Mountsfield Park Improvement Designs Released by Lewisham Council for Planning

Proposed Mountsfield Park Cafe

Proposed Mountsfield Park Cafe

Lewisham Council Release Latest Mountsfield Park Improvement Designs by BDP. The  planning application reference for the cafe building is DC/14/87135 and can be found at:
Lewisham Council planning authority will be receiving comments on the planning application until 19th May 2014. Friends of Mountsfield Park support the planning application for the proposed cafe building.

The other current proposed improvements don’t require a planning application.

Please email your response to the Council’s proposals for Mountsfield Park to us at

or the Lewisham Council Mountsfield Park improvements project manager

or the designers

or post your comments on this page

Mountsfield Park Improvements 1

Mountsfield Park Improvements – BDP – Introduction and  Proposed Plan

Mountsfield Park Improvements 2

Mountsfield Park Improvements – Proposed Community Gardens

Mountsfield Park Improvements 3

Mountsfield Park Improvements – The Hub Cafe 

Mountsfield Park Improvements 4

Mountsfield Park Improvements

Mountsfield Park - Design and Access Statement cafe building elevation

Proposed Cafe Building – Side Views

Proposed Cafe Plan View








Proposed Cafe Building – Floor Plan View



6 comments on “Mountsfield Park Improvement Designs Released by Lewisham Council for Planning

  1. Facebook comments copied to wordpress website/blog 06/04/2014

    Rosalind Philp – It is going to be amazing. Thanks for keeping us in the loop. My one concern is the plans for the play area. It looks like you are keeping the existing play equipment and just changing the ground covering. The ground covering definite needs to be all-weather proof (it is so muddy in winter up there) and safety proof, of course, however if we are keeping the play equipment as is then it seems a wasted opportunity. When you compare the equipment to that at brockwell and danson park etc, it seems like short changing our kids. Maybe I’ve misread the plans though.
    Friends of Mountsfield Park – BDP suggested that we would get more for our money if the existing play equipment was reused in the same way that they recycled what was there at Cornmill Gardens next to Glass Mill in Lewisham.
    Clare Griffiths – The thing is though, the equipment at Cornmill Gardens is much newer than what we have in Mountsfield Park. I really think we need to be looking to improve and replace some of what we have. I was at Swanley Park at the weekend and the equipment there is so much better.
    Friends of Mountsfield Park – Hey Ros, The play equipment won’t be changing; it’s in good condition and the funding won’t stretch to new a new cafe, landscaping and new play equipment. As you’ve gathered much of the landscaping work in the plans is concerned with linking the new cafe space and the playground to make a single hub, ensuring improved interaction and supervision by parents and carers. There was an application to the Marathon Trust for new sports equipment (as in Northbrook Park) but it was not successful.
    Friends of Mountsfield Park – The plans seem to show that the see-saw and large climbing structure are being replaced by natural play features.
    Friends of Mountsfield Park The metal play equipment I think was cheaper when it was bought and installed because it wasn’t from a mainstream manufacturer/ supplier. A lot of the steelwork was not galvanized so it rusted quickly in places. Glendale have complained that spare parts aren’t readily available, which is why when each piece of play equipment needs a repair it’s out of action for so long. The cheap play area floor surface started degrading soon after it was installed.
    Rosalind Philp – I don’t know cornmill gardens but perhaps the equipment there isn’t in need of upgrading quite as much?
    Like • Reply • 4 April at 07:18
    Alex Birtwistle – My thoughts exactly Ros. I was so excited to see the new plans for the play park but seems it will mainly be (much) prettier around the edges and of course usable when it rains.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just as a comparison, the proposed 90sqm Mountsfield café may be slightly larger than the successful Hilly Fields’ cafe. The original sketch plan of the Hilly Fields cafe seems to show 80sqm (approx) of internal space. The modular shipping container construction of the proposed Mountsfield café might mean that it could potentially be increased in size another time if required subject to sufficient funding. BDP’s visualisation of the proposed Mountsfield café does look a bit lost and exposed within a seemingly large hard paved area. Looking closely at the space that the cafe would occupy the building probably wouldn’t appear lost at all, the visualisation doesn’t give a realistic impression of the scale of existing surrounding tall trees and the ball court fencing etc. Softening the appearance of the proposed hard paved surface surrounding the cafe with attractive low level planting would make the space a lot more appealing. A green roof would probably be a good idea, in particular if it was extended by about a metre or so beyond the footprint of the café building.

