Maryon Wilson animal keeper’s house could become council home

The house is awaiting a decision on its future

A house which used to be used by Maryon Wilson Park’s animal keeper is lying empty while Greenwich Council works out if it can use it as council housing, The Charlton Champion can reveal.

The house at 20 Thorntree Road, next to Maryon Park, used to be the home of the stocksman at Maryon Wilson animal park and was managed by the council’s parks department. When he retired, the parks department employed a property guardian company to put a short-term tenant in there.

However, the council has now taken on the site with an eye to turning it into council housing after the short-term tenant was evicted for rent arrears. The current animal keeper now lives some miles away from the park.

The property has been subjected to flytipping while its future is being decided. A legal agreement signed in 1922 – when the Maryon-Wilson family gave the land to the old London County Council – could get in the way.

The house is next to Maryon Park

An council spokesperson told The Charlton Champion: The situation with the covenant is currently unclear as the two paragraphs in the title deed appear to contradict one another with regards to restrictions on developing the land.

“We therefore need to refer back to the original 1922 deed of covenant to establish what was agreed; our legal team are working on this.”

She added: “A decision is expected in the coming weeks, depending on what is discovered with regards to the covenant.

“It is being discussed whether a feasibility study will be carried out to determine if the capital expenditure required to bring the property up to the Greenwich Homes Standard could incorporate measures that will make the house very-low or, even, zero carbon.”

The council recently launched its biggest home-building programme since the 1980s, and is aiming for its new homes to use as little energy as possible. A small number of new homes were recently unveiled off Harvey Gardens.

Last week, councillors approved cost-cutting plans that would mean other members of parks staff feeding Maryon Wilson Park’s animals at evenings and weekends. Gates to parks will also now be left unlocked at night to save money.


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