The View at Hilly Fields?

Throughout 2010, momentum grew behind the idea to create a cafe in Hilly Fields: A privately run and managed facility that would encourage people to spend more time in the park and provide a new focal point for a range of activities and events. In June, Mayor Bullock said that the idea had merit and that the Council was exploring the options, with a view to developing the site currently occupied by the toilet block.

At the time, we said that this should be a green light for a local entrepreneur. A few days later,Pistachios expressed an interest. Now, a second group has come forward. They explain their ideas below:

Following Lewisham Council's call for a cafe to be sited at the location of the toilet block at Hilly Fields, we believed that it was totally unworkable.

An alternative location became our primary focus.

Trawling through local archives we discovered that a site had actually existed at the mount of the hill near Montague Avenue. This superb location not only offered a terrific view for the Victorians who sited the original refreshment house there but was also one that we felt could become the foundation for a modern edifice at Hilly Fields.

What we envisaged, after much brain-storming, was more 'art in the park' than Victorian pastiche.

It also had to be in a prominent position, and with a superb view.

The View Hilly Fields will be a window towards the south in one direction and central London and the City in the other. Inside and out it will - or so we hope? - give park users a lot of pleasure and bring additional visitors to Brockley.

We are local entrepreneurs with a huge interest in Brockley and its surrounds. We fully understand that such an ambitious and alternative project is likely to be viewed as controversial - in fact we had hoped to be up and running for the Olympics! - but we know this will take much time and patience. We intend liaising with the Hilly Fields User Group and Brockley Society and Lewisham Council. We would also welcome additional comments from Brockley Central posters.

The View Hilly Fields is still a work in progress. In fact, we drew on this inspirational building in tandem with Johnston Mark Lee, the designers of a building known as The View Argentina. (So don’t worry… it will not look exactly like the one in the photo.) If we get through the first round of the tender process with Lewisham Council then we will share our plans in greater detail with the community. We are at an early stage but we see this as a great opportunity for us to do something truly interesting and innovative in Brockley.

John and Simon,

The View at Hilly Fields Project