Tag Archives: cator

Meeting about Huntsman’s Field Property Development

There’s a meeting to discuss the plans to build on the Huntsman’s Field, at 8pm on Thursday 4th November. It’s being held at St Michael & All Angel’s Church Hall, Pond Road, Blackheath. Apparently it is for Cator Estate shareholders only, although I’m not sure how they’ll check, and indeed whether that’s really fair. Anyone trying to get the train in the morning will be affected by the building of hundreds of new flats in Blackheath.

The residents association are opposing the development on the grounds that it:

  • will provide an unsafe and dangerous junction at the corner of Manor Way/Brooklands Park will generate additional motor traffic
  • could very easily provide a ‘cut through link’ for all traffic from the KDA to the Cator Estate, vastly increasing (and introducing third party) traffic movement and volumes on the Cator Estate
  • will detrimentally affect the character of the Conservation Area and amenity of the Cator Estate
  • will detrimentally affect the character and amenity of the Cator Estate by virtue of the height and scale of certain buildings on the north boundary (being some 3-3.5 storeys) and the western boundary (3-5 storeys)

Don’t forget, the wonderful thing about our planning laws is that the developers only have to win once. See Foxtons, for example.

More details in their newsletter (PDF).

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Blackheath Park from End to End

UPDATE: it’s not this weekend- sorry! (thanks to Ben for spotting the mistake)

Part of the Open House weekend – a walk through Blackheath Park – it’s on Saturday & Sunday 18th-19th September

Blackheath Park from End to End

Blackheath Park is a three-quarters of a mile long thoroughfare of boulevard proportions containing a wide range of architectural forms from 1818 until the present day with Span houses and listed houses and is at the heart of one of London’s first conservation areas. The Park is at the centre of a community of exceptional quality known to its residents since the early 19C as the Blackheath Cator Estate.

Details

Address Meet: Sat/Sun 10.30am at Forecourt, Blackheath Concert Hall, 23 Lee Road SE3 9RQ

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141 Berkeley Homes on a football field: Lawsuit for Cator Estate

There’s a plan to replace a disused football field with a load of houses.  This greenfield site (i.e. open land that has never been built on before), needs access from Manor Way and Brooklands Park.  The developers “Derreb“, have filed a lawsuit against the Blackheath Cator Estate Residents, saying that they must allow access.  According to the Cator newsletter:

“The original conveyance of the Huntsman land contained a restrictive covenant restricting its use to that of a sports field, or “detached houses for use as private residence only, such buildings to be erected in such a position and in accordance with such plans and
elevations, including general layout and development plans as shall first be submitted to, and approved, at the Purchaser’s expense by the Vendor’s Surveyor.”

BCER has drawn the existence of this covenant to Derreb’s attention, including the fact that as purchaser of the roads from the John Cator Estate, it is now BCER’s surveyor from whom approval is required. Derreb have said they intend applying to the Lands Tribunal to have this restrictive covenantmodified or discharged.”

And according to the developers environmental report:

Provisional of 141 residential units including:
A range of houses and flat types from between 1 and 4 bedrooms

The newsletter says:

Derreb says it has submitted a revised planning application, and is holding two meetings to exhibit what it terms the ‘final plans’ at St Michael & All Angels Church Hall from 6pm to 9pm on 1 and 4 February.

Which is another Beware of the Leopard moment…

Planning laws in this country are a joke.  It is a battle of professionals against amateurs.  They are designed to allow large developers to bully local councils with lawsuits, and allow repeated re-applications, in such away that the developers have very little to lose,  and small groups cannot win.

the
original conveyance of the Huntsman land contained
a restrictive covenant restricting its use to that of a
sports field, or “detached houses for use as private
residence only, such buildings to be erected in such a
position and in accordance with such plans and
elevations, including general layout and development
plans as shall first be submitted to, and approved, at
the Purchaser’s expense by the Vendor’s Surveyor.”
BCER has drawn the existence of this covenant to
Derreb’s attention, including the fact that as
purchaser of the roads from the John Cator Estate, it
is now BCER’s surveyor from whom approval is
required. Derreb have said they intend applying to
the Lands Tribunal to have this restrictive covenant
modified or discharged.

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Memories around the Mysterious Pond

pond-old
I’ve been meaning to act on this wonderful piece sent in by Tony. I’ve just not had time… At some point I will go and take photos of all of the places he mentions:

Hi – I used to live in Blackheath (on the Lane, in Blackheath Park/Cator Estate, then Southvale Road) and although I don’t any more, I have a great fondness for the place and I love reading your blog.

I saw your comment about the Mysterious Pond – apologies if you know all this already, but if not I might be able to shed some light on it.

Living in Blackheath Park, I was always fascinated by the story of Wricklemarsh House (Neil covers it at length so I won’t give the whole story!) and used to spend time trying to track down any remnants of it.

Take a look at this map

Right slap bang in the middle, you’ve got the Grand House – and a wonderful piece of Georgian bling it was too, as these pictures will show.

It must have had great views up there at the top of the hill, although interesting it faced away from London, not towards it.

What we’re interested in are its formal gardens and especially the round pound to the north of the house. Although the house was demolished, the pond remained for many years after – hence ‘Pond Road’, and the kink in the road, as it travels round it just north of the railway bridge. The pond was drained at some point in the 20th century, not sure when, but it’s still very obvious where it was.

If you stand at the junction of the South Row and Pond Road, you’re at the entrance to the grounds of the old house, and I enjoyed standing there, picturing the grand avenue leading up the hill, with the road to the house following Pond Road up the hill, with the avenue of trees on either side. Once you’ve over the bridge, Pond Road is still a grand road, and I used to wonder if some of the ancient trees on either side might pre-date the houses and have come from that avenue.

When you reach the junction of Pond Road and Blackheath Park, you’re standing exactly where Wricklemarsh stood. Another avenue of trees would continue down what is now Foxes Dale, and another would run east-west along Blackheath Park Road itself – again, I look at the ancient trees along there, and I wonder if they were planted at the time of the grand house.

However, even more interesting is the *other* pond. Looking back at the old map, you’ll see another pond to the south, fed by a small stream called the ‘Kid’ (hence Kidbrooke). ‘Brookway’, off Foxes Dale, is another clue to its path.

Now, that pond has *mostly* been drained, but a small ornamental area of it still remains. Go east, along Brookway, to the Casterbridge estate – and there, in the middle, is a pond – a pond I’m quite confident that was part of the grounds of Wricklemarsh. Look closely at the island – you’ll see there’s a still a bit of decorative statuary remain, and there’s an ornate little bridge too (I hope, anyway, it’s been a while and my memory isn’t 100% reliable). It’s all still there on this Google map.

And what of the Wricklemarsh – well, James Cator knocked it down and developed the estate, but he did keep that wonderful collonnaded front for his own house.

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