Proposed plans to demolish Lewisham shopping centre and rebuild the site have seen more details emerge with a document submitted to Lewisham Council.
An Environmental Impact assessment has been submitted which shows the current plan is for “up to 1,700 residential dwellings, 475 shared living homes and 700 student homes”.
Consultation events has mentioned 1,700 homes which seemed a bit curious as developer Landsec U+I’s financial results had mentioned 2,500. The breakdown in this document explains the difference.
Plans would see the comprehensive redevelopment with the shopping centre and car park demolished. The former Citibank tower would remain though that isn’t always evident in some renders of the project.
In additional certain buildings such as the Wetherspoons pub would be demolished.
Note the bottom left corner in the above image where the pub currently sits.
New shops would be located at ground floor level with a “green space” planned above some in the centre of the site.
Two main entry points are proposed. One facing the High Street and another close to Lewisham DLR and National Rail station.
One key aim is to open up through-routes and improved permeability.
The report states that “During the updated PEA and PRA survey in 2023, Black redstarts were found to be nesting on Site and as such mitigation will be required”.
Lewisham’s Riverdale Centre dates from 1977 and is a landmark in the area, in particular for its former interior which anyone who grew up locally and in their 30s and above probably remembers as a child.
Much of that was swept away during internal refurbishment in the 1990s.
The car park remains a time capsule though of previous decades with signage from various years hanging on.
It’s a great spot for documenting change across the town to boot.
Development of the site won’t be quick. The EIA states it’ll be over a period of 15 years.
The tallest tower wold top out at 35 storeys and 132 metres in height.
A car-free development is planned with disabled bays. The existing car park has 836 spaces including 36 disabled bays.
Lewisham High Street changes
Redevelopment of the shopping centre isn’t the only major change coming to the town centre. Much of Lewisham High Street is to be altered as part of a multi-million scheme.
Lewisham Council have been awarded millions from central government as part of the Levelling-Up program.
A total of £15,690,000 is for High Street out of £24 million in total which also covered projects such as revamping the library.
Of the £24 million total £19 million comes from government with £5 million match-funding from Lewisham Council.
Of Lewisham’s £5 million contribution, a total of £4 million is funding from new developments and related Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 income.
CIL is a key tool for raising money from new developments and the shopping centre plan will bring a windfall – but likely much less than is possible.
Like neighbouring Greenwich, Lewisham have a pretty poor record for obtaining funds. They started the process of reforming low rates in 2018 and went as far as consultation before “pausing”, though have yet to resume more than five years later.
That failure has seen income lost during a flurry of recent development and could now cost many more millions if the shopping centre development is approved prior to updating CIL rates.
As for the shopping centre’s EIA document, it can be viewed by clicking here.