Balham high street: updated

Our post on Sunday provoked opinion on both the current businesses that reside in Balham and what should replace the soon-to-be-empty Bonmarche and Lucas Bond stores. Kim Sullivan, Balham Town Centre’s manager, has since announced that the landlord of the space that houses Bonmarche and the old M&S Simply Food store has submitted a planning application to create one big space with nine flats above, with a large national retailer very interested in the site, adding that it’s not a supermarket. The Lucas Bond space has also gained interest from a current Balham business looking for an additional location. It’s great to hear (and thanks to Kim for letting us know) that there’s definite interest from strong parties to fill these spaces.

The best news though has to be that Wandsworth Council and The Balham Partnership has secured £1.9 million to improve Balham over the next two years (applause). More info on how exactly it will be invested can be found on their website – a very pleasing development in keeping Balham thriving.

Part of the reason why we started this blog is because we think Balham has so much to offer. It’s been great to explore old and new places, and meet some great people, and we don’t see ourselves running out of material anytime soon.

We’re a bit eager to play ‘guess the new shops’ though… anyone care to join in?

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8 thoughts on “Balham high street: updated

  1. There’s a lot of speculation on Facebook/Twitter on who the ‘large national retailer’ might be. Favourite guesses so far include TK Maxx and Primark, although they both have large outlets in Tooting. In any event, it’s going to be a while before anything opens as there is (a) planning consent to be granted; (b) demolition; and (c) major construction work to be done to create the retail space and the flats. Exciting times.

  2. My wife and I spent ages playing the speculation game the other day. It was tough going trying to come up with anything that would go into the Bonmarche/M&S combined space, it would probably be the right size for a major fashion retailer or sports shop like JD or Sports Direct, but then thinking about the demographic in Balham and the stores that are likely to be expanding we wondererd whether it might be more likely to be a big mothercare.

    Shame about Lucas Bond shutting their doors, hopefully something good can go in their to keep Bedford Hill on the up. Lavish Habit going in was a positive move so hopefully a few more enterprising creative people can move in and make a go of it.

  3. I hope with my whole being that it’s not Primark. I really don’t want Primark shoppers on my high street (I thought we were trying to smarten the place up!). Forget the 99p Store, a Primark really would be the beginning of the end. The thing I love most about Balham is that it has everything you need on the high street but is not a shopping town so people from outside the area don’t travel there and make it busy and dirty. It’s a place for the local community to enjoy and if we want to pick up a new top for a night out or a last minute present there are a couple of nice boutique style shops to go to, and if you want more you can just jump on the tube into town.I am really afraid of Balham losing it’s village feel. The business that really does need to go though is the amusement arcade.

  4. Seems rather strange for you to have a link to ” Balham online shopping “…which is basically a fairly new online shop , started by a very local couple ,who seem to have taken inspiration from the shops surrounding them – literally . i’m not quite sure that this particularly is helpful in encouraging people to support the real shops in the area , who have invested their time , money and enthusiasm in making Balham a place where people want to live . Balham would certainly be far less desirable , if ” the real boutiques ” are longer here! ! !

  5. Dee you seem to be suffering from a lot of snobbishness there – shops like Primark serve a real need which chi chi artisan boutiques do not. Most people in Balham do not regard it as a ‘village’ as you seem to mainly because it is not; it is a part of inner London with all the associated dynamism and grime that entails – if you want a village move to Surrey.

    Not sure what you think about TK Maxx opening – will it bring the ‘wrong’ sort of people into the area ? you know those poorer people (and you know other undesirables – people of other races etc) who cannot shop in boutiques or will it help to increase footfall on the Highroad making Balham more sustainable?

Thoughts please!

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