The Government has given permission to Southwark Council to buy-out businesses in the Peckham Rye Station arcades, in order to clear the site for regeneration.
Planning permission was given in March 2015 to demolish 24 units in the arcades, and build the open square, with shops, a restaurant, takeaway, offices, and public toilets.
The council applied in April for legal powers to compulsorily purchase sixteen properties from landlords in the arcades, from whom permission couldn’t be found by mutual agreement.
After gaining permission from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the council last week sent letters confirming it to all affected businesses in arcades, and facing out onto Blenheim Grove and Rye Lane. But the council will have to give compensation to the landlords based on the value of the properties.
The council has also given a timetable for the regeneration of the arcades, which is split into three phases.
It says demolition and construction of Phase One will begin with the Blenheim Grove salons in “spring 2018”.
Work on Phase Two (buildings by the south side below the railway arches, including Jenny’s Cafe) will start “from late 2019”. Phase Three, on the north side of the arches where TSB bank is located, will start “from summer 2020”.
Completion of the entire regeneration is expected by “summer 2021”.
Before the council applied for its compulsory purchase order, only five formal objections were made, including by Iceland and the TSB Bank, which previously asked for longer time to relocate.
It is understood that Jenny’s Café, Peckham Rye Dental Care, and TSB, have since been offered new units in the completed square.
Plans have also been secured to redevelop a row of garages in Bournemouth Close. Named ‘Peckham Springs’, the site beside the Atwell Estate will house the displaced salons from Blenheim Grove, as well as new bars and cafés.
‘I believe it will work, if they look after us’
Adam Mizou, owner of Station Barbers, and who sublets unit 8-10 in Blenheim Grove, told the News: “In the beginning we were very worried. But now we think, if local people want this project to happen, then we’re happy as long as we get looked after. Southwark seem very fair and they are trying their best.”
The 28-year-old, who previously expressed fears about being forced to close when he had only just opened for business in early 2015, added: “The council has said they will offer me help me relocate to a new place somewhere nearby.
“I will have to move within a year or two, and I will probably have to change my name. I can’t really be called the Station Barber if I’m moving away.
“I will need to go somewhere where there is footfall to get my type of customer.
“For me, I believe it will work, if they look after us.
“They’ve kept us up to date with letters, and they chat to us when something comes up.”