Lewisham Gateway: A piecemeal approach?

Estates Gazette has re-visited its coverage of Lewisham Gateway and had a second (and much larger) bite of the cherry.
In a double-page spread in the current edition, the magazine claims that the project (currently comprising two major aspects: a Muse/Taylor Wimpey mixed use development, and Land Securities' re-development of the existing shopping centre) could be tackled in a 'piecemeal' way. The reasoning for this is mainly due to slow progress in delivering the major infrastructure investment needed to re-site the large roundabout by the DLR station - this is a pre-requisite of the Muse/Taylor Wimpey scheme.

Attention is therefore shifting towards Land Securities, and what can be done with the existing shopping centre.

EG reports: 'The fact that less than £16 million of public money has been earmarked for the [roundabout re-routing] scheme has not eased concerns about its viability. Neither has unsettling speculation about Taylor Wimpey's commitment, given its exposure to the housing crisis.
'There has been a growing feeling that the [Lewisham Gateway] project should be broken up and brought forward on a piecemeal basis, with the retail ambitions [for new shops in the Muse/TayWimpey development] put on ice. LandSec [the shopping centre developers] certainly appears to be veering towards this view now.'

Tom Venner, LandSec portfolio director, told EG: 'From what we gather of the Muse/TayWimpey plans, there appears to be inactivity still and no movement towards delivery of the project's retail element ... there is a lot that can be done with both the town centre without the need to extend the retail pitch.'

Land Securities is currently focussing on re-aligning its tenant mix in the shopping centre to meet the area's changing demographics - in particular EG cites research by Lewisham Council which the magazine said demonstrates growing gentrification by young professionals. EG says LandSec has seen 'a spate of lettings in recent weeks' and has appointed two agencies to help it secure tenants which will 'cater for the changing retail tastes of the catchment area'. More than 10% of the shopping centre's floorspace is currently under offer.

Additionally, EG reports that Barratt has submitted revised plans for the Loampit Vale site. Changes include a reduction in the height of some buildings, and a reduction in the number of flats from 819 to 788. The scheme also includes a swimming pool and office space.

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's very interesting Kate, and thanks very much for your report.

There has always been mixed history towards Land Securities (LS) (and previous owners) from Lewisham Council - from memory the Council at one time didn't want LS gaining more leverage on this central site and vetoed their (LS) plans for a department store.

Now that the Gateway site has reached a position of inevitable reality (ie, it's a crap plan) the Council will be moved to support LS with a redevelopment that would be manageable, productive and not involve major service works.

How LS plan to fund the expansion is another matter and I believe that a major objector to the Gateway plan has been showing and discussing plans for a 30+ storey tower in this area.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean we might get a John Lewis and a Waitrose with associated parking? Thats my dream for the redevelopment of Lewisham Town Centre.

Brockley Kate said...

I'm waiting for someone to pick up on the 'mung bean' connotations of 'young professionals gentrifying the area' ... but well spotted anon, I too was wondering about the Waitrose opportunities ...

Wonder who are the new tenants LandSec boasts of?

Brockley Kate said...

Oh and PS, you're welcome anon#1!

Brockley Nick said...

Yes Kate, the phrase "growing gentrification by young professionals" ought to send shivers down a few spines.

I've nothing against them but I wouldn't want to live next door to one.

M said...

And...cue Fred Vest...

Brockley Kate said...

Yes, I'll be very disappointed if Fred doesn't materialise soon to scold me for my revoltingly middle-class consumerism.

Anonymous said...

How do your neighbours cope Nick?


;)

LewishamLovely said...

hmm, i too wonder who the new tenants landsec talk of are. not another jewellers, sports shoe store or pound shop please!
there seems to be some activity in the old woolworths shop... but with a john lewis planned for the new straford development, it's likely lewisham is not high on their agenda!

Brockley Kate said...

I think Andrew Milton Twittered a while ago that the old Woolies is going to become a Poundland. Not quite the type of thing we gentrifiers are after ...

Anonymous said...

poundland has just opened up a brand spanking new outlet down the other end, across from boots.
though i wouldn't be surprised if there's another one opening up in woolies!

guess said...

