Massive ASDA next to Lee Sainsbury’s?

Map showing the proposed ASDA next to Sainsbury's
Brockley Central has a great post, pointing out that a new ASDA is being planned to replace the dilapidated LeeGate shopping centre (the burnt-out-looking post-nuclear-apocolypse shopping square over the road from Sainsbury’s).

From their post:

St Modwen claim that a supermarket is needed to create the footfall that will make the rest of the retail offer (25,000 sq ft of new shops and restaurants along Burnt Ash Road) work. They must know this is hogwash. If one large supermarket has done nothing for the site (arguably, it accelerated the decline), how would another help? Lee Green has been a dysfunctional town centre for decades and something much more imaginative would be needed to reverse its decline. This proposal plans to keep the ugliest bits (including Leegate tower, which is a strong candidate for the borough’s worst building) and allow the site to be dominated by a supermarket shed, none of which is likely to turn this in to a leisure destination.

This looks like a cynical ploy to get permission to develop another large supermarket in the borough, rather than a considered attempt to regenerate Lee. None of the other projects featured on the developer’s website give any kind of reassurance that they know how to handle a site like this.

They haven’t handed any official plans over to Lewisham Council yet, but they have a weasel-worded “have your say survey” on their site.

Q: Do you support in principle the preliminary proposals for the regeneration of the Leegate Shopping Centre?
No, it looks like you’re just trying to crowbar another massive supermarket next to an existing one, further killing local shops.
Q: Are there any aspects of the scheme that you are particularly impressed with?
Q: Are there any aspects of the scheme on which you have particular comments or suggestions?
How about building some affordable housing on the site, without holding the council to ransom with the threat of a supermarket?
Q: Do you feel that a mixed-use scheme as proposed is the right way forward for the regeneration of Leegate Shopping Centre and Lee Green?
I’d love to live on top of a supermarket. Wouldn’t you?
Q: Do you welcome the opportunity for greater choice in your supermarket shopping?
Do you still beat your wife?

Feel free to add your thoughts on their feedback form.


Filed under blackheath, planning

37 responses to “Massive ASDA next to Lee Sainsbury’s?

  1. Thanks for highlighting the comical survey – I hadn’t spotted that, but your answers are perfect.

  2. Steve Barker

    Seriously two supermarkets?! err… why! A descent leisure centre would be a much better idea. Also if they want to start clearing up the area they should definitely get rid of the horrid Weather spoons bar which by far cheapens an already desolate defunct centre. Also Leegate tower has to go, why on earth would they want to keep something that is obviously not being used now. This is a real opportunity to get this done and get done right. If Greenwich council can take on the Ferrier estate and redevelop that then surely Lewisham can sort out Lee Green.

  3. Anonymous

    What sort of La-la Land do people live in? This is a property company, not a charity. “Horrid” Weatherspoons is a favourite for pensioners seeking cheap meals and couldn’t cheapen any more than a 99p store or charidee shop. The group is also one of the few pub-based moneymakers, nowadays, so it will pay rent – unlike many retailers begging for a payment holiday or failures like the Tigers’ Head opposite, which no-one wants.
    Why keep the tower? Perhaps because it is still partly occupied and could be refurbished – possibly as a centre for SMEs. There is still demand for small-scale offices in the area. There’s also the matter of demolition costs.
    As for Ada, why would another supermarket threaten local shops? If they have survived Sainsbury [expanded twice] and Iceland and outlived Kwiksave, another one won’t make a difference. But it will bring competition to cut Sainsbury prices – something that would be welcome to hard-pressed local families, if not to snooty middle-class ones.
    BTW, there are already “affordable” homes on the site. Some people are happy to live above commercial property.

  4. michelleobrien11

    Lee Green has been identified by researchers for the BBC as the worst shopping area in the entire country.

  5. Jock Wilson

    What sort of La-la Land do people live in…well unless someone has a big pot of magic money the only way the centre is going to be redeveloped in the next 5 years is through a supermarket.

    Stop moaning about ‘another’ supermarket. The vast majorty of people clearly like shopping at them (ie they vote with their feet)

    • There are loads of ways to redevelop an area. They don’t all have to involve massive supermarkets. And there’s one right next door.

    • Trog

      Most people might shop in supermarkets these days but that’s not necessarily because they like doing so – there’s just not much option. The supermarkets waged war on the High Streets and killed off (most of) the independent shops. This is the reason that places like Lee Green are in such a state, so I can’t see Asda suddenly being a miracle cure.

