Guest post: Goldsmiths - stop the high street rot

New Cross resident Isobel Williams writes:

Goldsmiths bestrides New Cross like a colossus.  It must surely be the single largest owner of property in SE14.  Which would be all well and good, if it maintained it properly.  Or at all, in fact.

I live in St Donatts Rd, and right next door to me is a terraced Victorian house, a 4 bedroom family home, like mine, but owned by Goldsmiths.  For the past 4 years or so it's been boarded up and gradually falling to bits.  The front garden has become a rubbish dump and a tramps’ toilet.  Two attempts have been made by squatters to break into it.  Local residents have written, phoned, emailed Goldsmiths about this but the College rarely bother responding.

The other week I was talking to Gill in The Allotment about the old Goodyear tyre shop opposite the New Cross Inn on New Cross Rd.  Gill tells me the property, and the ones next to it, are great retail spaces, but they’re in such bad repair no one in their right mind would take them on.  The whole eyesore of a parade is owned by Goldsmiths.

I contacted Assembly member Darren Johnson, who kindly ooked into it for me.  Turns out the College have no plans to either sell or renovate any of these properties.  All the efforts made by the Council, local businesses like Gill's and community groups to regenerate New Cross are effectively being undermined by this neglect.  Not to mention the scandal of a potential family home such as the one next door to me being left unoccupied.  So I’ve started a petition to put to the Council next month, asking them to pressurise Goldsmiths to do something about its empty properties in SE14.

In the coming days hard copies will hopefully be popping up in shops in the area (notably The Allotment, of course) but if you can’t wait, please sign the e-petition.   And if you want to contact me, email me on