£80m plans unveiled to transform 'Britain's worst shopping centre' in Lee

£80m plans unveiled to transform 'Britain's worst shopping centre' in Lee

Rundown - the Leegate Shopping Centre

The proposed view along Burnt Ash Road

Killian Morris from St Modwen

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

Revised £80m plans to transform Britain's worst shopping centre with 400 new jobs, an Asda, homes, cafes and new gym have are going on show this week.

The once-popular Leegate Centre was built in the 1960s but, 50 years on, lies mostly unloved and underused beside the Lee Green crossroads, with around half of its 20 units lying vacant and others struggling. In 2010, BBC research branded it the country's worst shopping district, while a Lee community group has labelled it a "black hole".

But now, after consulting on initial plans back in 2012 and working with council officers on the feedback, site owners St Modwen have unveiled their "radical rethink" for the centre.

Senior development manager Killian Morris explained: "The trend has really moved away from carrying out shopping trips in small district centres.

"What we're left with is something that's simply too big.

"It's got too many shops, too many empty shops and it needs a radical rethink."

News Shopper: The proposed view along Burnt Ash Road

The company says a new Asda - which was up against fellow bidders Morrisons - in the new complex will act as an "anchor" for the site, attracting other tenants in a way that has not happened since the old Woolworths closed.

And they hope other tenants will be "convenience" retailers facing out onto the Burnt Ash Road - florists, keycutters, dry cleaners, bike stores and the like.

St Modwen is in discussions with gym chains for a first floor outlet facing on to the crossroads, while a child tuition centre is also expected to move in.

Despite there being a Sainsbury's opposite, Mr Morris said it had a monopoly on the area while research showed many people were still travelling out to Charlton, Lewisham and Bromley for a big shop.

He said: "There's a lot of spending power here, it's just not coming into this shopping centre."

And he said work was still being done on  traffic impact assessments for the area - a key concern of residents.

Further changes to the original scheme will see two office blocks knocked down with around 250 housing units built on top of the new centre, along with a street of town houses linking Burnt Ash Road with Leyland Road where a car wash is currently sited.

Mr Morris said: "The biggest thing for me is this actually acts as a catalyst for other regeneration within the district centre."

The new plans are on show on June 20 from 2pm to 8pm and June 21 from 10am to 2pm in Unit 5 of the centre.

A planning application is set to be submitted later this year. Visit leegate-regeneration.co.uk for details.

Comments (5)

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2:33pm Mon 16 Jun 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Its about time the Lee area was updated, As they say, only Sainsburys seems to be the attraction there, the area would welcome some new business being instilled and give it some life back. Wonder how long it will be before this idea takes off?
Its about time the Lee area was updated, As they say, only Sainsburys seems to be the attraction there, the area would welcome some new business being instilled and give it some life back. Wonder how long it will be before this idea takes off? sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 11

9:03am Tue 17 Jun 14

goldenbroomboy says...

sarfflondonbird wrote:
Its about time the Lee area was updated, As they say, only Sainsburys seems to be the attraction there, the area would welcome some new business being instilled and give it some life back. Wonder how long it will be before this idea takes off?
The Edmund Halley does attract quite a few people. Problem is they tend to discourage everybody else.
[quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: Its about time the Lee area was updated, As they say, only Sainsburys seems to be the attraction there, the area would welcome some new business being instilled and give it some life back. Wonder how long it will be before this idea takes off?[/p][/quote]The Edmund Halley does attract quite a few people. Problem is they tend to discourage everybody else. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 3

11:22am Tue 17 Jun 14

Gypo.Joe says...

Turd polishing comes to mind.


AGAIN !
Turd polishing comes to mind. AGAIN ! Gypo.Joe
  • Score: -4

11:38am Tue 17 Jun 14

claireclc says...

Nice idea but there is no parking there. I can see Sainsburys turning into pay and display
Nice idea but there is no parking there. I can see Sainsburys turning into pay and display claireclc
  • Score: 3

6:15pm Tue 17 Jun 14

mouthalmighty says...

sarfflondonbird wrote:
Its about time the Lee area was updated, As they say, only Sainsburys seems to be the attraction there, the area would welcome some new business being instilled and give it some life back. Wonder how long it will be before this idea takes off?
I agree with the renovation idea. But, Lee has not got the worst shopping centre in britain. I have travelled around "britain" over the years and there are far worse ones around, some of which are not visible from the main road.
[quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: Its about time the Lee area was updated, As they say, only Sainsburys seems to be the attraction there, the area would welcome some new business being instilled and give it some life back. Wonder how long it will be before this idea takes off?[/p][/quote]I agree with the renovation idea. But, Lee has not got the worst shopping centre in britain. I have travelled around "britain" over the years and there are far worse ones around, some of which are not visible from the main road. mouthalmighty
  • Score: 2

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