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63 Honor Oak Park (ex White Wood Shop)
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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
18-10-2012 10:16 AM

There is an application to extend Sebastian Roche into the old White Wood shop:
http://acolnet.lewisham.gov.uk/LEWIS-XSL...mkey=67852

Now this is a shame really as it would be far preferable IMO to keep this zoned as a shop - the parade is already very well populated with estate agents. The particularly interesting part is the design and access statement, which I think is an attempt to demonstrate that there is insufficient demand for retail space, so justifying a change of use?

There are also some notable assertions, if not totally surprising, re imminent closure of businesses. There is a claim that the Old Bank is unoccupied but I think that this is just a case of ignorance of its current use at the time of application. Extract follows:

Quote:
List of current units:
25 Commercial Unit converted to a Residential Unit
27 Newsagent (Due to Close soon)
29 Commercial Unit converted to a Residential UInit
31 Commercial Unit converted to a Residential Unit
33 Commercial Unit converted to a Residential Unit
35 Willmotts Estate Agents
37 Tapas Bar restaurant
39 Tapas Bar restaurant
41 Newsagent (Due to Close soon)
43 Nerolli – Beauty Salon
45 Gift Shop
47 Estate Agents Pickwick
49 Delicatessan and cafe
51 Dental Repair Shop
53 Funeral Business
55 Closed Business - Sainsbury Local Due to Open
57 Closed Business - Sainsbury Local Due to Open
59 Closed Business - Sainsbury Local Due to Open
61 Estate Agents Sebastian Roche
63 Empty Unit
38 Commercial Unit converted to a Residential Unit
40 Commercial Unit converted to a Residential Unit
42 Dry Cleaners ( Due to close soon)
44 Commercial Unit converted to a Residential Unit
46 Pizza Delivery Shop
48 Cafe
50 Closed Business (was a pet shop)
52 Picture Framers
54 Chinese Takeaway
56 Off licence (Due to close soon)
58 Picture Framers
60 Fish and Chip shop
62 Taxi Office
64 Florist
66 Mini Supermarket ( Due to close soon)
68 Bar
70 Bar
72 Café / deli
74 Bicycle sales shop
76 Closed Business - Empty Restaurant Unit
78 Closed Business - Empty Restaurant Unit

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Jon Lloyd


Posts: 151
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #2
18-10-2012 10:30 AM

God, that's awful. So every offie and newsagent on the parade will close. Is this some prediction because of Sainsbury or has it been on the cards for a while, do we know? The street will be pretty grim if all these places remain empty.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
18-10-2012 10:54 AM

Quote:
Is this some prediction because of Sainsbury or has it been on the cards for a while, do we know?


Don't know. I am taking the predictions with a pinch of salt and am more immediately concerned that any such predictions should be used as justification for change of use.

I think that the old pet shop may re-open as another type of business, but again that is just hearsay and may be no better a prediction.

I think it is reasonable to suppose that some of these closures will happen as a result of Sainsburys. I also think think that new retail will be more likely too. We shall see.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
18-10-2012 11:14 AM

I think that the following part of the UDP (found here Lewisham UDP Chapter 8), assuming it is still active, will be relevant:

Quote:
STC 8 Local Shopping Parades and Corner Shops
The Council will grant planning permission involving the loss of a Class A1 shop from a Local Shopping Parade or as a corner shop, provided the new use would contribute towards preserving or enhancing the local character, vitality and viability of the parade. The following factors will be taken into account:
(a) the availability of alternative shopping facilities within a comfortable walking distance (approximately 400 metres);
(b) the number and type of units within the parade, the vacancy rate and the length of time a unit has been vacant;
© any harm to the amenity of adjoining properties.

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michael


Posts: 3,200
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #5
18-10-2012 11:18 AM

Perhaps somebody could speak to some of the local businesses scheduled for closure to see if there is any truth or whether it is just wishful thinking on behalf of the landlord. It is quite likely that some of the newsagents and mini supermarkets will need to diversify, but there is no need for them all to close because of Sainsburys. Costcutter survives in Sydenham opposite Tesco, and there is still a newsagent four shops down from Forest Hill Sainsburys (even if others in Dartmouth Road have closed in the last 20 years).

Without the 'due to close' businesses there are only two closed businesses on the parade - Whitewood and the pet shop. This application would leave only a single empty unit on the parade, which is well below the national average.

However, I don't think there is much protection on this parade against the change of use from A1 to A2.

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hoona


Posts: 201
Joined: Mar 2011
Post: #6
18-10-2012 11:38 AM

According to the Willmotts website the Pet Shop has been let, so won't be empty for long.
Also the owners of the Honor Oak Supermarket seem pretty determined to fight off competition from Sainsbury's and are not planning to close.

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roadrummer


Posts: 21
Joined: Sep 2011
Post: #7
18-10-2012 11:46 AM

Have you ever shopped at any of the places about to close down? They're about to close down for a reason. If they offered better products at better prices, they wouldn't be in trouble. The harsh realities of the free market means businesses have to keep up with change and competition. People have put up with lousy shops in Honor Oak because for a long time it was an undesirable place to invest (due to transport, demographic etc) and the mediocre shops could peddle a poor service without a complaint or a challenge. Thank God those days are gone (I've lived through them). The Sainsbury's development means local shops will have to raise their game. The owner of the Honor Oak Supermarket understands this - he has told me that the Sainsbury's decision means he will begin to diversify and offer specialist wines and different products. I'm betting he will survive. I'll certainly support his attempts to improve. For all the people crying foul about the other shops closing - I don't get it. Who is going to miss them?

