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Save the Face of Forest Hill

Petition published by Tim Walder on Jul 16, 2008
Closed on Sep 29, 2008
380 Signatures 
Target: London Borough of Lewisham
Result:
Thank you to everyone who supported us. At the Mayor and Cabinet's meeting on Wednesday 17th September 2008 we were able to present the Council with a petition of 2,109 names (367 from this site). We were able to present both the names and the comments made. We have had significant success so far. Louise House has been listed by English Heritage and its long term future is now hopefully secure. The Council's development options 1, 2 and 3 have been withdrawn. The Mayor has commissioned a feasibility study which will, among other things, investigate the possibility of redeveloping the pools and providing a new complex while retaining the Pools frontage block. This report will be discussed by the Mayor and Cabinet in February 2009. We will be watching this process carefully and seeking an early meeting with Council officers to demonstrate that retaining the frontage is practical. To keep abreast of the campaign please visit our website at http://sites.google.com/site/savethefaceofforesthill/Home
Thanks to you all. Tim Walder.

Petition Background (Preamble):

The aim of the petition is to prevent the London Borough of Lewisham from demolishing the Superintendent's Block of Forest Hill Pools and Louise House next door.

The background is that Forest Hill Pools in Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 (opened in 1884) were the oldest continuously used swimming pools in London until their closure due to problems with the roof in 2006. They were a popular and well used local facility. The next door building, Louise House, dates from 1891 and survives more or less intact. It was originally a Girls' Industrial Home and is unusual, attractive and potentially reusable.

In February 2008 the Council decided that the pools could not be refurbished and that they, and Louise House, should be demolished to make way for new build pools. The Council's original intention was to demolish the buildings in July 2008. A campaign called "No Demolition Without Designs" (see the previous petition at http://www.gopetition.com/online/19745.html) opposed sweeping away the old buildings until at least designs for the new had been published. This campaign appears to have met with success: the Council has undertaken not to demolish before September.

The Council has now published outline designs for the new pools. These consist of three options. Option 1 is a low budget option without any housing. Options 2 and 3 both include housing on the site to allow for greater facilities in the pools building. Option 3 has significant amounts of housing. To view the options and comment, visit the council's website at http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/CouncilAndDemocracy/HavingYourSay/RedevelopmentOfForestHillPools/

All of the options involve demolishing all of the heritage buildings.

Save the Face of Forest Hill believes that the Superintendent's Block of the Pools and Louise House are attractive and historic buildings which contribute positively to the local streetscape. Both are capable of conversion as part of a new pools scheme and should be retained in an area of South East London which has lost so many of its original public buildings.

Petition:

We, the undersigned, reject options 1, 2 and 3 of the Council's proposed designs. We wish to see the retention of the Pool's frontage block (the Superintendent's House) and Louise House and demand that these significant local landmark buildings be retained as part of the new pools complex.

The Save the Face of Forest Hill petition to London Borough of Lewisham was written by Tim Walder and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags:

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