News, views, comments and rumours from the neighbourhood.
Local groups are busy planning a weekend of festivities in May. They hope to organise a spring market, folk festival, guided history tours through Ladywell and a Playtower exhibition. The aim – to celebrate our neighbourhood. Watch this space for updates!
Cheers! Almost there ….
More news on Ladywell’s long-awaited wine bar! Word has it that Cafe Oscar’s, which applied late in 2019 for planning permission to extend its opening hours to 10.00pm, hopes to be serving wine and food from mid-February. Hooray. Should add some more much-needed night life to the high street.
Hang on to your Christmas wreaths!
Watch out there’s a Christmas wreath thief about! Local people told the Ladywell Safer Neighbourhood Team at the assembly that there had been a spate of wreath thefts from front doors in the neighbourhood.
One resident said she had seen one man walking down a local street carrying three Christmas wreaths. When challenged he dropped them and ran off. So watch out.
The theft of wreaths follows an earlier spate of catalytic converter thefts. PC Andrew Dobson of the Safer Neighbourhood Team said these had now stopped and police were pursuing a line of inquiry involving a South London garage.
Playtower hopes 2: a reason to be cheerful ….
Ladywell might finally be about to hear some good news on the long running Playtower saga.
The revised plans for the Playtower are expected to be on the agenda for the Mayor and Cabinet meeting on Wednesday November 20 – purdah permitting. Ladywell Live understands that everybody involved is keen to move the project forward. Let’s hope so. Guildmore and Curzon Cinemas were appointed by Lewisham Council to restore Ladywell Playtower into a new three-screen cinema about two years ago..
Guildmore originally proposed a 220 seat multi-screen cinema run by Curzon with a bar, restaurant and public events space, around 20 new homes, a nursery, and supported living facilities.
The plans have since evolved. The nursery and supported living facilities have been dropped and the number of new homes to be built has increased.
But most of the new homes are likely to be for sale in order to raise the funds needed to cover the substantial restoration costs of the Playtower.
That seems to have been the sticking point.
Discussions between Guildmore and the council seem to have stalled over how much affordable housing there should be in the development. Affordable housing is a key council priority.
Perhaps Mayor Damian Egan can come along to the Ladywell Assembly on December 18 and bring us all some good news.
Open all hours
Is Ladywell finally about to get that long-awaited wine bar? We can but hope. Cafe Oscar’s has applied for planning permission to extend its opening hours to 10.00pm. There’s been local pressure for a wine bar ever since previous owner Petra organised occasional wine tasting sessions. They were well attended to say the least! We await further news.
Our reliable informant on Ladywell Road tells us there has been a bit of activity around the Playtower. The Lewisham Ledger recently reported that the developers and the council were close to announcing “something later in October”. Our informant tells us there have been security guards with dogs patrolling the site. Are developers Guildmore finally getting close to starting work or are the guards just out to deter Halloween pranksters?
From car wash to convenience store?
Back to one of our favourite stories from the high street.to match Remember in the dim and distant past there was talk of Tesco taking space in a development on the garage site behind the billboards. It never happened.
But now customers of our very own chip shop, the Catch Inn, have been overheard speculating freely about the recent activity around the Ladywell car wash. The developers of the site are understood to be interested in digging out the petrol storage tanks of the old garage and creating a basement in the proposed development
They’ve talked about housing a gym there but that would need more space than is currently available on the ground floor of the proposed development. Basement space would make it viable. But a ground floor with a basement would also be big enough for a small Tesco Express … or a Sainsbury or Co-op. Could this be the plan? We await further developments and rumours.
“So what happens if Transport for London decide to extend the Bakerloo line past Lewisham to Ladywell. Catford and Beckenham”, we were asked recently. Tfl will replace the rail track with Underground track but ”how long will that take?”
“ Will we have to take buses for three years? And will we have to change at Lewisham – already overcrowded – to get to London Bridge and the City?”
Sabesh the celebrity
Sabesh is enjoying his celebrity status after Ladywell Live’s recent profile of our man in the station ticket office He tells us that Southeastern have republished our article on one of its staff websites.