The row of empty, shuttered shops at the end of Railton Road in Station Square, overdue for redevelopment by Network Rail, has been an eyesore this summer, and a magnet for graffiti and rubbish. The key issue causing delay in recent months seems to have been a dispute about the lease on the shop occupied by The Best Kebab. But that business has now relocated to premises just around the corner on Dulwich Road, so Network Rail have now (September 2016) recovered possession of the whole site.
Their first task is to send in specialist contractors to safely remove any asbestos on the premises. Once that’s done, redevelopment work will start promptly. Network Rail’s current estimate is that the project will be completed by next April. Let’s hope so – and let us also hope that they can attract some interesting and useful tenants
So, will it be Starbucks? Apparently not. Network Rail assured us earlier this year that two of the previous tenants - the baker and greengrocer - who relocated to Milkwood Road for the duration of the works have a right of return to a refurbished unit on Railton Road, should they wish. Any vacant refurbished units will be let to new tenants, and Network Rail have publicly said that this will not include national chains.