Vacant Shop Unit – Maddock Way

The TRA has been working with the Great Estates team on a project to come up with some ideas to rejuvenate the Maddock Way shopping precinct. However there is one mystery that nobody in Southwark seems to be able to answer – The retail unit beside the pharmacy on Maddock Way has been neglected and empty for over seven years. It is a shame that it has been let run into such a state of dilapidation and disrepair that it is now not viable to let it out before a major refurbishment is carried out.

It was rumoured that Southwark Property Services (who manage lettings of commercial properties) had found a tenant, but despite this rumour surfacing at the start of the year, it is still sitting empty. We would be surprised if the unit is in a fit condition to be let. Here are some pictures of the current condition of the retail unit.

We are really keen to see a proper rejuvenation of Maddock Way and think that this shop unit should be brought back into service and broaden and enhance the local retail offering. This is even more relevant as many residents have been cut off from the Walworth Road by the recently introduces LTN scheme. The shopping parade was an integral part of the original design of the estate and originally had a Post Office, Doctors Surgery, Chemists, Butcher, Greengrocer, Local Shop, Dry Cleaners and a Pub. Of these only the Doctors Surgery, Chemists, Local Shop and the Pub are still in use.

To try and solve the mystery of the ghost shop unit, we have asked out three local counsellors, Alice, Eleanor, and James to ask a members question to get to the bottom of this mystery, and got the following response:

Dear Eleanor

Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding shops at Maddock Way (pasted below for your reference).

We think the shop you are referring to is 7 Maddock Way (next to the pharmacy opposite the surgery). I’m afraid this is not available as it’s currently let (subject to contract) to a nursery. There have been significant delays in completing the letting due to its failed EPC rating. Once we have achieved an improvement on its rating, we hope to proceed to completion very shortly afterwards. 

If the letting falls through, we will of course contact you again.Please do not hesitate to contact me  should you require any further information or assistance in this matter.

Kind regards.
Bob Barber
Principal Surveyor

In response to this, we would now like the answers to the following questions:

  • How long has the unit been currently let (subject to contract)?
  • When can we expect the remedial works to commence to bring this unit back into lettable condition?
  • And why has the unit been left derelict for the previous seven years?
We received the following response on 13th September 2021

Q. How long has the unit been currently let (subject to contract)? 

A. We agreed broad letting terms with the nursery in December 2020, but the EPC status meant we couldn’t progress until we (and the proposed tenant) knew the costs of making the unit compliant.

Q. When can we expect the remedial works to commence to bring this unit back into lettable condition? 

A. As the tenant will be fitting out, we try and incorporate the EPC compliance works into their schedule of fit out works, in return for a rent free period at the start of the lease. This tends to be the most cost efficient way of dealing. We now know what needs to be done regarding EPC compliance and are discussing this with the proposed tenant.

Q. And why has the unit been left derelict for the previous seven years? 

A. We took the property back from the last tenant in mid 2019, so it was tenanted and subject to a lease until then. We subsequently marketed the unit (which wasn’t straight forward due to its condition) for some time, and progress was further hit by Covid restrictions in 2020. All being well, we are hoping that we should be able to complete an Agreement for Lease (which is a document that permits the tenant to access the premises to carry out works) in the next few weeks. Once the works have completed satisfactorily and Building Control and EPC sign offs are in place, the lease will take effect.