Talking tower blocks: More Charlton Conversations about riverside plans

Anchor & Hope Lane development site
There are three public exhibitions this week from developer Rockwell, which is looking to kickstart the Charlton Riverside redevelopment by building on land off Anchor & Hope Lane.

An earlier exhibition, held in September, was pretty light in information – contrasting with off-stage grumbles that Rockwell was planning to build a large tower block (specific grumbles have placed the towers at anything between 23 and 27 storeys).

You can see the information boards here, there’s a consultation report here, and there’s a box ticked here: ☑

Now there’s a new exhibition of Final Proposals – that was quick, wasn’t it? It’s not in Charlton, it’s down at Greenwich Yacht Club on Wednesday 23rd November (4pm-8pm), Thursday 24th November (6.30pm-9pm) and Sunday 27th November (10am-4pm). There’s (not a lot) more at charltonconversations.com. (Update: Wednesday’s session has been cancelled.)

There’s still no sign of Greenwich Council bothering to release its latest masterplan for the area – the old one envisaged a “garden city”-style set of low-rise developments for the Charlton riverside. Presumably it’s hoping to let the developers take the flak for proposing tower blocks before releasing a document that encourages tower blocks.

Rockwell is familiar with Greenwich Council, with founder Donal Mulryan behind the original version of the Enderby Wharf cruise terminal and flats development in east Greenwich.

Of course, London has a housing crisis and not much space, so one answer is to build up. Whether a spot overlooking Atlas Gardens and Derrick Gardens is the right place to do it is another question. There’s an honest debate to be had and this proposal is likely to face opposition. Hopefully those who challenge these plans will be as open and honest as they would wish the developers (and council) to be, rather than indulging in the sniping from the shadows that has characterised past planning rows in this area.

The next stage of the Anchor & Hope Lane scheme follows the announcement by U+I and Galliard Homes of plans to redevelop the Westminster Industrial Estate, on the Charlton/Woolwich border, as a “creative style urban quarter for London”.

Lead developer U+I is currently finishing off the Deptford Market Yard/Deptford Project retail and residential scheme by Deptford station, it is also behind the Movement in west Greenwich, the Cross Quarter scheme at Abbey Wood and Telegraph Works off Blackwall Lane in Greenwich.

Galliard, which recently won planning permission to redevelop the Ogilby flats in Wellngton Street, Woolwich, is a client of lobbying company Cratus Communications, whose deputy chairman is former Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts.

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About Darryl

Journalist, SE Londoner.
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11 Responses to Talking tower blocks: More Charlton Conversations about riverside plans

  1. roytindle says:

    I learned a little more about the masterplan consultation, this afternoon. This is from someone who has been commissioned to produce an historical survey of Charlton Riverside. On its own, interesting but not earth shaking. However, this is accompanied by another report on the nature and significance of local industry.

    The first report was produced by Allies and Morrison, seemingly as a desktop study as it contained many errors apparent to anyone who had paid a more than cursory visit to the area. Greenwich then commissioned a fresh report from AECOM but this, too, was lacking so AECOM were asked to look again. Why, then, yet another study? The answer lies in that it was commissioned by both Greenwich and the GLA. I’m a member of an organisation called Just Space (just Google) based at UCL and we have had several meetings with GLA economists and planners about the London wide release of industrial land. Perhaps someone has listened!

    The new plan will go for public consultation sometime early in the New Year, I was told. Not before time as the businesses operating in the area are facing wholly confusing stories, developers are buying land and issuing notices to quit and Greenwich appear to be abrogating their planning responsibilities.

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Darryl. I’ll try and get down there to have a look. Slightly bizarre that they’re holding it all outside our beloved Charlton rather than at (say) Charlton House etc. Ok, it’s near the river and this is about the river front, but it still feels like it’s rather on the outskirts of town.

  3. Darryl says:

    The session planned for Wednesday has been cancelled.

    It’s annoying to have to schlep down to the yacht club, but I suppose they want the regeneration vibe rather than the heritage vibe of Charlton House. The Valley would have been a better site, though.

    • Chris says:

      I think it’s a good idea to hold it at the Yacht Club as the schlep there (no buses) will mean people can enjoy the exciting re-generation vibe of Pear Tree Way.
      Perhaps they could then walk down the river front a bit and enjoy the same vibe of the Millennium Village development.
      They can then return home to a real community — with all it’s faults — and thank heavens they don’t live in a soulless money-making project.

  4. Maggy May says:

    However all this goes thousands more people will come to live in Charlton. Nothing that I have seen gives detail about extra transport and medical facilities. We all know that both are at full stretch already. I am worried.

    • Rejory says:

      Based on the developer free-for-all that has been allowed all along the river in Greenwich, with no additional public resources at all, it doesn’t bode well. The pathetic attempts at providing play space for what will be thousands of new residents in the new sections of GMV are laughable. You can see the cynical box ticking and hoodwinking in action. Our councillors are in thrall to the developers.

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