in Shaftesbury

Asda super-sizes?

I’ll confess I was surprised to get a letter today from Asda telling me that they are about to submit a planning application to Wandsworth to build a mezzanine level in their store at Clapham Junction.

Their plan, apparently, includes the creation of 1,229 metres of new retail space, extensive refurbishment and a new customer cafe – making it a significant development.

The main reason I was surprised was because the council would usually hear about something like this fairly early.  However, so far, the first anyone I’ve spoken to has heard about it was from me!  Of course, it might all be fairly straight-forward and good news – they reckon it will create 30 jobs – but we don’t know until the plans are submitted.

The store are running a display over the next three days (Thursday 6 – Saturday 8 August), so if you are in the area and concerned about the potential impact of a development you might like to pop along.

Update As a commented points out, saying Asda have a display probably overstates it somewhat (I took their letter at its word). In fact they have a pile of leaflets on their customer services desk. While I suppose you could call it a display, it’s being a bit generous.

Having said that, it seems the work is largely contained within the existing structure, makig it – I imagine – a fairly uncontentious scheme.

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  1. Back before Asda was Asda, there used to be an upstairs part to the building. Was a cafe/restaurant…even at a young age, I didn’t get the point to removing it….

    • That planning department received the application today. From a verbal description it seems like they’ll be recreating the cafe where it was. The mezzanine will, apparently, increase the retail area by about a third, which is a big hike (and certainly bigger than I think the current upstairs area is – although I can’t say I have been up there often).

      Consultation letters will go out over the next few days.

  2. FYI I popped in there earlier and there isnt a display, just a leaflet at the customer services desk. It has a freepost section for people to send in their views.

  3. From the plans they’ve submitted it does indeed look fairly uncontentious; and (I reckon) probably helpful rather than harmful to Clapham Junction’s viability as a town centre. It’s surprising how much the exterior of the store has dated in 20 years. Compared to the sort of refurbishments Tesco & Sainsbury’s are carrying out on their older stores (which tend to extensively update the exterior, and make them look clean & ‘modern’, with windows facing the car park to make better use of natural light etc), what’s being proposed here is a very light-touch approach indeed, maybe even a missed opportunity.

    • You’re quite right. I think the key issues are traffic (presumably they are expecting more shoppers – how do they get there?) and the car park (technically this is a town centre car park, the free parking required by the council – if it’s full of Asda shoppers what impact does this have on other shop?).