  6. Anonymous

    That junction is a nightmare i wonder how it will cope with more traffic!

  7. Anonymous

    Lee Green is a accident blackspot already!! Also has anyone tried to drive though Lee Green to Lewisham in the morning or evening…. Nightmare.

    • Anonymous

      I live on Eltham Road, near to the crossroads and I am seriously concerned about the impact that the increased traffic will have on the residents in the area – the road can barely cope as it is. I will definitely be putting in my concerns once the planning application is made – they need to create something that will be able to attract people down the hill and away from the safetynet of Blackheath.

  8. Anonymous

    Modwen quote: additional traffic generation can be accommodated on the surrounding highways network, subject to local improvements to enhance capacity.
    Can it? is it a good idea to enhance road capacity with the increases in noise, congestion and pollution that will bring? providing parking for 320 cars WILL suck in traffic to a residential area. Horrible.

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous, I am in absolute agreement with you. the area around Lee Green is already very congested and does not need any more traffic. What we should be doing is trying to pedestrianize the area as much as possible. Lee Green is already a hot spot for traffic accidents and is a real travel hub for school children. Sure having something like a mixed leisure and business development would work well. There is already a supermarket there. What has Sainsbury’s response been to the idea that ASDA is interested in building a supermarket opposite it?

      • Bob Land

        Sainsbury’s response, externally probably none, internally, start planning to ward off ASDA taking a share of their profits.

  9. Steve

    Last thing we need. We don’t need another supermarket in Lee Green. We need a community/leisure centre/ park/ something more imaginative to inspire people and give them a proper sense of community.

  10. Anonymous

    Is this supermarket still going to be built? It’s all gone quiet. Lets hope they have seen sense and have decided to build something that will enrich the area rather then just another large shopping hub that will sap the life out of all small local business around it.

  11. Anonymous

    Is this still happening? It’s all gone strangely silent? Are ASDA looking around for a councilor to bribe?

  12. James

    Ill swap sainsbury’s for asda anytime as i already do online shopping with them cause they got the better deals. And could save more without the delivery charge. could also do with a kfc and a burger king as well and maybe a decent clothes shop. everything else you can get online don’t need shops theses days. no matter what gets built here your going to get the increased traffic. I still use my local conner shop for little things like milk, sugar, tea bags, tobacco, I say redevelop the sainsbury’s site for housing.

  13. I’ve read many comments, articles and blogs on the Leegate regeneration scheme. So here is my humble opinion…

    Many have questioned the choice of ASDA and the logic of adding another big supermarket. I have lived in areas that have been dominated by single supermarkets and yet have thrived. So the question is if Sainsbury’s has not lifted the area, then why are we putting our faith in ASDA?

    I believe that supermarkets can have a positive impact on perceptions of an area from outside. However, if you feel that another supermarket is required then I would also question the choice of ASDA. ASDA would appear to have far more negative connotations than other big brand supermarkets, and appears to be splitting the online community before a brick has even been laid. A quick review of scores provides the following:

    Asda – 4.7 (Low)
    Sainsburys – 5.1 (Acceptable)
    M&S – 6.8 (Acceptable)
    Waitrose – 7.1 (Good)

    I have no doubt hard work has been put into the ideas from the scheme, but the result would appear to be lazy. There are various supermarkets that surround the Lee area, traffic is already challenging at the crossroads, more cars will worsen the traffic, and nothing in the scheme appears to overtly cater for providing life to an area desperately in need of revitalising.

    I believe what is needed is the development of the residential area, a public hall (that can cater for many community events, be it weddings, arts, meetings, etc), a gym, cinema (e.g. picturehouse) and cafes (which are already in the plan). Lee carries a stigma that undermines the community and creates a sense of ‘other’ about the area – this stigma no doubt makes it harder for residents to improve their lives, to get jobs and to get their children into certain schools. By creating an incentive for those who are more affluent to visit the area (community hall, gym, cinema and cafes) for the routine purposes, we can start to undermine that stigma and normalise this more deprived neighbourhood. Let’s turn Leegate from a place people are desperate to escape to one where people are desperate to get in!

    • Anonymous

      Hear, hear! I totally agree with everything you said above. I have lived within 200 meters of Lee Green’s centre for about 10 years and I think it is crying out for all the ideas you mentioned above. Lets hope St Modwen and the council listen to what people are saying and create a space that will attracted people to the area.

