Wednesday 27 November 2013

Proposed cinema for Eltham

Site of proposed cinema in Eltham High Street
Last week, Royal Greenwich confirmed that:
"Proposals for a new cinema and restaurant development at the heart of Eltham town centre have taken a step forward. The Royal Borough of Greenwich's cabinet voted in favour of proceeding with a planning application to turn a key council-owned building into a cinema complex.

Leading cinema operators have already expressed an interest in the former Co-op department store, which was purchased by the Royal Borough last year. The building is situated in the middle of the High Street and is the focus of proposals to stimulate the local high-street economy and in particular to encourage more residents and visitors to the town during the evening.

The borough held discussions with community representatives about the best possible uses for the building before putting the cinema complex proposal forward."

It went on to say that:
"The cinema proposal is part of a masterplan for Eltham town centre that aims to promote economic growth by developing key sites and making improvements to the area" and that
"The next step is for the council to submit a planning application for this proposal."

The "Eltham Town Centre Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document", which was adopted in April 2012, is available to view or download here.

The only reference I can find in that Masterplan is in Section 10. on St Mary's Place:

"The buildings to the west of Sainsbury’s should be reconfigured for leisure and entertainment uses, such as a cinema, to enable the opening up of the supermarket frontage." (on p23)

So we'll have to wait for the Council's planning application to see any more details about this proposal.

Link to the News Shopper article (22.11.13) on the approval. 

Previous to these latest plans, there had been hopes that a cinema would return to the old Coronet site where an Odeon cinema operated, from 1936 to 1981, and then as an independent until 1999. However a cinema was ruled out and a gym, Kinesis, approved earlier this year which opened there earlier this month. 

I'm curious to see how the cinema will be made a successful venture when so many smaller suburban cinemas have closed. There was one in Sidcup high street until that closed in recent years (we saw American Beauty there...). Will it go for blockbusters or art films, and would there be enough of a market for either? I guess the type of cinema operator will be key here. I do hope it's a success - it would be great to have a library, swimming pool and cinema all within walking distance.

UPDATE: The plans are now available to view online. A decision will be made by a council planning board at a date yet to be set.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Eltham Lights Up 2013 - photos

View down Eltham High Street of an illuminated pirate ship approaching (from ?Treasure Island), with primary school children parading behind in the lantern procession.

A beautiful Fairy Godmother on stilts, from a nearby pantomime perhaps...

Two Georgian men wandering around Eltham High Street

A primary school group enthusiastically drums its way along the parade

and to finish, the spectacular fireworks, as ever, from the roof of M&S

Very well done to the organisers. It's a great event for children, families and the community generally to get together for some fun.

Eltham Lights Up 2013

My photo from the 2009 parade
It's Eltham Lights Up tonight, from 4-7pm, in Eltham High Street. 

There'll be the lantern parade, switching on of the Christmas lights, entertainment on a stage near the St Mary's Centre, fireworks and late night shopping,  This year's event celebrates the works of local author Edith Nesbitt, of Railway Children fame.

Eltham High Street will be closed during this time.

My son took part with his primary school last year, but this year we'll be spectating, watching my younger nephew.

More details here on the Royal Greenwich website.

My write-up, with photos of the previous years' events:

Eltham Lights Up 2011
Eltham Lights Up 2010
Eltham Lights up 2009

Saturday 16 November 2013

Sticker scam in Eltham

Photo taken by Eltham resident
Word has been out last few days about stickers which are being stuck on front doors of houses in Eltham. The stickers, which advertise a fake locksmith, are apparently stuck on houses to identify them as potential target houses to burgle.

The local police team, @MPSElthamNthSgt, tweeted yesterday: "It seems that the stickers are popping up all round Eltham, mostly Progress Est. We've warned Trading standards & the council"

Keen tweeters have been reporting sightings of these stickers and brought them to the attention of local police. One was praised: "...That was due to all you spreading the word after I posted about it yesterday! We didn't realise how many houses were effected."

Wandsworth Council have also spotted this worrying practice in their area and posted about it last Thursday on their website at

Tweeters have speculated on the seemingly large number of houses which seems to have been stickered and that we must have a very busy group of burglars.Others have speculated on quite how it all works.

But, reassuringly, local police this morning tweeted "These stickers being placed on doors are v. suspicious but don't be too worried, we've only had 3 residential burglaries this month!" 

The Eltham Safer Neighbourhood Team have distributed this notice, as posted by the Greenwich University SU:

Various residents in Eltham and the nearby area have found a small silver sticker above their front doorbells which states ‘24/7 Locksmith 0203 582 8175’.

This appears to be happening across the London and the South East. The stickers are also being put above letterboxes. The number on the stickers is a fake number and should not be called, it is believed the stickers indicate the houses to be possibly targeted for burglaries.

If you have any concerns, have seen a sticker or have any information please feel free to contact the Eltham Safer Neighborhood Team on 0208 721 2636.
More updates - links:
 Press reports now in:
-  Evening Standard about the scam in Wandsworth (18.11.13)
-  The Telegraph ditto (18.11.13)
-  itv News (19.11.13)
(though these read as if in response to the same press release)

- News Shopper: “Burglary scare inspires Bexley Good Samaritan to remove fake locksmith stickers” (19.11.13)
 - Metropolitan Police: Greenwich News: "Locksmiths stickers and burglary in your area" (19.11.13)