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Forest Hill is a typical 19th century London suburb that developed following the arrival of the railway in 1839.
The conservation area was originally designated in 1976 and extended in 1994 and in 2010. It now comprises an area of 45 ha which makes it the fifth largest conservation area within the borough.
The area encompasses suburban residential streets, mainly built between 1840 and 1900, and the commercial centre that developed around the railway station.
The area also includes the gardens and open land associated with the world famous Horniman Museum. Of note are the undulating topography and the many mature trees, which together with the open green spaces give parts of the conservation area a pleasant, almost rural quality.
The conservation areas contains some fine high status housing. Recent extensions include the historic municipal centre of Forest Hill at Dartmouth Road including the public library, Louise House (a former girls’ industrial school) and the Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School, all of which are listed, and Forest Hill Pools.
The area now also includes some inter-war housing at Thorpewood Avenue, representing a phase of quality suburban development during the first half of the 20th century.
Following the recent review of the conservation area in 2009, we have produced a conservation area appraisal. This sets out the character of the area which we seek to preserve and enhance and explains why the area is considered worthy of protection. A copy of the appraisal can be obtained from Planning Services.
We have made an Article 4 direction to encourage the retention of high quality architectural features and ensure that changes are undertaken sympathetically.