Three local councillors have submitted objections to developer Fairview’s plans to build 330 new homes and 144 car parking spaces on a warehouse site off Victoria Way.
Greenwich Council’s main planning committee will meet to decide on the application on Tuesday 9 January, but the plans – which feature two 10-storey blocks, one 9-storey block and three 8-storey blocks – have attracted local opposition due to their height and design.
Peninsula ward councillor Stephen Brain and Charlton’s Allan MacCarthy and Gary Parker have raised concerns about the proposal, along with the Greenwich Conservation Group, the Charlton Society, and 125 individuals.
10 members of the public supported the application, some citing the 35% “affordable” housing provision – 23.3% social rent, 11.7% “intermediate”/shared ownership.
Brain calls the development “out of scale” and complains about loss of light – concerns echoed by residents in Dupree Road and Gurdon Road – while MacCarthy says it is “too large”, “out of keeping with the principally Victorian and other later housing of the area” and will worsen existing congestion, posing particular risks to pupils at Fossdene School.
The Charlton Society has branded it a “monolithic, totally alien imposition” that is “devoid of human scale or any sense of enclosure”, suggesting the smaller next door development as a template to start from.
Transport for London wants to see most of the parking spaces removed from the scheme, which sits between both Westcombe Park and Charlton stations, while the Greater London Authority has also raised concerns about the high level of car parking spaces.
The level of opposition from councillors marks this out as a particularly sensitive application within Greenwich Council’s ruling Labour group.
Worth watching will be whether council leader Denise Hyland and deputy leader Danny Thorpe take their places on the planning committee – Greenwich is rare among London boroughs in having the council leader directly involved in these decisions – and whether the relatively high number of homes for social rent have helped seal the deal.
Consultation for the proposal has been handled by Cratus Communications, whose deputy chairman is former council leader Chris Roberts. In July 2016, Hyland and fellow planning board member Norman Adams joined Roberts on a town twinning trip to Berlin.
A much more modest development close to Eltham station was rejected by the same committee in September on the grounds of lack of car parking.
The 9 January meeting will also decide on a 100-bed extension to Queen Elizabeth Hospital on land facing Charlton Cemetery.