Lewisham experiences fastest house price rises in London

The Standard reports:

House prices are rising the fastest in the south-east London borough of Lewisham [19.9% annually], according to new Land Registry figures.

Lewisham's vastly improved transport links and planned housing developments have helped it take the top spot on a list previously dominated by areas already seeing an uplift from the Elizabeth line, such as Hillingdon and Havering.

A surge of interest from homebuyers in areas such as Blackheath, Brockley and New Cross has led to annual house price rises of almost 20 per cent, with the average cost of buying a home in Lewisham now standing at £473,303.

The borough has recently been named as one of the capital's leading first-time buyer hotspots, with more than half of all homes sold in the SE13 postcode bought by people taking their first steps on the property ladder.

Lewisham's growth looks set to continue if the Bakerloo line extension goes ahead, which will improve the currently Tube-starved area further. More investment by the council and plans for new-build homes are also contributing to forecasted continued growth.

Crofton Park homeowner slipped a Roofie

The ruined roof
After St Hilda's made an appeal to save its roof, another Crofton Park roof fundraiser has been launched. Kelly writes:

Two weeks ago my 80 year old neighbour who lives in Crofton Park Road was approached by builders who knocked on his door to say that he needed his gutters fixed.

They subsequently took down his gutters and replaced the fascia board whilst he was out, without him having agreed to the works. They then proceeded to tell him that his roof was in urgent need of replacement and that, as a result of its poor state, water was coming into his neighbours' homes. This was not true.

The next thing my neighbour knew, the builders had erected scaffolding and started stripping his roof, once again without him agreeing to the works. The builder asked for £7,500 upfront for the works and my neighbour unfortunately, thinking he had no option and feeling intimidated, withdrew the money from his bank and paid them.

The following day, having said there was much more work needed than originally thought, the builder demanded a further £10,000. Once again my neighbour went to the bank to withdraw the cash but thankfully the bank were suspicious and concerned for my neighbour and immediately called Trading Standards. Trading Standards then visited the site and told the contractor to stop work and leave the site whilst they looked into the matter, and have subsequently told the builder not to return. Trading Standards are now investigating the matter further. My neighbour has now been left with only felt on his roof for two weeks.

A lovely neighbour has risked his own safety to climb the scaffolding, that has been declared unsafe by Building Control, to place a tarpaulin over the area of the roof that he could reach but this will not protect the house sufficiently if there is a period of sustained rain.

We are asking if the community would be kind enough to come together to help my neighbour. To provide comfort that this is a genuine plight, a picture of the roof is attached along with a couple of screen shots of neighbours confirming the situation on another forum.

We are looking to raise enough money to pay for building approval, tiles and other required materials, scaffolding and possibly roofing labour. If anyone is a roofing or scaffolding specialist and would be willing to donate their time that would be wonderful. One of my neighbour's immediate neighbours is a builder and would be happy to work alongside a roofing specialist to get the job done. Finally, if anyone has a close relationship with relevant suppliers and is able agree donated or at cost materials we'd love to hear from you.

If anyone would like to contribute to the money raising effort, please click on this link - https://www.gofundme.com/2nvchrz8. If there is any money left over once the roof has been reinstated then we will ask whether your preference is for the money to go to my neighbour or to a local community organisation and we will go with the majority.

The immediate next step is to determine if the work that has already been carried out is fit for purpose and to receive building control approval. A neighbour is working on this currently. I will post updates to keep you informed.

Action For Refugees Walk, May 7th

Chloe writes:

I'm a marketing volunteer for a local charity, Action for Refugees in Lewisham (AFRIL), and we're organising a 'mini legal walk' - to raise funds for AFRIL walkers at London Legal Walk 2016 - in Hilly Fields on 7th May.

AFRIL support refugees and migrants in the Lewisham area through a range of practical and holistic advice services that help them to rebuild their lives. This includes the weekly Rainbow Club for primary school aged children, English Language classes and an advice service providing support around housing, employment and immigration.

To raise funds for the advice service AFRIL are walking London Legal Walk on 16th May, a 10km fundraising walk around London to raise funds for legal advice organisations supporting vulnerable people. This is a big event with thousands of walkers from law firms and legal advice charities taking part.

Our Just Giving page for the Legal Walk, which also has some background info about the event, is http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/AFRIL

Through the mini walk in Hilly Fields on 7th May at 2pm we're hoping to raise awareness for AFRIL and the London Legal Walk among people in the Brockley and Lewisham area. So far we have over 10 AFRIL volunteers walking and are inviting members of the public to take part too. The walk will start at 2pm at The Francis Drake Bowls Club at the bottom of Hilly Fields.

Transmission presents 1+1: Paul Dunmall and Carla Rees, Telegraph Hill

Saturday 30 April, 7:30pm
St Catherine’s Church, Telegraph Hill
Pepys Rd, London SE14 5SG

Renowned flutist Carla Rees will play classic seminal 20th Century works by Luciano Berio, Shiva Feshareki, Sungji Hong, Michael Oliva, Amber Priestly and Edgard Varèse on a whole family of different flutes of various sizes.

In the second half, world-famous improviser Paul Dunmall will showcase a variety of saxophones and Northumbrian Pipes.

A bar will be available at the venue from 7pm. Tickets (on the door): £6/4

Greetings from New Cross Gate

New Cross' hARTslane gallery is running a photographic competition to celebrate the hidden joys of New Cross.

All entries will be included in the Greetings From New Cross Gate Exhibition, June 2016 in hARTslane (17 Harts Lane).

Ten of the most inspiring images – selected by the public – will be then transformed into 25000 postcards and distributed locally and internationally.

The deadline for digital entries is 15 May, 2016 (midnight)

The competition is open to professional and amateur photographers alike, no age restriction. They say:

"The project is about bringing pride, joy and inspiration in New Cross Gate as well as creating a bridge between artists and local people."

Click here for more information on the website

Council plans changes to rubbish collection

Joe has pointed me towards the SE23 forum, which has a discussion about the Council's plans to change refuse collection policies

The Council needs to deliver cost savings and is under pressure to improve its relatively poor recycling rate.

Following the recent public consultation "Let's Talk Rubbish", officers have recommended that the Mayor should:

1. Introduce a subscription service for garden waste collection at £60 a year
2. Cut non-food waste collection to a fortnightly service

The garden waste subscription service is an excellent idea. Fortnightly collection for non-food waste would mean it would take me until about April to clear my Christmas backlog of bottles and packaging.

What do you think?

Support St Hilda's roof appeal

Steven writes:

St Hilda’s Church in Crofton Park, has been trying to raise a fund of £542,000 to replace their roof for the last 17 years and now desperately needs help to fill the £98,000 gap.

St Hilda’s has a potential funder in place to pay for their roof restoration work, but they need to show evidence of the role they play in our community, and they really need local residents like us to send letters of support for the funding. The deadline for letters to be received is April 30th.

As well as being a Church, St Hilda’s is a vital community hub, serving people of all faiths and beliefs in Crofton Park, and I’m sure  you will have attended events there, such as children’s parties, play groups, pilates or yoga groups, Christmas / Easter parties / Croftfest etc, and so will value their presence in the community.

If you'd like to show your support for the church, please write a letter with your name and contact details, explaining why St Hilda's is important to you and your community. These letters should be posted in the green post box by "the Crucifix Door" and / or be emailed to church.admin@sainthildas.org.

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