Monday, 14 April 2014

The Old Progress Estate Office in Downham Road

Ian Skinner (of Bernard Skinner Estate Agents) recently supplied these photos to the site.

They depict the old Estate Office in Downman Road in 1978. The estate manager had his office in this building and residents paid their rent here. Apparently there was also joinery repair workshop on the first floor where the the estate maintenance team would have carried out repairs to gates, fences and the like.

When the estate office became 'surplus to requirements' it was sold for conversion into the present-day flats.

Downham Road, Progress Estate Office via Ian Skinner

Downham Road, Progress Estate Office via Ian Skinner

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Trams at Well Hall Roundabout

Some lovely photos care of John Griggs (part of the Well Hall, it's stories and history group on Facebook), of the Well Hall roundabout.

Sorry - no date for these yet.  If anyone wants to hazard a guess, please add a comment.

via John Griggs - Well Hall Roundabout

via John Griggs - Well Hall Roundabout

Monday, 10 March 2014

David Evans Property Services Sponsors Progress Estate 2015 Art Exhibition

Press Release No. 2014/03

10 March 2014

The Progress Residents Association is delighted to announce that local estate agents David Evans has agreed to sponsor the Art Exhibition which will form part of its 2015 celebrations.

David Hallam, a partner in the firm who has been selling properties in Eltham for some 40 years, said ‘I am delighted to be sponsoring this Exhibition. I have always had an affection for the Estate since I lived their in the 1970’s’.

Progress Resident Lynn Bennett-Usher, who will curate the exhibition, said ‘I was very excited to be asked to take this on, having been an artist most of my life. It will be lovely to see fellow artists who reside in Eltham and surrounding areas create work that conveys our Estate’s unique history and architecture or maybe highlights its nooks and crannies or the greens. All these together make it such a lovely place to live’.

Further information for artists wishing to diplay work at the exhibition will be published in due course. In the meantime, anyone wishing to be assured of it as soon as it is available should send their contact details (email or home address plus their telephoine number) to:

Note for Editors:

Originally named the Well Hall Estate, The Progress Estate was built in 1915 to provide housing for the many additional workers the Woolwich Arsenal needed to manufacture the armaments required by the services during the First World War.   Conservation Area status was granted in 1975, in recognition of its unique architectural character.

For additional information, please contact:
Keith Billinghurst
Progress Residents Association committee member
56 Arsenal Road
London  SE9 1JY

tel: 020 8856 5593 or 07962 877389
Twitter:             @ProgressEstate

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Common FAQs About Living within a Conservation Area

A number of people have followed up on our recent release on replacement doors and windows, in some cases raising concerns with other conservation and planning issues.   This note is a response to all that was raised.   If anyone would like more detailed answers they should email us at

My Property is owned by Hyde.  Who do I contact?

Hyde tenants who think their properties are in need of repairs or maintenance should call Hyde South East.   Their number is 020 8297 7500.   We understand all calls are logged and callers are given a reference number.   They should quote this number if they need to call back before receiving a response.

Why can't I put up my Satellite dish where I want?

Let’s start by defining the problem:

1.     Dishes need to pick up satellite signals from a broadly south-easterly direction.   Imagine you are standing with your back to St. Barnabus’s Church on Rochester Way.   If you look just to the right of the new Kinesis Gym and Fitness Centre you are, more or less, facing south east.
2.     To quote published planning guidance, permission is unlikely to be granted for dishes on front-facing walls, roof slopes, chimneys or anywhere else where they overlook the street or break the roofline.
Thus, all the houses whose backs face south-east should receive a satisfactory signal from dishes mounted on the rear walls.
This probably leaves about half the population having to deal with.   The good news is that there are usually solutions.   People just need to ask whoever is installing their dish to suggest how the problem can be resolved.   The difficulty arises because Sky, for example, offer fixed price installations.   Therefore, we believe their teams are targeted to carry out installations as fast and as cheaply as possible.   Left to their own devices, they will mount dishes on the outside of the wall of the room where the TV set is situated.   For houses, this is often the ground floor facing the highway.
The author of this note lives in a south-east facing house with a front-facing living room.   When he and his wife had Sky installed they insisted the dish was mounted at the back of their house.   It is on a short pole and, apparently, ‘looks’ at the roof, yet the signal is perfect.   Similar installations appear to be used by people living in upstairs maisonettes in Granby Road; some can be seen between the houses in Arsenal Road.
There are also instances of south-east facing houses having their dishes at ground level in their front gardens.
We therefore believe that the vast majority of people are likely to be able to locate satellite dishes that are concealed using, where necessary, the architectural features of their homes to screen their dishes from public view.
Finally, it might be worth mentioning that Cable TV is available throughout our Estate.   This may be an option for people who are not that interested in Sky’s sports channels.

