Lewisham High Street and market revamp plan submitted

Plans to install a market pavilion on Lewisham High Street and revamp the wider High Street as part of a multi-million pound project have been submitted.

The scheme is mostly funded via a £19 million “levelling-up” award with £5 million top-up from Lewisham council and covers a large area of the town centre.

Existing market

One of the most visible changes will be a market pavilion structure.

Architects behind the project are Studio Weave who are also behind a proposed pavilion in Woolwich.

Woolwich market pavilion plan

A licensed market has operated on Lewisham High Street since 1906 (though it’s been around longer than that) with much of the street pedestrianised in 1994.

This specific project aims to enhance the market’s ability to offer a place to sit and socialise while enticing stalls offering food and drink. Enhancing the evening economy is an aspiration.

Proposed marketplace

A Design and Access Statement included within the application states: “The existing market layout has an inconsistent, sprawling arrangement with two main stretches – both sides (north and south) of the current shopping centre entrance.

“There are 67 no. of pitches (inc 3 no. informal pitches at the clock tower).”

These proposals seek to rationalise the layout while also offering space for temporary events and stalls.

Space beside

Designs for the pavilion have focused upon providing width that enables space for covered stalls while also ensuring permeable space either side so as not to hamper pedestrians passing along the street – while still allowing outside seating.

As ever with these types of town centre revamps how easy it’ll be to maintain is key – as is how easy it is to dispose of waste.

A quick walk around the current town centre shows bins everywhere at market closing. In addition, pavements and street furniture isn’t too well maintained.

Various paving slabs replaced with tarmac

Paving is set for replacement along the street as part of the same project.

It all looks pretty smart but Lewisham council don’t have the best record of maintaining what’s there.

Lewisham as it currently appears

Materials are key

Still, at least what is shown isn’t a bright shade which will only highlight grime and requires heavy maintenance – which rarely happens.

That’s better than places like Abbey Wood and what we’re seeing in Woolwich.

Bright surfaces already becoming stained in Woolwich from passing vehicles

To highlight other south east London town centre, Bromley and Bexleyheath seem to get it better – though Bexleyheath also used light-coloured materials in a recent project which look tired in places.

The 1990s upgrade when that town was pedestrianised has generally lasted well.

Bexleyheath Broadway hasn’t seen – nor needed – many changes since 1990s upgrade

Back in Lewisham and a total of 11 trees will remain with one removed. The application states it will be “removed for reasons of sound arboriculture management will be replaced by new street tree planting”.

Ornamental planting is also proposed. An overview of green spaces are seen below.

Changes proposed the length of the High Street

Planning documents can be viewed and comment made by clicking here.



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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.

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