That's why all this Land securities stuff is speculation without a shred a concrete (!) evidence - but it does offer the possibility that something positive can be done

max said...

I was told by the Town Centre manager that some very exciting tenant is in talks to take over the Woolworths' unit, didn't tell me who though. She also told me that John Lewis would not come unless "paid" to be there.
Don't know if this is an honour that they reserve for Lewisham or it is their policy to be paid tenants anywhere they open a store.

max said...

And by the way, speaking of the subject matter, good sense of humour on display here from LS here as a piecemeal approach is the antithesis of the Gateway, which can only be done as one bulk.
I read this as them being possibly rather happy that it may all derail as it wouldn't work against the relative value of their Shopping Centre and on top of that they could squeeze a block of flats somewhere. And since Lewisham Centre is already one of the most important collections of incoherent architectural monstruosities (is Citybank data centre the ugliest building in the world?) there's no planning rule that they could possibly break so the sky's the limit with the land that they own.

LewishamLovely said...

i'm sure if we had a whip around we could get john lewis to lewisham!

Comment said...

That's one whipround I shan't be contributing to, John Lewis really do think a lot of themselves.

Anonymous said...

Re Loampit Vale: Originally the tallest building was to be 22 storeys, according to the new application it is to be 24 storeys.

Anonymous said...

Re The existing shopping centre, Roseby's, Woolworths and Mark One have gone. The northern end of the centre has been unoccupied for years, waiting for that elusive 'major' department store.

The newest shop to open has been 'Poundland' how that fits in with the 'gentrification' I am not sure.

Outside the centre, Yates and the old Post Office are both empty, along Lee High Road a number of long established shops have gone in the past year.

It could be fresh retailers are waiting for Lewisham Gateway before investing in the Town Centre?

Since Land Sec took over the shopping centre they do seem to have made improvements.

Last September as part part of article in 'Lewisham Life' the council outlined some possibilities....

Lewisham Shopping Mall
Has the potential to be extended to provide significant extra retail space and a large number of new homes.

It looks like Land Sec began discussing its plans with the council about a year ago?

Anonymous said...

Re the first message in this thread. The announcement of a department store was welcomed and a local MP claimed credit for negotiating the deal.

Slough Estates then swapped the Centre with Land Sec, who carried out a 'review' of their new asset.

The department store in a pod was then dropped.

In the past Slough Estates and the council seem to have had their tussles. One year just before Christmas it was announced there was to be a multi-screen cinema. Immediately after Christmas it declared the scheme wasn't going ahead.

At one point the manager of the Shopping Centre declared he intended to run for Mayor.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the Lewisham's problem that much of it is the result of piecemeal plans?

I'd agree with Max re the look of the town centre, what the heck is that corrugated thing above BHS for a start.

An executive of CitiBank was on the board of the Urban Regeneration Board and in return they gave us the Data Centre.

When Lewisham regeneration was announced they said the road scheme would cost £16m, so have costs increased or was it never fully funded?

It was indicated to be with the 2 rivers meeting the engineering for this project could be complex. Could that be whats caused the legal issues re the infrastucture?

At the time the scheme was announced I cheekily suggested Gordon Brown reduce the borough's debt by £100m and the interest saved be used to fund the road scheme.

As the Lewisham Gateway retail units form the base of the residential blocks is the proposal to intially leave them empty or scrap them completely?

Anonymous said...

My impression of the events surrounding ye olde plans for a major department was that were reluctantly venturing into Lewisham.

So the suggesting a major store would have to be 'paid' to open in Lewisham may be true.

There has been a change in the type of people moving into the area, the children of parents who live in South West London.

Anonymous said...

Here's a little bit of history regarding the department store (story):

"When Gavin Moore became Deputy Mayor and Chair of Regeneration, he had concluded to banish the reputation of Lewisham Borough Council (caused by the – I think inadvertent - failure to retain the Army and Navy Store) as a being ill-equipped in the arena of regeneration and transform it into an urban renaissance borough. He would start with Lewisham Town Centre. The first step was to imply that the Council’s strategy was not dependent upon there being a department store in the Town Centre as the climax to the mall. The second was advocating a strategy that did not have a department store as proof that the Council had been right all along and that the commercial market place was wrong.