What about TV aerials?

Installation of these is subject to certain regulations, but as a general rule householders can mount one normal-sized aerial anywhere they choose.   We agree there are some unsightly installations and can only suggest that people consider the effects of a planned installation on their local environment before going ahead.

I'm trying to be green, can I install Solar panels?

There have been applications for two installations and both have been refused.   Our Estate has a very open aspect and, in reality, almost every roof is visible from somewhere or other.

Maintaining our Estate as a desirable place to live

Conservation needs to be viewed as a process devised for the greater good of the community as a whole.   The individual actions of all of us impact upon the desirability of living here for everyone else.   People move here because our being a Conservation Area is in itself an attraction.   Maintaining this is achieved through the Planning process.

Someone commented that Planning is a time-consuming and off-putting rigmarole.   We will try to assist any resident who thinks they are being given a hard time by Royal Greenwich’s planning department if they care to ask.

How do I report an infringement?

Anyone has the right to report an infringement of planning regulations to Royal Greenwich.   However, please bear the following in mind.

It is very important that people believe the infringements they are reporting have occurred in the preceding 4 years.   Many alterations were made to houses on our Estate before its Article 4 Direction was adopted (this being the development  that gave Greenwich Council, as it then was, the ability to enforce planning guidelines).   Works more than 4 years old cannot be reversed unless the owners want to change them.   For example, someone owning a house with leaded diamond windows will only be granted permission to replace them with windows that conform to current guidelines; they will not be granted permission to fit new leaded diamond windows. 

Anyone wishing to report a break of planning regulations is free to call Royal Greenwich’s Enforcement Team on 020 8921 5516 or contact them via email

Further information about the Team is available on-line at:

Google Earth images display an imagery date (month and year) in the left-hand side of the bottom bar that is visible when one's cursor is hovering over the image itself.   We would suggest people refer to this resource to satisfy themselves that the works they plan to  report are recent.   Best of all is to send a copy of the image to

Monday, 24 February 2014

Albion Doors and Windows Will Not Be Granted Planning Permission

Albion manufacture and install windows, glazed extensions and front doors.   They are currently conducting a leaflet drop across at large part of the Progress Estate.

Judging by the illustrations on their flyer, none of the designs will be granted planning approval on our Estate.   This is not a comment on their quality, about which we know nothing.   It is simply because of their appearance.

We suggest anyone considering replacing their doors and/or windows reads 
The Progress Estate:when do I need planning permission?   Two further posts, Guidance for replacement front doors and Guidance for replacement windows which carry more detail on these two matters and suggest businesses whose products will, we believe, be approved.  

When planning permission is requested, Royal Greenwich place a notice giving the address of the property concerned close by.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Gallery - Progress Estate Photowalk by Eye4change

Landmarks is a project by Eye4change, a charitable organisation providing unique photography activities that combine technology with creativity to stimulate social change and positive social inclusion.

With the support of the Big Lottery Fund, 100 older people of diverse backgrounds and abilities were given the opportunity to use a digital camera as a tool for self-expression, storytelling and a means to connect and share a sense of belonging with their local community as they explored local neighbourhoods and outdoor spaces.

Through a series of urban photowalks, Landmarks serves to transcend language barriers, improve health and wellbeing through physical and mental activity and honours what new and existing communities have in common, while celebrating the value of diversity. 

The images below are from a recent (late 2013) photo walk in our own Progress Estate, and really demonstrates what a stunning area it is.

Eye4Change hope to run more photo walks in 2014.  For more information please contact:

Friday, 14 February 2014

PRA Made a Stakeholder For Any Re-Consultation to Extend the Eltham Station and Town Centre Controlled Parking Zone

We posted an announcement on the website ( on 3rd February about a possible extension to the Eltham Station and Town Centre Controlled Parking Zone.    We are now pleased to say that Royal Greenwich has agreed to include the Progress Residents Association on their list of Stakeholders for the project.

If Royal Greenwich decides to take the matter any further they will write to every house in the roads they propose to include.   However, they will not be writing to houses in surrounding roads.

Local elections are due to be held on 22nd May.   The consultation cannot be underway during the three weeks preceding this date so it is very likely that nothing will happen until after then.

We will of course write to all residents for whom we have an email address if and when we are advised that a re-consultation has been launched.   Our intention will be to ask people (especially those not living in the proposed roads) to send their opinions to us so we can submit them to Royal Greenwich.