The developer hoping to build the first major housing development on the Charlton Riverside has been told it needs to properly consult the local community before Greenwich Council will decide on its plans.
Rockwell, which is acting for Channel Islands-based Leopard Guernsey Anchor Propco Ltd, plans to build 771 homes on land behind and next to Atlas Gardens and Derrick Gardens, including five 10-storey blocks.
But local residents’ groups complained that Rockwell had not consulted them properly on the project – which has changed dramatically from the developer’s original plan to build glass towers on the site.
Now they have been told by Greenwich Council that Rockwell has been advised to, and has promised to, consult residents on its proposals.
Led by the Derrick and Atlas Gardens Residents Association, a loose coalition of local organisations has now formed around the proposals, including the Charlton Society, Charlton Central Residents Association and others – with the shock of the Fairview Victoria Way planning decision prompting many to keep a close eye on the Rockwell scheme.
Charlton Society planning chair Roden Richardson said working together and using social media was proving to be effective.
“Any number of people are now contacted simultaneously and instantaneously to distribute a given message,” he said.
“In the case of the latest application that meant all our fellow community stakeholder members and councillors, leading council staff, the Greater London Authority and, of course, our MP, all virtually at the touch of a button. If we handle this kind of thing wisely, it might begin to help a bit to make community and council more like constructive partners than frustrated strangers.”
In total, 11 new buildings are planned for the site, with space for retail and commercial use alongside Anchor & Hope Lane. 210 car parking spaces are planned. But the developer only wants to provide 5% “affordable” housing on the site, although its application says it is in talks with Greenwich Council about a “growth scenario”.
Cratus Communications, the lobbying company which has former Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts as its deputy chairman, involved in the project. Former Greenwich chief executive Mary Ney is listed on the Cratus website as an “associate”, while one-time Greenwich Labour borough organiser Michael Stanworth heads up the company’s London lobbying operation.