What’s happening to the Streatham Megabowl Redevelopment?
Does anyone really know what is happening with the Megabowl redevelopment on Streatham High Road? The building has been empty for ages, and while I’ve heard various news about potential redevelopments, it seems like nothing concrete has been happening at all.
Back in April 2010, a redevelopment project for the site was given the green light by Lambeth Council to go ahead. The building was meant to be demolished, and a new building between two and eight floors high was meant to be built on the same spot. It was meant to contain over 240 flats, lots of retail space, and a community theatre.
But nothing has happened since then by the developers, Glentoran. There has been lots of opposition from local groups, mainly from the Telford Park Residents’ Association. But could it be a case of NIMBYism, since of course local residents in the area one or two streets away from the Megabowl site, fear that the Streatham Hill rail station will become even more crowded? That is certainly one concern, with the assumption that most of the new modern flats to be built will be occupied by young professionals commuting to work every day.
But that stretch of Streatham High Road really does need a bit of regeneration, and having a bigger population density will certainly help, as well as the new modern shop units. This will create a more vibrant high street around the Streatham Hill station, and my hope is that it will become a high street shopping destination for surrounding areas in the near future.
As of 1st March 2012, there was still no word on when the regeneration would start. Councillor Roger Giess was quoted as saying there might be revised planning applications on the way from the developers. In January 2012 though, Councillor Jeremy Clyne gave an update that there were problems with the economics of the scheme, and that the developers wanted to change the proportion of retail, residential, and parking spaces. Also, that they had already signed up a major retailer for the site. But that any revisions will have to go through the planning process again.
In May 2012, the Streatham Guardian speculated that the large retailer thought to be interested was Marks & Spencer. This would be welcomed in the area, as there is a lack of department stores on that stretch of the road at the moment.
Since then, the news flow has gone quiet and the site still stands empty and silent. But it is a shame to have such a prominent site on the high street left empty for so long and not being put to good use to regenerate the local area. So if anyone does have some information about what is happening to the site, let me know in the comments below!