Tag Archives: car park

Station car park price rise petition

Following on from the Assembly meeting last week, Heidi Alexander (local MP) has made a petition against Network Rail raising the car park charges.

Spotted by the BVRG

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Lots more about the station car park

BVRG has a very detailed article about Lewisham Council’s previous responses to Network Rail’s suggestions of building high density housing on the car park.  If anyone can find Network Rail’s initial housing proposals, it would be interesting to see them…

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If the station car park closes, what happens to the farmers market?

UPDATE: Please see the bottom of this post for an update from Kevin.

From Blackheath Village Residents Group via an email from Kevin Bonavia:

Lease on Station Car Park Will Not Be Renewed

The Council’s lease on Blackheath Station car park has come to an end and Network Rail, the owners of the car park, do not intend to renew it. It is understood that Network Rail want to operate their own business from the site and although they are not saying what this is they have said that they intend to retain some sort of car parking facility. Network Rail also have a commitment to the arrangements that have been agreed for the Olympics.

More on their site. Being vigorously tweeted about by Kevin Bonavia and Heidi Alexander. No comment from Nick Raynsford, who is probably talking about housing somewhere. There are other issues Nick.

Hope they can get something sorted here. Otherwise Network Rail will may try to develop the car park, as they have done in other parts of the south east.

UPDATE: Better link to the mess of redevelopment at Epsom station that I was thinking of: Controversial Epsom Station regeneration given the green light from 2010

UPDATE: Here’s a reply from Kevin Bonavia:

Here’s an update following a number of enquiries to Network Rail about their intentions and to Council officers about Council policy towards use of the site.

Network Rail (via their property department) have informed our MP, Heidi Alexander:

“I would like to confirm that the Blackheath Station Car Park will remain in its current use once the lease with Lewisham Council comes to an end. It will however be necessary for there to be restrictions during the Olympic period due to Blackheath being a designated station for transport to the Olympic Park.”

So far so good. I understand that Network Rail will shortly be meeting Lewisham’s Director of Property to discuss more details, and I have asked for more information about potential changes to the operation of the car park, such as parking charges and any effect on the farmers’ market.

In the meantime, the Council’s approach to the use of the car park is very clear. In 2005, the Council undertook a survey of sites that could potentially be used for more housing as part of Lewisham’s obligations under the London Plan. In the case of the Blackheath Station car park, Network Rail submitted that the site would be suitable for high density housing with a decked car park. The Council, however, decided not to place the site on the list for potential new housing stating:

“Although this site is close to a rail station and therefore in a highly sustainable location it was considered that in this case the preservation or enhancement of the Conservation Area at Blackheath took precedence. It was considered that a development of this density and pattern would not conform to the historic pattern of development within the area and would form an intrusive element that could not preserve or enhance its character. The loss of the car park additionally would not preserve the village character of the Blackheath Conservation Area by removing the Farmer’s market site, and the possibility of parking in the centre of the village.”

Network Rail should be aware of this, but it’s worth reminding them in case there’s a change of heart…

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Details of the proposed Piazza Square

Buildings to be removed in the Blackheath Square Piazza proposal

Buildings to be removed in the Blackheath Square Piazza proposal

Following the fuss on the previous post about the plans to develop the car park behind the library, I thought I’d try and take a look at the proposals.  Four times I’ve tried to get into the Blackheath Halls, and every single time they were closed!  I’ve finally managed, and thought I’d put the photos and captions up here, so that more people can see them.  They don’t appear to be on the Blackheath Society’s website, which is unfortunate, as it seems to have led some commenters to suspect a “stitch up”.

I’m putting the photos up here, as I think they have public benefit.  If the copyright holders want them removed, I will take them down.

The proposals seem to have many good points, but it is such a shame that they aren’t pushing ahead for the original plan – to cover a large proportion of the railway next to the chip shop and turn it into a large, pedestrian only space.  It would have been brilliant.  I can understand the concerns that have been raised about new buildings – the site is “underused”, as they describe it (I’m still not sure I agree with that concept – the trains certainly aren’t “underused” in the mornings – increasing population density has many knock-on effects).

