VACANT shops in Lee Green have led to it becoming home to Britain’s worst shopping district.

Nearly a third of all shops are vacant in Lee Green, according to research by the Local Data Company (LDC) on behalf of the BBC.

The research into the nation’s changing high streets found that on average 11.2 per cent of shops are empty across the Greater London area, placing Lee Green three times above with 32.34 per cent, and higher than anywhere else in the country.

Charles Batchelor chairman of the Lee Manor Society said: “ I can see two reasons why this may be. Firstly, there is great uncertainty about the Leegate Shopping centre. It is due to be redeveloped but we do not know when. No time frame has been given and in preparation, leases are not being renewed.”

The plans for the redevelopment of Leegate Shopping Centre, owned by St. Modwen, are currently under consideration by Lewisham Council.

Mr Batchelor added: ”The second reason could quite possibly be the traffic controls on Lee High Road. It is difficult for people to stop on that red route and the number of cameras that TFL have there make it impossible.”

As part of the research it was revealed that off licences have suffered the most closures in the past year, with them seeing a decrease of 19 per cent. However, supermarkets have flourished, seeing an increase of 12 per cent.

LDC is an independent source of up to date retail and leisure data.