Vacant Sydenham shop has been lit for two years (74-78 Sydenham Road)

Seems a shame for so much electricity to be used by a vacant property. What could be done to resolve this situation?

Would make a great Wilkinson store

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@ChrisBestUK Wouldn’t it be more effective to use security lights, i.e. powerful floodlights on motion sensors?

That aside, squatters could easily find places to hide in that shop in areas not visible from the street. And what would burglars steal?

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for security there is no need to have the full lights on. Few lights on only at night will do the work. Scurity seems just an excuse. On top of that, if council is so worried about security it should push to get the space used instead of leave it empty.

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Thanks for keeping the Sydenham SE26 Community Group in the dark about the future of the empty supermarket property. I have been running a poll, and at the moment a cinema is the first choice by the members of the group! No one mentioned from your group that negotiations were already in the advanced stage! Chris Beach is a member of the Sydenham SE26 Community Group, and there has been no posts relating to the supermarket and it’s future. What is the future of this property?

Hi James and welcome to I wish I could clarify about the supermarket (it’s a travesty that the lights are on 24/7!). I only have scraps of information, such as the tweets above from Cllr Chris Best.

I wasn’t sure how happy you were for me to post updates from onto the Facebook group you run - I certainly didn’t want to spam your group. But I’m happy there’s an appetite for me to share more there and I will do so.

That said, I won’t be able to reliably post all updates to FB, as running this forum and others is quite a lot of work in its own right.

I welcome your input here and hope you can help me build this into a useful local resource, alongside your excellent Facebook group

I couldn’t agree more Chris, I find it very difficult to run the group. But if you haven’t got any information, then I’ve been misled and apologise for any misunderstanding. Once the poll is complete, I will take the results to Cllr Chris Best. Thank you for responding so quickly.

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Just to chime in briefly James - I don’t use Facebook but speaking from a non forum owner capacity popping up your group/a link to voting here, on Sydenham forum, twitter or other would be really beneficial to you if the information is to be used proactively to present to council etc. (rather than what would people ideally like) The more the merrier the better for the community to have voices heard.

The other point I would say is that “the final stages” was something I heard directly from Chris Best at a meeting about 1.5 years ago now. Assuming what she is saying is correct and it’s out of her hands/nothing to do with her, I just wanted to say that “the final stages” could mean anything and whatever is setup could breakdown or not be sortedfor many More months to come as before. There have been a fair few rumours but again at the council meeting it was stated it was a known high street store name and another person informally stated it was Iceland but I’d take that with a pinch of salt as at one point not too long ago Jacks (the Tesco equivalent of Lidl/Aldi) was being bandied around forums by a few people. Long story short - nothing’s confirmed, there is little info and what is coming direct from the council is very vague (perhaps partly because they don’t know whether things will complete or whether going public with whoever is meant to be moving in will perhaps scupper the plan if another big site nearby contact them and offer better rAtes etc? At a guess)

Anyhoo good luck with your poll/group etc!

I think that’s what I fell foul of JMLF, to many rumours flying about. Maybe if we put our heads together, we could put pressure on the powers that be. Can a poll be set up on here? The members of the Sydenham SE26 Community Group have already chose some options, but with a wider audience like your forum we maybe able to move forward. I agree that the lights on in the property is a disgrace, especially when it is wasting energy and increasing the carbon footprint! I just looked at the options on here, and I can set up a poll. So I will be back shortly with the same choices that are on the Facebook page. Thanks for the heads up!

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I believe I have identified the liquidator acting for the company owning the property, and have contacted them for a statement. In the meanwhile, it might be worth people contacted their favoured (realistic!) retailer, and ask them to consider the site. I contacted Iceland, last year, and they had no plans for Sydenham, but if they get a lot of requests, maybe they will rethink?

As a meantime use, though, a cinema would be awesome…

Regarding a new cinema. This looks interesting and fairly close.

So between Peckham Plex, East Dulwich Picture house, Everyman Crystal Palace and now Catford there are quite a few options to choose from. Cost wise Catford Mews looks to be accessible.


There is also the recently opened multi-purpose venue with cinema in Bellingham plus the odeon in Beckenham. Not sure if the Ladywell playtower project (to be a cinema) is still happening. I definitely wouldn’t be against a cinema (and massively for it a few years back) but there are actually a lot of cinemas relatively close by now do not sure how interested/feasible it would be from a business standpoint. I previously enquired with m and s and Waitrose (not because that’s where I would shop/I could afford it!) as the space is big and suitable for a supermarket but between the Lidl nearby, Tesco and Sainsburys locals plus the bell green Sainsburys I couldn’t see Aldi (who are now moving in to BG) or those just mentioned openings another shop. Therefore the biggest gap would be a different kind of supermarket and Waitrose/m and s does still appeal to certain people and with no stores between Beckenham, Dulwich and Croydon there would be plenty of traction for people from FH, Penge, CP to come if that’s their preferred shop. Personally the space would be great for some sorting of big food (and craft perhaps) market with lots of seperate stalls but that would only work if that at weekends - I say “if that” not Because I’m negative but because there are a lot of good food markets on weekends nearby (Brockley, horniman) and the small sydenham one a few years back did not work out in the slightest (for whatever reason). In reality, personally I think what makes the most sense is flats on top a few shop units at bottom or something similar to the fellowship - a community space that has a number of elements to it - one screen cinema at the back, small bar/cafe with performance stage for local musicians etc, small soft play/sensory area for young children or those with disabilities to enjoy, maybe a little gaming area with a board game library and tables which can be rented or free when spending more than £5 at the bar/cafe etc.
Anything that is different to what is on offer in the area and there is a need for it will work to some degree (as long as the rent/pricing is appropriate) - the poodle club is going strong, as is Ignition, the first supper club based there recently (Club Naija) was a sell-out and the other events (such as whiskey tasting) always seem fairly well attended etc, dragonfly yoga seems to be fairly busy when I go, so things can be successful on the high street outside the normal retail channels of restaurants and coffee shops too. Fingers crossed something, anything happens in that space soon and it’s not something similar to what is already on offer in the immediate vicinity!!!


A poll run on the Sydenham SE26 Community Facebook page is now ended. And I will now post the results to you. The overwhelming choice is to revert back to a cinema, but if a poll is put on your forum to see if you get the same results. Or a different choice.

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  • Artists Workshops
  • A Box Park
  • A Clothes Shop
  • A Cinema
  • A Community Centre
  • Another Supermarket
  • A D.I.Y. / Home Shop
  • A Indoor Market
  • A Medical Centre
  • A Snooker Hall
  • Small Shops with Flats
  • A Small Theatre
  • A Shelter for Homeless

0 voters

The business rates on properties like this are astronomical. It’s really no wonder that this property has lain unloved and unoccupied for so long. While I would use a local cinema, it seems unlikely to be profitable enough to be sustainable. Gets my vote though, if only wishful thinking

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Agreed entirely Vennerist.

Wilkinson Store*

Continues: The Gym Ltd proposed at old Co-op site, 74-78 Sydenham Road