Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Sydenham Catholic club, Watlington Grove, SE26 5RR

Contact: Maya Onyett 

No. Item


11.00 Introduction and welcome choir Cllr Chris Best (Chair)


Cllr Chris Best welcomed everyone to the Sydenham Assembly and explained that the main purpose of the meeting was to decide which projects  were to receive funding  from this years Sydenham Assembly Fund. Saxophone music was played by the Sydenham Community Library .



11.10 Voting on the Sydenham Assembly Fund £12,500


The following projects who were bidding for a share of the £12,500 Sydenham Assembly Fund gave a presentation under the highlighted priority.

A summary of each proposal can be found in the ‘Sydenham  Assembly Fund Projects summary sheet Nov 13’ document.


1. Bringing the community together:


  • Musical theatre to mark the centenary of World War One- Sydenham Arts Festival - £2,500
  • Music sessions for under 5's- Sydenham Community Library - £450
  • Youth sessions, camps and community events- Hazel Grove Community Project - £1,150


2.  Health, Well Being and Community Safety:


·    Providing events to get residents & carers out of their home Carers Lewisham - £2,500

  • CCTV and security lighting for Earlsthorpe Mews - Thorpes Residents Association - £2,040


3.  Vibrant high street


  • Activities and events in the high street including Christmas, Halloween and monthly street markets- SEE3 Town Team Manager - £2,500


4.   Clean and Green


  • Keeping the new Sydenham Road paving clean- Sydenham Town Centre Steering Group - £1,360           



For more details about the proposals please contact Maya Onyett


The projects were voted in by a show of raised hands – 51% majority required for proposals to be accepted for funding. All 7 proposals were accepted with no objections.



12.15 New cycle routes in SE26


Barry Milton gave a presentation on a proposed new cycle route from Sydenham Station to Lower Sydenham Station. This has come about from the  recent news coverage around the increased number of fatalities of cyclists around London. He highlighted the importance of establishing safe routes and routes that link places together such as core shopping areas, leisure centres, railway stations, libraries, parks and places where people want to go to in general.


The route links Sydenham Railway Station with Route 21 in a safe, direct route and incorporates the following key locations in SE26:

  • Sydenham railway station and the core shopping area of Sydenham Road
  • Sydenham Community Library
  • Home Park and Mayow Park
  • The Bridge Leisure Centre (run by Fusion on behalf of the London Borough of Lewisham)
  • Lower Sydenham Station


The route avoids heavily congested Sydenham Road and Bell Green and would enable cyclists to complete the route more quickly than by car.  He also added that the route involves little extra building and is therefore cost effective and can connect with the existing Route 8 by extending it along Silverdale.

Barry will also be presenting this route to the Bellingham and Perry Vale assemblies as a key route.  Unfortunately the Cycling officers at Lewisham are working on an alternative route in the area which he described as ‘a route from nowhere to nowhere’ and it includes riding down Sydenham high street. Barry will continue to promote this route as a safe, short cut which avoids heavily congested roads. He also stated that it is cost effective in setting it up and is the beginning of routes which will look at extending towards the east and west in the future.


Q. Have you thought of involving Sustrans?

A. We are in contact with Sustrans and they have seen this route and approve of it.

A comment was made about the dangers for cyclists around the parking bay outside the Pavilion pub before the railway bridge. Following the road improvements it was supposed to be for loading only at prescribed times. However it is open for parking also which makes it extremely dangerous for cyclists in that area. These bays were not there before the improvements were made and the resident would like the Councillors to look into this matter and have the area as restricted to loading at prescribed times only.


Another comment was made around raising awareness for cyclists regarding heavy goods vehicles and not cycling on the inside lane. Also, safety awareness/ education in general for cyclists and drivers was raised as a need, as all the safe routes created will not tackle the bad behaviours that currently take place between drivers and cyclists.


Action: MO to follow up with Lewisham Highways on the arrangements for the loading bays and safety for cyclists



12.25 Feedback from last Sydenham Assembly on 12 September

·        Sydenham Road

·        The Greyhound

·        Enforcement issues

·        Consultation on the Statement of Community Involvement



·        Sydenham Road

Phasing of  traffic lights – lights are partially phased and will be fully completed once a software part from New Zealand has arrived.  Cllr Best assured the assembly that they are on the case to improve the timings so that frustrations from drivers and pedestrians will be reduced.

A resident commented that the traffic lights on East Mayow road, near the Dolphin does not beep as you walk across which could cause problems if you are partially sighted.


