Local shops/businesses

If you are you thinking of investing in the Oval/Princes Ward area of Lambeth or just want to know something about local shops and businesses, this page may be of interest.


As of 2013, there are approximately 400 local shops/businesses selling goods or services principally to visiting members of the public (see note at end of this page).  Due the way the neighbourhood has developed,  there are no obvious ‘high streets’ such as those in Clapham and Brixton. The distribution of shops/business in the area are best described as being in some 15 clusters supplemented by detached shops/businesses located elsewhere in the neighbourhood.

The development of a dominant local high street has been hampered by the network of A class roads that cross the area, local planning and transport/parking policy.  In particular, high local parking charges during weekdays, and Transport for London red route timings have had the effect of discriminating against any local businesses that relies on day time passing trade. As long as Oval/Princes Wards are treated as places to go through rather than to the range of businesses that can work in the area will be limited.

Survey findings

The following table shows the approximate size of shopping parades/commercial areas based on numbers of shops/businesses there (Keep mind that if the table was based on turnover, it might look very different).

TOTAL 401 100%
  Kennington Cross (Kennington Rd/Lane) 69 17.2%
  South Lambeth Rd 50 12.5%
  Brixton Rd  (Prima Rd to Mowll St) 45 11.2%
  Wilcox Rd 39 9.7%
  Clapham Rd (Oval Stn to Fentiman Rd) 35 8.7%
  Kennington Lane (Vauxhall) 31 7.7%
  Kennington Park Rd (opposite park) 20 5.0%
  Albert Embankment 19 4.7%
  Vauxhall Gyratory 16 4.0%
  Newington Butts/Kennington Lane Junction 12 3.0%
  Kennington Park Rd (opposite Kennington   Station) 9 2.2%
  A23 (Bishops Terrace to Wincott St) 9 2.2%
  Dorset Rd 8 2.0%
  Black Prince Road 8 2.0%
  A23 (Near imperial War Museum) 6 1.5%
  Detached shops/businesses 25 6.2%


The ‘detached shops/businesses’ category refers to places like Ashmole Stores (Claylands Road), petrol filling stations, Bee Hive Pub, the Roebuck etc. which are essentially seperate from main shopping parade/areas being sited elsewhere in the neighbourhood.

Kennington Cross is probably the best candidate for a dominant local high street area but the busy roads and mix of shops seem to suggest that business fortunes are mixed.  The area’s only music shop was in this cluster but it has now closed leaving the area with none

Apart from Wilcox Rd, all of the other clusters are limited by the same factor – shops/businesses on one side of the road.

The table below shows the number of shops/businesses by broad type based loosely on planning class sub types.  When interpreting the numbers keep in mind that it is not always easy to classify a business particularly if it is serving more than one function.

TOTAL 401 100%
Cafe/Restaurant 59 14.7%
Miscellaneous (types with 3 or fewer) 53 13.2%
Vacant/use unclear 42 10.5%
Pubs, clubs and bars 41 10.2%
Convenience stores/newsagents 33 8.2%
Hair/Beauty 28 7.0%
Take-aways 26 6.5%
Financial/professional services 22 5.5%
Offices 20 5.0%
Healthcare 15 3.7%
Laundrettes/dry cleaners 15 3.7%
Supermarkets 13 3.2%
Building   /plumbing/electrical/hardware supplies 9 2.2%
Betting shops 8 2.0%
Delicatessen 8 2.0%
Petrol filling stations 5 1.2%
Mini cabs 4 1.0%


Cafes/ restaurants account for some 15% of all local shops/businesses.  The next largest category is ‘miscellaneous’ which includes things like bookshops, post offices, pet shops and other businesses of which there were only three or fewer in the neighbourhood. Approximately 10% of sites were either vacant or their purpose was unclear.  Some in this category may be in use but they appear to be creating limited foot fall if any.

Note: The survey focussed on shops/businesses within the Oval and Princes Wards which primarily rely on visiting members of the public.  The survey also included some just outside the boundary where it seemed sensible to do so but excludes those based in Kennington Park Business Park, Westminster Business Square and similar business centres.. 

Leave a Reply


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.