East v West v North

During this fight, I've seen a lot of changing, in the way you feel about me, and in the way I feel about you. In here, there were two guys killing each other, but I guess that's better than twenty million. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!

- Rocky, Rocky IV

Following on from the news that a new sandwich shop is opening on Mantle Road, we decided it’s time to ask the BC readers which side of Brockley Station they think is going to change most for the better over the next few years.

On the West side, work is underway on new housing next to the railway track, while next to the station, Jude Court is crawling to completion, bringing with it several large new retail units. On the opposite side of the street, Bohemia Hair took the plunge a few months ago, showing some confidence in the west side, while the Broca Food Market has done for the west what the Broca did for the east, pioneering the new wave of businesses moving in to the area.
The East side, is the most developed and, when the removal vans aren’t in the way, Coulgate Street is gem. But Brockley Road continues to serve up a series of false dawns, with La Lanterna being the most obvious and ugly example. The redevelopment of the Holistic Centre and the Essence of India could improve the condition of the strip and attract another good business, but only if the job is done right. Experience teaches us to be cautious. At the moment, the windows lie broken and the shop front is a travesty. Despite the Orchard’s success and rumours of new tenants, Harefield Road’s other two units lie empty.
On the North side, it remains to be seen whether the investment in Brockley Cross will yield any significant improvements, while plans for the redevelopment of the car yard are in their infancy. Martin’s Yard could be transformative, but the project timeline has slipped back and there is no definite date for work to begin. Meanwhile, many of the Brockley Cross units lie empty or unloved, not helped by chaotic parking and occasional gang-related incidents.
Of course, the East v West v North question underlines one of the challenges facing the development of Brockley as a cohesive and vibrant town centre – it is divided by two sets of railway tracks, carving the “centre” in to three elements.
So which side are you most optimistic about? Vote on the new BC poll.