Action: MO to report back to the Project Manager, Tom Henry at Lewisham Highways


The works are slowly continuing down the High Street  down to the Junction at Kent House and hopefully the finishing of the final element to the Bell Green junction will be completed next year . This still needs to be funded via the local Improvement Plan (LIP), Cllr Best , Cllr Nisbet and Cllr Curran are all pushing for this to happen. Then the Bell Green gyratory work will be starting later in 2014.


·        The Greyhound.

There is a new local planning officer in place as Joost Van Well has since left the Council. A deed of variation has been sent by the Council to Purelake, who are the developers.  Purelake are going back to the original parties who signed the deed of variation: Hexagon Housing Association who own the plot  and manage the homes plus the commercial agent 321 Kirkdale. All of the solicitors are communicating with each other and with the Council to get this deed of variation signed. Cllr Best, Cllr Nisbet and Cllr Curran assured the assembly that they are all pressing for this to happen as quickly as possible. Cllr Best has received an email from Purelake who are keen to complete this.

The deed of variation has come about because a number of issued were agreed as part of the original planning application and now need to be addressed within the new planning application, such as, the community room, the mosaic on the back wall and the tiles within the drinking corridor.


·        Enforcement issues

A number of issues have been raised:

Noise nuisance to the neighbours in Orchard Court due to the use of the Church of MFM – Mountain of Fire and Miracles which needs a D2 planning permission but is residing in an A1 retail planning use.

Action has been taken and notices have been served – MO to follow up..

Cllr Best is still working on shop fronts that have been removed within conservation areas as this will be treated as a priority with satellite dishes and estate agent boards as a low priority and therefore not enforced.


·        Consultation on the Statement of Community Involvement

Cllr Curran, who chairs the Sustainable Development Committee, is undertaking a review of some of this. In particular asking planners to rethink the way they consult regarding planning notices to include everyone and not just immediate neighbours. Also to ensure bigger signs are in place and to make sure  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.


12.35 Join the Sydenham Assembly Coordinating Group


Pat Trembath highlighted that volunteers are most welcome to join the Coordinating Group. Meetings take place in-between the quarterly Assembly meetings and where the agenda is planned, local topics are discussed and the content of the door to door Newsletter is agreed.



12.40 Information items and open questions and answers


A question was raised on whether Adamsrill School  will be moved to a temporary site at Home Park.

Cllr Best explained that Cllr Nisbet, Cllr Curran and herself have attended a number of meetings with colleagues in Education, following up on the issue that Home Park is not the best site as it is on metropolitan open land.  Other sites have been put forward as possibilities, nothing has been decided as yet but there is a pressure regarding a lack of primary school places across Lewisham.

Cllr Curran added that they have been pushing against the idea of putting buildings into parks and that they are trying to find a semi- permanent site so they can accommodate a lot of schools. One such site could be the old Willow Way Housing office, once the Japanese Knot weed is removed, but there are other alternatives that are currently being considered.

Rushey Green Timebank  updated on their ‘Bring and Fix event’ running today at the Sydenham Community library and encouraged people to attend. They also meet every Thursday afternoon at the Library, and encouraged people to attend and find out more about Timebanking.

The Sydenham Community Library updated on the Pocket Park Piazza . This is out to tender for an architect to produce a specific design. Following this there will be a stakeholders meeting some time in January 2014 to develop the project. An update can be given at the next assembly.

The Pavilion in Mayow Park had ground to a halt due to a broken sewage pipe, however funding has been allocated to ensure the programme is completed. Following this the tender of the community café is due to take place next year.

Barry Milton asked for an update on the Dacres Road Footbridge. In terms of the design Cllr Best stated that they had asked Lewisham officers for it to be cycle friendly and will ask for the final design.  In terms of timescale it is dependent on a slot from Network Rail when trains can be suspended to allow the work to take place.

Annabel McLaren updated on the Save the Windmill Pub campaign. There is now an online petition to keep it a pub and not another supermarket that can be found on the Sydenham Society website, and the Sydenham Town Forum. She urged people to sign the petition and help the cause.

Annabel McLaren also updated on the SEE3 Neighbourhood Planning Action Group.  A plan has been created to look at the Kirkdale area - east side of Kirkdale, from Dartmouth Road, the police station (closed) around to Willow Way and into the Willow Way Depot area. They are working with a local resident who is a practising architect and an academic at Kingston University, and is working with his post graduate students to look at the area and come up with ideas which will then be presented to the SEE3 neighbourhood planning group some time in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.


12.55 Date for the next Assembly meeting

Tuesday 4 March – The Sydenham Centre



Cllr Chris Best thanked all for coming. The next meeting will be held on


            Tuesday 4 March 2014 – at The Sydenham Centre

44a Sydenham Road, SE26 5QX



1.00 Close