His strategy therefore immediately required the abandonment of the Lewisham 2000 programme and the £34m investment already and so recently made. As outlined in section 6.0 on Financial Costs of the “H” Plan, it also required the deliberate discouragement of a “blue chip” operator such as Debenhams from helping transform our town centre."

Anonymous said...

There used to be a department store where the police station is now. I think it was a Debenhams.

Anonymous said...

Army and Navy

and a nice bridge across the road

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

And before House of Fraser took it over and rebranded it A&N, it was Chiesmans - don't think the spelling is right though.......

Hugh can you help?

Brockley Nick said...

And before that, it was a Cheeseman's. You don't get enough Cheeseman's these days.

Anonymous said...

Chiesmans:


http://www2.lewisham.gov.uk/lbl/lewishamvoices/DailyLife/work.htm

Anonymous said...

apparently that £16m for the road scheme is a drop in the ocean of what it will cost to move all the gas pipes, water works etc below the roundabout and existing road layout for the gateway project. on top of that is the cost of actually moving the roads etc

patrick1971 said...

Re Waitrose: would there be enough demand, given that there's already a big Tesco a medium-sized Sainsbury's in the centre, and two large Sainsbury's stores nearby at New Cross Gate and Lee Green?

Max, if you think the Citibank Tower is the "ugliest building in the world", could I refer you to the House of the Soviets in Kaliningrad, Russia:

http://tinyurl.com/nhjvrd

Anonymous said...

further to above, complicating the matter even further is the fact i believe muse/taylor wimpy are responsible for funding the works as part of the contract with the council, offset by money to be made in the future by sale of the apartments. so it relies on a big initial outlay of capital to get things moving before building the gateway can even start

Anonymous said...

^ the road works that is

Brockley Kate said...

Am I the only person who thinks the Citibank tower isn't that bad?!
If the area at its feet were re-developed, it could be positively nice.
Far better than the Nestle building in Croydon, for example - now that really IS grim.

Anonymous said...

Where can we get this piece meal? Do degustation sell it?

Anonymous said...

Where can we get this piece meal? Do degustation sell it?

max said...

Patrick and Kate, I didn't say that the Citibank Tower is the ugliest building in the world (though it isn't pretty either), I said the Citibank Data Centre that's that dark cube in front of the entrance of the shopping centre on Molesworth, take a look and ponder next time you pass by, but don't stare at it for too long or you'd go blind.

Anonymous said...

Max was referring to the damm awful brown data building in Molesworth Street by the railway line.

Agree Citi-Tower isn't too bad.

Why travel to Russia for a comparison, when there's Eros House in Catford.

Re Major store from an Urban Renaissance leaflet March 2004 and an indication of an inducement?

New Debenhams to open in Lewisham

Slough Estates will shortly be submitting a planning application for a new Debenhams department store adjacent to their shopping centre in Lewisham Town Centre.

The Council has agreed to transfer a piece of land to Sloough Estates to facilitate the development.


The next issue had drawings of the Debenham pod beside Citi-Tower.

A few months later (nov 2004) the shopping centre was transferred to Land Sec.

Anonymous said...

I'm not one to gossip but looks like something is afoot?

According to Lewisham planning website the 2004 application for a 3 storey retail unit was withdrawn on 5 May 2009.

--------
Re the Citi Bank Data Centre here's today's competition.

Of the 3 neighours contacted by planning, which was the only one to respond and vote in favour, was it....

1) Rivedale Offices (Citibank)
2) Lewisham Shopping Centre
3) Slough Estates

Comment said...

Things for people to do; a cinema, resturants, 'an experience', try to make the place unique in London for a particular attraction to attempt to get some of the tourist trade from Greenwich up the road. Rather than focussing solely on shops.

Anonymous said...

cinema, yes... restaurants, yes. but lewisham town centre will never be on the map for tourists though - the only way would be as an se london retail hub in my opinion.
anyway there are enough locals in lewisham to sustain development on their own. ever noticed just how many people there are milling around the town centre on saturdays? i find it unbelievable they are offered so little. an untapped goldmine

max said...

