Plans are in to convert the long-neglected building at 64 Plumstead High Street into a commercial unit and seven flats. The planning reference is 17/1285/F – click here to search.

The plans see another floor added and renovation of the facade. It badly needs work.

The building appeared to be infested and posed a health hazard with pigeon droppings and eggs regularly seen on paving outside. Not great, let alone next to food outlets. I covered it a few months ago after Greenwich Council said enforcement action was not possible. In an email to a local resident they were told:

“Officers responded back advising that a Planning Enforcement officer has visited the property and has advised that on its own this property would not be considered to warrant the service of a notice to require it to be tidied up.”

Fortunately Greenwich Council reversed that decision after local pressure and media coverage which highlighted how powers the council already possessed had been used in very similar circumstances, with a very high success rate for local authorities and little financial risk.

Greenwich then wrote to the building owner along with other properties on the run-down Plumstead High Street requesting improvements or enforcement action would commence using Section 215 powers.

Newham Council had previously used this power last year to force landlords and building owners to improve crumbling buildings. Councillor Ken Clark, cabinet member for building communities, public affairs, regeneration and planning, said

One of the biggest impacts on the borough’s appearance is the image people have along our key roads. We don’t want them greeted by run down buildings and pavements cluttered with advertising boards.

The owner of 64 Plumstead High Street has subsequently replaced broken wooden boards on the first floor but passing the site recently revealed that the paving outside is still covered in bird droppings.