    Adding a community meeting room was discussed at several meetings, but couldn’t really be justified – there many local venues for meetings, the park isn’t lit or open at night. Should we be giving up green open space for a meeting room that would probably be better placed in an existing building? The Council originally gave the impression that the budget was to be spent almost entirely on building a cafe with toilets, but over the years the condition of the play area deteriorated, the bowling green became defunct and needed a new function, syringes were regularly being found in the shrubs surrounding the old toilet block, paths have disintegrated under the weight of heavy vehicles. The Council decided to split the original budget between the cheaper café building made from shipping containers, play area improvements and community garden (with additional match funding). The Council’s current proposals are generally very welcome and would be even better with a softer paved area around the cafe and the replacement of the poor quality old play equipment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Email to Lewisham Council from Friends of Mountsfield Park 08/04/2014:
    “The current Mountsfield Park proposals seem to have been generally welcomed – Please see the comments from our facebook page below. However the main areas for concern seem to be the retention of the existing play equipment rather than replacement and the hard paved area surrounding the proposed café, which probably needs a more sympathetic softer treatment. We will forward any additional comments that we receive to you. Our website blog and facebook links can be found at the end of this message.”

    Email response from Lewisham Council 08/04/2014:
    “Many thanks for sharing your members views with us, I shall pass them onto our consultants at BDP. It’s great that in general people are looking forward to the changes.
    We have obviously been set a real challenge with the project with such a small budget: a cafe, community garden, improved play and all other infrastructure to embrace these new elements is a lot to achieve however I think the changes will make a real difference to help extend the current offer in Mountsfield.
    Because the existing playground equipment is in a pretty good condition and we don’t have a large enough budget to change it all, the plan is to retain it and add one other piece but provide more natural play. Most children will only play on equipment for a short space of time but by introducing other more natural elements like natural path routes, a dry river bed, planting, boulders etc children are encouraged to invent games and play in a more traditional way using their imagination. After all, the best environments for children that have no play equipment at all are, the beach, a wood or the countryside. Other play area introduced in other parks that have a more natural feel to them have been very welcomed by children/ families and are generally very well used. We carried out a similar concept for Margaret McMillan park and we had families picnicking there into the evening in the Summertime which was really lovely to see in such an urban and developed area.
    It is hoped that whoever will become the cafe operator introduce their own mark on the area around the cafe and bring out planters or more outside furniture. The area around the cafe also provides opportunities for events to happen as well.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Email to Lewisham Council from Friends of Mountsfield Park 14/04/2014:
    “We noticed that the park keeper’s office/lock up isn’t showing on the proposed plans. Will there be similar provision included, if so where will it be? We were told at the bowling green site meeting that the community garden would get the use of the two former bowling green containers. There is just one showing on the plan. Will we be able to use both of them?”

    Email response from Lewisham Council 15/04/2014:
    I’ve checked with BDP and while only one container is shown on the plans in the community garden area there is still room for two. Therefore subject to condition they will be both be retained. We obviously hope that a park keeper role can be retained in Mountsfield park for many years to come, however with the changes and reductions in budgets we can never be sure that this will always be the case. We have discussed this with the regeneration parks team and have considered that to create a unit exclusively for a park keeper may not be in the best interest of the park. Instead, the parks regeneration team may create a dual use in one of the containers in the community garden area, possibly the container with the kitchen area. I think this may be good for the community garden area as it would create more surveillance if the park keeper is seen to regularly head back to this location and can keep any eye on the garden area, hopefully preventing or reducing any risk of vandalism at quieter times of the year when the garden may not be as active”


  5. Sophia says:

    The park is lovely as it is and hopefully the proposed plans will enhance it.
    I am not sure that the car park like area by the café is the most attractive or best use of space, possibly make the café larger and encourage/welcome visitors even when raining.


  6. Florence Murphy says:

    Pleased that the café is going to be in lightweight timber and glass, and not in brick. The brick-built café in Manor House gardens is dull-looking and it has really small and high windows. Our café is going to be beautiful, light and airy and open to the amazing views! Will it have wooden shutters that close at night to protect it from vandalism – just in case?

    Have you seen the lovely café building on Hilly Fields which has a green roof? A green roof would provide extra roof insulation as well as looking good and blending the café in more into the landscape and providing a space for insects, butterflies etc that isn’t disturbed by people.

    Another good thing about the Hilly Fields café is the placement of toilets: they are placed on the opposite side of the building away from the café, and accessed from the outside, not through the cafe, so they are very close and easy to find, but well separated from the café. I can’t see where they are going to be located for our cafe?

    What will the ground surface around the café, shown in grey, be made of? Tarmac is hard and uncomfortable, impermeable and unattractive. Paving is also best avoided as the edges will lift in time, making people trip over. I’ve seen some nice porous surfaces made of little light-coloured pebbles bound with resin which is becoming very popular, something like this might be good: It makes a smooth, continuous surface that is non-slip and non-trip too, and lets the rainwater through so it doesn’t pool up on the surface.


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