Entirely agree, unfortunately it seems that we're being primed for another massive block of flats (in keeping with the surrounding architecture of course).

Anonymous said...

Although the developers may have said there'd be a cinema it's only if they can find someone to operate it - it's in the small print...

The same with restaurants, yeah, maggies may open another branch and they'll probably sling in a McDonalds or similar - go there a lot do you?

patrick1971 said...

Is it true that the Citibank Tower is completely empty because it's full of asbestos, so it's cheaper to pay for the security to keep it secure and empty than it is to pull it down? I have heard that rumour somewhere but am unsure if it's an urban myth or not.

Anonymous said...

That's one of the theories Pat - another is that they keep it in reserve as a 'working model' just in case someone runs a plane in the Canary Wharf complex.

The building does have a certain grotesque charm and if it was 'cleaned and polished' it would help.

It *isn't* helped by having some kind of reflective material over many of the windows, looks 'well scabby'.

Tressillian James said...

Yes - I also belive it is held as a Disaster recovery site - all the big financial instituions have them - and this one is situated opposite their datacentre. The datacentre puzzles me - what made Lewisham COuncil give them a prime site for a facility that employs so few people. Data centres are run by a handful of engineers.

Comment said...

I hope those in charge of this scheme really think it through thoroughly.

The underlying strategy for this scheme appears to be; regenerate Lewisham by building a bunch of residential tower blocks which will change the demographics of the town, by attracting lots of young people, who'll demand new facilities. Fine.
But the whole point about these young dynamic, people is that they are mobile and if they are anything like those that live in the SE8 buildings in Deptford, they will not regard where they live as a place to hang out and spend money. They'll head straight to the conveniently located transport Dlr/train and out to more established areas, Greenwich and so on.
Frankly I feel that Lewisham has more than enough people to sustain the shops that are here and could come, but it's just that the current facilities aren't up to much and we just go elsewhere. As a comparison; say what you like about Deptford, but the market has a degree of character and charm that I find Lewisham market lacks.

In short, something/things needs to happen in Lewisham, to get the existing residents to view the place in a new light. Rather than effectively importing a bunch people and hoping that they in themselves alone will realise the potential of the town, because I remain to be convinced that that will happen.

Anonymous said...

Drop a bomb on it, ship out all those out of work

TM said...

Sorry don't understand your banter Anon

max said...

Couldn't Citibank use less of its Tower as an emergency site and lease out a few storeys for other uses as for example a department store? A restaurant on the top floor wouldn't be a bad idea either.

matrowan said...

I think you can catch up on what it is all about on the Lewisham Gateway site (see http://www.lewishamgateway.org/facts.htm) and it isn't happy reading unless you dreamt of living in 2nd rate urban metropolis. My neighbour says they plan to do two of the tower blocks higher than citi bank building. The developers and co have to prove something by making sure their tower is the tallest. Glad I didn't move into Brookbank Road, the shock of walking out of your house to see that lot of towers infront of you.

Headhunter said...

Lewisham's never going to a destination shopping, restaurant and "experience" type place though, there's already a large shopping complex with drive in restaurants and cinema etc at Surrey Quays which is hardly very far away, or there's even Blue Water and other complexes out of town...

Anonymous said...

It won't be with people like you around.

Anonymous said...

Comment, and others who have expressed their concern with what's going on in Central Lewisham - you can try and make a difference - there is a public meeting on Wednesday 17th June at 7pm in the Lewisham Methodist Church on Albion Way regarding the planning application the the South Side of Loampit Vale (the 'Barratts Erection')

In my experience these meetings can be more productive than simply expressing your concern on-line and are vital in building up contacts in local communities of like-minded people.

It might also be nice if the Council were to alert people of these meetings in a more effective way than burying them in an obscure place on their website, or indeed by sending individual letters out to people who have objected anyway (although this is part of their duties anyway)

Headhunter said...

Well that's alright then, coz I wouldn't be seen dead at a chav shopping and "entertainment" complex, so it's all yours matey!

