Work on a repeatedly delayed £250 regeneration scheme which will transform the area around Lewisham station is finally getting under way this month.
The Lewisham Gateway project will eventually replace the area round the huge, unloved, Loampit Vale roundabout with a new road layout, shops, around 800 homes and a town square.
Built by Lewisham Gateway Developments and backed by Muse, the first phase will see the construction of two new buildings rising to 25 storeys high, plus the Confluence Place park where the Ravensbourne and Quaggy rivers meet.
This part of the site was previously used as the bus stand and is located between the DLR and Lewisham Road. To allow the work to proceed, part of Station Road has been closed until next spring.
From the summer, the roundabout, Loampit Vale, Station Road, Lewisham Road, Lewisham High Street and Molesworth Street will all be altered in phases over an 18-month period.
Director of Lewisham Gateway Developments Doug Finlay said: "This is an important scheme which will benefit the community and deliver major improvements in many ways to Lewisham town centre.
"We have worked closely with our public sector partners to get to this point. Whilst there are several years of construction activity ahead of us, we are acutely aware of the need to keep the town centre moving and trading as we bring the scheme forward."
A website called NewLewisham.co.uk has been launched to keep people updated with the project along with the @NewLewisham Twitter account.
Progress on the flagship project - criticised by some as turning Lewisham into another Croydon - was given outline planning consent seven years ago but has repeatedly stalled since then. It was even dubbed not financially viable by Lewisham's planning chief when the financial crisis began to bite.
Developers have been unable to say when the rest of the phases might be carried out or provide an estimated date for the whole scheme's completion.