Forest Hill ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ (Home Accessories Extra) becoming Costa [Now open]



Nope, just the usual hearsay.


Even if Costa do bail out - and on the basis that the homewares shop wants to remain - it would make really good economical sense to split the shop through the middle to create another unit.

The reason being that Business Rates hit wide shops much harder than narrow ones, due to the way that the premises is valued by zone. The first zone is the area 6.1m back from the front elevation, which is valued at, say, £375/m2, then the next 6.1m depth is at £187.5/m2, then £93.75/m2. These amounts, together with some other factors such as staff WCs, air conditioning, parking and others, are put together to come up with the Rateable Value.

The Business Rates payable would then be around 45% of the RV but there are discounts available for premises with an RV of less than £15,000 - although I doubt that either of this pair would be eligible for that, unless one was way narrower than the other.

The other major consideration in all of this is - would a Planning Application for splitting this large shop be granted? They might not want to lose a rare large unit in the town centre - even though everyone was up in arms about servicing and deliveries to the ill-fated Morrisons proposal. Would there have been the same hoo-ha if it were Waitrose or M&S though?

So, perhaps a large unit like this with potential servicing problems AND carrying the huge Business Rates burden as it does - ON TOP OF HUMUNGOUS RENT - isn’t viable here and 2 smaller units that might be affordable to independent retailers might just be the answer.


I am not sure who the ‘we’ are that Carol-Anne mentions, although I appreciate her Trump-style of tweeting.

I imagine that ‘they’ would be up in arms if the Wetherspoon chain were to look to open a venue in Forest Hill as no one would want it. Never mind if that pub seemingly was the most popular drinking establishment here.

It would be nice if we let people choose where they want to go by giving them choice.


This is very much a them and us society these days. It is for you to decide if you are a them or us.

I say let businesses try, if they work, great, if they don’t, their loss. Worked for Superdrug.


Costa could be a great draw to the other side of the tracks, maybe when The Perry Vale lease runs out?


I’ve thought that, although it’s not a great spot for outdoor seating and the lack of safe crossing on the road makes it less attractive, particularly for mums with kids.

We need something there, for sure (and preferably not something with a late license - as residents in that block, we have enough trouble with awful parking and often behaviour from JK Banquets patrons leaving at 2am)


Maybe Costa could part fund the much-needed crossing there? I’m not a fan of chains but in this situation, it could work all round


The issue of the crossing is not about funding, but suitability. Lewisham have said it is not an appropriate site for a crossing.

As for Costa being there, I had the exact same thought when the retail units first appears all those years ago. Perfect for getting to the station 10 mins early and loitering.

As for the outdoor seating, it seemed quite popular in the summer when the PV was open.


Costa relies on lots of footfall.


I’d definitely welcome somewhere to get coffee on the way to the station from the Perry vale side, although I have today Costa’s actual coffee isn’t one of my favourites. Do we know why Lewisham doesn’t think a crossing is appropriate? I’ve seen crossings in much more awkward places!


Hi @emmamay - just to let you know, we have a long and storied discussion on this here: A Crossing at Perry Vale? (by underpass) (best to continue there to keep this topic on-topic)


Oh thanks, Chris, i’ll take a look.


There is a new application:

This splits the unit and includes a Costa Coffee.

This planning application therefore proposes the sub-division of the ground floor of 7-9 London Road, Forest Hill. The western half of the unit (Unit 9) would be retained within the A1 Use Class whilst planning permission is sought for the change of use of the eastern half of the unit (Number 7) from its existing lawful A1 Use to allow a mixed A1/A3 coffee shop, which it is intended for occupation by Costa.
This solution allows the current occupier to remain in Forest Hill, whilst creating a unit that is of a suitable size that is attractive to coffee shop operators such as Costa.


Sounds like a positive step, and good for the current business too.


Yeah, if they’d’ve done it when I suggested the permission would be through next week.


I still stick by my earlier post & worry this will have an effect on our amazing independent Coffee Shops :frowning:

" PaulineVerified1st Mar
From the horses mouth after I spoke to the owners.

Half of the shop will be a Costa Coffee, the other half as is.

If all goes ahead!

Sorry if anyone has said this before, I’m only recently asking about this as it may effect our amazing independent Coffee Shops which I think are ace in our community even though I don’t like coffee - yes I am in the minority in FH."



I am the landlord of this shop and have been since it was built about 15 years ago.

The plan is to turn the left half of the property into a coffee shop and Home Accessories Extra will stay on in the right hand side as you look from the pavement.

Hope this clears things up a bit.


Exactly so sir.

I am the landlord of the property and the idea is to have a coffee shop in the left hand side of the shop and Home Accessories Extra will stay in the right hand half.


Thank you for the info @macpaul .

That makes total sense to me; and the Business Rates saving for the Home Accessories Extra guys will be immense!

I did a similar thing on a miniature scale for one of my tenants on Dartmouth Road recently and, notwithstanding the roadworks chaos, it has worked out really well.

I hope it all comes together nicely for you and your tenants, who are providing a useful service for Forest Hill. I will also have my fingers firmly crossed in the hope that your new coffee shop operator won’t affect any of our little independents too badly.


Hi Guys,can you confirm half will be the Accesorries shop and the other half Costa Coffee, thank you.

Also welcome to the forum, and massive thanks for joining and sharing :+1: