Predictions for 2014

Time for Brockley Central's predictions for the year yet to come. Before we say what we think will happen, here's a recap on how we did with last year's predictions.

We're doubling down on our predictions for The Wickham Arms and Brockley Market: New owners for the Wickham and more pitches for the Market by the end of the year… Whatever happens, we predict that Brockley will get another new place to drink booze in 2013.

The market has grown, although not by as much as we thought it might. And The Wickham Arms hasn’t got new owners, but it does have fresh management. We’re tantalisingly close to the opening of a new boozer in Crofton Park (Late Knights are about to start hiring) and Nan’s opened in Deptford. So half marks for this one.

From the shops to the trains, Brockley is filling up. So we expect at least one of these three big mixed developments in Brockley's pipeline to begin construction - 180 Brockley Road, Mantle Road or St Cyprian's. 

None have started construction, but 180 Brockley Road is poised to begin and Mantle Road looks to be not far behind. So we’re giving ourselves half marks again.

We predict that at least one established business will be priced out of Brockley and replaced by something newer and shinier. 

Nope. No points.

We're choosing a wild card. A new hotel will be created or proposed in Brockley in 2013.

Not in Brockley, although work began in New Cross on the replacement for the Walpole, which will be a hotel. Given it was a long-shot, we reckon this deserves another half point.

Lewisham Hospital A&E will earn some sort of reprieve. It's too good and too important to piss away, no matter what the initial recommendations claimed. 

Even better than a fully functional hospital is a full point.

Two and a half points out of five again. 2013 turned out to be a quieter year than we expected. So, what of 2014? Extrapolating from the trends we saw in 2013 and ignoring the certainty that there will be more pop-ups, sports groups and community initiatives in 2014, here are our five new predictions:

1. Lewisham Way Up

We think Meze Mangal’s expansion heralds a little uplift in the street’s fortunes. There are a handful of great businesses on the street already, but it’s been a little too far from Brockley Station to benefit from the extra footfall the ELL brought. Brockley Market and Meze Mangal shows that people will travel in droves to this spot if the offer is right. We think the pub formerly known as Albertines will finally get a new owner and that it might be a pub firmly aimed at young people – with drink and music, rather than food, to the fore. If so, it will be a first for the area. We also reckon that the new shop on the corner of Lewisham Way and Trywhitt Road will get an occupant.

2. New New Cross

Goldsmiths’ New Cross masterplan will kick-in in earnest, having a significant impact on New Cross and the wider area. The University sector is increasingly competitive and Goldsmiths is vying to attract the best and brightest, which means it needs to invest, as other leading London institutions are doing. Being on their Council gives us something of an advantage when making this prediction, but it obviously relies on things going to plan. We hope to have plenty to report next year.

3. Grand Designs

Property prices in the area have shot up, there has been a frenzy of building activity throughout the conservation area and cash buyers have been snapping up million pound houses. Next year, we expect to see more elaborate planning applications, with lots of extensions, basements and self-builds being proposed. But that’s all rather nebulous, so our specific prediction is that a high-end developer will propose to build upmarket new homes in Brockley, closer to the recent Berkeley development in Telegraph Hill than the smaller houses and flats proposed in 2013.

4. Growing Up in Public

Brockley already has plenty of residents who are in the public eye for one reason or another, including artists, musicians, actors, journalists and designers. Most of these have been attracted to Brockley by its relative affordability, its good links to the West End or the fact that they studied nearby. Professor Green and Millie Mackintosh were the first high-profile celebrities to move into the area and we predict others will join them in 2014.

5. Do Not Feed the Trolls

We’ve made this prediction before, but on the basis that it has to happen eventually, we think that in 2014, a new restaurant will open in Brockley, most likely replacing something else, as there are few green field sites in the area. Hopefully, 180 Brockley Road will create space for a new cafĂ© or restaurant to move into. There is too much untapped local demand for the market to ignore – it’s just a question of the right space being free.

What do you think?