Plumstead regen money being spent on unneeded shop change?

Last week I covered changes planned in Plumstead High Street as it prepares for the second major project over the past two decades.

There’s some good ideas but also some odd decisions – such as almost entirely ignoring public realm along Lakedale Road which could really do with improvements and has much potential, and unlike Plumstead High Street, has space outside commercial units for seating and trees.

Removing walls outside units and upgrading paving – with new greenery – could lift the area and entice business

Part of the space outside shops is private, but that needn’t be a barrier to improvements as the same situation exists outside shops on Wilton Road in Abbey Wood. Both public land and private was upgraded together:

Wilton Road upgrade. Outside seating on private land, though improved as part of public space improvements. Land boundary isn’t now visible as before

This week another application has appeared on Greenwich’s Planning Portal and appears to be a somewhat odd use of money, as one of the few places that already has a good quality frontage is going to see money spent on a replacement.

The Red Lion noodle bar’s front is a cut above most others in the area, with an attractive frontage and signage.

Other improvements

Many shops and/or building owners along Plumstead High Street have declined to upgrade their frontages so far. Given the project has been on the drawing board for some time, whether many more are added remains to be seen.

Most commercial units not included in upgrades

There are three units on Lakedale Road that are part of the project, but consultation details appear to suggest no improvements to the majority of the street itself.

I may be wrong, but I think the Red Lion building was refurbished and new signage added when Plumstead High Street last saw millions of pounds. It looked good then, and does today.

Unfortunately that last refurb fell apart as buildings were not maintained, and Greenwich did little to ensure the area didn’t decline.

There’s a couple of questions here. Firstly, why spend money on a unit that already looks good?

Second, is it because so many units have declined upgrades – which are 90 per cent paid for by public funds – and so there’s excess cash? If so, maybe use some on Lakedale Road.

 

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John Smith

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.

2 thoughts on “Plumstead regen money being spent on unneeded shop change?

  • July 12, 2021 at 11:26 am
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    I suspect it might be just a function of who has applied and who has not.

    A consequence of not taking up the opportunity of low-cost improvement in this project should be a much keener eye taken on whether remaining units need enforcement action for their harm to public amenity.

    Reply

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