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Tag: Sydenham high street

Meatballs and Music – Trattoria Raffaele, 29th October

The wonderful Alex Carter, star of recent Sydenham hits such as BLITZ! and OOH LA LA! is accompanied by accordionist extraordinaire Serge Pachnine in Una Notte Italiana a celebration of  the Italian greats from Neapolitan to popular Italian songs.

£27.50 with a superb 4-course Italian meal. Starts at 7pm. Book your ticket now – they’re disappearing fast.

Pop into Raffaele, 29 Sydenham Road or phone the restaurant on 020 8778 6262

Billings recipe collection

We all love our new fish shop, Billings at 45 Sydenham Road, and we all love their fish recipes.

So here are all of Billings recipes gathered together in one collection for reference or printing.

Baked gilt-head bream

Mussels with wine and parsley

Red salmon Thai curry

Salmon and spinach with tartar cream

Sea bass with sizzled ginger, chilli and sping onions

Soy glazed tuna steaks

Spiced fish and mussel pie

Squid with mint, chilli, coriander and lime

Tomato and thyme cod

Planning reform – could it change the face of Sydenham?

Are you dismayed by the prospect of yet another “chicken shop” appearing in Sydenham Road? Or local pubs like the Prince Albert closing down? Or small strips of land which were previously gardens or recreation spaces being grabbed by greedy developers?

Well all that may be about to change.

The coalition government has promised to put forward a new Planning Act which will “radically reform the planning system to give neighbourhoods far more ability to determine the shape of the places in which inhabitants live.”  The proposals would mean “giving local people the power to engage in genuine local planning through collaborative democracy – designing a local plan from the ‘bottom up’, starting with the aspirations of neighbourhoods.”

Here are some of the proposals:

 • Neigbourhood plans to protect local shops and services from being lost and encouraging the types of business locals want to see

 • An end to “garden napping”

 • A community “right of appeal” against planning decisions

 • Stronger enforcement against breaches of planning control  

For more details see the Civic Voice website

Enhancing Sydenham high street: Stakeholder Forum

The responses to the recent ‘Enhancing Sydenham high street’ questionnaire are currently being analysed.

The designers commissioned to develop proposals for Sydenham Road will carefully study the analysed results, along with all the comments made on the questionnaires. The introduction to the questionnaire explained that the results of the survey, together with other research conducted at the high street, would be summarised at a stakeholder forum. The forum is intended as an opportunity for us to further hear your views, feed back results of the questionnaire and other research, and introduce the designers who will develop proposals for Sydenham Road.

Forums have been scheduled for: Thursday 1st March from 7.00 to 9.00 pm and Saturday 3rd March from 2.00 to 4.00 pm at the Naborhood Centre, 44a Sydenham Road, SE26 5QX.

Both events will be run in the same manner. If you wish to attend either please choose the time/date that best suits you and RSVP. By way of introduction it is planned to begin each forum with a short summary of the questionnaire survey results, the Community Street Audit undertaken by Living Streets and other research, followed by a short presentation from the designers. The intention is that the forum will then break into smaller groups, led by professional facilitators, to allow in-depth discussion to take place.

After discussing the results of the information gathering and the implications for the design process, the forum will come back for a final plenary session where key points from the groups’ ideas, conclusions and other comments will be fed back to all the participants.

The ‘next steps’ in the design process will be explained. A detailed Note of Proceedings will also be prepared and sent out to everyone who wants a copy.
Considerable interest has been expressed in the forums. It is hoped that all those wishing to attend can be accommodated. However, if you wish to attend it would aid management of the forums considerably if you would RSVP to Rachel Crozier at CAG Consultants. You can RSVP in three ways:

  • By email:
  • By freephone: 0800 389 4276 (calls are free if made from a landline)
  • By post to: Rachel Crozier, CAG Consultants 81 Bradley Crescent Shirehampton Bristol BS11 9SR

If it does not prove possible to fit everyone into the venue on the two dates, a further meeting will be arranged. The results of the questionnaire survey, the draft Community Street Audit report and reports on some of the other information gathering, will be placed in Sydenham Library, Kirkdale Bookshop and on the Council website Transport and Streets, Consultation and
Policy page ( a few days prior to the forum events. They will remain available in the weeks after the forum.
If you completed a questionnaire I would like to thank you and look forward to meeting you at the forum.

