Friday, 11 January 2008

The Corbett Estate

Rob asked for another Lewisham bloggers meet up to help him find some fresh inspiration and Andrew has got underway with organising one - 7 March, somewhere in Deptford, with discussion on Andrew's blog or the Facebook group.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking about this project. The chances of having one of these get-togethers over here is slim because Hither Green is somewhat lacking in the pub department. Part of that is due to restrictive deeds of the Corbett Estate, which is noted on the Find a Property website:
The eastern half of SE6 is all about the Corbett Estate. The street plan leaps out from the A-Z for its rigid grid pattern, a rare feature in south-east London. The streets and the houses may look far too uniform to our eyes but this is a popular estate of high-quality housing.

The estate was the dream scheme of Scottish MP Archibald Corbett, who had the notion of providing "a modern Hygeia" for hard-working and respectable families.

The area would be littered with places of worship but not a single inn or tavern, and the 300 acres he purchased for the plan in 1896 are now full of north-of-the-border place names.

Corbett even negotiated cut-price railway tickets for the estate residents for Hither Green station and after over 3,000 houses were built he shifted his attention to creating the Eltham Park Estate to the east in 1910.

Corbett's solid houses range from three to six bedrooms in size, many of the larger ones long since split into flats. These conversions have not impinged on the style of the area and the district remains uncannily quiet considering how far you are into London.

Front and back gardens are the order of the day. In the same architectural style the smaller Forster Estate immediately to the south joined Corbett just before the First World War.

Archibald would no doubt be pleased to find that his restrictions stayed in place and that the current trend seems to be for the pubs situated round the borders of his patch seem to be closing down and getting turned into flats instead. The only active pub I can think of that remains is The Station on Staplehurst Road.

If I want to organise a Walking Hither Green pub crawl it will have to be combined with beating the bounds and traversing boundaries of the district!


Clare said...

I love the estate (I would say that as I live there), but one decent locals pub would be brilliant. I guess there isn't much chance of getting the covenants overturned though.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering who actually owns the land of the Corbett estate

Wulf said...

I don't know how it works. I imagine the majority of the land is owned by people who have the freeholds to properties but I don't know who owns the non-property bits.

Chirpy said...

Restrictive Covenants are nothing to be scared of any more in relation to pubs. Both planning permission and licences are dealt with by local councils. Under the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act, restrictive covenants are not a planning issue (you need full planning permission to open a new pub). As for licences these are now far simpler to obtain. You no longer have to go to court. You apply and as long as you prove that you fulfil the four licencing objectives and you have a clean record, you'll get it. The four are:
1)Prevention of crime and disorder
2)Public Safety
3)Prevention of Public Nuisance
4)Protection of children from harm

No one can no longer object on the basis that they don't want it or other business site loss of business etc.
The only possible problem you could have is if local freeholders got together and sued on the basis that by opening a pub their property value would diminish. Highly unlikely and difficult to prove.

Anonymous said...

Chirpy is right. These covenants are not longer enforcable. There are 4 licenced premises in the Corbett Estate Eltham.