What happened to the Bramshot Avenue shops?

Charlton Champion reader Boneyboy has a question I’ve been pondering too.

Does anyone know whether there are plans for the two vacant shops/takeaways in the part of Bramshot Avenue to the west of Eastcombe Avenue?

There is some sign of activity at what was the Desi Spice take away – the front of the premises have been repainted. Does anyone know if this means that there are plans to reopen?

Family Fish and Chips next door to Desi closed about 5 years ago. Pre-ordered fish was always great, the chips were excellent, and conversatons with the owner were… somewhere between confusing and entertaining. I recently spotted that the premises were for sale for around £10K.

About 15 years ago there were 7 business premises on this parade, including a sub-post office. Now only retail offering is the excellent Toy Box newsagents. Two shops have been converted to residential, the two takeaways are vacant, Arena Minicabs operate from another and there’s dental technicians in the other.

There’s plenty of other examples in the locality of corner shops and small parades dropping out of retail use, so what is the best use for these buildings? Should they stay in some type of commercial use (such as a mini cab office) or is retaining business use too disruptive, and is it better for the areas to allow these premises to be converted to homes?

As far as I can recall, the parade went into a tailspin after the post office went in the first big round of post office closures about six years ago. But what’s the future for these shops? Your thoughts – and memories of what was there – are welcome.

8 thoughts on “What happened to the Bramshot Avenue shops?

  1. Steve March 28, 2011 / 10:19

    Desi Spice was fantastic, but seemed to struggle to build up business.

    After Desi Spice failed it was taken over by a much younger couple of guys. They painted it, renamed it and ran a takeaway from there for a few weeks but it soon closed again.

    They were very friendly, but a bit disorganised. On one occasion I got a curry for next to nothing as their card machine wasn’t up and running. They were happy for me to leave just paying with whatever cash I had in my wallet – very customer-friendly, but not a great business model!

    I couldn’t tell if they were planning for an ongoing business or just keeping things ticking along until they could sell it on to someone else. Once is closed a for sale notice went up in the window. I don’t know if the message above refers to a new lick of paint, or the original one I’ve mentioned…

    Another query about this row of shops: both the newsagent and dental technicians have signs saying “This is not a public toilet” or similar. I would have thought that was evident. Any ideas why?

  2. fromthemurkydepths March 28, 2011 / 10:23

    It’s always a great shame to hear about parades of shops disappearing like this. Who owns many of these parades? Is it the council and if so what are they doing about encouraging their usage. Has the concept of ‘pop-up’ shops been explored? A short term cheap lease would be a great incentive to people to give things a go with minimal risk. There seems to quite a few things like that in other boroughs.

    If owned privately why is it not worth the shops being let? There seems to be permanently shuttered shops in so many areas. Surely it can’t be profitable to keep them like that? If it is then the planning laws must be deeply flawed. I really need to get reading more on planning law.

    Of course Central Government policy plays a part. Closing local services such as post offices, and GP surgeries in favour of ‘polyclinics’, necessitates extra journeys either by public transport, placing more strain on them, or cars leading to more traffic. I think the solution there is increased local government power.

  3. Fresco-Le-Raye March 28, 2011 / 14:41

    I think the “This is not a Public Toilet” has something to do with the car pound not having facilities. The wonder of the chippy was that the barely understandable Cypriot(?) family would individually fry portions of chips, tasted great but ok forever.

  4. ScarletManuka March 28, 2011 / 19:37

    Oi Oi, if I’d known you were taking piccies I’d have washed the windows 🙂

    Sometimes the ‘not being a public toilet’ is not actually as evident as you may think. Personally, I’d prefer the signs to be larger, more strategically placed and barb-wired.

    Sadly, I have no gossip on the shop situation but my curiosity is with the history of the Bramdale Launderette over on the more upmarket Eastside?

  5. Mazer March 28, 2011 / 20:56

    To ScarletManuka, I believe the launderette was previously an old fashioned style hardware store and lumberyard rarely still around these days. I assume that people don’t really have use for launderettes these days. The owner lives in the attached house and she was trying to sell both properties together a couple of years ago. No doubt she will try again and then someone will turn it all into one large house or perhaps two flats.

  6. BoneyBoy March 28, 2011 / 21:46

    In many boroughs, Councils are reluctant to give planning permission to change the use of retail premises to residential. I haven’t researched Grenwich’s policy, but suspect its broadly the same. There is a concern that potential residential sale or rental values are much higher than for local shopping parades. Their resoning is that allowing conversion will that in the long term, there will be no premises available for local services such newsagents. However, as Bramshot Ave shows, there are more corner shops than business that can survive in them, so is it realistic to think that local services can be protected and maintained through planning policy ? Shuttered and deteriorating empty premises don’t do a lot for the neighbourhood.

  7. ScarletManuka March 30, 2011 / 22:31

    Hmm, interesting, thanks Mazer!
    Hope if it is ever turned into flats, then rented, that the landlord is good enough to stick in a washing machine…

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