Category Archives: planning

Where do you want a playspace?

If you remember the fuss about the plan to put a playground on the Heath, you might want to go to this. There’s a “Blackheath Playspace Working Group” meeting tomorrow (Tuesday 17th September) at 7.30pm at the St Matthew Academy.

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Is there still a plan to build upon the heath?

Interesting email today from Eliot Pitstop (the pressure group who formed when a Pocket Park was proposed in Eliot Pits – see previous posts).
They are encouraging residents to attend the next Blackheath Assembly meeting this Wednesday at 7.30pm, 3rd July at St Matthew’s Academy.

From their email:

…we understand that two new areas are under consideration for a childrens’ playground:

  • One by the Territorial Army grounds at Hollyhedge House on the Heath,
  • and the other in the middle of the Heath by Talbot Place.
  • They also set out their position:

  • The Blackheath Assembly has not demonstrated that it has a proper mandate to promote the building of a permanent childrens’ playground on the Heath. It needs to explain how it believes that it has the authority to promote such a proposal;
  • The need for an equipped chidrens’ playground in Blackheath Ward has not been established as there are many equipped play areas both within the Ward and within the vicinity of Blackheath;
  • We need to protect the Heath from any permanent development and from the building of permanent structures and also to prevent a precedent being established which would enable Lewisham Council to easily achieve such development without public consultation in the future.
  • Full email is here as a PDF.

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    Bookshop on the Heath selling up

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    Massively sad to hear that yet another independent shop in the village is selling up. The Bookshop on the Heath is a fantastic place. I really hope they find a buyer to continue the shop as a going concern.

    Their press release is below. If anyone has any good examples of how local communities have managed to stem the exit of local businesses from their high streets, please place them in the comments.

    Richard and Jasmine Platt, founding owners of the Bookshop on the Heath Ltd in Blackheath, South East London, have announced that they are selling the business in order to pursue other interests in the leisure industry.
    During the past ten years, the business has won awards for excellent customer service and it has been independently rated as one of the country’s finest bookshops. From day one, it has posted excellent year-on-year profits.
    There has been a bookshop in this location since 1949, making it one of the longest continually running bookshops in South London. The bookshop has become a real fixture in Blackheath Village and it has generated a tremendous local goodwill. More recently it was the setting for part of an episode of the BBC1 drama “Spooks”.
    Richard says, “After a very happy and successful ten years here, we feel that the time has come for us to step back and pass on the legacy and reputation of the business to someone else. We hope that they can now also realise their dream like I did ten years ago by taking over and further developing a super little shop in a marvellous trading position. It would be lovely to think that the long tradition of bookselling could be continued by someone who shares our passion for offering fine books, maps & posters with friendly, personal service. Trade has been exceptionally good and there is also the opportunity for the new owner to develop web sales and sales of new books (children’s in particular) – areas which we have barely touched upon.”
    The bookshop continues to open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and by appointment at all other times. If you are searching for a quantity of specific quality stock or you are interested in buying the whole of this successful and profitable turn-key business, please contact Richard Platt for more details on 01526 352267 or email richard@bookshopontheheath.co.uk

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    Filed under books, planning, politics, shops

    Eliot Pitstopped

    Just got an email from the office of Sir Steve (Lewisham’s mayor). Looks like they won’t be building a children’s play area in Eliot Pits after all:

    The Preliminary Ecological Appraisal report recently undertaken by The Ecology Consultancy for Eliot Pits has now been received.
    The Council’s Ecological Regeneration Manager has reviewed the report and given that the proposal will likely have “significant ecological impact” has recommended that this option is not pursued.
    I imagine that further details will be available soon, but given your concerns I am sending you this information at the earliest opportunity following Sir Steve’s request that you are kept fully updated.

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    Festival not OnBlackheath this year

    Looks like the John Lewis / OnBlackheath music festival on the heath has now been postponed until September 2014, according to this comment from councillor Kevin Bonavia:

    Lewisham Council has just been notified by OnBlackheath that they have decided not to go ahead with the event this year. I understand that OnBlackheath are now working on plans for September 2014, which we are likely to hear more about towards the end of this year.

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    More on the pits

    Article in the News Hopper about Eliot Pits. Comes out essentially saying that there’s been an “outcry” from 550 petitioners.

    Also interesting comment in a previous post about this subject:

    According to Steve Bullock’s office, the idea for using Eliot Pits as a pocket park was initially suggested by none other than the Blackheath Society. Unbelievable but true. That’s the same people who threw away £80K trying to stop a two-day pop concert just yards away from the one place in the area where urban kids can play as they would in the country. What are these people up to!

    I don’t know whether this is true, but I’ve dropped an email to the Mayor, to see what the response is.

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    Blackheath’s proposed Pocket Park on BBC London


    A report on the plan to build one of Boris’ Pocket Parks on Eliot Pits.
    Given that the money is supposed to “green-up” urban parts of London, the report does demonstrate how green the heath already is…
    See the previous post here for the previous post about this.

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    Two Argentinian restaurants are better than one?


    It looks as though the Cactus Pit is going to become a CAU restaurant. (Planning application was here, but won’t load for me currently). They specialise in Argentinian beef according to their restaurant website, which mentions other branches in Cambridge and Guildford.

    So thirty seconds walk from a lovely Argentinian beef restaurant, Blackheath residents are going to have a second one. I really hope it doesn’t damage Buenos Aires, as its probably the nicest restaurant in the village (even for vegetarians).

    (Thanks to the anonymous bugler who spotted the application). Image above shows the CAU restaurant in Guildford.

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    Filed under blackheath, food, planning, restaurants

    John Lewis Music Festival plans for Blackheath

    UPDATE: OnBlackheath have decided to postpone the event, and are now thinking of September 2014 as the likely date. See post here.

    The plan to host a music festival on the Heath has reappeared. OnBlackheath have applied to host a festival in September, sponsored by John Lewis.

    See the email sent by the Blackheath Society earlier today:

    We have received confirmation that OnBlackheath (previously NIMBY) has applied, at this late stage, to Lewisham Council for permission to hold a two day pop festival on the Heath on September 7th/8th. The event is apparently to be sponsored by John Lewis and called “John Lewis on Blackheath”. Little further information is currently available.

    Members will recall that the Society lost its appeal against the granting of the Premises Licence for this event (in perpetuity) in 2011. However, we are fortunate that this current application takes place in the context of an Events Policy for the Heath agreed as a result of the earlier controversy, and with procedures well defined. Any such application has to be considered by the Blackheath Joint Working Party, and a detailed Event Management Plan has to be submitted and agreed before Lewisham issue any final permission.

    We expect to play a full part in this process, and will keep members fully informed. The issues which caused serious concern last time will be re-examined in this exercise.

    Members views and feedback are always welcome, at any stage.

    Please play nicely in the comments…

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    Filed under blackheath, blackheath common, festival, greenwich, lewisham, planning

    Eliot pits – playground proposed

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    There’s a plan afoot to build a playground on Eliot Pits. (Eliot Pits is not a kid that went to the same school as you). It’s that really picturesque valley from where you can look down across the whole of London, on the edge of the Heath. It’s also been left relatively unchanged and wild for centuries.

    The funding has come from a strange place. Boris has proposed a quite sensible idea to increase the number of “pocket parks” in urban areas, so that more people can enjoy green spaces. Which is a great idea! The problem is that this is already a green space, and it is being seen by some as a way to sneak development into this area by the back door.

    A website opposed to the proposals has been created.

    There’s a petition to stop building on the site.

    And a campaign leaflet.

    It seems like this should be a core issue for the Blackheath Society over the next few months…

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