Fresh from surviving another attempted conversion into a supermarket, the prickly question remains: what now for the Mottingham’s Porcupine pub site?
Sitting on a busy and highly-visible portion of Mottingham Road and in a potential gateway position to the high street stretch, attempts by Lidl over seven years to convert the site into a new store have come to nought.
And while the supermarket giant’s plans for the site were blocked again due to concerns over pedestrian safety and increased traffic, local politicians haven’t ruled out some other form of development at the site.
Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill has opposed the plans for the best part of a decade, since the old boozer stopped operating in 2013 and the blue walling which still surrounds the property were hoisted up.
Despite Lid’s failed applications to build at the site, the MP said it remained a prime position for a project which put the block “to better use”.
“Everyone wants to see the land, which is in a prominent location and has played a really important role in the life of Mottingham Village over many years, put to better use,” he told the local democracy reporting service.
“There has been plenty of interest in the site and I am open minded to any schemes that are brought forward which are sensible in planning terms and compliment the area.”
Local members for Mottingham and Chislehurst North ward David Cartwright and Will Rowlands were also vehement opponents of Lidl’s scheme.
The pair said they were both “pleased and relieved” at the decision to reject the supermarket, and appeared to rule out any future store of a similar size at the site.
“The committee members had an incredible amount of detail before them upon which to base their decision and in the end were not convinced that Lidl’s overall proposal for a supermarket, so close to the Mottingham War Memorial roundabout, satisfied all the road safety concerns that the local community had expressed in their letters of objection sent to the Council,” the duo said in a statement.
“This was an extremely complex planning application, which had already been deferred twice in the past year in order to obtain further road safety information.
“Ultimately, members of the committee decided there is nothing more important than the safety of the local community and, taking into consideration the sheer number and type of road safety objections which had been submitted, after significant deliberation, they refused the application.
“We hope that last night’s rejection of their plans will bring to a conclusion this long running saga and allow a more appropriate development to take place that will be both safe and add value to Mottingham Village.”
It appears, seven years on since the saga involving the once-loved boozer started, the only thing about the Porcupine’s future is uncertainty.