At last a planning proposal for the Greyhound – that will keep the pub. The developer has made available a photomontage of the plans and a model will shortly be available for all to see at the Kirkdale Bookshop.
On 13 August last year the Greyhound closed with the threat of demolition hanging over the pub. The Sydenham Society had been alerted just a month earlier to the imminent closure and, with the help of the Kirkdale Bookshop, was able to run a quick and vigorous campaign with press and local BBC and ITN news coverage. Within three weeks 1,500 people had signed a petition opposing demolition, indicating the strength of feeling about the potential loss of one of Sydenham’s oldest landmarks. At the same time the Society discussed with local councillors and council conservation officers ideas for a Conservation Area radiating from Cobbs Corner, and presented a fully worked-up plan with details of the local history to support the arguments. Local councillors were supportive and, in early September, the Mayor, Sir Steve Bullock, took the decision to grant the area Conservation Area status. The Greyhound was also locally listed. Since the beginning of 2008 the new developers have been in discussion with Lewisham’s planning officers. In August members of the Society were invited to meet 6a Architects (the developer’s chosen architectural practice) and dp9 (the developer’s planning consultants) and were shown a model of the proposed scheme.
Our initial response was to welcome the imaginative ideas being put forward for such an important town centre site. We did make some critical comments and were advised by the architects that these would be taken into consideration before the planning application was submitted to Lewisham Council. The Society has treated the privileged information confidentially, as was requested. However, the planning application is now being formally submitted to the council and the period of public consultation is beginning. The developer has made available a photomontage of the plans and we are pleased to have been allowed to reproduce this (see below). A model of the proposed scheme will shortly be available for all to see at the Kirkdale Bookshop.