Redeveloping Leegate Shopping Centre, turning the South Circular into a ‘healthy street’, and building more than 1,200 new homes are some of Lewisham Council’s plans for east of the borough.

The council is consulting on its draft local plan, which sets out its long-term development strategy until 2040.   

The plan also sets out priorities for specific areas, including for green space and transport.

The final version is expected to be adopted by the council between summer and autumn of 2022. 

The council is hoping that 27,267 new homes will be built across the borough by 2040. 

The plan, which will feed into planning decisions, is divided into central, north, east, south, and west. 

East covers Blackheath, Lee and Grove Park and has a housing target of 1,298.

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According to the council’s vision for the area: “By 2040 the abundance of high quality parks and green spaces in the east area will make it a distinctive part of Lewisham.

“This includes the open expanses of Blackheath which provide the setting for the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and the village character of Blackheath district centre.

“These assets will help to strengthen the area’s visitor economy, making it a key destination in London.

“The character and role of the town centres that formed along the historic route to Blackheath, including Grove Park and Lee Green, will be re-examined to ensure they remain thriving and vital hubs of community and business activity.

“Improved links across major roads and railways will enhance movement between town centres and green spaces, opening opportunities for everyone to benefit from.

“The revitalisation of the area’s town and local centres will ensure they remain thriving hubs of community and commercial activity as well as focal points for new housing, including a high proportion of genuinely affordable housing.

“The redevelopment of Leegate Shopping Centre will act as a catalyst for the renewal of Lee Green district centre, making it a vibrant, more welcoming and accessible place.

“The centre will feature enhanced gateways, aided by the transformation of Lee High Road into a ‘healthy street’, with public realm enhancements that make walking, cycling and the use of public transport safer and more convenient.

“Residents and visitors will benefit from excellent access to high quality parks, open and green spaces.

“The area’s linear network of green infrastructure, which spans from the riverside and Blackheath in the north to Chinbrook Meadows in the south, will remain one of its predominant features.

“This will be celebrated by the distinction of an ‘urban national park’ in Grove Park, along with the open spaces at Blackheath.

“A network of walking and cycle routes, including the Green Chain Walk, will link open and green spaces both within and outside of the borough.”

The council intends to preserve the Outstanding Universal Value of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site at Blackheath, along with protecting strategic views to and from it.

It also plans to re-naturalise the River Quaggy near Lee High Road.

According to the plan: “Development proposals will be expected to maximise opportunities to improve the ecological quality and amenity value of the river environment, including by facilitating the provision of new and enhanced connections to and along the waterfront.”

Site allocations

Heathside and Lethbridge Estate

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Work on redeveloping this estate began more than a decade ago. The final stages involve 443 news homes. A new public park is also set to be delivered.

New homes: 443

Blackheath Business Estate

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A controversial planned development on this site was approved in December.

GS8 and Vabel are set to build 63 flats in two blocks of nine and seven storeys, along with a four-storey workspace building.

To do this they will demolish the current commercial units, along with 36 mature trees, which are set to be replaced.

Nearby residents, four members of the planning committee, and a local councillor opposed the development. They had concerns about the loss of trees and the impact the build could have on disabled and vulnerable residents.

New homes: 63

Leegate Shopping Centre

News Shopper:

The council hopes redeveloping Leegate Shopping Centre, once dubbed the worst of its kind in the UK, will provide hundreds of new homes and shops.

Owner St Modwen submitted a planning application in 2018, but progress has stalled on the issue of social housing after the developer offered to build only 12 homes at affordable rent.

Potential new homes: 450

Sainsbury’s Lee Green

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This site, home to Sainsbury’s and a carpark, sits across the road from Leegate Shopping Centre.

The council believes it would be a good site for a mixed-use development, with shops and homes.

Potential new homes: 120

Land at Lee High Road and Lee Road

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The council thinks 55 homes could be built on this site, which currently has a mix of commercial and residential uses, including a car dealers and a pub.

The Tiger’s Head pub along with the terrace of properties on the east side of the site would have to be protected and retained, according to the plan.

The site in beside the River Quaggy and its hoped a development would improve access to it.

Potential new homes: 55

Southbrook Mews, off Southbrook Road and Burnt Ash Road

News Shopper:

This site is made up of workspace units. The council has identified the site as having potential for a mixed-use development with workspace and homes.

Potential new homes: 23

Land by Holme Lacey Road and Burnt Ash Hill Road (east part of the Chiltonian Industrial Estate)

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Currently home to Travis Perkins and Citroen Garage, the council thinks the site could provide 52 new homes and new workspace.

Potential new homes: 52

Mayfields Hostel, Burnt Ash Hill

News Shopper:

This hostel is set to be demolished and redeveloped into social homes. The project is led by Lewisham Homes. A planning application for 47 homes was previously approved, but a new proposal is being developed that would likely include more homes.

Sainsbury Local and shops across from Grove Park Station

News Shopper:

The council thinks this site, which includes a number of shops, could be redeveloped for commercial and residential uses.

The land is beside the Grade II listed Baring Hall Hotel – the plan explicitly states that the building must be protected.

Potential new homes: 78