You may recall at the beginning of this year that Lewisham Council was awarded funding for high street improvements and published some proposals of what changes it intended to implement.
As well as addressing the paving, layout and lighting of the street, there are also a number of other significant changes that the council wants to implement, including parking and traffic flow on the high street.
The original plans for the south end of the high street at Deptford Broadway seem to have been modified somewhat compared to the new visualisations that are included in the leaflet that the council is delivering locally.
Oddly, although the council says it wants to remove the anchor and the low wall around it (ostensibly to remove the focus for the street drinkers) the new renderings show a nice little planted area with a lovely low wall. Looks the perfect place to meet your mates for a can of Red Stripe and a fight. Right outside Peacocks, oh sorry I mean the 99p shop.
Apparently the council is 'trying to find' a new location for the anchor (massive hint: how about that unfinished and uninspiring square outside the Deptford Lounge which currently has no focus whatsoever if you don't count the hoarded off corner? You're welcome, the invoice for the consultancy fee is in the post).
If you feel strongly that the anchor should stay somewhere in Deptford, I recommend that you fill in this online survey which includes a question about what should happen to one of Deptford's most well-known landmarks.
Traffic is to be restricted to one way only (I assume from the junction at Giffin Street) which might reduce some of the motoring fuckwittery that is regularly experienced down there, but I'm not holding my breath. The council also says that it's going to replace the current high street parking regulations with bays where drivers can park for half an hour only, so I assume this means there will also have to be enhanced parking enforcement.
Other measures include the employment of 'an experienced events and town centre renewal manager who will work with local businesses over the next two years to showcase Deptford’s potential'.
There are plans for a series of special events, 'refresher courses' (not sure what in) for existing market traders and shopkeepers and to work with local artists/designers to 'create a more attractive look' for the high street.
The council is also offering support to up to a dozen under-25s who want to start up their own businesses and market stalls. They will get six weeks’ training and a pitch on the market in the lead-up to christmas.
You can find out more about these plans (and inevitably 'have your say' for what it's worth) at a drop-in event being held at the Deptford Lounge next Wednesday 17 October from 4pm-7.30pm.