B&Q recently advertised the freehold of their store on Norwood Road, and this has been acquired by the council.
This forms part of the council’s wider work in West Norwood, especially the aspiration to redevelop Site 18 – which includes the derelict laundry site behind B&Q. Currently, land ownership on Site 18 is very fragmented and the council has been working with local businesses to help assemble the site into a more coherent redevelopment proposition, as per the Local Plan and ‘manual for delivery’ consulted on and published over the last few years.
B&Q as the tenant will continue to operate as they do currently until such a time as all wider redevelopment options have been assessed – and even then any redevelopment would remain contingent on B&Q’s agreement to vary their lease, ensuring they are partners in any local change.
As local councillors, we know that many residents rely on B&Q both as customers and at staff, and we hope that in any future redevelopment B&Q will remain in West Norwood. It’s important to ensure we retain the shops we need as part of a diverse and vibrant high street.
However, we’re excited that progress is being made on Site 18 – it’s so wasteful that, at a time crisis in our local and London housing markets, derelict private land sits there undeveloped. The acquisition of the B&Q freehold is demonstration that as a Labour council we’re taking proactive and positive steps to improve West Norwood and tackle the housing crisis.