PRESSURE from a residents' group has paid off as a "tired" town centre looks set to get a £500,000 makeover.

The Sydenham Society last year drew up its vision for the Sydenham Gateway, which includes the creation of new open spaces and a tree-lined high street.

Now this dream is set to become a reality after transport bosses put up the cash for the work.

The Sydenham Gateway encompasses the area between the Cobbs Corner roundabout and Venner Road.

The society hopes the money will be spent on closing off Spring Hill, to create a new open space.

Extra bus stops and new trees are also set to be planted along Sydenham Road, which is the town's high street and main shopping area.

Sydenham Society chairman Pat Trembath said: "This has been a great team effort from the society.

"It is very gratifying our ideas are going to be put into practice and shows the people in charge do listen to the views of the community.

"The high street is tired and needs perking up. This will make it more pedestrian friendly."

Lewisham Council successfully secured £130,000 from Transport For London (TfL) for design work which is due to begin later this year.

And TfL has also earmarked a further £400,000 for later work, after a full public consultation. Some residents admit they are concerned about the potential plans to close off Spring Hill and have welcomed the consultation.

Alex Mairs, of Peak Hill Gardens, Sydenham, said: "We need to be able to have our say."

Penge and Cator Park Councillor John Getgood hopes the investment will benefit people in his ward.

He added: "This is an excellent reward for the hard work of the society.

"Anything which will make the streets more attractive is good for the area."