From The Murky Depths

Housing and Development in London

Retail

Toys R Us Old Kent Road branch to close

Image courtesy Google

Despite a last minute agreement today that allows Toys R Us to avoid entering administration, plans will proceed to close 26 stores with the loss of 800 jobs. One of those is on the Old Kent Road.

It’s no real surprise. It’s a large shop and car park sitting on land that’s worth a substantial amount. Expect housing plans on the site with hopefully some commercial/retail at street level.

Development plans have recently spiked on the Old Kent Road, in part due to the Bakerloo Line extension planned to run along the entire length. Though that’s at least 12 years off unless it can be sped up.

The danger in delaying commencing extension work is that many needed homes are not built, and developers that do build avoid paying a levy to assist funding any extension whilst profiting from the prospect of taxpayer investment.

A huge amount of land along the road is occupied by low density buildings: shops, warehouses and car parks. It could accommodate many thousands of new homes whilst retaining existing uses at ground floor level.

I’m writing up a post covering the recent large growth in Old Kent Road housing plans.

Mass development and improved transport offer the chance to turn one of London’s oldest and most famous streets into what it deserves to be; a grand, wide boulevard heading into the heart of London along the lines of similar streets in European cities.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Chris

    I love your last paragraph but sadly I think your vision will not be realised.

    I shouldn’t be so pessimistic but with our town planners it just saves time to assume they will screw things up big time.

  2. eleanor

    Also – if you get your pretty boulevard NONE of those who presently live along the old kent road will be able to afford to live there…

    • fromthemurkydepths

      Building on the huge amounts of superstores and car parks does not mean evicting those in social housing along the route. It needn’t be mutually exclusive. And if TfL own some land they can leverage that to create higher numbers of social housing. Ultimately though, only large-scale changes in central government policy and land prices falling will provide the numbers of truly affordable housing needed.

      • anonymous201486

        It’s all about money, though isn’t it? Surely building co-operatives and community projects should be able to buy some of the vast sites made available for sale?

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