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michael


Posts: 3,200
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #8
18-10-2012 12:07 PM

roadrummer, It is good to support local shops that are trying to improve, and you are right that market forces will take their toll on poorly run businesses. But I think it is unreasonable to submit a document to the planning authority stating that shops, including the Honor Oak Supermarket, are about to close down if, as seems to be the case, they are not planning to close.

If such statements have been made without evidence it is scaremongering and paints Honor Oak in a much more negative light than is truly the case. Which is why I suggest that it would be worth speaking to local business to see if there is any truth in these statements or if they should be corrected.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #9
18-10-2012 12:13 PM

Quote:
Perhaps somebody could speak to some of the local businesses scheduled for closure to see if there is any truth or whether it is just wishful thinking on behalf of the landlord. It is quite likely that some of the newsagents and mini supermarkets will need to diversify, but there is no need for them all to close because of Sainsburys. Costcutter survives in Sydenham opposite Tesco, and there is still a newsagent four shops down from Forest Hill Sainsburys (even if others in Dartmouth Road have closed in the last 20 years).

Without the 'due to close' businesses there are only two closed businesses on the parade - Whitewood and the pet shop. This application would leave only a single empty unit on the parade, which is well below the national average.


Completely agreed. It is interesting to note that the landlord in this case is Cantel Investments who are also behind the Sainburys development. Looks like a case of trying to over egg the vacancy rate to me.

Quote:
However, I don't think there is much protection on this parade against the change of use from A1 to A2.


You may well be right. However, I struggle to see how yet more estate agent space in such a prominent position, enhances the character, vitality or viability of the parade. Parade is a council term in this context that refers to shops.

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edpaff


Posts: 51
Joined: Apr 2012
Post: #10
18-10-2012 12:24 PM

Quote:
If such statements have been made without evidence it is scaremongering and paints Honor Oak in a much more negative light than is truly the case.


The photos used in the application don't exactly paint the unit in a great light either!

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Jane


Posts: 52
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #11
18-10-2012 01:36 PM

Not sure the information is accurate anyway as No. 58 is Barbaros the hairdresser not the picture framer.

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Cheeky


Posts: 215
Joined: May 2009
Post: #12
18-10-2012 02:05 PM

Sounds like they've just made stuff up to make their application sound more desirable. Not very professional if that is the case and surely the Council will see through it.

They're not expanding their site are they? They're just moving from one unit to another no?

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #13
18-10-2012 02:06 PM

They are expanding their site.

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Medley


Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2011
Post: #14
18-10-2012 02:14 PM

I'd rather a different business rather than yet another estate agent, but better a business than none.

Completely against any lying to the Council in the application.

Most of the off licences and small groceries on the parade are incredibly dire and deserve to go under.

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Cheeky


Posts: 215
Joined: May 2009
Post: #15
18-10-2012 02:21 PM

If they're expanding their site it would seem a shame to lose a potential alternate business outlet.

I really believe that a Sainsbury's on the highstreet can do nothing but good for the parade and would attract a better standard of shop for the other units and make those already around up their game (which can only be good for the majority).

I wouldn't be surprised if they're trying to get in before this happens

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
18-10-2012 02:22 PM

I think you have hit the nail on the head Cheeky.

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wuluf


Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 2009
Post: #17
18-10-2012 08:13 PM

From what I understand the owners of the honor oak supermarket own the building so they have a more a vested interest in staying put.
I must admit I fail to see why people are so excited about sainsburys.
Have people not stepped into a sainsburys or tesco local? They mainly sell convienince food, sure will be able to buy a packet of bacon or a chicken and a small selection of fresh fruit but you aint going to get the choice of going into a main store.

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Anotherjohn


Posts: 347
Joined: May 2005
Post: #18
18-10-2012 09:40 PM

Er, is that right Wuluf?

I have been into dozens of these places and most of them have a small bakery, a decent selection of fresh fruit & veg, loads of cheeses, hams and other sliced meats, dairy produce, cakes, ready meals, pastas, off-licence... (this list could go on and on!).

In my opinion they provide an excellent service and can be a good alternative to doing a main weekly shop; and I'd bet that it will prove to be very popular with a good proportion of local people for many years to come.

This store will probably attract more people to use the parade and the increase in footfall may well, in turn, turn the heads of some more serious business people, which could then create a quality and diversity that is needed/craved for this up-and-coming area (he says as someone who's been in SE23 since 1971).

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Jon Lloyd


Posts: 151
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #19
19-10-2012 10:45 AM

According to several sources, none of these 'due to close soon' businesses have any plans to close. I'm surprised our local estate agent is so misinformed about properties on the same street as its own.

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michael


Posts: 3,200
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
19-10-2012 11:05 AM

I have written to the planning department asking them to consider removing potentially inaccurate information from this application.

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