Aldi to take on former Toys 'R Us store in Bell Green [Opening in 2019]


I would be in favour of an Aldi store opening and really hope it gets the green light, its a retail park so I would be surprised if the traffic would stop this given that this was a Retail unit before and is not an additional unit.


Me too and it may make Sainsbury’s up their game.


Let’s keep the debate friendly please

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Not everyone is driving there, I always walk down to get my shopping and so do others

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No issues with this application as it’s already using an existing retail unit that would otherwise go empty. It’ll also save Lower Sydenham’s cost conscious from going to Sydenham or Catford to get their cheap food.

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On what basis will it increase traffic and NO2 in an existing retail park with good access off of the public highway? I don’t want to get into whether this is wrong or right but you have to look at everything in the round - not knee jerk. It could reduce traffic and fumes?.. Some shopping habits may be shopping at Sainsbury’s/ Waitrose or ‘one the others’ and then a shop at either Lidl or Aldi for essentials… Having an Aldi next to Sainsbury, therefore, could reduce the traffic in the local area if this were the case?

Crux of it is we all need to get out of our cars - start walking and cycling. We all need to stop buying plastic bottles and food encased in plastic that ends up in the ocean, we all need to eat more local, in season, produce… and so on…


Public transport as I’ve mentioned before needs improving to Bell Green. A 3 bus per hour connection to Forest Hill is a joke, while the 202 avoids the retail park.


A lot of buses actually do go to the retail area. E.g. the 194. So it should be possible to catch another bus, if you get off the 202.

The point is we shouldn’t have to take two buses to get to the retail park. Perry Vale has had a dire bus service to FH ever since the 194 was cut back to Bell Green.


Don’t quite understand your point. Would you prefer to leave the site derelict? Or maybe have it used by an organisation that no one wants to visit? Surely there is a finite number of customers for supermarkets so it doesn’t really matter if they visit Sainsbury’s or Aldi. What would your solution be, bearing in mind that a cash-strapped borough like Lewisham can not afford to waste chances to earn revue.

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toys r us will have been a1 use class, the same as Aldi. Opposing on a change of use will be futile because it’s strictly not a change of use.

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The planning application is a change of use “Change of Use of the vacant ‘Toys R Us’ (A1 Use Class Non-Food) to an Aldi (A1 Use Class Food)”
At present the site does not have permission for “Use Class Food”
So it is certainly not a foregone conclusion that A1 food would be allowed (in fact it was specifically limited by a judicial review when planning permission was granted). Whether this decision will be ‘under-ruled’ by the council after a number of years could be interesting to watch, but I would suggest that given the previous restrictions it might be better decided by the planning inspectorate, which has Secretary of State authority, and would be better to over-rule a previous judicial decision.

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I agree with some of your points, especially about the railway bridge in Southend Lane, although I’m not sure how the problem could be solved without causing massive disruption for several months, not only for local residents but for everyone on the route attemptiing to reach central London by train. I believe that to compare the traffic problems at Bell Green with those suffered by the Aldi at Penge is disingenuous, however. The shop at Penge is at the junction of two major roads while Bell Green is on an industrial estate which can be accessed from two directions so I cannot see similar problems occurring. There are, of course, also two Aldi stores nearby, at Catford and Penge as well as four Lidls, so, again, I think you are exaggerating any traffic problems that might be caused and would suggest that Aldi’s aim would be to pinch customers from Sainsbury’s which, according to other posts on this site is going downhill fast. I know nothing about Hobbycraft stores, but my neighbour described them as ‘rip-offs for middle-class people with more money than sense, too much time on their hands and too lazy to visit local shops which sell the same goods at cheaper prices.’ If it does indeed come down to a choice between this and a place where you can buy reasonably-priced food in a cash-strapped area, it sounds like a no-brainer. Your suggestion that the whole site be redeveloped for housing is a lovely idea but do you suggest would pay for it? Incidentally, having lived in the area for half a century, I feel I should say that the standard of public transport has never been better, with at lease half a dozen bus routes passing through Bell Green serving almost every part of Lewisham.

The Aldi is never going to generate the same level of traffic as Sainsbury’s next door. If anything, it’ll encourage Sainsbury’s customers to shop in both stores.

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I think they excavated under railway bridges many years ago to allow double-decker trams to go underneath. Presumably they could do the same at Bell Green.

If they’ve allowed the bloody horrendous McDonald’s there I can’t see them blocking Aldi. At least the river, park and surrounding roads won’t be covered in Aldi litter.

And it’s a retail park. The idea and highway design is for traffic to go there to do ‘drive to’ shopping rather than blocking high streets with crawling traffic and cars circling to find parking.

I for one would love to have an Aldi there.


Brilliant! A decent supermarket in the area!

Not sure developerswould be queuing up to pay Currys, Next, Halfords etc for the unexpired parts of their leases as well as the landlords for the land. In any case, since most of the owners of the new houses would probably be car owners, i don’t see how this would solve the pollution problem.