

I don't really see the need to get more parochial than a development five minutes from my house, in an area through which I must regularly travel.

But if Brockley Cross was to be throughly redeveloped, the stupid, destructive, double roundabout was to be replaced with something that encouraged more streetlife and if new money, investment, energy and facilities were to be brought to the area and the worst that I had to worry about was my commute being extended by a minute, I think I'd be delighted.

If the Lewisham Gateway scheme involved simply knocking down some local shops to make way for a McDonald's then no-one would support it, but that isn't what's proposed, so your hypothetical is completely spurious.

Anonymous said...

yes, well, as I was saying about the pictures...

leenewham said...

My comments aren't about the scheme, which lets face it, anything is better than what they currently have, but the way they are selling it. Wouldn't it be great if everyone got behind it and were inspired by what they saw. I'm sure that what they do will be great (it has to be, there is no excuse for poor architecture or design) and as i work in design I know that it's impossible to please everyone. The worst thing they can do it to 'design it by committee'.

I just wish they had given us something to get inspired by. It really shouldn't be this difficult.

I think everyone wants Lewisham to be a better place.

Anonymous said...

your dead right leenewham, I want lewisham to be a better place and I am willing to engage with the necessary bodies to try and make a difference – i've done very little awareness raising on blogs, because, let's be frank, blogs don't make a blind bit of difference.

However, what I have found in my extensive research and the research I've shared is that there are two things that are fundamental.

Firstly, the developers only concern is making a profit. Which isn't so surprising, but it is surprising when you consider that they intend to make that profit at whatever the cost, In fact, the cost part of that statement is the £25 million the developers have to spend to re-engineer the road system, and their payment for doing that is the land that is created for them to make their profit. Why do they have to re-engineer the road system? Because the council made such a pigs ear of it last time that nobody is going to give them any money or trust them to do it again.

The second point is that the council are weak and have submitted to the bullying of the developers and don't really know how to manage the whole affair – so most of the work is being done by consultants who are busy scratching each others backs.

A further point, and there are so many more that I could go on for hours – is that some people think, like me, that Lewisham centre does need a good shake up – but they are unable to see, because of the pretty pictures, and the complexity of the situation – that there could be other alternatives that would be far far better for Lewisham and actually put Lewisham on the map, instead of making it into, as many people realise, a clone town centre.

But, did you know that the so-called low-h road system wasn't even proven when it was put to the people of Lewisham as a choice of what should happen?

Do you know that it was a poison chalice that the developers had to take and that they've been trying to make it work ever since – and they are still failing to sell the thing to tfl?

I'm not against change, or high buildings, or new roads, but I am against untruthful developers and a Council that is enthralled by itself in the mirror.

Well, enough of that, as I said, this isn't the forum to make any difference

leenewham said...

Not all developers are bad. Not all developers are money grabbing, it's the nature of any business to make money. Businesses don't like bad press, so blogs can make a difference.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure these photographs will have the desired affect, in particular the view from Cornmill Park.

In addition just to the left behind the fencing is the proposed site of a leisure centre with a 17 storey building above. Opposite that on the Thurston Road Industrial Estate will be another collection of apartments, including a 20(?) storey building.

If it's a good or bad scheme I don't know. Maybe the developers need to have one or two stunning buildings, if only to drag attention away from Europe's largest police station?

creepylesbo said...

It will probably make Lewisham look a bit too urbanised when you pull in on the train. It's like you know when you've hit Bromley or Croydon or Sutton because everything is huge and next to the station and it all just feels a bit enclosed and dirty. And flats - unless they have concierges and locked gates and whatnot end up looking like council estates in the end - I think it could easily go the wrong way and make Lewisham look like a really rough place to live.

Anonymous said...

Comparing the Elephant and Castle's £1.6 billion with Lewisham's £200 million regeneration may be wrong. Some elements of the new Elephant & Castle are similar to Lewisham?


Brockley Nick said...

Well E&C and Lewisham are both central(ish) London transport hubs blighted by big roundabouts and ugly post-war shopping centres that have fallen in to terminal decline. And the proposals are a little similar too, so I think it's not a bad comparison.

James said...

Let's face it, Lewisam town centre is not the most attractive in the world. Fairly ugly in fact. Will these buildings improve Lewisham? It seems not.
Lewisham council needs to recognise the importance of top quality architecture in the general awareness and image of their borough. Only one of these new buildings seems to be at all interesting.
There needs to be more public involvement inthe design of the new buildings. Why are there no artchitectural big names in this development? If there was a Norman Foster building or a Richard Rogers tower it would probably be of a far higher quality than what has been proposed.

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