Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Sydenham Centre, Sydenham High Street- next to the Post Office, SE26 5QX

Contact: Maya Onyett 

No. Item


Introduction and welcome Cllr Chris Best (Chair)


Cllr Chris Best welcomed everyone to the Sydenham Assembly and explained that the main purpose of the meeting was to provide updates from the previous meetings, as well as other new presentations. To include : Planning Enforcement, Street lighting from Skanska, Community Connections, Sydenham Arts Festival, Parks and changes to local police.




Updates from previous meetings

          2.1       Planning issues                                                                   Gavin Cooper         

·        The Greyhound

·        Enforcement issues

·        Progress on vacant sites


            2.2       Highways issues                                                                Written reply

·        Kent House Road

·        Station Approach

·        Footbridge on Dacres Road


            2.3       Refuse issues                                                                     Written reply

·        Letters to residents and traders

·        Jet spray high street


2.4       Skanska Streetlighting issues                                        Paul Burman

·        Heritage columns in Conservation Areas



2.1Planning Issues – The Greyhound

Gavin Cooper, from Lewisham Planning, provided an update on the Greyhound. Gavin, firstly provided a brief history: Lewisham Council granted permission for the re-development of the site to provide housing, a commercial element and a pub; the objective was to retain the Greyhound on that site. Due to the developer demolishing the Greyhound, this has resulted in the pub not being able to be delivered as part of the project.  As a result Lewisham Council prosecuted the developer (Purelake) because of the unlawful demolition of the pub. A new planning application was submitted in September 2012, which was approved by the Planning Committee on 25 April 2013.  As there is a new planning permission it means that the obligations relating to the pub from the original S106 agreement now need to be secured in planning conditions attached to the new permission. To implement this the Committee required a Deed of Variation to amend the original s106 planning agreement by removing the obligations relating to the public house before the new permission was granted. This involves all of the current parties to the original S106 agreement and includes the Housing Association, the tenants of the commercial units and any other parties who have a legal interest in the land. 


In the Autumn there was a delay in all parties signing the agreement, due to a variety of commercial interests that needed to be worked through, and as a result it is still with the lawyers. Gavin explained that the Council is unable to force the signing of the legal agreement, but they are encouraging all parties and meetings are taking place between the main owners ofthe site. Once planning permission is issued then works to complete the pub can commence and a  pub delivered for the community.


Comments from the Assembly:

·        Assurance and regular communication - A lack of assurance as to what is going on from Planning - concern was expressed that at the time of the demolition, all communications were ignored by Planning and a failure to get to grips with control of the project occurred from the outset.

·        Enforcement - legal high court judgement over the developer to rebuild – when is this going to be enforced? Could you serve a conservation and reporting notice where you can require the developer to come back to site and re-buildwhatever format you see fit.

·        Physical condition of the building - the building is open to the weather, subsiding and gradually falling down

A I can assure you we were aware and the site was visited and served a temporary stop notice, and we did visit the site on numerous occasions to make sure that the building was retained.

The problem we have is that we cannot force the developer to sign the agreement, we can only take enforcement action where there is an element of harm that results from the building not being completed. All we could do is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.


Presentation on Community Connections - Anne Coppendale


Community Connections is a brand new project (18 month pilot) that has started in Lewisham. The project is aimed at any vulnerable adult over the age of 18 residing in Lewisham. Community Connections is aiming to reach people that may have ‘slipped through the net’ and also to prevent this from happening. They work in partnership with Age UK in Southwark and Lewisham, London Borough of Lewisham, Sage Educational Trust, Carers Lewisham, Lewisham Disability, Voluntary Action Lewisham and Voluntary Sector Lewisham. Referrals can come from many sources including: Doctors, Social Workers and self referrals. There are four Development Workers operating across the borough. Anne is currently mapping out which groups / services are available for vulnerable adults to access; the aim is to then match-up client needs to local activities and services. The project also offers an outreach service which can take the service into people’s own homes. The project can also support local groups/organisations (who provide services / activities for vulnerable adults) with their policies and volunteer recruitment. Anne handed out flyers with the contact details –

Tel:  020 8314 3244


Project Blog:




·        Sydenham Market – Saturday 12 April

·        Easter bonnet workshops and parade

·        Town Team Action Groups



Cllr Chris Best, as Chair of SEE3 the Portas pilot gave an update on progress on various initiatives:


·        Sydenham Market

Improvements to the high street have created pocket squares that have been used for a monthly Sunday market. Following consultation the day of the market is being changed to the second Saturday of the month from 11am to 5pm. Both Queensthorpe Square and Venner Square will be used for this purpose, and the hope is that more regular stalls will be hired through Lewisham Street Markets: . The monthly markets will resume on Saturday 12th April 201 from 11am-5pm.




·        Easter bonnet workshops and parade

Two Easter bonnet making workshops / parades are scheduled for Saturday 12th April 2014 and Saturday 19th April 2014 from noon to 2pm at Here for Good, 17 Sydenham Road. The Easter bonnet parade takes place on the high street between 3-4pm with participating traders giving mini eggs to anyone under 10 years wearing a bonnet.


