Friday, June 11, 2010

A new entrance to our estate?

Post edited due to new information

Crosswhatfields had an email from Arthur of Witherford Watson Mann Architects (WWM) as follows:
We are the architects working on part of the Route 1 Lewisham Links Creekside Tie-In, commissioned by Design for London on behalf of London Borough of Lewisham. This work is looking largely at the connections running east west between Deptford High Street and Greenwich. We would be grateful if we could arrange a meeting with the Crossfields Estate residents committee, or a representative to introduce ourselves and discuss the project.

We arranged to meet Arthur today at 5.30pm but have only just had confirmation of the meeting place, which is Creekside Centre, so apologies for the short notice.

This is what I think it may be about:

Running a NEW path through the estate...

The so-called ROUTE 1 LEWISHAM LINKS CREEKSIDE TIE-IN path follows directly from New Cross (via Fordham Park), down Douglas Way through Rachel McMillan Park, across the high street, straight down Giffin Street...across at the traffic lights, then rather than going through the estate to meet Creekside and the Ha'Penny Hatch, instead turns left on the main road outside the present gateway to Crossfields and then right at the bus stop before the railway, and then through a brick wall to join the path that runs the south side of the railway arches...and then on directly to Ha'Penny Hatch.

Yes, through a brick wall. The idea mooted at the Creekside Charette (a couple of years ago) was to knock through the wall by the bus stop outside Browne House and through a resident's allotment (which would have to go, obviously) to meet the public footpath beside the railway line (which is apparently owned by Railtrack, though I'd like to know who sweeps it).

What, you may ask, would make people use this new route, when they can more easily walk through the Crossfields entrance between Browne and Castell and through the estate to the Ha'Penny Hatch? As they already do. Is our entrance to become inaccessible to the public? Would public footpath signs be enough to redirect non-residents? Will they be fencing the 'public path' and therefore blocking off our north/south access under the railway by Browne House?

Some Browne, Castell and Holden leaseholders questioned Lewisham Homes last year why they should pay for the sweeping and general maintenance of a pathway (and estate road) that is used by the public (especially since the 'sweeping' costs had risen sharply). There are precedents where the maintenance of public rights of way, such as roads through estates, is paid for by the Council. Is this new route a pathetic way of getting round this? Is this new route a way of saying it's not safe for the public to walk through our estate?

Perhaps the architects will suggest the wall is breached on the ball court side of the railway. Even less likely that 'the public' will detour to use it when they can walk more directly through the estate. Perhaps this is a cycle route as well (involving a dismount at the traffic lights)...
Perhaps this idea is as stupid as the previous one that proposed making Creekside a one-way street and moving the roundabout by the Bird's Nest 'a little to the west' to make way for an enormous cycle path (that silly idea had to fail, thank God, too much opposition from businesses in Creekside).

We'll find out later today...

What do you think? A brand new public footpath that no one will use, or an acknowledgement that the public will continue to walk through the estate to get to Greenwich and that the council rather than those who live here should pay for the maintenance? Or would you prefer the riff-raff were redirected?

Are we to be a gated community? Shall we put all the estate's Staffordshire Terriers on guard at the gate to make the public use the new path? Shall we throw the town planners in the Creek? 

Maybe you think it could work?


  1. Personally i like the idea of making creekside a one way street , i'd welcome anything to lessen the traffic ..

    as for the path , Pfft ,who cares ! ,
    another pointless waste of money ...

  2. The current routes through the estate are fine for pedestrians as they serve the connections to the High Street. However I imagine the intention is to improve the route for cyclists - at the moment there is no direct connection through Crossfields to the Hapenny Hatch cycle route for those on bikes.

  3. Helena, surely cyclists must dismount to cross Deptford Church Street and must then walk their bikes along the pavement to the potential new entrance, whereas at present they can slip through the Crossfields entrance and remount immediately...? All speculation...will keep you posted.

  4. Or you could come along to the meeting? It's now confirmed as being at Creekside Centre, 5.30pm

  5. I won't hear a word said against our guest Staffordshire Terrier.

    If a pathway were to be established there but as it is, it doesn't actually lead anywhere - Mechanics Path/Enterprise Way is just over the dual carriageway and railings but it's shut at night. And at the other end, Greenwich Council seem set on turning Norman Road into a north-bound 2-lane one way system which will mess up cycle access to West Greenwich. We'll need to see what's planned at both ends to be able to figure out what effect changing the pathway will have.

  6. Agreed it's not ideal either way - if that's the intention perhaps the existing gate should be widened and a cycle lane be added instead, with suitable connections within the estate.

  7. Well annonymous I care lol seeing as Ive been looking after the garden in question. I'll wait to find out what the meeting was about and what the proposals are before comenting but I trust that that the TRA and residents will be behind keeping the garden as a valuable and well loved community resource. Im sure that we will be informed of what the substance of the meeting was?