Plans to knock down part of an estate in Forest Hill and build new flats are going before a Lewisham planning committee tonight (August 27). 

But the local MP and societies are against the proposals.

The City of London Corporation wants to replace Mais House and Otto Close garages in Sydenham Hill Estate with 110 homes to be let at social rent (target).

The plans include a community room, estate office, and new children’s play area. 

“The City of London [is] reviewing opportunities on its estates to deliver new homes to meet local needs for affordable housing.  

“The vision for Sydenham Hill Estate is to create much needed new homes on vacant or underused land and to improve open space, landscaping and shared amenity space for existing and future residents.  

“The homes will be managed by the City Corporation and London borough of Lewisham will be eligible for 50 per cent nomination rights,” according to the design and access statement.  

This Is Local London:

Proposed view from Sydenham Hill

Between two and four storeys, Mais House is a block of 63 flats designed for older people that has been empty since 2018 when residents were relocated.  

The proposals would see the height of the building rise to seven storeys and include 99 flats.  

Mais House and Lammas Green beside it lie within the Sydenham Hill Conservation Area, as does most of Otto Close, a two storey block made up of 30 homes, which sits next to 38 garages.  

The Otto Close garages would be rebuilt as a part two and three-storey terrace block with 11 houses. 

This Is Local London:

“In 1998, Lammas Green was listed Grade II as being of special architectural and historic interest in its own right.  

“The Sydenham Hill Community Hall and Retaining Walls were also listed Grade II at the same time. Additionally, Lammas Green is located within an Area of Special Character,” according to the planning report.  

The homes would be divided into 47 one-beds, 41 two-beds, 11 three-beds and 11 four-beds. 

More than 200 objections to the plans have been submitted, including from the Forest Hill Society, the Sydenham Society, and Dulwich and West Norwood MP Helen Hayes.  

Objectors have criticised the height and density of the proposals, which they consider an “over-development” of the site and believe will “unacceptably impact” the conservation area and listed buidlings.  

People also said the woodland and nature in general in the area would be “irreparably damaged” by the development. 

Concerns about increased air and noise pollution, and extra pressure on local transport, schools, and GPs were also raised. 

The planning committee meeting starts at 7.30pm.