On Saturday 12th April from 12noon-4pm Sydenham Community Library will be holding Easter egg decorating, Easter egg hunt, Easter bunny, competitions, raffle and stalls. For more information please telephone: 020 8778 1753.  


·        Town team Action Groups

Trader workshops are being scheduled to help improving the look of shop windows. Lots of expert advice will be given to local traders who are able to attend. The “Window Dressing Techniques” master class will be held on Wednesday 5March and Monday 10 March 14.



Sydenham Arts Festival Jonathan Kaufman


The event plans to be bigger and better than ever and the advertising posters are currently being produced. The festival will include: 65 events over a 2 week period, 5th July – 20th July 2014. It will open with a street event, plus a main stage on Venner road. The Festival will close with a large (free) music event in Home Park. The organisers are currently liaising with the local police with regard to logistics. There will be many professional artists performing over the course of the festival including actors, singers, musicians and community groups too.


‘Arts in the Park’ is taking place on Sunday 20th July 2014, 1pm-6pm in Home Park. This will be a family fun day, prior to the main music event. 


Funding has also been received from Awards for All, to enable local young people to be trained as managers (utilising the festival as an opportunity to train young people in management skills). They will gain a variety of skills during the project, particularly event planning, people management, artiste liaison, & related issues such as H&S provision and regulated entertainment licences etc. Local young people are also being invited to sign up as volunteers to help with the festival, out of pocket expenses will be covered.



Parks activities

·        Sydenham Literary Piazza at Home Park                    Ilse Towler

·        Mayow Park – Bowls Green and Pavilion                    Alona Sheridan

·        Wells Park                                                                            Monika Mitchell



·        Mayow Park – Pavilion and Bowls Green – Alona Sheridan


Pavilion - the sewer pipe from the Pavillion, running underneath Mayow road is now finished. As a result, work can now be completed on the Pavilion. The café is expected to open by Summer 2014 and expressions of interest have been submitted.(20).


Bowls Club - The Mayow Park Bowls Club is no longer functioning because of the low number of users and with the option for those members to join a private bowls club a short distance away on Wynell Road.


Lewisham Greenscenehave been maintaining the bowls pitch and submitted a funding bid to the Big Lottery Reaching Communities for a healthy living hub.  A funding bid has also been submitted to the Mayor of London’s Sports Facilities Fund for an outdoor gym at Mayow Park. The exact details of the bids are yet to be consulted on as the bids needs to get through the first stage.


A question was asked on the future of the bowls green and clarity on the bid for the bowls area that includes tarmacing on the green for a multi use games area. It was agreed that wider consultation will take place if the initial bid by Greenscene is successful.

Update:  The bid has not been successful so further consideration needs to take place on the use of the bowls green.


On issues such aggressive dogs in the park the contact will be Glendale who manage the park on behalf of Lewisham  Greenscene contact details below: 

Glendale Grounds Management  - Tel:020 8318 3986

GreenScene - Tel:020 8314 2047 Email:


·        Sydenham Literary Piazza at Home Park IIse Towler and Anthony  Scully 


The Friends of Home Park and Friends of Sydenham Community Library applied for £37,500 funding from London Mayor’s Pocket Parks Fund, which has been match funded by Lewisham. Martin Hyde of Lewisham GreenScene is leading on the project.


The concept is to open up the front area of the park, more planting, and a new paved area. This paved area can also be used as an outdoor seating space in the summer and a more inviting space for people to walk through on their way into the library. Landscape architects appointed from Lewisham’s approved list and a draft plan is in its infancy. The outline plan is still to be costed.


Consultation meetings will be at Sydenham Community Library, with a display of the proposed plans, on the afternoon of 15th March. Further consultation through Bellingham Assembly, 27th March, 7pm at Watergate School.


·        Wells Park – Monika Mitchell

Wells Park has a small committee group who meet  four times per year, and the meeting dates are announced on the park notice board. The committee is currently developing its own website. There is a new tennis court in Wells Park which is free for all to use.




·        Current programme

·        Easter activities



There is a written update on the current programme with community space available for the community to use in the day time, whilst the young people are at school.


Current activities include:

·              Monday 4pm to 5.30 juniors / 6.15 to 8.45 pm open seniors club

·              Tuesday 6.15 to 8.45 pm open Girls night

·              Wednesday 6.15 to 8.45 pm open seniors club

·              Thursday 6.15 to 8.45 pm open seniors club

·              Friday 4pm to 5.30 juniors / 6.15 to 8.45 pm open seniors club

During open sessions the young people have access to table tennis, pool, use of the canteen for cooking sessions, playstation on the projector (super big) Wii on the smaller screen, use of the video projector. Plus access to trained staff for mentoring ,counselling and support. The TNG also runs a full peer motivator scheme where some of the established members can offer support to newcomers.

For further information: Tel: 020 8699 1681 or


Could the police run their surgeries from the TNG?Emma replied that this has been considered but TNG felt it wasn’t viable  due to other groups / activities using it.