Ian Plowright
Transport Strategy Manager
London Borough of Lewisham

A renewed high street for Sydenham

Text of Sydenham Society response to Lewisham proposals, sent 29th May, 2008

I write to provide the comments of the Sydenham Society on the Council’s plans to enhance Sydenham Road and Kirkdale, as set out in its document “A renewed high street for Sydenham”.

The Society very much welcomes the Council’s scheme and we strongly support its aims of enhancing the street environment, creating a greater sense of place, and providing a more pedestrian-friendly environment. In particular we welcome the attempts to “green” the high street via the creation of pocket parks. However, we would ask the Council to look again at the possibility of “greening” the Cobbs Corner roundabout. As a reminder, the Sydenham Road proposals were worked up following the Sydenham Society’s urban design proposals dating from 2005 entitled “The Sydenham Gateway”. One of the main intentions of this proposal was to make the high street a more attractive place, and there seems to us to be no reason why this greening cannot extend to the roundabout particularly when neighbouring boroughs (eg Bromley and Southwark) have planted roundabouts and even roundabouts containing mature trees and public art.

A second, general point concerns the fact that both Sydenham Road and Cobbs Corner now fall within two recently designated conservation areas – the Cobbs Corner CA and the southern extension to the Thorpes. Within conservation areas it is usual to insist upon high quality street furniture, paving etc, and materials which complement the surrounding buildings and urban form. For this reason we would suggest that the type of paving suggested (overwhelmingly concrete) and the lampposts (a rather stark design) are replaced with styles and materials more sympathetic to the Victorian/Edwardian streetscape. We are encouraged to hear that the owners of the Greyhound are discussing with the planning officers ways to link their suggestion for a public space in front of the pub with the plans for Cobbs Corner; if this is done successfully then the Council and the developers will truly have created a fitting “Gateway for Sydenham”.

The following are our detailed comments:

The roundabout at Cobbs Corner
We do not object to the retention of a roundabout at the junction of Westwood Hill and Kirkdale. We are concerned however that the Council proposes simply to rebuild, in granite this time, the present drab and brutalist structure.

The current review of the high street provides a critical opportunity for the Council to create a roundabout which is landscaped or is in some other way transformed into an eye-catching feature, eg by the introduction of a sculpture (and the obvious candidate for this is Ernest Shackleton), which contributes to the aim of creating a “sense of place” for Sydenham. We urge the Council to consider means by which the rebuilt roundabout can function not only at a practical level but also as a landmark feature at the principal gateway to Sydenham town centre.

Pocket squares
A number of pocket squares are proposed. We welcome these although some, such as the pocket square at Queensthorpe Road – which requires the closure of the road at its junction with the high street – we recognise as being controversial. Our view is that these squares could be successful but only if the Council can ensure that they do not become areas where drinkers congregate and that they are kept litter-free. We suggest too that the Council bear in mind the possibility of traffic seeking alternative routes (because of the Quennsthorpe Road pocket) and creating potential problems in other access roads around the Thorpes.

Regarding the proposed pocket square outside the Naborhood Centre, we suggest that the square would be greatly enhanced if the frontage of the Naborhood Centre were re-decorated. At present the Centre presents a rather grim and dirty façade, which very much detracts from the street environment. We also suggest that the Centre be re-named with a recognisable spelling (in its present form the name frequently attracts the comment that the Council can’t spell!)

As far as we can see the proposed tree planting is confined principally to the pocket squares. Whilst the planting of the pocket squares is to be welcomed we would ask the Council to look again at planting on Sydenham Road (particularly in the section from Tannsfeld to Girton Road, which is currently rather stark) and Kirkdale. Trees have the potential to change the streetscape dramatically and they are of course environmentally friendly.

We are unsure why the existence of underground services prohibits the planting of trees when so many roads in the wider area, which must also have underground services, are planted. If it really is the case that species suited to the particular environment of Sydenham Road/Kirkdale cannot be identified then we suggest that the Council considers planting in containers. If new trees and additional planters are not considered suitable then we would propose hanging baskets and flower boxes at suitable sites.