In the end, it seems that the proposals have a sense of a “pact with the devil” about them – property developers are good at pushing for what they want, whereas local societies (even effective ones, such as Blackheath’s) will never be a match for their professional bargaining skills.  What they need is do find a wealthy local benefactor, who would fund the original plans, and suggest naming the square after him/her…  Ferrari Square? :)

They’ve asked for comments on the proposals – so please do give them, firstly to their email address blackheath.soc@lineone.net and also here if you have time to do both.  If anyone knows anything about the area (B) “owned by a family trust”, I’d be interested – it seems a very discreet way of writing about the ownership of the land.

Anyway – here’s the best I could do with my blurry camera-phone:

History of the site:

The site where Blackheath Village Library now stands was from 1863 until 1845 occupied by a much larger building – the 1,000 seat Methodist church with 120ft tower and a Sunday school to the north.  In 1945 a WW2 bomb destroyed the church and many surrounding buildings.

1920s map of how the carpark area looked

Ordnance Survey plan of about 1920 showing the Methodist church and Sunday school.

In 1961 the present “library block” filled the gap, but from several points of view filled it unsatisfactorily.  At two storeys, it is dwarfed by the neighbouring Barclays Bank, stylistically it is weak and unappealing.

In development terms, the building and the private and public car parks behind it represent a gross under-use of a key site in the heart of the Village.

To the north and east of the site, houses which had been damaged beyond repair at the western ends of Wemyss Road, and Blackheath Grove were replaced by five and four storey blocks of flats in the 1950s.  These were joined in the 1990s by a four storey block “The Point”, with basement car parking on the site of the former Express Dairy bottling plant.

Proposals:

The idea of a “piazza” in the heart of Blackheath Village sprang from public consultation on the Blackheath Society’s 2001 proposals for improving the Village.  Our initial ideas were ambitious: a huge raft over the railway stretching from the bridge to the post office, paid for by accompanying development.  But the amount of development needed to pay for such a raft would have dwarfed existing buildings.

What we are now suggesting – our “Plan B” – is more modest but in many ways better.  It demolishes the present library block and substitutes a new development, set further back and partly on the site of the existing public car park.  It would be taller than the existing building but comparable in height to its neighbours Barclays Bank and the Grove House flats.

The Blackheath Society would not, of course, undertake the development.  Our role is to show what is possible, likely to receive planning permission, and acceptable to Blackheath people.  We would then, with the owners of the site – Lewisham Council and a family trust – seek a developer or development partner to carry the scheme forward.

Ownership of the land on the proposed Blackheath Square Piazza

The current proposal focuses on the public cark park (A) owned by Lewisham council, and the library block and its private car park (B) owned by a family trust. Part of Blackheath Grove (C) would be incorporated into the new square.

Railway wall plan

Despite the acknowledged costs and difficulties of building over the railway cutting, we believe that a good case can be made for a small, prefabricated, lightweight pedestrian deck by the chip shop. Together with a ramped footpath down towards the Post Office, the deck would ease pedestrian movement between the Village and the Square. The could be combined with the redevelopment of the chip shop to provide a three-storey (unreadable - #### ###) building fronting the deck. The existing parapet wall would be partially removed to give access and a clearer view through to the square.

Initial design for Blackheath Square Piazza

Initial ideas looked at a wider area including the yard to the north and the railway cutting to the south. The illustration shows how buildings and a deck over the railway could have looked.

Blackheath Square piazza railway cutting

Photo showing the railway area, part of which would be covered.

A dissenting view of the plans for the square in Blackheath

A dissenting view of the plans for the square in Blackheath

Another plan of the area

Another plan of the area, hopelessly blurry, sorry...

The exhibition at the Blackheath Halls

The exhibition at the Blackheath Halls

An artist's impression of how the Blackheath Square could look

Where is the post office?!

