Plans have been submitted showing a number of improvements planned on Plumstead High Street and surrounding areas with landscaping changes in the area.
Adams & Sutherland were commissioned by Greenwich Council to develop and deliver a number of projects which will include:
• Shopfront regeneration (new and refurbished shopfronts)
• White Hart Road and White Hart Road Underpass Public Realm Regeneration
• Plumstead High Street and Lakedale Road Public Realm Regeneration
• Public Art Scheme(Wall murals, lamp post art and shutter art)
They state: “This is an area that will benefit from upgraded streetscape, a more vibrant and modernised retail environment and an enhanced public realm”. What’s revealing again is they highlight flaws that are pretty obvious to many such as excessive street clutter – but Greenwich Council’s various departments such as Highways and Housing continue to install clutter in the area.
Expensive external consultants are hired, state the obvious which just about every street design guide highlights then Greenwich Council’s own departments take over and carry on their old ways.
Consultants state that Lakedale Road features a “cluster of street furniture and poor paving materials”. Indeed, yet the authority continues to do the same tings in the near vicinity even while this work is being programmed.
They also state: “A clutter of street furniture further diminish the pedestrian experience”.
Consultants also highlight failure to conduct routine maintenance: “The existing low level timber fence surrounding the car park is badly damaged and the existing planter south of the site is currently in disrepair with dead planting. A tree was previously planted in this location, but has perished.”
Last week I covered how deep cleaning of the area has ceased with Greenwich Council blaming funding cuts. Other authorities in London are using Community Infrastructure Levy funds for maintenance such as deep cleaning. Greenwich have long failed so secure income from new developments (sitting near last in London since 2015) and so lack funds to do likewise.
The majority of Lakedale Road appears to be ignored in this application. The report states that “the pavement is relatively generous in places [outside Tesco], although made more constrained by the numerous bollards which line the edge. Much of its paving is damaged, patched or in poor condition.”
It continues: “The existing surface materials are of poor quality and there are no areas of greening or street trees. This is an opportunity to reduce street clutter, improve material treatment and add planting, to improve the pedestrian experience.”
“Anti-social behaviour is of concern to local residents, groups tend to gather at benches, on the pavement and in front of local shops during night or late evenings, and this can deter more positive use of the street at those times”
Plans for greenery here are welcome.
New homes are proposed just off Lakedale Road. Despite this fund apparently ignoring mucht of Lakedale Road, do you think Greenwich Planning Department allocated anything for improvements to supplement the fund in a Section 106 agreement with developers?
Don’t be silly. GLLaB sees the entirety.
Plumstead High Street – Poundland
This area sees the most spacious section and is one of few that isn’t narrow and cramped.
Plans see that “additional greening is introduced to two raised planters at the base of the existing trees, the planting is retained by raised corten edging which provides both colour and robustness whilst also reducing the risk of the planting being trampled.”
Will the planting be maintained?
Gavin House Green
This section of greenery outside Gavin House is currently pretty basic with some grass and trees.
The applications states “the proposal for Gavin House Green seeks to maximise on the opportunity to improve the sense of place at this important moment on the High Street”
This is currently a pretty scruff patch of land located beyond the end of the retail section of Lakedale Road.
A number of recently planted trees will go. Why they were installed when these works have been on the cards for years is unknown.
It also states “this wall has been put forward as one of the possible locations for a mural.”
Abery Street car park
The car park has been the site of covid test centre and before that a temporary library.
Changes will see 22 places remain.
Plans state: “to the pavement along Plumstead High Street we propose to reorientate the existing bus stop to face the footpath rather than road.
“This creates a more generous pedestrian area, and eases what is currently a pinch point causing pedestrian congestion. A new perch rail is proposed set slightly back from the pavement and nestled into the new planters forming the new boundary to the car park.”
Street furniture here has long been poorly maintained.
White Hart Road car park
This plan sees a “proposed orchard is to the western end of the existing car park.
To the northern boundary of the car park is the Salvation Army Church Community Hall. A low level brick wall runs the length of the western boundary adjacent to the pavement. The wall is at sitting level and residents often report anti-social behaviour.”
For £5.2 million overall changes seem minimal and there’s concern over maintenance. Will they deep clean? The council already own the equipment such as jet washers which are mothballed.
Will parking enforcement change? It’s often a mess on Plumstead High Street and Lakedale Road.
And will anything happen to the vast amount of the area not covered in this application?
We know the area around the station and links to 2,200 new homes were entirely ignored by the Planning Department in three recent separate applications.
It seems likely that the power station plan – located some way from the High Street – will take much of the available money and Greenwich Council are not using new developments to add funds to some good – though small-scale – changes along Plumstead High Street and Lakedale Road.
Ultimately this plan is similar to others recently seen at Abbey Wood, Eltham and other areas with some good ideas from outside bodies that the authority themselves work against in the immediate area, which then raises how they will maintain it and why they havn’t maintained what currently exists. Do they have a long term strategy? Where is it?
Shopfront work is underway now. Changes covered above will follow.
Click here to view the latest planning application showing various proposed changes