Does Forest Hill need
Where is Forest Hill?
Forest Hill is located in South East London, approximately 6 miles
from London Bridge.
Forest Hill was originally part of the Great North Wood, it used to
include the area of Honor Oak, which became recognised separately
after Queen Elizabeth picnicked there by an oak tree on May Day at
One Tree Hill.
It’s development began when the Croydon canal was constructed
through the area, which, after being not that successful saw a
railway line take more or less the same route. With the area more
connected it encouraged the building of substantial houses for
merchants and professional men who wanted to live in a rural area
with an easy journey to London. The relocation of the Crystal
Palace from Hyde Park to Sydenham encouraged luxury
development in western Forest Hill to an even greater extent, but
the area east of the railway was mainly built up with more modest
houses after railway fares became cheaper late in the 19th century,
and the electric tram service reached Forest Hill in 1908.
What’s in Forest Hill?
An area usually declines when there isn’t any
‘leisure facilities’ or attractions available for
people. Not only do they provide places for
locals to go but they bring money into the
local economy by attracting visitors.
Evidence of regeneration
The Horniman Museum opened its aquarium
in 2006 and the old pools were redeveloped
into a leisure centre and opened in 2012
making both developments pretty recent. This
shows that there continues to be investment
into the area. This could show that the area is
not experiencing a spiral of decline which
would usually initiate a
Most of the shops on the high street in Forest
Hill are that of local businesses from cafes to
sweet shops to boutiques and furniture
suppliers. This would make Forest Hill a home
town, rather than a clone town. There is
evidence to suggest that these businesses are
thriving in Forest Hill as the boutique Bunka
has recently expanded, purchasing an empty
shop further up the road to create ‘Bunka
cards’. The one empty shop on the high street
has some form of artwork on it, perhaps to
keep up the ‘positive’ image of the town.
I looked at on the Zoopla site and selected the
cheapest and most expensive homes for sale.
1 bedroom apartment- £220,000- £369,000
2 bedroom apartment- £399,995-£540,000
3 bedroom house- £599,995-£795,950
4 bedroom house- £825,000- £1,400,000
5 bedroom house- £1,350,000-£1,495,000
Changes in house prices
4 bedroom semi dethatched house in Kemble
As you can see house prices have risen
dramatically in the past few years, suggesting
that people want to live in Forest Hill.
The Guardian recently published
an article about the positives
and the negatives of Forest Hill
with the positives being good
schools, transport and closeness
to central London and the
negative being the incessant
flow of traffic from the South
This article has been largely
criticised, however for using the
tagline “affordable property in
London” whilst going on to
describe an average 4 bedroom
semi detatched home for £1.25
It does appear that Forest Hill is
gaining media attention and is
therefore perhaps a desirable
This is a quote from a local talking about Forest Hill. It must be
considered, however, when reading this that their opinion may be
subject to bias.
“I moved here from 'fashionable' Kensal Rise in west London. Forest
Hill has lovely views ,superb independent shops as well as USEFUL
chain's like Boots, WHSmith, and Sainsburys. A brand new swimming
pool, beautiful parks and open spaces, a superb museum and
aquarium with a good cafe attached, a monthly farmers market- oh
and really lovely friendly neighbours.
On the subject of transport it takes 5 minutes to get to London Bridge,
and 12 minutes to Victoria. Lastly the area really isnt 'cheap‘ as some
have been saying earlier, though prices are certainly cheaper than that
of nearby Dulwich they are higher than nearby Catford, but still out of
the reach of most first-time buyers.”
It appears that Forest Hill is not in need of
rebranding. There is only one empty shop on the
high street, which is below average, a high
proportion of independent shops as well as
climbing property prices and recent
redevelopments of local leisure facilities. Public
opinion is also fairly positive on blogging sites,
for example, suggesting the area already holds a
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