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Unused massive empty space in Empire Square Long Lane

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Tuesday 12 April 2011 3.54pm
The answer is why is a Dialysis centre there...
I am sorry but I think that this area needs so much retail and supermarkets and what is happening? BHS is full of junk food and take-aways.. or worst buildings left adrift (funny... owned by KCL...) but than a Dialysis centre is going to be done there...

I find all this very "geographically" erratic. Sorry.
Tuesday 12 April 2011 6.51pm
Is the pavillion in the square still unoccupied?
Tuesday 12 April 2011 6.53pm
It is occupied by Berkeley Homes themselves

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Wednesday 13 April 2011 8.18am
Hello everybody! Is it only me to find a bit , let's say.. Random the choice of using the massive sPace next to Tesco in empire square as a dialysis unit? I mean, most of the oppositions towards opening some badly needed supermarket were based on futile excuses like lack of parking space... Now without talking about all the retail oPtions and alternatives, I have been working with this kind of patients and they do need ambulance services and transport, indeed. In addition barclays scheme have filled the space in front with very useful bikes that we all use and they cover the whole approach... Moreover the whole space is glass window... How charming for such a delicate issue!
are these people making random policies or is only me thinking this?
finally goodbye empire square alternative to bermondsy square.... Guys own so many unused buildings... Please let me know your views
Wednesday 13 April 2011 8.21am
orione wrote:
The answer is why is a Dialysis centre there...
I am sorry but I think that this area needs so much retail and supermarkets and what is happening? BHS is full of junk food and take-aways.. or worst buildings left adrift (funny... owned by KCL...) but than a Dialysis centre is going to be done there...

I find all this very "geographically" erratic. Sorry.

A Dialysis centre next to a hospital...? What is erratic about that?

There is already a tesco next door, a Sainsburys on Borough High Street, another Sainsburys in Bermondsey Square and another Tesco around the corner from that. How many does one need?
Wednesday 13 April 2011 8.33am
Seriously JamesB where do you live? I live next door and I can tell you that between the hospital and the square there is a huge community and go and try that Tesco . Is good for nibbles.. not for a poPulation of thousands... Unless you live on few things. I think the problem of this area is that policies are made by people not living in the area. They simply do not care. As I said a supermarket (good one) is one of the options... Of the many things we need.. And kcl and guys own most of the buildings now in scaffoldings in bhs. And I repeat, on the ground of the reason why the alternatives where refused this choice is not consequential.. Do you have an answer to these questions?
Wednesday 13 April 2011 9.24am
Bermondsey Square and Empire square where both intended to be mixed use ie part residential part commercial units as required by planning. In my opinion the difference is that bermondsey square was developed by a developer who understands the needs of both residential and commercial elements of the the space and designed the space fit for both purposes. Whilst Empire square was developed by housebuilders. Therefore the commercial space does not work. The pavilion building which was supposedly designed to be suited for a restaurant/cafe fully illustrates this as it just was not suitable for that use. Unfortunately for Empire square that means whilst it might be a great place to live the commercial space is hard to let. The supermarkets are just not interested in it, apart from Tesco as it stands, so we can forget about that. The freeholders are going to take anyone who wants it which due to poor design is not many, so if guys hospital want it and have the necessary planning they need than thats who will have it. It is never going to be another Bermondsey square the ground floor commercial space is just not well designed enough for that.
Wednesday 13 April 2011 9.30am
I agree with Orione.... The fact that no supermarket wanted to take the site, for a number of years, even when the ground rent was being heavily discounted, is clearly the Council's fault.

Has anyone written to Simon Hughes on this?
Wednesday 13 April 2011 9.32am
Orione you are right we do need a good supermarket...the area is crying out for one and the convenience shops in the area are particularly poor as you have noted. However, as I said before what we want and what we get are very different things and the supermarket groups do not see enough business to invest in a large store on this site...they believe the lack of parking will limit the number of potential customers and this has to be true or we would have the Waitrose (or other) that we need so badly. Whether the number of pedestrian customers is enough for their margins is the issue and it clearly isn't as the site has been marketed to all the big groups over the last few years. I read that you felt there were many supermarkets that didn't have parking and this therfore shouldn't be an issue...where are these as the only ones I see are in areas with very high footfall like Tesco Metro in Cheapside or Liverpool Street or Sainsbury in Holborn...but that kind of footfall just doesn't happen on Long Lane.
Wednesday 13 April 2011 9.35am
I don't really understand how companies with, I presume, many years of design implementation experience can continue to get the basics wrong. Its not as if its the first time someone has had to create a shell unit. As with the ongoing fiasco of the Tabard St landscaping you have to wonder what has gone wrong with the planning stages of public/commercial realm enterprises. I think developers need to look beyond the one size fits all format and go back to creating functional spaces rather than simple voids. When it costs in the region of 150,000 to fit out a shell unit for active use is it any surprise that many of them sit empty or are only suitable for chains with the necessary capital to invest?
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