Leegate tries again

Back in 2012, developers St Modwen produced one of the most uninspiring visions South East London had ever seen - a plan to knock down Leegate shopping centre (which needs radical action to regenerate it) and replace it with a supermarket, to complement the one on the opposite side of the road (which is the least radical idea possible).

The plan would have brought a little taste of the Old Kent Road to this spot.

Having gone back to the drawing board, the developers plan to return on June 21/22 with a brand new vision, which sounds suspiciously similar to the last. They promise:

• The demolition of Leegate House and Cantilever House replacing them with new landmark buildings
• A major new foodstore with entrances from Burnt Ash Road and Eltham Road
• Enhancement of the public realm areas within and around the centre
• Around 250 new homes
• New shops and restaurants along Burnt Ash Road and Eltham Road

Following the exhibition, an application will be submitted in the autumn. If you're interested in attending, the full details are here, but please come back and tell us what you thought. Andrew writes:

"I'm a local to Lee so I'm keen for as many people as possible to get down there - one way or another, the more people who are involved in the process in some way the better. St Modwen's plans as they showed them before were rubbish, so while I'm hoping the new developments are a big improvement, the more eyes on them the better in case they aren't."


maisie_moo said...

Just how big IS Greater Brockley these days?

Brockley Nick said...

As big as it was 2 years ago when we last covered this story.

cartographer said...

As big as Nicks fantasy of it is

Anon said...

2 supermarkets doesn't seem like a problem to me - for a comparable see Balham.

Anything has to be better than what is there right now.

Anon said...

Last time they were proposing to keep Leegate House - the ugliest and most prominent part of the site, which rather undermined the whole point - so that's an advancement of sorts.

The risk here is that locals are so relieved they're doing *something* with the site that something not particularly brilliant slips through.

maisie_moo said...

Not just this story - four stories in a row from the annexed areas.

Danja said...

You can't put a lid on Nick's ambition.

terrencetrentderby said...

Sack all the planning officers at Lewisham and merge with Southwark's as they know what they're doing. Just look at Peckham Rye, Nunhead and Dulwich. What has Lewisham got nearby in comparison?

Lewisham is seriously lacking in decent high streets and parades. Change is at a snail's pace and consistently terrible buildings go up. The less said about Goldsmithsville the better.

DT said...

Although, they are not as bad as Greenwich and Bexley council in comparison.

Andrew said...

Haven't seen the new plans so am keeping an open mind. From what is known, the concerns at the moment are that it essentially offers nothing to the local community.

- a new supermarket is redundant since there's a perfectly good one 30 metres away.

- the huge amount of extra traffic having a large supermarket brings to an already busy set of roads in Lee Green, as well as the resulting decrease in air quality.

- the new sit footprint absorbs nearly all the of the current square and public areas.

- there's no real proposal to add restaurants. To quote from a recent article "...they hope other tenants will be 'convenience' retailers facing out onto the Burnt Ash Road - florists, keycutters, dry cleaners, bike stores and the like." All fine enough but again, there are already most of these already either in Lee itself or 5 mins up the road in Blackheath. It isn't adding anything that the community needs.

- Adding 250 houses is good for local business, but for residents it means already oversubscribed schools becoming even more so (the nearest school to the development already has one of the smallest catchment areas in the country) and seats on the morning train become even scarcer. If these things are going to happen, as a resident you at least want a trade-off where you actually get something in return that improves the local area as a result - new public spaces/cafes/gym/cinema - rather than simply ups the profits of a developer who already made the place a blight.

Headhunter said...

If the blog focused on the conservation area and the west side only there wouldn't be a whole lot to say!

Andrew said...

I live in Lee now but still regularly read this blog, and loads of others relating to SE London.

I may be alone, but I tend to see that meandering unbroken blob of leafy, Lewisham-y, conservation area-y bits from Brockley via Ladywell to Hither Green to Lee as being of-a-piece in many respects, so what happens in Ladywell interests me almost as much as anything to do with Lee.

Brockley Nick said...

Not only that HH, but there would STILL be people saying that that area's not actually Brockley (see any article about the Talbot).

MM said...

There are two more weeks to leave feedback online. What happens with the Leegate centre will affect the local area for years to come. It is not necessary to play to the consultation script: there is possibility to SAY SO IF YOU DO NOT WANT A SUPERSTORE.

There are many questionable aspects of the proposal, including the way the consultation was organised. The developer has got a huge Asda, the council have got some housing (very few details known), no one seems to be thinking about congestion, pollution, independent shops.

The community should push for a good deal that solves problems without creating new ones; a deal that addresses the needs of the whole diverse community, not just 'maximises the assets' of the owners and meets the agenda of some politicians.

Residents' protest stopped The Big Yellow Storage in St Mildred's Road, Lidl in Mottingham, Tesco in Hither Green and (provisionally) Ikea in Greenwich. It does work.

Anon said...

It was stunning how they barely bothered with even the most rudimentary attempts to provide anything concrete that was useful to the local community. The highlight was laughably trying to pass over a wide footpath outside the entrance as a public square!

The closest was saying they were "in talks" with gym operators to find an occupant for a potential gym, which as anyone who has any experience with property developers knows means nothing, especially prior to permissions to be granted.

The positives:

- Leegate as it currently stands is an eyesore. This would see it demolished completely.


- Foodstore is 100% redundant since there's one across the road

- Essentially admitting they haven't completed a review on how all the additional traffic resulting from hundreds of additional homes and a massive supermarket with all the deliveries that requires would impact on an already congested crossroads.
- The public space that is currently on the site has disappeared. Aside from the previously mentioned footpath being passed off as a "public square"

Leegate essentially IS the town centre of Lee so it's important to do it right after getting it so badly wrong last time. A long way to go to get there based on what was shown

MM said...

On your positives: precisely! That is what many people think and that is what makes it possible for the developers to try and get away with it. Shouldn't we be more demanding even without asking for the Guggenheim. A covered market is a suggestion - a mix of permanent and rotating stalls.

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