Southside Debenhams To Be Converted Into Amusement Centre

Former department store to include indoor electric go-karting track

The former Debenhams site. Picture: Google Streetview

December 23, 2020

The empty Debenhams store in Wandsworth’s Southside shopping centre is set to be converted to amusement centre with an indoor electric go-karting track.

The plans were approved at Wandsworth’s planning committee last Thursday night (December 17).

Planning documents show the ground floor would be used as a bar and restaurant with an electric indoor go-karting track.

The mezzanine would be used as a family entertainment centre and high
ropes climbing, with bowling, indoor golf, darts, pool, basketball and another bar and kitchen on the first floor.

The unit has been vacant since the closure of Debenhams in January this year.

It is currently being used by the charity initiative Rainbow Rising, providing a free space for local charities and volunteer groups.

Councillors were impressed with the proposed scheme.

Chair of the committee, cllr Guy Humphries, said he “wholeheartedly welcomed” it.

“I think it’s a really good idea. It’s going to be a fantastic addition to our shopping centre which I think will be a really helpful in these tricky times in revitalising our town centre, and it’s actually going to be a very interesting model,” he said.

Speaking after the decision, a spokesperson for applicants Southside JV partners, Landsec and Invesco, said: “We are delighted to have received consent from Wandsworth Borough Council to reimagine the Debenhams store at the centre.

“Our proposals will create a new entertainment experience for visitors that will be a point of difference for Southside.

“We will be announcing further details in the New Year.”

Sian Bayley, Local Democracy reporter