Lewisham Gateway: Homes, cinema and shops – a look at progress

Construction work is now well underway beside Lewisham station that’ll bring 649 homes, a cinema, shops and new link between the station and town centre.

Work started on the western half of the site, where the concrete frame reached about six floors before halting as work began on the eastern half.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that’s it though, as work will recommence with a 30-floor tower and long slab-like block set to rise soon after the hiatus.

View upon completion

A central spine will offer a link between Lewisham station and the town centre and shopping centre – which is due to be demolished in the mid term.

These two images show an entrance to the site at the main road crossing when approaching from Lewisham town centre:

Entrance to site

The cinema will be located on the right behind the four storey building. Here’s how this view looks right now:

Looking towards main thoroughfare through site

This view is looking towards Lewisham station now and upon completion:

Still many floors to go:

Eventual view

Homes on site will be build to rent from Get Living. Many blocks now rising across London and other major cities are using the build to rent model – which is renting privately from a corporate landlord. See yesterday’s post on Mast Quay in Woolwich, recent rejection of blocks in Woolwich at MacBean Street and an Abbey Wood tower covered yesterday.

Traffic

As anyone who has been through knows, street level is pretty grim in many places. Traffic chocked and crowded, pedestrians can mostly avoid it once the development completes, though those waiting for a bus can’t.

How that is resolved is an unknown. A roundabout was removed for what now exists – yet traffic is clogged. Though new developments here are car-free, they’ll be no shortage of vehicles arriving via taxis and online shopping.

Heavy traffic

DLR frequencies are due to increase when new trains arrive. That should be between 2024-26.

Just around the corner it was notable how street level frontages have been a failure at blocks along Loampit Vale. Many commercial units are still empty after many years, and the street frontage of Glassmill leisure centre is looking very tired.

Street frontage

Of course it’s not the only development bringing a tower. A short hop away is Lewisham’s new student block:

Balfour Beatty are working on the £252 million scheme for developer Muse. This is stage two of a project which has so far seen 362 homes built in four blocks directly beside Lewisham station. While they have a pretty regimented grid like façade, stage two has random cladding and colour scheme. It looks a case of throw it and see what sticks. It could go horrendously wrong or surprise us all.

In renders much cladding looks garish and/or dated. I expect some further detailed plans on the exterior to be submitted and will keep an eye out.

Cladding is questionable

The first stage of development also opened up parts of the river Quaggy and Ravensbourne:

Quaggy with phase 1 on right, and phase 2 block on left

Upon completion there will also be 1,500m² of “co-working space” and a 1,500m² Energy Centre with district heating. That co-working space should come in handy with changing work patterns.

On the other side of Lewisham station, work is now underway on homes on the former Tesco car park. Work is starting on the midrise section initially rather than the 34-storey tower.

 

 

 

 

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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

6 thoughts on “Lewisham Gateway: Homes, cinema and shops – a look at progress

  • May 22, 2021 at 11:26 am
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    Again good to see so many new homes being built but like other developments in neighbouring Greenwich no real talk of new amenities like Health Centres GP Surgeries or improvements to the transport infrastructure to meet the growing demand of all the new residents coming to Lewisham. Although I do appreciate Lewisham Station is located close by.

    Lewisham Shopping Centre is to be rebuilt and the Shopping Centre Manager told me some time ago it was planned for shops in the Shopping Centre to open later than they currently do this will benefit shops like located in the Centre.

    Sainsbury’s is currently located in the shopping centre so do not know if Sainsbury’s will be re-located while construction take place.

    Reply
  • May 22, 2021 at 2:16 pm
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    The new homes will only benefit those who can afford the doubtless high purchase price and additional charges. I would not be too quick to praise all those horrid, high rise developments.

    The hording that has gone up along the stretch of road from the station past the bus stops represents a serious danger to pedestrians as people seek to avoid coming into contact with others by stepping into the road. It is also causing blindspots as you round the corner heading towards the high street. I also wonder how much pavement the development will take up when the boards finally come down?

    Reply
  • May 23, 2021 at 9:58 am
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    I could agree with these tower blocks if they were built to house the homeless in Lewisham, but all it will do is bring more people down the DLR and over populate the area even more. To me the tower blocks are an eyesore what should have never been built but this is part of the plan by Lewisham council to gentrify Lewisham, and a similar plan for the eyesore tower blocks is being put in place to do the same to Catford. Long term residents of the area don’t want this gentrification to happen, we know it will displace the poorest in the borough and replace them with middle class people who have no historic links to the area, who then try to change the area to how they would like it to be. To me Catford is fine how it is now and we don’t need a town centre regeneration. Regeneration means push the poor out and bring in the rich.

    Reply
  • May 23, 2021 at 9:43 pm
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    I am excited about the cinema and find the outdoor shopping appealing. This is an improvement on the roundabout that was there previously but I’m concerned we not only need more social housing but that the spec of a huge number of the flats is high enough to be pushing up the market price of everything in the locality and meaning that increased housing stock is pushing prices up rather than down. I have no problem with tall blocks but there needs to be more done to make Lewisham an affordable place to live. Would also be nice to see green walls as well as green roof space.

    Reply
  • May 24, 2021 at 6:54 am
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    @nonymous201481 I agree with you on the hording and reduced pavement space as no room for pedestrians and parents with small children and buggies, partially sighted and disabled people in wheelchairs to safely pass each other. We do need wider pavements but these are often reduce by developments coming close to the pavements we have the same problem in Woolwich,.

    It has been a long term goal for Lewisham Council to see all these new homes built in and aroud Lewisham and Catford Town Centres. I changed jobs years ago and stopped working in Catford but remember even back then these developments were all the talk. Nothing was going to change the Council minds as they saw these developments as their vision for the future.

    @Michael Connor sadly no one seems to care about about our historical links or heritage anymore, but totally accept your point.

    Reply
  • May 31, 2021 at 9:42 am
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    @Emma: ‘This is an improvement on the roundabout …’. No, it’s worse.

    There is often gridlock at the intersection of Lewisham High Street and Rennell Street, caused by the poor placement of the light controlled pedestrian crossing on Rennell Street, and drivers using the outer left turn lane to turn right onto the High Street. Cameras should be put up to catch them, but the installation of a box junction would short out the mess.

    Reply

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