After 4 years of Ladywell ward councillors hassling officers, officers threatening legal action against the owner and lots of residents getting in touch with us asking 'What is happening with 46 Ladywell Road?' I am happy to confirm that it has now been sold. I met on site today with the new owners, Ladywell town centre manager, Lewisham's empty homes officer, representatives from LVIG (Ladywell Village Improvement Group) and one or two people keen to get in quick and pitch their business proposals to the new owners.
The new owners are very keen to crack on and renovate the whole building, with a view to letting the upstairs out as flats and the downstairs as a retail unit. Their architect came today and made some preliminary sketches. We talked about local residents being keen to see a good quality shop front, and an A1 retail use, rather than yet another take-away or betting shop. We also touched upon the point that the area is soon to fall under a conservation area. I welcome this fairly open approach by the new owners and hope that by having this meeting with various interested parties early on, the property can be brought back into use in a way that will benefit, rather than bring down, the local shopping parade. Time, of course, will tell, but that's the hope!
It's been a very long drawn out process to get this far, but credit is due to the empty homes officer and the environmental health officer for doggedly pursuing this, along with LVIG members for keeping the pressure up alongside ward councillors.
I look forward to seeing 46 Ladywell Road back in us and if re-elected on 6th May, 63a Loampit Hill, the other most problematic property in the ward, will remain firmly on our radar. Its fate currently resides with lawyers wrangling over probate issues, as I understand it, which seems to be an incredibly protracted and frustrating process.