Bell Green Redevelopment - Public Meeting


Continuing the discussion from A new proposal for Bell Green:

Residents & businesses are invited to share their views on ideas for the Bell Green area:

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A new proposal for Bell Green
Bell Green Masterplan Presentation at Bellingham Assembly

We’d love to hear your thoughts if you attended tonight’s meeting


I went. A good first meeting. Plenty of moans about traffic and the difficulties of walking around the area.

Seems there is scope to try and come up with some sort of grand master plan for the area, but also plenty of scope to try and make living with what we have a bit nicer.

Another meeting is likely to be held in 4-6 weeks, hopefully with more people from the area, as publicity seemed to be an issue for some. Meanwhile, the architects are going to work on some plans over the next few months, so hopefully other opinions can be incorporated as more people get involved.

As for the gas holder frames, it sounds like SGN may be open to keeping elements of them to be placed somewhere on site, but they are likely to be dismantled. I did hear that SGN claim retaining them would cost them money, which I would like to see more info on, as my understanding is that they get money to take them down. I also heard SGN claim they are held together with paint covering rust, which I also find difficult to believe. Although I have not had the pleasure of a site visit. My instinct is that they are fishing for finances from the council.

I think it would be great if the council could show some initiative and create some sort of consultation site to complement all these efforts and widen the discussion, even if they have no firm plans to consult on. Something like the annotated map I saw for catford, with local comments on issues they see every day.

Personally, I would like to see a park, with playground, linked to the river park, containing part or all of the gas holder frames, with the live set hall set aside for community use (play groups, local info, youth club etc… as oppposed to private hire). The rest of the site I would like to see low-rise housing on. A councillor suggested the land does not need major cleaning to build housing on.

That is my pipe dream. I expect any move towards housing will actually involve battles about how high the blocks are, as developers try to maximise profit and point to the height of the blocks on site and around.

At its worst, we could end up with low quality, poor looking tower blocks instead of some gas holder frames. Something to bear in mind.

One thing is clear though. Traffic is too dominate in the area and while I understand it will have to go somewhere, things need to be better balanced. And that means car journeys may become more difficult and spread traffic wider in order to enable people to cross roads.


I totally agree the council should be taking a lead on the consultations. I do not think a pressure group can actually produce a “masterplan” as that would surely involve education, transport, health care and employment for those of us who live here, not just consideration of the built environment. What we currently have is a dog’s breakfast,


And who gave permission over many years for the dog’s breakfast which is Bell Green despite local community protest and two Public Inquiries? Dare I suggest it was the local council back in the 1990’s?

Why not let local residents have a say at what is wrong with what is here at present. Those attending last night know the area is designed for anyone on 4 or more wheels. Anyone who lives and works here and is on 2 feet or 2 wheels takes pot luck.

The discussion has started on how to make possible short term improvements and try to improve the air quality which is acknowledeged to be appalling.

Nothing will happen immediately but local residents who attended made comments about the poor environment which has been created by past decisions - a good start.

Blue sky thinking longer term is no bad thing bearing in mind we have no idea about the future of big retail sheds and the need for large concreted-over car parks over the next 20 years.

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Apparently, it is possible to install the software used for FixMyStreet and use it to:

I thought something like this might be really useful for people to report issues with the area, which could be incorporated into plans and be viewed by others. Ideally with an app. for easy reporting (no idea if that’s a feature/ possible for the platform software).

But I have little understanding of the installation details and probably not the time to gain that understanding.


I agree with you I was simply saying that in principle the council ought to take a lead- we are its residents. I was not implying that you should not be running such a group, but questioning why you have been left to it.

I think my second point stands about Bell Green needing a wider strategy than just its architecture. For example access to health and education- i don’t think residents should need to think each of these issues through when we have a council who are supposed to lead and in turn consult.

Also in terms of residents always having solutions, , we have the ludicrous situation where people are posting on public forums “is the traffic that bad? " Is it really polluted?” “I think there is more litter in East Dulwich” !!! All of which are demonstrably rubbish (so to speak) But the council are the ones who actually have the data to say whether these things are the case or not. And their data shows the BG roads are above capacity I asked at a public meeting in the Livesey Hall for the pollution data re the roads to be made available to us- but i still have not seen it. Aren’t Councillors supposed to hold the council to account , not the other way around?


Left to the council consutation happens after officers address a specific problem and plannning is done on a piecemeal. Local consultation takes place once a plan has been worked up.

We are suggesting that the Bell Green area, consisting and affecting residents in 3 wards, is looked at in its entirety and by local residents who have local knowledge about what does and what does not work.

Tuesday’s meeting looked at current problems which affect everyone using the roads surrounding the retail park and the retail park itself.

Three local councillors were present and couldn’t do otherwise than acknowledge that local residents’ concerns are correct.

It is anticipated that another, larger, meeting will be held before long when the discussion can be continued and widened even further.

The council is likely to be looking at a Neighbourhood Plan for Bell Green in 5 years time. Residents have an opportunity now to influence this before work on this at the council begins.

Meanwhile local residents can start to put pressure for improved crossings, better pedestrian facilities through the Retail Park and improved bus routes.

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