Transport for London is applying for planning permission to move the ventilation column on the traffic island at the junction of Queens Road and New Cross Road. As part of a new traffic scheme, the plan is to widen the pavement outside the White Hart pub and put the pillar there. At the same time the railings and old public toilet signs would be removed, and the existing island would be no more (though there would still be a smaller one).
The pillar is actually a Grade II listed building, and for good reason. It is a Ventilation Pipe to the now closed underground public toilets built in 1897 by Greenwich Board of Works. The column is of an Egyptian pattern and was designed by the Scottish architect Alexander 'Greek' Thomson. The design was first used for six lamp standards outside his Egyptian Halls, Glasgow. The pillars were cast in the Saracen Foundry of Walter Macfarlane & Co. in Glasgow. Alongside a similar pipe nearby in Clifton Rise this is believed to be the only example of the architect's work in England. I agree that something needs to be done about the traffic - the road between the island and the White Hart is dangerous because it is confusing which direction the traffic is coming from. But the pillar is integral to its present location with the railings and toilet signs, which it would be a shame to lose. It would be far better to look at reopening the toilets or even using them for something else - underground toilets have been converted for all kinds of use across London and beyond.
You can check out the details here at Lewisham Planning's site but you only have a couple of days to express your views - the closing date is 22nd October. You can submit your view to email@example.com, the reference is DC/08/69826.