One of Charlton’s longest-established industrial concerns, Stone Foundries, is to close after a developer bought its land for a development of up to 1,500 new homes.
The sale of the Stone site to Staines-based developer Montreaux marks a key turning point in the slow transformation of Charlton’s riverside from an industrial into a residential area.
Montreaux recently won approval to turn an old margarine factory in Southall, west London, into a high-density development of 2,000 homes; while more locally it has also bought the old Lamorbey swimming baths in Sidcup for a mixed-use development.
Stone’s sale marks the end of nearly 190 of years of business in the local area. In 1831, founder Josiah Stone set up a business in Deptford casting copper nails for the shipbuilding industry. Part of the business moved to Charlton in 1917, where it continued to make castings for ships, and still produces fittings for the aerospace industry. The Deptford works closed in 1969. The firm was bought and merged into UK-based parts maker Aeromet last year.
An Aeromet spokesperson told The Charlton Champion yesterday that it was in the process of moving the former Stone operations to its sites in Rochester and Sittingbourne, both in Kent.
At its height, Stone even had extensive sports fields stretching out onto the Woolwich Road, now the site of the Stone Lake retail park.
Stone has outlasted many of its industrial neighbours by decades – the huge United Glass Works on Anchor & Hope Lane closed in 1968, Johnsen & Jorgensen’s glass works shut in 1981.
One challenge for any developer will be that some of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s Stone buildings – though unseen by most locals – are now locally listed, with the site covered by a conservation area. According to Greenwich Council’s heritage list: “The site qualifies on the grounds of historic interest mainly due to its high importance for the British Royal Navy during the C20, especially during WWI and WWII and as a notable site of employment heritage. The buildings described above are of architectural interest, especially the Offices, the Laboratory and Odeon Buildings, being substantially intact and evocative surviving examples of an engineering foundry that was of national and strategic importance. This suite of buildings is also notable for quality of materials and décor, given their construction date when so little was being built.”
The land sale means there are now five major redevelopment sites on the Charlton riverside, mostly adjacent to one another, and all at various stages in the planning process.
The other four schemes, from west to east, are:
- the Rockwell scheme for 771 homes at Anchor & Hope Lane was refused first by Greenwich Council last summer, then by the Mayor of London in January.
- 500 homes are planned by developer Komoto at what it calls Flint Glass Wharf, the former Johnsen and Jorgensen glassworks which closed in 1981, between the Tarmac works and the Thames Barrier;
- Hyde Housing is planning to build 1,250 homes over eight years on various plots of land, including the Westminster Waste recycling depot at Maybanks Wharf. A planning application is expected within weeks.
- U+I plans 500 homes on the old Siemens glassworks site on the Charlton/Woolwich border, along with a co-working hub for local businesses and space for light industry. A planning application is also expected within weeks.
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