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Take part in shaping town's future

Added on: 11th February, 2020 by O1

Take part in shaping town's future

Last Updated:
Wed, 18 March 2020

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Orpington businesses and residents are invited to share their views on the future of The Walnuts Shopping Centre at Community Planning Weekend.

Residents, businesses and the wider community are invited to take part in a series of workshops and an exhibition to share their ideas and aspirations for The Walnuts Shopping Centre and thoughts on the wider town centre. The events are part of a Community Planning Weekend at The Walnuts Shopping Centre.

Following the acquisition of The Walnuts Shopping Centre last year, operating partner Areli Real Estate, JTP and Cascade Communications are organising the event on behalf of new owners Tikehau Capital. Areli are committed to working closely with the local community to help shape its future at the heart of Orpington town centre.


The Community Planning Weekend is a chance to share local knowledge and contribute to creating a new vision for the shopping centre through facilitated workshops and hands-on planning groups.

An exhibition will explain the background of the shopping centre and team members will be on hand to answer questions. Participation is on a drop-in basis – there is no need to pre-register – you can stay for a short while, a few hours or for the whole event.

Following the public workshop days, the team will analyse and summarise the outcomes and draw up a Vision for The Walnuts Shopping Centre. This will be presented back to the local community at a ‘Report Back’ presentation.

Everyone in the Orpington community is invited to attend.




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Comments (10)

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Trevor - 9 Mar, 2020 - 15:27PM

Knock down the original building, replacing with an eye catching design ('wow factor') that has impeccable green credentials. On top add a enclosed garden, incorporating a cafe and other facilities (taking inspiration from Crossrail station at Canary Wharf). Put car parking underground, with enough capacity for Sainsbury's customers, so the car park above the Supermarket can also be developed. Signifcantly Increase the building footprint, utilising redundant space in front of the Walnuts Lesiure Centre entrance/down to the Saxon Day Center. Incorporate an enlarged state of the art Leisure Centre and Day Center in the new development, along with a Museum. Forming a partnership with one of the leading Museums in London to bring exciting exhibitions to Orpington, helping form a cultural triangle in the Town along with The Priory/Roman Crofton Villa. Above the retail offering, as well as residential provision have a floor dedicated to start-ups/fledging businesses ('fintech'), leveraging the proximity to similar hubs in London. Partner with V22, College, Local Commercial Landlords, Banks etc. to create the perfect ecosystem for new businesses. Provide suitable units for retailers/restaurants, with (crucially!) more affordable rents. Work with Premier Inn to extend hotel capacity in Orpington.

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Rate +2

Joan fenn - 6 Mar, 2020 - 13:27PM

Shops need affordable RENT’S, so they won’t leave Orpington altogether. I’ve seen so many shops leave, Marks and Spencer’s needs to return to the town centre along with Clinton’s and many others. You need shoppers to feel safe with some policing in the town centre. A drop in police station would be good.

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Rate +1

George Davison - 6 Mar, 2020 - 12:06PM

Orpington town centre needs an improved mix of leisure and some type of cultural offering - theatre space, for example. Perhaps conference facilities could double up as such. Flexible office space would help support the important hospitality sector.

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Rate +1

Liz Johnston - 6 Mar, 2020 - 11:59AM

A great project which will encourage people to Orpington but serious consideration needs to be given to parking charges and a free period is essential to encourage trade. This is why Bluewater is so popular, people can shop without the worry.

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Rate +2

Vicky Robinson - 5 Mar, 2020 - 23:17PM

There is a lack of good evening drinking venues in orpington and would especially be great to have somewhere to see live music.. local musicians/comedians? A box park style area with pop up shops/bars/restos? Ultimately though it just needs a facelift as it's so depressing to walk through. From a mum's perspective too.. some more child friendly eateries, an educational play type place for kids? Or one of those little street places?

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Rate +1

Rev Martyn Travers - 29 Feb, 2020 - 09:25AM

It's said that there will be flats for younger people. I hope consideration will be given to schemes and pricing so that they are not completely unaffordable but for top earners.

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Rate +2

John Birch - 28 Feb, 2020 - 15:47PM

Perhaps the Walnuts should offer free parking for the first two hours then bring the total into line with the off street parking charges. This should encourage visits to the centre without blocking parking spaces for lengthy times.

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Rate +1

angela hunt - 21 Feb, 2020 - 09:20AM

All great ideas, another thing that might help is getting a grater variety of quality market traders in.
What about asking the local schools to bring their A level art work to display in the currently empty units?
The pop-up shop that was next to Vibe showcasing local crafts was fab but that's gone elsewhere now.

Also can't wait to see how the old post office will turn out any clue as to timescale?

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Rate +2

M Williams - 19 Feb, 2020 - 20:20PM

Shops in Orpington High Street are struggling. We need something to attract people from a wider area. How about live music on weekends? Exhibitions by local artists? Art and craft markets?

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Rate +1

Pam French - 18 Feb, 2020 - 09:43AM

Would appreciate seeing any plans for the Walnuts under new ownership as can't get to consultation regrettably

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