Anonymous said...

I consider Surrey Quays and Bluewater to both be grimly depressing experiences - perhaps there might still be the tiniest bit of optimism that with 'people power' we could force the Council into doing something that might, just might, be good.

I live in hope actually...

drakefell debaser said...

I used to live in the SE8 development, a tiny ‘penthouse’ with a dodgy lift that often left me lugging bags of groceries to the 6th floor.

Anyway what you say Comment is very true, whenever I wanted to go for a drink I went to Greenwich or New Cross despite having a bar type restaurant within the development. If I wanted to eat out I went elsewhere too. I certainly didn’t consider it as a place to live long term because there was very little around me at the time. Deptford has taken great steps since but this is more to the West towards New Cross and I still consider SE8 to be an ill-thought development which I hope is not repeated elsewhere in the borough – some of the West facing flats overlook DLR tracks for example which has to be the noisiest railway in the world and you could probably jump on the train as it went past your window. The build quality is also very poor which is why most are rented out.

The only thing of interest was that my block was called the Dakota Building. Sad really.

Anonymous said...

Developers have no concern for the use of their buildings after they have been built/sold - and all the pre-sales and planning talk is no more than wind across a building site.

Anonymous said...

Headhunter would just prefer everything was a deli.

Headhunter said...

Yep. Deli or bike shop. That's all I need.

Anonymous said...

There was a not insignificant bicycle facility (parking/storage/changing rooms) planned somewhere in the Gateway (from memory) - and certainly, a nice new bike shop (the Spitalfields development has a couple) would always be welcome anywhere.

Planners like to tack these things on to make them appear as if they care.

In the Loampit Vale thing there is space for 'creative industries' (626m2), when I asked a Barratts person at the exhibition in the Shopping centre (a while ago) if that wasn't quite a small area (in the context of the whole scheme) he said, "well, those kind of people don't need much space anyway".

Curiously, they had about eight exhibition boards up and the 'creative industries' board covered one whole board - so it's largely a marketing ploy and a rounding of the 'harsh planning edges'.

Cleanyourflat said...

Headhunter you call people "chavs" but you have a dangerous attitude. You see people as chavs because they don't fit your conception of a worthwhile person. That's tantamount to facism. Watch your attitude or you will end up a sad, embittered old man... oh wait!

ed said...

I think you need to look fascism up in the dictionary. Nothing like it.

Cleanyourflat said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism_(epithet)

matrowan said...

I think this blog might make me weep. It is like some tragic comedy when you are all alerted about what seems a pretty shocking and definitely unwanted series of over developed, high rise and the rest. All proposals, stunningly overlooking fundamental issues on congestion, pollution, advised standards. You are pointed in the direction of where to make a difference, but you just natter online about delis, chavs and shopping. Incredible.

Tamsin said...

For what it's worth I will put the Wednesday 17th Public Meeting on the hill website. Do Brocsoc have an e-mail mailing list they can notify people on?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Citi Tower last May Cllr. Milton (Lewisham Central) was given this reply by the Deputy Mayor.

There has been no discussion in recent months with the owners of ‘CitiTower’. Officers understand that the building is currently used as a decant office to relocate staff and operations in the event of problems at the main Citibank office in Canary Wharf.

However, the Council would welcome the more productive use of the site and the Lewisham Town Centre Area Action Plan preferred options report includes a policy to directly encourage the improvement of the appearance of the tower, more intensive use of the facilities it provides and/or the redevelopment of this site.

Tressillian James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tressillian James said...

I love it... the council would welcome more productive use... but have held no discussions witrh Citibank.

And probably won't either, because it was probably the council who either gave or allowed Citibank to own two prime location sites - thinking that this would attract workers and more affulent residents, only to see Citibank use them both as a storage facility.

Who was it I wonder that allowed Citibank to sit on the regeneration board - just long enough for them to throw up a datacenter and bugger off? I imagine the contribution of Citibank to the local economy is absolutely minimal.

Monkeyboy said...

Frankly I don;t care what they do so long as TK Max stays. Being tight of wad I do like a rummage.

