Valley House: ‘Poor doors’ lead to decision on controversial nine-storey block being deferred

A CGI from architects Chassay & Last.
A CGI from architects Chassay & Last. “Affordable” housing entrance not shown.

Greenwich councillors deferred a decision on controversial plans for a nine-storey block of flats on Woolwich Road at a meeting last night.

The Charlton Champion wasn’t at the meeting, but understands from those that were there that the decision to defer a decision was made because of plans to include “poor doors” – a separate entrance for residents living in the block’s “affordable” housing elements.

The block, at the junction of Gallions Road, is due to replace Valley House, a former council building and headquarters of Sykes Pumps, and sits opposite the Sainsbury’s/M&S development.

Just 18.9% of the accommodation was slated to be affordable, with all other residents able to use the building’s main entrance.

Three local groups – the Charlton Society, the Charlton Central Residents Association and the Greenwich Conservation Group – had objected to the building’s height.

From The Murky Depths puts the case for building high on the Woolwich Road here, as well as discussing a plan for more car parking on Bugsbys Way that was thrown out by councillors last week.

11 thoughts on “Valley House: ‘Poor doors’ lead to decision on controversial nine-storey block being deferred

  1. Paul C June 3, 2015 / 13:25

    Thanks for the info Darryl, I found the final committee report on the council website but couldn’t find a note of the decision. I am with FTMD re the building height but the 18.9% affordable housing quota is well below the stated requirement (30% I think). The committee report states ‘a Financial Viability Report submitted by the
    applicant concludes that the 18.9% affordable housing provision
    proposed is an acceptable level to ensure the scheme is financially viable. An
    independent viability consultant employed by the Council agrees with the
    findings of the report’ – do you, or anyone, know if that viabilty report has been made public? After the recent Dragon Knight issues on the peninsula – where the confidential viability report was shown to be cobblers – I’d be shocked if another scheme with such low levels of affordable housing was passed without publishing the report. I know the council are proposing to publish all future viability assessments, is this one included I wonder.

  2. Mary June 3, 2015 / 14:46

    Poor doors? Really? Can hardly believe it! I’m shocked. Anyway, what is “affordable”? To buy or to rent? Can’t we just go back to having proper council flats/houses again?

  3. JJNSE7 June 3, 2015 / 16:01

    It seems strange to use poor doors in Charlton as they tend to be reserved for glitzier developments where there is perhaps an argument that the affordable homes residents would not want to pay the service charge attributable to a concierge service and crystal chandeliers in the foyer. It does however mean that the affordable homes tend to get a drab entrance round the back by the bins – not sure this needs to happen in Charlton, I don’t think it is the case on GMV?

    Personally I think the development is probably 3 floors too high (and the rest of the Sainsbury/M&S development too low by about the same amount) but it is the low level of affordable housing that annoys me. The affordable housing targets are known quantities so must have been factored into budgeting assumptions when site viability assumptions were carried out prior to the developer buying the site. Seems to me they are either pulling a fast one or are not terribly good at doing their own job.

    On the question about the definition of affordable, I think as little as a 20% discount to full market rent qualifies.

  4. Spoontaneous June 3, 2015 / 16:06

    That’s a pity. I hope we don’t have another decade of what’s currently there. Hopefully the property bubble won’t burst before the development goes ahead. A separate entrance for people in the ‘affordable’ section? LOL! Is that for real? 😅

    • Spoontaneous June 3, 2015 / 23:24

      Thanks Chris, it’s a good article, I had no idea, I’m a bit shocked. All they need to do is to put a sign saying ‘riffraff’ on top of the entrance…
      Seriously, I hope they sort it out soon and get rid of that horrendous brown aluminium thing before developers realise they have built too many flats in London and stop projects I thought the new development was rather nice in comparison to the current one. Not even squatters would want to occupy that, they have better taste… 😉

  5. Mary June 5, 2015 / 15:22

    What happened to squatting? I remember when everyone did it. I’m surprised it’s not happening more, given the levels of rent charged.

    • celso lopez June 5, 2015 / 16:16

      You’ll find the law has changed specially with residential dwellings… I’m pretty sure that’s the reason…

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