Leegate redevelopment gets go-ahead

St Modwen’s plans to redevelop Leegate have been approved by London Borough of Lewisham’s Strategic Planning Committee in a 5 to 1 vote with one abstention – but with conditions that mean the committee can require changes as the development progresses.

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The meeting heard Killian Morris and the new ‘district centre’s’ architect run through the plans again addressing some of the questions raised in December.

Committee members had a number of concerns including:

  • Traffic
  • Pollution
  • The so-called linear square (an area in front of shops on Burnt Ash Road) which is the only public space offered
  • The entrance arcade which they feared would become a trolley park
  • The small proportion of affordable homes.

Opponents of the scheme representing the traders, Lee Manor Society, the Assembly Working Party, a member of Better Lee Green, a tenant and Cllr Jim Mallory set out concerns which echoed those of committee members.

LBL’s Highway’s Officer conceded traffic would grow. They measure the effect of the new development against the traffic Leegate would generate if it were a thriving – but undeveloped – centre.  The new traffic lights at Lee Green crossroads have not been completed and they may improve traffic flow.

Planning Officer Emma Talbot said that conditions would be set for the development to be reviewed as it progressed and the committee could demand change to address concerns.

Cllr Paul Bell conceded that the shopping centre is crying out for redevelopment but asked for a deferral so the concerns could be addressed.

However, the committee was swayed by the promise of the conditions set and voted for the redevelopment to go ahead.

One small fact emerged from the research provided for the meeting: Sainsbury’s in Lee Green is ‘over-trading by 100%’. Even with competition from Asda, it is considered that Sainsbury’s will still do better than most supermarkets in the chain.

Dates for your diary:

January 2017 work begins

June 2019 the centre opens (maybe!)

 

 

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