“We’re still under contract with Asda!” In an exclusive interview, St Modwen exec. scotches rumours about Leegate proposal

 

LeegateKillian MorrisKillian Morris, St Modwen’s Development Manager for Leegate speaking exclusively to leegreen.london, says there is no truth in rumours that Asda has pulled out of the proposed development.  The supermarket chain recently announced plans to axe jobs in the company’s headquarters and fears were raised that it would walk away from the Leegate redevelopment. 

But Mr Morris says that Asda is committed to the project.  “Asda wants to be represented in parts of the country where the local population hasn’t got access to an Asda,” he said.  The nearest Asda to Lee Green is Greenwich – a car ride away.  A number of councillors have commented that many residents of Lee Green will welcome the lower prices at Asda compared to Sainsbury’s.

A council planning meeting last year heard officers raise a number of concerns they want addressed before consent can be given.  These include further study of traffic once the new traffic lights have been completed.  St Modwen has set aside half a million pounds for the extra study.

Mr Morris said their plans had been tested by TfL, Lewisham Highways and Lewisham’s independent traffic consultants.  The results showed that although traffic levels will increase, the planned mitigation measures such as the bus pull-in will reduce the impact to “acceptable levels”.

People who have lived in Lee Green for some time, will know that Leegate has been “about to be improved” for years.  However, it is possible that 2016 will see the beginning of the end of Leegate.  Killian Morris certainly hopes that is the case.  He longs to bring Lee Green back to life.  “I hope our plans will re-invigorate Lee Green as a District Centre,” he said. 

Asda“The main store (in this case Asda) acts as a springboard to bring in other businesses,” he said.  “Services are designed for local people’s needs: a food store, a gym, coffee shops and cheese and olives from the market stall.”  He acknowledges the food sector is under pressure but insists “Asda is standing by the terms of its contract.”

It is hoped the proposal will come back before the committee in the Spring but the wheels of the planning machine turn very slowly and the longer the proposal takes to go through, the greater the threat from external pressures. 

In the meantime, the shops in Leegate are still open for business and need everyone’s support.

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