Mega-bedsit plan for Charlton Conservative Club withdrawn as Liberal Club development refused

Google image of the Charlton Conservative Club
The old Charlton Conservative Club (image: Google)

A developer has withdrawn plans to turn the former Conservative Club on Charlton Church Lane into 26 bedsits to accommodate 49 people.

The club closed seven years ago and permission was given in 2015 to demolish the rear hall to provide a two-bedroom flat and a three-bedroom maisonette together with a new block of three two-bedroom flats, and construction of a terrace of four two-bedroom houses on land at the back of the property. Work began but was never completed, and construction workers have continued to arrive at the site.

Greenwich Council confirmed that RIU Management (UK) Ltd, a company based at the former club, had withdrawn its application in a letter to people who had objected to the plans. The company is controlled by 58-year-old Sanjai Dhar, who is also registered at the club; however it was originally set up by a British Virgin Islands-registered company, Riu Management, which had a correspondence address in Switzerland, according to Companies House records.

“The proposal is a form of residential accommodation aimed at providing affordable and high quality accommodation in the form of co-living arrangement,” planning documents said. “With the average house price in Greenwich at a value of £554,000, co-living which is a house in multiple occupation, offers an affordable alternative of living accommodation whilst retaining the luxury. Therefore, this a growing trend and co- living arrangement caters for young professionals who struggle to afford London’s increasing property prices.”

Meanwhile, plans to demolish what is left of the Charlton Liberal Club and build a three-storey building with eight flats have been refused by Greenwich planning officers. The scheme had been submitted by an Enfield-based company, Liberal Ltd, controlled by property developers Can and Kerem Yavuzarslan.

The council said there was no evidence that the Liberal Club was unviable as it had only been on the market for one month, and that the loss of the club would deny the area a community facility and a source of employment. It also said the “proposed design is excessive in scale and poorly sited, such that it appears cramped with its plot and creates an uncharacteristic terracing effect”.

The main Liberal Club building was converted into flats in 2016 and a new building erected next door, but the club closed two years later.


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