A developer promising “magical living” wants to turn the closed Antigallican pub on Charlton Church Lane into a “shared living hub”.
The scheme, from west London developer Dandi Living, comprises 49 rooms of between 20 to 24 square metres, with en-suite showers and basic kitchens, with “dynamic furniture” – the bed can be lifted up – to switch between living, working, entertaining and sleeping. There will also be four shared kitchens as well as a co-working area and a bar.
A similar scheme from the same developer in Hounslow saw its rooms dubbed “the Swiss Army knife of flats”.
Dandi – whose slogan is “making magical living accessible” – already has serviced studios in Shepherd’s Bush; while it is completing a large office conversion in Wembley with 368 rooms, a scheme carried out with the British Airways pension fund. The company is backed by the US firm Ollie, which operates co-living spaces in New York City and Los Angeles.
The developer plans to copy the planning approval granted by council officers in 2019 to extend the Antigallican, but applying to turn it into an HMO instead of a 60-room hotel. The pub closed in 2018 and was up for sale at auction the following year, with a guide price of £3.25 million – Land Registry documents state it sold for £2 million.
While technically the application is for an HMO – a category that includes traditional bedsits – the development seeks to capitalise on the “co-living” boom, offering younger professionals dormitory-like living spaces together with space to work and socialise.
The idea is still in its infancy in London, with the best-known schemes run by The Collective, which has a 705-bedroom building on the Isle of Dogs, where rents start at £1,200 per month. The idea has caused controversy elsewhere; in Dublin, they have been banned over fears they would see land prices rocket.
“What we seek now is convenience and amenities on our doorstep, in exchange for a smaller private space, combined with a community that can provide the physical, human connections modern living often sacrifices in favour of increasing digital and virtual connectivity,” the developer says.
The scheme “has been designed to the highest quality and will award a currently neglected, vacant property the opportunity to contribute positively aesthetically and economically to the local area,” it adds. “The retention and rejuvenation of the Public House has a clear social and economic benefit that the proposal will bring to the local community.”
“The aim is to make luxurious living available at a price previously perceived by our residents as unattainable … to create a shared-living hub, thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of residents and welcoming for the local community.”
Dandi’s scheme follows the withdrawal in October of a similar scheme for the Charlton Conservative Club, which aimed to turn it into a 26-bedsit co-living space accommodating 49 people.
Close by, plans for more micro-homes – the controversial Pocket Homes development on The Heights – will finally go before councillors on Greenwich’s planning board next Tuesday. They had been due to decide on whether to allow the scheme before Christmas but delayed a decision so they could carry out a site visit, which has since been scrapped because of the lockdown.
Note: People who receive the site’s stories by email will have received a version wrongly stating the Antigallican plan is for 60 rooms, not 49. Apologies!
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