The idea of a “piazza” in the heart of Blackheath Village sprang from public consultation on the Blackheath Society’s

2001 proposals for improving the Village.  Our initial ideas were ambitious: a huge raft over the railway stretching

from the bridge to the post office, paid for by accompanying development.  But the amount of development needed

to pay for such a raft would have dwarfed existing buildings.

What we are now suggesting – our “Plan B” – is more modest but in many ways better.  It demolishes the present

library block and substitutes a new development, set further back and partly on the site of the existing public car

park.  It would be taller than the existing building but comparable in height to its neighbours Barclays Bank and the

Grove House flats.

The Blackheath Society would not, of course, undertake the development.  Our role is to show what is possible, likely

to receive planning permission, and acceptable to Blackheath people.  We would then, with the owners of the site -

Lewisham Council and a family trust – seek a developer or development partner to carry the scheme forward.

plan caption:
The current proposal focuses on the public cark park (A) owned by Lewisham council, and the library block and its

private car park (B) owned by a family trust.  Part of Blackheath Grove (C) would be incorporated into the new

square.

wall plan:
Despite the acknowledged costs and difficulties of building over the railway cutting, we believe that a good case can

be made for a small, prefabricated, lightweight pedestrian deck by the chip shop.  Together with a ramped foothpath

down towards the Post Office, the deck would ease pedestrian movement between the Village and the Square.  The

could be combined with the redevelopment of the chip shop to provide a three-storey #### ### building fronting

the deck.  The existing parapet wall would be partially removed to give access and a clearer view through to the

square.

nice plan

Initial ideas looked at a wider area including the yard to the north and the railway cutting to the south.  The

illustration shows how buildings and a deck over the railway could have looked.

History of the site:
The site where Blackheath Village Library now stands was from 1863 until 1845 occupied by a much larger building -

the 1,000 seat Methodist church with 120ft tower and a Sunday school to the north.  In 1945 a WW2 bomb destroyed

the church and many surrounding buildings.

In 1961 the present “library block” filled the gap, but from several points of view filled it unsatisfactorily.  At two

storeys, it is dwarfed by the neighbouring Barclays Bank, stylistically it is weak and unappealing.

In development terms, the buidling and the private and public car parks behind it represent a gross under-use of a

key site in the heart of the Village.

To the north and east of the site, houses which had been damaged beyond repair at the western ends of Wemyss

Road, and Blackheath Grove were replaced by five and four storey blocks of flats in the 1950s.  These were joined in

the 1990s by a four storey block “The Point”, with basement car parking on the site of the former Express Dairy

bottling plant.

OSplan:
Ordnance Survey plan of about 1920 showing the Methodist church and Sunday school.

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Map of Parking in Blackheath

UPDATE: If you’re thinking of driving to the Bike & Kite Festival, don’t. There won’t be any spaces, and the place is crawling with traffic wardens.

A new project… Inspired by Bugle-dad coming to visit, who doesn’t share my penchant for Oystercards (“Take a train? Don’t be ridiculous!”) I’ve had to spend a good while in a car trying to find somewhere for us to park. Aside from this revealing that I have little or no concept of what a one-way street is, it also demonstrated that parking in Blackheath is a right Royal-Standard pain in the backside!

So, I’ve started trying to create a map of parking for non-residents in Blackheath.  Anyone can add to the map, so please click on the Google Map here, and add some more info!  This is an experiment, so if I find the map filled with adverts for viagra, I may switch it back to being privately edited…  Please only add places where the public can park, not residents parking (which most of the roads seem to be).

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Pancake Races at the Blackheath Farmers Market

Pancake by flickr user PSD

As spotted by Twitter user Moderateorgood, there will be a pancake race at the Blackheath Farmers Market on Sunday 22nd February starting at 12:20-14:00.

There’s a good poster for it here, although I hope they don’t get sued by the Olympic committee for daring to use their corporate name in vain! As mentioned before, the Farmers Market is exactly the sort of thing that should be encouraged – it’s cheaper than Sainsbury’s, better for you, and the planet too..

A recipe for pancakes can be found on the London Farmer’s Market website.

Photo by Flickr user PSD

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