Fairview New Homes tries again to add convenience store to Victoria Way development

40 Victoria Way
The Bowen Drive development in its marketing pomp: The proposed store would be on the ground floor

The developer behind 330 new homes on Victoria Way is trying again to add a convenience store to the development – months after its first attempt was refused.

Fairview New Homes controversially won permission for the development on the old Thorn Lighting site in January 2018, and the first residents moved into Bowen Drive nearly two years ago.

Last summer it applied to Greenwich Council for permission to cut three floors of planned office space down to two, and to change the ground floor of the development’s northeasternmost building – the one nearest to the terraced houses on Victoria Way – to a convenience store.

But council planners refused the application. While there were 22 objections – on grounds ranging from traffic, pollution and noise to “concern that the development would bring non-residents into the estate” – planners blocked the scheme because Fairview had not provided adequate proof that it had marketed the office space within the development to potential occupiers.

Now Fairview is back with a new application. It said it had struggled to sell the office space and that there is “limited demand for office accommodation across [Greenwich] borough and the limited demand which did arise was focused outside of Charlton and primarily within the borough’s town centres” and the st.

Fairview added that its office space was also competing with The Gateway, the Greenwich Enterprise Board building opposite in Troughton Road, which is also “suffering continued vacancies”. (GEB’s website says there are no vacancies there.)

The developer says a convenience store would generate 14 jobs, compared with 18 for the office space.

As with the previous application, the convenience store operator is not named. The Co-op and Sainsbury’s have taken spaces in new developments in the area in recent years – a new Co-op opened in Greenwich Millennium Village late last year.

Residents can comment on the proposal and see more details on the Greenwich Council website.


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Mamma Mia! comes to Charlton Assembly Rooms in March – tickets on sale now

Mamma Mia! promo image
You might want to brush up on the film version before seeing the show…

Last year we told you about the new Charlton Village Theatre’s forthcoming production of the Abba musical Mamma Mia! Now the tickets are on sale – and there’s one last chance to join the cast too. GWEN ZAMMIT, the show’s producer, explains all…

We would love you to join Charlton Village Theatre at one of our four performances of Mamma Mia!, which is being held at The Assembly Rooms, The Village, Charlton SE7 on Friday 4 March at 7.45pm, Saturday 5 March at 4pm and 7.45pm and Sunday 6 March at 6pm.

Everyone is welcome! Tickets cost £15 for an adult or £5 for a child, which can be ordered in advance on 020 8856 7373 or you can take your luck by turning up on the day – but there is a good chance we may be sold out.

Mamma Mia! is a spectacular musical written by Catherine Johnson with music and lyrics by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus. Our Charlton show is produced by Gwen Zammit, BEM, and the musical director is Richard O’Shea. The cast members are members of our community and have aimed for a professional standard.

We are still looking for dancers, singers and chorus members – the next rehearsal you can turn up for is Friday 21 January at 8pm in The Assembly Rooms.


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‘Affordable’ housing slashed as Charlton Riverside developer tries to please councillors

Aitch render
Despite the bus, this is the view from Westmoor Street

Local people waiting for housing could lose out after a developer submitted a new plan for homes on the Charlton Riverside, just a few months after Greenwich councillors threw out their first scheme.

Last year, Aitch Group’s plans for 188 homes on land between Eastmoor Street and Westmoor Street, close to the Thames Barrier, along with shops, workspace and a new green space were thrown out by Labour and Conservative councillors who objected to its height. It comprised two blocks of five to nine storeys.

The Coopers Yard development would have included 40 homes for London Affordable Rent – available to people on Greenwich borough’s 23,000-strong housing waiting list – and 10 for shared ownership, making a total of 30 per cent “affordable” housing.

Aitch render
Aitch says its scheme mostly conforms with the masterplan

Aitch has now appealed against that decision, but has now returned with a new application to build 149 homes in blocks of up to eight storeys as well as retail and business space.

In the new scheme, just 11 homes would be for affordable rent, and four for shared ownership with the new application – making just 11 per cent “affordable” housing.

Aitch render
A view of the new proposals, looking towards Woolwich Road

Local lobby groups, including the Charlton Society and the Charlton Central Residents Association, were enraged by the original plans for buildings of up to nine storeys, believing this broke the terms of a masterplan they were closely involved in writing.

However, they are unlikely to be won over by the new plan, which is just one storey shorter.

Eastmoor Street
Eastmoor Street as it is now. The flats would overlook Barrier Gardens on the right

A four-year-old masterplan for the Charlton Riverside – which both Greenwich Council and City Hall have long earmarked for thousands of new homes – suggests a maximum height of ten storeys for buildings, with guidelines of three to five storeys in that particular area.

The situation is complicated by the Environment Agency objecting to ground-floor housing close to the Thames Barrier because of the risk of flooding – an objection which calls parts of the masterplan into question.

Similar concerns also led to a second scheme on a site next door, from the housing association Optivo, also being rejected, with councillors voting down 67 affordable-rent flats. Optivo has also launched an appeal.

Eastmoor Street
This site could be transformed if Aitch gets its way

Apart from the lower heights and lack of “affordable” housing, the revised Aitch scheme is largely the same as the one rejected last year, with a “green link” to Barrier Gardens between the two blocks of housing, and an eight-storey tower on the corner of Mirfield Street and Westmoor Street.

The entire area is currently industrial land at present. With the exception of a single flat behind the derelict Victoria pub, no proposals for the Charlton Riverside have been approved since the masterplan was approved in 2018. Plans for a second flat are awaiting a decision.

Read full details about the proposal: Design and access statement and planning statement

More details and comment: Greenwich Council planning website


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