Bell Green gasholder housing plan in Lower Sydenham

Plans are in to develop new housing in Sydenham on the former gas holder site at Bell Green.

Barratt Homes are seeking to gain the green light for 261 new homes alongside 867 sqm of retail space. The site sits adjacent to Grade II listed Livesey Memorial Hall. 

Shortest block closest to listed hall. Public space proposed here

SGN have been dismantling many gas holders in recent years with Bell Green going in 2019, and others including Greenwich and Belvedere where there are plans for 563 new homes.

Belvedere site proposal

At the Old Kent Road a holder is listed, so will be retained within a development of 700 homes covered on this site earlier this year.

Old Kent Road proposal


The closest station to Bell Green is 900 metres away at Lower Sydenham. That station has seen a fair bit of new homes built alongside over the past five years.

New homes beside Lower Sydenham station

The Design and Access Statement still apparently lives in 2015 and states: “Should TfL’s plans for the Bakerloo Line Extension come forward, then the Site’s PTAL will likely increase.”

The way things are going we’d be lucky to see the first stage to Lewisham by 2040 and that’s with huge levels of new homes planned along the Old Kent Road and into Lewisham, let alone extending beyond. Fifty years perhaps?

There were rumblings of building a new station or moving the existing Lower Sydenham station on Southeastern’s Metro route to Hayes though the more homes rising next door, the harder that will be given opposition would increase from new residents. They didn’t pay to live near a station for easy access to central London just to see the station moved.

One option for future transport links. Since drawn up site allocation looks set to be revised

The Bell Green Vision Study contained any good ideas on revamping the existing car-dominated out-of-town retail park into a sustainable mixed-use neighbourhood comprising homes above retail space.

Fortunately a previous plan yet more wasteful retail sheds and large car parking was refused on the site now set to see housing.

In terms of “affordable” housing, 35 per cent at Barratts proposal is allocated as such with the usual 70/30 split between London Affordable Rent (social rent in other words) and the rest shared ownership. In total that’s 51 new homes at social rent tenure which is a hell of a lot better than another retail shed and car park would provide.


We could wait for jam tomorrow and a higher total but that’d almost certainly require a new government and probably years more waiting. We’ve seen many asking for that for 30 years as housing demand grows. There’s no guarantee any future national government would be much different in how they generally approach planning and housing policy.

For me given economic and political constraints this is about as good as it gets in such a site. Far better than what it could have been, and a decent amount of new homes. Let’s hope it gets the ball rolling across the wider Bell Green area.

Lewisham Council’s Planning Committee should decide later this year.






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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    One thought on “Bell Green gasholder housing plan in Lower Sydenham

    • Bell Green in Sydenham is an area that needs regeneration. So I am sure the new homes and retail space will be very much welcomed by residents in the area.
      It is such a shame that the planning process takes so long and years pass before planning permission granted sng work starts on sites.
      Many sites in the neighbouring Royal Borough of Greenwich have been waiting years for planning permission to be granted. Leaving potential buildings sites empty and buildings on proposed sites to fall in to further decline and state of disrepair.


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