Bought a nice wallet for a £10 and a pair of top quality secuters for a fiver. By the way they're selling very expensive German cooks knives for about a tenner. I've got one, cost me £40 from ebay!

....thought you ought to know.

Hugh said...

Keep up the good work, Monkeyboy.

By the way, did you see that the Brockley Foxes have been getting poisoned? Either that or they stumbled across the Hilly Fields dogging scene and took on more than they could handle.

Monkeyboy said...

The dogging season will be in full...erm...swing soon. I'll see you by the bogs about one-ish. I'll make an owl sound if you can't see me.

Hugh said...

Leave the owl alone.

Monkeyboy said...

Oh go on, it'll be a hoot....

Anonymous said...

To-whit, to who?

Anonymous said...

Some members of Brockley Dogging Society have formed a splinter group which has already started meetings for the summer. Most of the splinters came from sitting on the roundabouts.

Comment said...

To anon: 12 June 2009 15:08 I have registered an opposition and received a form letter and invitation to the public discussion.

The public discussion is fine but I rather it's this now a case of moving chairs along the deck of the Titanic.

Does anyone have a direct line to HRH Prince Charles?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Comment (Titanic/deck chairs). The Council has no obligation to do this as part of the consultation process, but they will still use it to show that they have been pro-active in informing local residents.

It's also quite nice to see developers trying to bat off difficult questions they can't answer honestly.

Better than the TV

Matt said...

What was the nature of the public meeting on the 17th

Did anyone go?

Does anyone actively want high rise buildings in Lewisham. Or are we just resigned to this.

The spin from the developers is so obvious - creative industries, leisure centres, pictures of happy poeple in swimming pools.

The schemes are largely impersonal, alienating and will be inhabited by people who leave for Docklands to work, play and spend and come home to sleep.

Has anyone done (have access to) any research into what people really think about the high rise elements of these schemes and their impact on communities.

The Citibank building blights Lewisham and sets a precedent for more of the same.

No one can be opposed to the regeneration of the area. Redevelopment does not inevitably lead to regeneration.

The development will define the area in which we live for decades. Developers only worry about their next report to shareholders.

max said...

I very much wanted to attend but couldn't because of baby-care.

Anyway, officers decided that this will be decided by the Strategic Planning Committee, that is a special committee as it includes members of the Cabinet and this means that the chances of this being rejected are very, very slim.

The boards around the site bear the symbol of Lewisham Council with the famous promise of the Mayor to build a new Leisure Centre. Would members of Bullock's Cabinet ever say that there are issues to be addressed with this development? Of course not, their party's political destiny depends on this going on and all questions will be set aside.

This is a farce, and a very undemocratic one. This is a case where the developers themselves sit on the planning committee.

Close associates of the Mayor should not be allowed to vote on this.

welcome to croydon said...

I was there and it was the usual suits versus residents scenario - ie it was a bit of a laugh, but totally unnecessary because the Council have obviously made up their minds that the whole thing is going to go ahead - regardless of anyone (well, Lewishams Head of Planning John Miller) saying that there is a process whereby members of the public are allowed to give their opinion. And of course, he is 100% correct, he didn't go on to say that those opinions are disregarded at every part of the process.

Skechers UK said...

With the advent of the Internet, the shoe market has grown by more than 200% over the last five years and is all set to witness a further growth of approximately 15% per quarter steadily. This has made it absolutely imperative that online retail outlets and shoe manufacturers concentrate on this new and happening virtual shopping arena to boost their sales.

The online shoe market has taken up proactive measures like creating attractive websites, advertising on other similar websites regarding their products, giving incentives, adopting various promotional measures and generally taking all necessary steps for attracting visitors. Skechers UK is one such leading shoe manufacturer and seller that has joined the internet bandwagon in a big way. Already a name to reckon with this producer of wide range of shoes for women, kids and men, has created a comprehensive website featuring their best products. The Skechers UK website is well stacked and well designed to ensure that a visitor gets what he is looking for with minimum hassles. The payment option at the Skechers UK website is safe and secure.

For more information visit the link below
Skechers UK

Brockley Central Label Cloud