New retail development at Bell Green



There are plans to bring more retail to Bell Green including a second supermarket.

There is a public exhibition on Wednesday 7th December and Saturday 10th December.

[Poll] New development in Bell Green - what would you prefer?
Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green
Pollution around primary schools
Bell Green Gas Holders become locally listed
Say 'No' to further retail at Bell Green

Good share @Michael - Bell Green is so useful, and new development can only be a good thing for us in SE23 (though maybe not for residents in the immediate area?).

I just wish it were a Waitrose / M&S rather than an Aldi!


@ChrisBeach Genuine question: in what way do you think more development of this sort will benefit SE23? I have lived just north of Bell Green for 17 years. I can’t see any benefits locally that have followed from the expansion of the retail park. The shops are certainly handy, but for me it’s a redirection of spending and driving, not any increase and I can see little benefit to the local community.


I love Aldi and Lidl. Would love to see am Aldi. I also love the customer, you know the ones, open the box of curling tongs to see the curling tongs even though there is a picture of the curling tongs on the box and then just leave them out of the box before moving on. Endless amusement.

Their cold meats and smoked salmon are really good and who doesn’t like tools.


Bell Green is the only place I can get a decent range of garden stuff, DIY stuff and home appliances and electronics locally.

I’ll always use the high street for things I can carry without the car (if they’re available).

The Bell Green estate creates loads of jobs for local youngsters. It’s got easy and free parking. It probably competes with the high street for certain goods, which is a shame. We’ll all differ in our opinions on this, but more choice and more jobs is universally positive, IMO.


Define loads of jobs.

Bell Green does bring some things together in one place, but they were all already available to me within five minutes drive of Bell Green, bar Currys. Two large Homebases within minutes (both much better than B&Q). Pets at Home at New Cross. Aldi in Penge. If any of those suffer loss of trade due to Bell Green, does that affect jobs in those areas? Economics is mostly about moving money and jobs around.

What about new housing instead?


The new expansion alone will create 160-200 jobs. I’d imagine that’s equivalent to the number of jobs created by Dartmouth Road.

The population of Lewisham is growing like wildfire. Housing issues aside, doesn’t this mean we can accommodate a small handful of new shops without killing existing businesses? I prefer B&Q to Homebase. Some may prefer Homebase. Choice is good.

Rachael, you made one of the most “liked” posts on when you explained why new pizza joints were good for the area, and didn’t necessarily create a zero-sum game. Doesn’t the same logic apply to some extent here?


That’s a different model to retail parks. But I’ll give it consideration!


Sorry I am confused, we are complaining about building shops on a derelict site?


Well lets hope they actually make changes to accommodate cycling and walking access in the new plans. It’s diabolical trying to get there by foot or two wheels. The footpath on Perry Rise has cars parked on it, and on bin days its near impossible to walk down there let alone push a buggy (which its nigh on impossible to do on any day). When you finally do arrive, there are no dropped kerbs or pedestrian crossings - except if you want to go from Macdonalds to Sainsbury’s (which assumes you’ve already driven there).

Unbelievably if you look at the road surface on Perry Rise it has cycles painted on it - indicating that its a cycle route - but you take your life in your hands if you go down there on a bike. However, even if you take the long way on a bike (along the waterlink way to Windsford Rd and then up Houston Rd) its still about 10 mins to Forest Hill and you are more likely to arrive alive (although you still have to battle the A205 if you want to go past the railway tracks). If you do go via Perry Rise on a bike (and survive) it is only 5mins.

Once you do arrive however, the cycle parks are clean and protected from the weather and safe.


Struggling to find any actual plans or proposals but I am supposed to be working. Anyone got any links to something of substance?


Excellent news! But does it warrant another supermarket? Also as old gas site I believe there is restrictions on gas work site regarding houses as the ground would have to be taken away and dealt with appropriately due to be contaminated. All round good news.


Personally I would like to see a new secondary school and homes created as well as some smaller retail. But I suspect the cost of decontaminating the land would be too great, and any remaining gas storage might preclude building a school on the site.

The railway bridge is in desperate need to be widened and the developers of this site really ought to have paid for this already.


There’s an interesting discussion about this on the Sydenham community forum.

@Michael: is there a website on that leaflet? The ‘Contact us’ details are cut off in your photo and I can’t qute figure out where the map is showing the development will be.


Indeed some interesting views there and I share some of the opinion about commerical spaces dominating especially as it all seems to be boxy and lacking in any creativity. However without any proper sources Ill refrain from commenting further.

I did think that this image was rather nice.


No, just questioning whether doing so is the right choice. Which I believe is what consultations are for. I have no objection to the space being developed. I’ll be sad to see the elegant (and historic) gas holders go, though.

@comoed is entirely right about pedestrian access. The first phase of development completely failed to make safe pedestrian access into Sainsbury’s and between Sainsbury’s and Sports Direct. And given that there is a river and its associated walks at the back of the site, I’d like to see some thought given to improving access there.

Meanwhile, the car park in the most recent part of the development is a shocker - the kerbs are all too high and protrude too far. You need the width of both lanes to exit from the parking areas. Potty.


@Foresthillnick unlike the other mock-ups, this is actually a real installation in Kings Cross along side the canal there. Really pretty, and its transformed a rather run-down, dull area into a very pleasant place.


I’d love to see something like that on this site rather than more retail, but who’d pay for it?

I was so disappointed with the landscaping and design when the first phase of the retail park was built. It so unimaginative and unfriendly to pedestrians. Bleak in the winter and hot as a desert in the summer. I had hoped we moved on from such bland strip-mall development, but no.

Dos are always welcome, so I’m not nay-saying any development at all. But something less soulless would do more for local residents than more of the same, in my opinion.


Perhaps housing or a park would be more commercially viable if the gas holder frames are listed?


Taken this afternoon/ evening