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To: Coplan Estates and Bexley Council

Save The Iron Horse

Save The Iron Horse

Stop developers from building flats around the area's only designated music venue

Why is this important?

Coplan Estates Ltd in co-operation with Bexley Council have announced plans to build 136 flats directly next to and above The Iron Horse in Sidcup, claiming the venue will not be affected. Nearly half of all live music venues in London have closed down in the last ten years, mainly due to flats being developed next to them and new neighbours complaining about noise that has been there for years before them.

The Iron Horse has been a secure hub for the ever-expanding local live music scene in Sidcup since it reopened three years ago, providing a platform for new musicians to learn and develop their craft in front of an audience and also for professionals to put on shows and earn their living, in the rarity of supportive management and welcoming locals who are truly passionate about the scene. It is vital to the local community as the area's only designated live music venue.

If these plans are to be approved, these developers will make a profit out of robbing the town of an evergrowing scene of arts and culture - which is attracting people to our town way more than another block of flats would.


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • Keep music live and noisy if that's how it's always been.
  • Totally appalled when I found out about this. These people seem to forget that without the culture of a community there is no community.
  • Great pub and fantastic live bands,keep these places alive


2019-02-07 09:54:19 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2018-06-16 10:25:00 +0100

900 signatures! Coplan claim to recognise The Iron Horse's importance to our town, which we all know is patent nonsense. If they really did, then why have they left the management, staff, and locale of the venue completely in the dark about this? How can they pretend inhabitants of these new builds (now redesigned with BALCONIES) won't inevitably make noise complaints?

There aren't many live music venues left; according to the Music Venue's Trust we have already lost nearly half in the last ten years, mostly due to this exact reason - in particular one in Sidcup where the Rolling Stones played their first gig. We need to protect the few we've got left to grow our community and expand on our culture.

There has been an incredible amount of backlash not only from local musicians but thousands of immediate local residents who'll have to suffer from the fallout that Coplan will profit from.

Please share this petition and help us spread the word; we're running out of time.

2018-06-11 15:20:34 +0100

Coplan are currently sneakily trying to submit these plans. We need to act fast. I thought the Agent of Change legislation and the overall massive backlash would be enough to persuade them. It seems they wanted to wait until we think we're safe, then putting the plans forward with minimal notice & communication.

This is incredibly insulting considering this is such a big deal for those who'll have to deal with the fallout. Despite the Agent of Change legislation, they've not co-operated with the venue; the management of the Iron Horse was only informed from reading about it in a local Facebook community group.

To add insult to injury, they've U-turned on their plans of 'affordable homes' which would have been the only slightly redeeming factor. They're also still pretending that flats around a live music venue isn't bound to cause conflict.

Please SHARE this petition and spread the word via social media/word of mouth. We need to urgently stand up for Sidcup.

2017-12-02 11:50:44 +0000

So... there is a change in legislation coming into place that could prevent these developments from happening - 'Agent of Change'.

To summarise, this means if a music venue is in place before a residential development, the residential development has to be planned in a way that doesn't affect the venue and also carries the responsibility of paying for soundproofing (and vice versa, if a new venue is built near a residential development).

If a proposal design hasn't clearly demonstrated how noise impacts can realistically and fairly be managed and mitigated, it could be rejected by the council entirely.

Although this is a huge success, we still need to make it clear to the developers and the council that this development will only do harm, not just to the venue but the area in general: so please keep signing and sharing so we can demonstrate that this development is not welcome here!

2017-10-16 18:42:27 +0100

Thank you to everyone who's signed and shared so far. Live music venues are necessary for a town to expand on its culture, especially ones as supportive and catering to musicians and locals like The Iron Horse. Although the pub is a bit part of it, this concerns Sidcup as a whole. There definitely is a need for affordable homes, but they're already being built in the area with more yet to come, and some of our green spaces including Old Farm Park have been sacrificed for it.

How is it okay to overpopulate an area at the expense of the few things left to do here? Sidcup won't have any identity left, it'll be nothing more than a place to pass through to get to London.

There is an opposing petition to allow the flats, which unsurprisingly has reached 19 signatures in a month. Our petition has 544 at the time of writing, not only from those passionate about music but locals who rely on the station area. If you keep spreading the word and sharing this, our voices will be heard.

2017-09-22 20:26:51 +0100

500 signatures, this is amazing!! Communities uniting against this kind of thing have resolved threats to The Pelton Arms (Greenwich) and The Fox & Firkin (Lewisham) - also the Fold by the station was meant to be a lot taller but locals fought against it and managed to get it reduced. A change to legislation to include an Agent of Change principle is possible - it means that if a music venue is in place before a residential development, the residential building carries the responsibility of paying for soundproofing etc (and vice versa).

The proposals will also put further struggle on Sidcup in general, which has overdeveloped in the last few years - there is definitely a need for housing, but this many in this particular location will only do harm when our hospital and police station have shut, we've lost our green spaces, the station area is already diluted during rush hours and local services are struggling. Please keep signing and sharing; you're helping to make a difference.

2017-09-19 22:23:44 +0100

500 signatures reached

2017-09-18 11:23:20 +0100

Thank you to all those who have signed and shared this petition, this is so important not only to musicians but to local residents and services. The developers are still trying to persuade us that the venue won't be affected, when there's venues left right and centre closing in identical circumstances. We won't let it happen to Sidcup.

We have received an incredible amount of support and it's overwhelming to see so many people supporting this cause, our town, and a tremendous venue. Thank you all so much. Let's keep sharing this so we can get our voices heard.

2017-09-15 15:25:14 +0100

We've received nearly 400 signatures already in just two days which is amazing. People really do care about live and grassroots music. Please keep sharing this petition so we can get our voices heard about this!

Oh and we've made the local press:

2017-09-13 20:42:23 +0100

100 signatures reached

2017-09-13 16:51:33 +0100

50 signatures reached

2017-09-13 15:42:17 +0100

25 signatures reached

2017-09-13 14:43:25 +0100

10 signatures reached