Aldi have submitted plans to open a branch in Kidbooke on the former site of Homebase. The news comes hot on the heels of Lidl opening a new store in Charlton as low-cost German retailers continue rapid expansion.
The rumoured Aldi opening is confirmed and will please thousands who have moved into Kidbrooke developments which lack large supermarkets nearby.
A new Sainbury’s Local is also due to open by Kidbrooke station soon – though the range at Aldi will be much larger. A new Young’s pub is also coming.
The former Homebase will be extensively rebuilt with two units. The other shop beside Aldi is not comfirmed.
Though expected, it is somewhat surprising the landowner has not opted for a mixed-use scheme which would yield far higher revenue – with a new Aldi supermarket built on site and homes above. Locals would still get a shop and much needed homes built to boot. Aldi in Germany are following this path now. Lidl have announced likewise in the UK.
There may be trouble ahead
It will also be interesting to see how Greenwich Council approach this. Despite having some of the highest homebuilding rates in the country they failed to meet London Plan targets last year. The updated London Plan has an even higher target.
Failing to build mixed-use on brownfield site such as this means a greater chance that green areas will be built on later – or higher blocks squeezed onto other sites.
Whilst many will welcome this Aldi in a converted retail warehouse without homes, the same people will often be complaining when local parks are built on five years later. Mixed-use now can prevent that.
Indeed, some councils have begun to block retail sheds from supermarkets without residential elements given targets and need for homes as London population continues to increase and family homes are converted into bedsits. This is particularly true if near transport links – which this site is with Kidbrooke station down the road.
Then again, Greenwich Council’s Site Allocation Strategy which determines what can be built and where, is two years late and counting.
This is storing up problems and failing to ensure varied developments on brownfield. It’d be worth remembering that in five years time when inevitable controversies build up. It’ll be due to not utilising land efficiently now – in part as the planning framework is absent.
Greenwich Council will receive £100 per square metre of new retail space in Community Infrastructure Levy income. If retail was included an additional £35 would be gained per square metre.