Join the Sydenham Assembly Coordinating Group Pat Trembath

·        Feedback forms – agenda items next meeting 



·        Feedback forms - agenda items next meeting

Pat Trembath highlighted the importance of completing the feedback forms and invited members to join the coordinating group which plans the assembly and discusses local issues and updates . If you would like to join contact for further information.



Information items and open questions and answers

·        Police update  -Emma Sweetman

·        Crystal Palace consultation


Police update – PC Emma Sweetman and PCSO Peter Okonji


Emma  said there is good news with regard to crime statistics and crime is down in Sydenham on a month on month basis. Emma explained how they wish to get better at communicating this with the local community. The 3 priorities for Sydenham are currently: burglary, robbery and anti-social behaviour.


Local Assembly members asked a series of questions answered by Emma.


Q Any plans to  foot patrols or car patrols on the back streets? Drugs are being dealt on our street on the Thorpes estate.

A We can look into this for you…if you can speak to me at the end of this meeting…


Q Is there a surgery in Kente Coffee House?

A Yes…drop-in and chat to us…we need to advertise the surgeries better


Q If suspicious of criminal activity, but no evidence, what should we do?

A Either 101 for non emergency, or give us a call on the Safer Neighbourhood Team number and we’ll aim to get back to you in 24 hours.


Q What happened to the signage / surgery at Sainsbury’s?

A Sainsbury’s didn’t work out as there was no confidential space to use


Some members highlighted the use of the Sydenham Centre for surgeries. Action: Cllr Chris Best offered to have a conversation with Emma, regarding  the use of the Sydenham Centre as a base for surgeries.


·        Crystal Palace Consultation – Pat Trembath

This is based on a large scale redevelopment of the Crystal Palace Exhibition Centre, in Crystal Palace Park. Shanghai-based ZhongRong group, has currently short listed 6 well known architects. The building is large scale, proposing to be 5 football pitches in length and 6 stories high, including a 6* hotel. Pat highlighted some of the impacts that a development of this scale can produce, and subsequently, urged members of the assembly to attend the forthcoming drop-in sessions in order to be aware of the plans. The intention is to submit a planning application in November 2014.


Follow this link to the video of Jerome Frost giving his presentation of an update on the development since the drop-in on 1st February.

Pat has asked for a drop in session to be held at St Bart’s Church -  register  to be kept up to date with the drop-in sessions.


·        Public meeting to discuss the Housing Crisis in London

Diane Abbott MP will be speaking on the Housing Crisis at 8pm in The Sydenham Centre next Tuesday 11 March – open to all and refreshments will be provided.


·        Elections on Thursday 22 May 2014

Cllr Chris Best, announced that Cllr Marion Nisbet, is retiring from as a Councillor in Sydenham and this Assembly was her last one. She gave a huge thank you to Marion for all her hard work within the community having represented Sydenham since May 2002.  Marion is a member of the SNT Ward Panel and a Board member on Lewisham Homes amongst many other activities.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.




The meeting closed at 9.00pm.


Sydenham Town Centre Scheme Update


Station Approach


The new toilets are being manufactured with the intention of them being placed in late March 2014, and this is subject to the existing being demolished.


A Basic Asset Protection Agreement has been signed by the Council and is with Network Rail for approval.  This will allow the Council to demolish the existing toilets, make good the boundary wall and install a fence on the wall.  Method statements for this work are with Network Rail for consideration.  If all approved, J B Riney’s propose to do these demolition and the “making good” works over weekends in March 2014.


Network Rail’s agreement to the last element of the land transfer in Station Approach is awaited.   This Agreement will enable the completion of the highway works in Station Approach. The delay in reaching this land transfer means that it is unlikely that these works can be carried out this fiscal year.  Funding from the new financial year budgets will need to be sought for these works.


The Council has concerns about the design of the quadrant staircase, that is due to be constructed at the top of Station Approach.  In particular, we consider that there is insufficient, unrestricted space on the footway in Sydenham Road (1.3m) and in Station Approach itself (1.16m).  We are mindful of the problems that we had when a similar design of staircase was constructed outside the Post Office last year.


If the highway works in Station Approach are progressed after the land transfer then it is likely that the quadrant stairs will not be installed, thus the brick wall and planter bed will remain with the paving constructed around them and also the new toilets.


Street Lighting


There are lighting works that are required to complete the project. These include ; painting to columns ( Modullum and Thylia), fixings to the Modullum tops, erection of the refurbished directional sign, feeder pillar for the flower stall, replacement of the damaged bollard.   The Council has been informed that these works will progress from March 2014 .




The CCTV contract has been let to Eurovia and these works are planned to be on site in March and April 2014.


Legible London Signs


The bases for the signs are in place and the Council awaits a date from TfL as to when these signs will be installed.




We have been informed that TfL have the equipment to complete the traffic signal works at that the installation date is to be confirmed.


Sydenham Road East


J B Riney’s are near to completing their construction works in the Sydenham Road East scheme. 


Tree planting to follow by the Council’s Green Services contractor.


The resurfacing works towards Kent House Road will be carried out by EM Highway Services and this is planned for late March 2014


In 2014/15, the Sydenham Road East funding is for further improvements to the signalled junction with Kent House Road and this will be carried out along with TfL modernisation works.  The Sydenham  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.