  14. Julie

    Agree with your suggestions, although the public hall might suffer from competition up the hill, namely Conservatoire and Blackheath Halls. it would be nice if the flats were to be redeveloped, but I’ve heard that this won’t be the case.

  15. Beefy

    Who is going to pay for the redevelopment outlined above? The money that ASDA would bring through extra rates, development taxes would help kick start it.

  16. \leeman


    Do you actually live in Lee? There’s absolutely no stigma, it’s a popular area to live in with a lot going for it? Leegate Centre is admittedly not its best point.

  17. Kate

    Can I put in a bid for a secular, state secondary school? Seems like the only plot of land big enough to deal with the overpacked primary schools in Hither Green and Blackheath?

  18. Lee Green Resident

    Does anyone have any news on whats happening to the redevelopment of Lee Gree?

  19. I’d be interest to know too. Last I heard was something from the Lee Manor Society in some meeting notes that read as follows…

    The meeting with St. Modwen finally took place on 23rd July but was not particularly productive. Unfortunately St Modwen still seem intent on pursuing the same scheme of redevelopment with ASDA and with no additional housing provision. The slightly good news

    Sounds like St Modwen are unlikely to make amendments to their plans.


    Click to access Lee_Manor_11Sep13.pdf

  20. Julie

    There’s another consultation exercise on 20 and 21 June, but they still want to build a large retail outlet….

  21. sue

    Don’t forget that you only have until July 5th to submit your feedback to St Modwens about their plans for the Leegate Centre. What happens in the centre will affect this area for years to come so it is worth pushing for the best possible solution. If you do not want a superstore at all there is still time to say this in your feedback. Resident protest stopped Yellow Storage moving in on St Mildreds Road and Ikea has had to listen to residents in Greenwich. It does work but we all need to do it!

    • Lee Green Resident

      As someone who has attended each one of the public Confrontations…. sorry Consultations, I see they have not listen at all to the public opinions that have been voiced at each meeting. Their latest offering has only added a few trees and more grass. It is obvious that they are just trying to string this along so that the public interests in opposing just peters out.
      They still adding high rises building that will tower over the existing homes in the area, a new larger Wetherspoons pub right on the spot where someone was stabbed to death 2 months ago by drunken teenagers.. The area does not need another supermarket or pub.. A new cinema, library or leisure center would be much better key anchoring proposition.

      • Totally agree with LGR’s comments above.

      • tkmk

        Totally agree with LGR’s comments above. I’m guessing that those creating the scheme live in beautiful green tree-lined neighbourhoods (far from Lee) and would kick up a stink if Asda were to be dumped in the heart of their communities.

  22. CDT

    The redevelopment of Leegate Shopping Centre in good for Lee Green and good for the London Borough of Lewisham. Asda will bring much needed jobs to the area and give residents a greater choice when it comes to doing their shopping. Independent shops are still part of the redevelopment plan for Leegate Shopping centre along with new housing. So this can only improve the area.

    • I disagree. Asda will bring minimim wage jobs, supplemented by benefits, just as Sainsbury’s does. We will have greater choice between two massive supermarkets next to each other, who continually monitor each other’s prices anyway. This is the illusion of choice. Independent shops will be offered by the developers as a figleaf to cover the insertion of WalMart into our community. They won’t and cannot compete on price against two supermarkets, so will offer only items at the fringes of necessity. When you say new housing, you mean new flats. No houses will be built as a result of this development. Small overpriced flats will be built, and the developers will make a killing.

      • John Miller

        The supermarkets already price match!! There is a Lidil 1/4 Mike away. When I asked the developer at the public consultation why there was a need for another supermarket. They said it was because Sainaburys was over operating. TOSH!! I’ve been shopping there for over 10 years and I would hardy say it’s ever packed. Here my prediction. Asda will be built and then in 2-3 years Sainsburys will be knocked down and move over priced flats will be built. A win win for the developers. While Lee’s traffic congestion will increase unbearable. Lee centre will start resemble the High Density flats Loampit Vale in Lewisham .

      • tkmk

        JM’s comment (above or below, couldn’t quite work out the commenting here) is spot on. My partner used to live in Islington and the Sainsbury’s there is genuinely over croweded. In fact I’d go so far as to say that the Lee Sainsbury’s is the least packed supermarket I’ve been in. They also gave me the same response, so perhaps it would be good to check with Sainsbury’s themselves for comment.

  23. Steve

    I see that there is a Facebook page dedicated to the Lee Gate Campaign:

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