Consultation on the future of Lewisham

Brockley: Mostly harmless

Lewisham residents who want to submit their views on Lewisham's Core Strategy have until April 6th. The document that "sets out the vision, objectives, strategy and policies that will guide public and private sector investment to manage development and regeneration in the borough over the next 15 years."

The document is very broad brush - rather than going in to detail about any area of Lewisham, it explains the Council's ambitions for each part of the borough and its approach to issues like climate change, waste management and provision of public space.
This link summarises the key drivers that the Council thinks will shape the future of the borough.

Crucially, the document shows how Brockley figures in Lewisham Council's thinking, which is not a lot. New Cross, Deptford, Lewisham and Catford are the areas of greatest development potential and are therefore the focus for much of the document. It's no slight on SE4 that we merit relatively few mentions, simply a reflection of the fact that the majority of new houses and jobs will be created in these four areas.

Lewisham Council intends to exceed the number of new houses that the Mayor's London Plan requires of the borough. The anticipated breakdown of new homes is as follows:

2,600 will be distributed within the Lewisham Town Centre
1,750 will be distributed within the Catford Town Centre
10,625 will be distributed within Deptford and New Cross
3,190 will be distributed across the remainder of the borough
This is fine, because there's plenty of undeveloped land in London's least-densely populated inner city borough, with the caveat that the Council needs to get its act together on school, health and leisure facility provision.

Brockley's fate is to maintain two "vibrant hubs", in the form of Brockley Cross and Crofton Park. There is a recognition that more needs to be done to support local shops and attract small businesses, in particular from the creative industries, such as design, architecture, animation and performance art. The logical conclusion is that they should support the planning application for Martin's Yard and invest to provide a high-quality high street environment, which will attract more new shops, while supporting local arts and culture to strengthen the community of local artists and creative entrepreneurs.

The Brockley Society has produced a very helpful guide, which highlights the most relevant parts of the document and explains how to have your say.
Here are some of the most pertinent things that the Core Strategy has to say about Lewisham, Deptford, New Cross and Brockley:

Lewisham Town Centre

Lewisham Town Centre will continue as the borough's principal town centre. The aspiration for Lewisham Town Centre to achieve Metropolitan status, adding at least 20,000 square metres.

Lewisham Gateway will act as a catalyst for regeneration of the town centre providing up to 100,000 square metres of retail, business, residential (approximately 800 new flats), educational, health and leisure uses, with new road layout, parking, servicing, associated infrastructure and improvements to the public transport interchange, as well as open space and improvements to the River Ravensbourne.

Deptford Town Centre

The Deptford Town Centre is designated as a District Town Centre. It will continue to be a focus for the local community providing a range of high street and independent shops. The Giffin Street site adjoining the town centre will see a major public square at the heart of Deptford, strengthening the attraction of the High Street, and provision made for a new replacement Tidemill School, library and community space, and additional employment space and housing. The new Deptford Station will provide a new square connecting to Deptford High Street and improve station accessibility. The Deptford High Street Conservation Area will be retained and development will need to retain or enhance its characteristics.

New Cross

The existing New Cross District Centre is combined with the adjoining New Cross Gate to become a larger district centre within the retail hierarchy. Its role within the night economy and relationship to the adjoining Goldsmiths College contribute to the area's vitality and viability. With the opportunities at the existing New Cross Gate Sainsbury’s store and the improvements to both New Cross and New Cross Gate rail stations, combining the two centres will help strengthen their role and function to provide goods and services to the local area. The Telegraph Hill and Hatcham Conservation Areas covering the 'high street' along New Cross Road will be retained and development will need to retain or enhance their characteristics.


Brockley Cross is a small but significant neighbourhood area with an important transport junction, local shopping parades along Brockley Road and station approach. The immediate area around Brockley Station and the busy road junction at the northern end of Brockley Road, and to the west of the railway line, has a cluster of sites developed with industrial and warehousing uses. These sites provide opportunities for smaller scale mixed use development which would allow a comprehensive improvement to the immediate environs in order to increase the area's attractiveness, vitality and viability. Part of the Hub bounded by Coulgate Street and Brockley Road falls within the Brockley Conservation Area.

The Brockley Cross and Hither Green Local Hubs have a number of small business premises and sites that are too small to merit designation as Local Employment Locations. Many of these sites do not contribute to the quality of the urban environment as they are closed off, inaccessible, do not provide passive surveillance and lead to a barren and depleted visual experience. The Council will seek to ensure that mixed use development on these sites at Brockley Cross and Hither Green will provide new premises for small non-retail businesses, as well as residential uses in support of the objectives for these Local Hubs, while retaining the areas dedicated to B Use Classes at the Local Employment Locations.

In Brockley Cross and Hither Green the Council will seek to retain shops where the continuation in this use is considered to be economically viable.