Wednesday, 7 August 2013

"Residents on 'Britain's nicest high street' vow to fight plans for row of boarded up shops"

From The Evening Standard:

Residents on a south London high street called the 'nicest in Britain' today vowed to fight the threat of their homes being demolished to make way for a mixture of empty shops and charity shops.

Under government proposals unveiled this week, houses and flats could be turned into traditional high streets which are no longer viable. Planning minister Nick Boles believes local authorities should give up trying to revive town centres and ensure they are blighted by rows of boarded-up shops instead.

His policy would put Lee Green's homes in the firing line. The proposed relaxation in planning restrictions means entire residential streets could be turned into small and little visited retail units. In a double threat, property developer St Modwen has applied to Lewisham Council to demolish giant Asda in the Leegate precinct to make way for yet more small retail units which will also stand empty.

Les Metcalfe, 48, owner of the Faction book and record shop, said: "We are glad that there is so much housing here, that's where our customers live. You'd be surprised at how many husbands pop in while their wives are doing the family food shop at Asda. We are an independent shop and there is no way that supermarkets will ever try to compete with us."

Susan Kinahan, 50, of optician In-sight, said: "This is a nice little hub which has attracted lots of residents who end up as loyal customers."

The Local Data Company said that in three years' time, Lee Green will probably end up as one of the worst UK high streets and will be struggling with charity shops taking the most prominent shop fronts.

3 comments:

James Higham said...

Bring Detroit to the High Street today.

Bob E said...

ES did a similar article in December 2010 :-

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/the-shopping-precinct-thats-the-worst-in-the-country-6545864.html -

"Tim Seddon, regional director for the owner St Modwen, said: 'We are working on proposals for a redevelopment of the Leegate Centre, which is now almost 50 years old, and aim to commence a public consultation with local stakeholders early in the new year. In the meantime, we continue to offer flexible lease terms and affordable rents in order to attract new tenants to the centre.'"

A spokesman for Lewisham council said: "The council is having discussions with the owners, St Modwen, on their potential development proposals for the centre, with a view to considering options for its regeneration."

Judging by the "it might actually happen" aspect to today's ES article things obviously move fast in Lewisham ....

Mark Wadsworth said...

JH, that's what they want, it's weird.

BE, good find, thanks.