Anyone passing through Lewisham station recently can’t have failed to see the mammoth changes taking shape around the area as a couple of major developments approach completion.
Certain vantage points on the platform now offer views which have radically changed in recent years.
Aside from the Citibank tower, all blocks seen above are new.
In recent years a student tower with associated affordable housing in an adjacent block has completed alongside early phases of Lewisham Gateway.
That development located beside Platform 1 contains the shell of a new station entrance, but Southeastern and Network Rail have not paid for it to be fitted out.
Another station entrance has long existed beside Platform 4 and new developments north of the station though remains shuttered around 10 years after it was closed.
Despite mass housing growth, two possible station entrances will not be in use as thousands of people move to the area.
It’s not just 335 homes at the Meyer Homes blocks on Tesco’s former car park now being built beside Platform 4 that won’t benefit, but thousands moving to 1,200 homes at the redeveloped Heathside and Lethbridge estates alongside existing residents.
It seems to boil down to no one wanting to pay for staffing needed. A common occurrence on Southeastern Metro.
While TfL-run Docklands Light Railway services are set to increase from Lewisham in coming years, central government operated Southeastern have reduced choice and services despite proximity and quick links to London Bridge, the City and West End.
Even at the level of signage and making the respective network’s presence known, TfL are miles ahead of Southeastern. Giant signs proclaiming the DLR contrast with little on the rail side.
Cladding is also starting to appear now on buildings closest to Lewisham station at the major Lewisham Gateway set to comprise 649 homes, shops and a cinema.
Upon completion people can leave the station and walk through a pedestrianised street avoiding busy roads, with one crossing then needed to reach the High Street and shopping centre – which is also set to be rebuilt.
The main tower element of this phase of Lewisham Gateway phase two looks all but complete with cladding being applied to an ascending block beside bus stops.
The tower is rather drab and grey, and all looks a bit too busy. Garish gold balcony railings don’t help.
Compared to the fussy exterior at Lewisham Gateway, Meyer Home’s block the other side of the station with its basic façade stands up well.
No tacked-on balcony’s too fortunately.
As for the separate Lewisham Gateway’s phase two, I’ll await judgement until complete.
There certainly are positive elements to all these new blocks in the form of new homes during population growth and strong demand, associated social housing, new shops and commercial units in an area that doesn’t have a wonderful night time economy.
All those new residents will help the High Street’s vitality to boot, with it also set to see £24 million in investment.
So a bright future I’d say for the town. Lots of new people living locally means lots of life alongside wider investment. The town has some lovely buildings to boot that will hopefully be revamped in years to come.