Parking spaces

We accept the Council’s assurances that parking bay spaces in Sydenham Road and the side road returns ‘will remain about the same’. Whilst we think it is very important for the vitality of the high street that the overall amount of parking is not significantly reduced, we would accept that increased pedestrian safety and the aim of creating pocket parks may result in the loss of a marginal number of parking spaces.

Station Approach
We note that a scheme encompassing this road will be the subject of a later consultation and will make comments at that stage.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Lund
Sydenham Society

Pedestrian Improvements to Sydenham Road

Plans to improve the pedestrian environment of Sydenham Road are finally emerging and the second round of public consultation has begun. There are a number of major changes which are likely to be introduced. These are:

  1. At Cobb’s Corner. A light controlled pedestrian crossing proposed for Kirkdale (replacing the existing Zebra); at Westwood Hill junction with Lawrie Park Road a signal controlled crossing with a pedestrian phase, replacing the existing Zebra. Both Westwood Hill and Kirkdale signals are intended to help provide better control/balance of traffic flow approaching Cobbs Corner from the west.
  2. Spring Hill junction with Cobbs Corner. Raised pavement across the junction – there has also been discussion between planners and developers’ architects as to how the plans for redevelopment of Greyhound site fit in with the plans for improvement of the pedestrian environment in this area.
  3. A new roundabout will be constructed!!!!
  4. In the Kirkdale Bookshop area. New (unsignalled) road islands to aid pedestrians crossing.
  5. The zebra crossing on the railway bridge will go.
  6. Venner Road. The proposals include moving the point at which Venner Road is closed at its junction with Sydenham Road in order to create a local open space with, possibly, 3-4 longer term parking spaces for businesses at the rear of this area.
  7. Station Approach. The Council is in discussion with Network Rail and TfL London Rail regarding future improvements which will be exhibited / consulted upon outside the current consultation.
  8. Sydenham Road/Silverdale/Venner Road area. An enlarged raised pavement proposed across the width of Sydenham Road as part of a signal controlled pedestrian crossing. Short-term parking will be lost in this area.
  9. Newlands Park/Sydenham Road junction. A full pedestrian phased light controlled crossing is proposed (with straight pedestrian crossings on each arm). This means traffic will stop and pedestrians can even cross the road diagonally. A box junction is also planned.
  10. Bus stops. These are proving problematic in the emerging designs. It is suggested that the one outside Boots be moved nearer to Newlands Park. The bus stop outside the Post Office remains as at present.
  11. Queensthorpe/Sydenham Road junction. A decision about the treatment of this junction has yet to be determined – it could be closed to traffic; alternatively, there could be a raised pavement across this junction.
  12. Sydenham Road/ Mayow Park junction. A full pedestrian phased light controlled crossing (with straight pedestrian crossings on each arm) is proposed. This means that pedestrians can cross this junction in “one go”, and also diagonally.
  13. Short term parking spaces. There will be a loss of some short-term parking spaces on Sydenham Road although, as we go to press, this figure has not been made available.
  14. Mayow Road to Bell Green. During 2008/09 design work is planned for the remainder of Sydenham Road down to Bell Green. This will look to address a number of issues focussing on safety, but will include some pedestrian improvements of a simpler/minor nature compared to proposals west of Mayow Road
  15. Linked traffic signals. It is proposed to link the signals from Westwood Hill/Kirkdale to Mayow Road and extending the linking to Bell Green, enabling traffic movement to be managed more effectively and producing an average 20 mph traffic speed throughout the length of Sydenham Road.
  16. DeCeaux will accept the removal of the cylindrical advertising pillar outside the Post Office, subject to its replacement with a flat faced illuminated scrolling panel at a location of equivalent value. If other illuminated street advertising hoardings are removed the council will need to find alternative advertising sites. Removal of this pillar will enable this area to be made into a more attractive public open space.
  17. The main footway paving is grey concrete standard slabs, with parking bays and raised side road entries constructed in dark grey granite.
  18. If all goes to plan work on the new scheme could start in January 2009.

Public consultation has begun and continues throughout May. The scheme will also be an item discussed at the next Sydenham Assembly on Thursday 5 June. All local residents are invited to take part in the consultation and attend one of the public meetings being held at the Naborhood Centre. Questionnaires have been delivered to all residents and should be returned by 2 June.