Three reasonably large developments were recently approved by Greenwich Council. This post has been on the back burner for a couple of weeks so this isn’t exactly breaking news, but they’re worth highlighting.

Woolwich Ogilby site

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Starting in Woolwich and two developments were approved earlier this month, one of which at the Ogilby site near the Town Hall and Woolwich Centre at the second time of asking. The original application was refused given the low level of affordable housing (21%) which was revised up to 35%. A good success for Greenwich Council’s Planning Board.

This development rises up to 13 storeys and contains 116 homes.

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It has a solid form and seems ideal in height for a town centre site. The nearby Tesco site and 1960s high rise block ensure tall does not look out of place.

Albion tower

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40 flats were approved in a 13-storey tower in Woolwich, close to Charlton. You can see the listed chimney on the right in the above image, which is seen when heading from Woolwich towards Charlton. The towers outlined behind in the above image are replacements for those that’ll be demolished at Morris Walk estate, as part of the “One Woolwich” scheme to rebuild three estates.

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A commercial unit will be located at street level.

The Reach

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Over in Thamesmead and 66 flats were approved in the initial stage of development at Peabody’s Housing Zone sites in Greenwich borough. 1500 homes will be built in total.

This is 100% “affordable”, though only 21% are actually classified as social rent. The rest will still not be affordable to many.

One crucial issue to overcome here is poor walking links to Plumstead station which will also impact upon Peabody’s plan for nearly 1000 homes just south of here by Plumstead bus garage.

Earlier this year it was envisaged that a design team would have been installed in late summer/early autumn and engagement would be underway with the public on improving pedestrian links from these Thamesmead developments to Plumstead station. Those plans seem behind schedule.

There are 37 car parking spaces planned. Slightly more than half the 66 flats planned, but those 37 spaces also include 4 for a commercial unit. With poor connections to rail stations, High Street shops and amenities this will be an issue unless links are improved in the near future.

Completion is planned for 2018.

Developer Contributions

The Albion tower in Woolwich should mean some money for improvements in the local area. An off-putting pedestrian underpass below the station will hopefully see some improvements, as will local parks. Unfortunately Greenwich Council seem once again to have neglected to use incoming developer monies to improve local areas at other sites. TfL will be doing so in Woolwich. Hopefully the tower improvements are a sign of change rather than a blip.

Greenwich Council not utilising money from developers to improve areas around new housing developments has been a common theme for many years. I’m working on a post which highlights the approach taken in Greenwich borough compared to other London boroughs.

It highlights how consultation with the public on spending this income lags far behind other councils, and how money is spent differs markedly too. Locals often see not benefit. The public realm around developments have too often seen little to no investment.

There’s some eye-opening examples to be highlighted.

 

 

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