Plans to convert the crumbling Victoria pub on Woolwich Road into a pizza takeaway with a flat behind it have been approved by Greenwich Council.
The Gillingham-based Zaan Group, a Domino’s Pizza franchisee, was given permission for the conversion by council officers after only one person complained about he proposal. The pub, known for its sloping floor, is locally listed but has been unused for over 20 years, and has been recently damaged by fires.
Earlier proposals to turn the pub, into a takeaway and build four flats behind it were thrown out in 2019 because the new flats would “appear as an incongruous addition which would fail to preserve the character and appearance of the locally listed host building and Thames Barrier and Bowater Road Conservation Area”. Plans for student flats have also been rejected.
But Zaan’s latest plans, which feature a single three-bedroom flat, were given the nod just before Christmas by council officers. As there was only one objection and no local councillors called it in, the scheme did not have to go before a planning committee – so the approval has only just come to light.
“Given the poor structural condition retention of the building requires creative thought and use. This is an isolated building that does not relate to any existing use in the area. Therefore, new uses are required,” the submission from architects Cook Associates says. The developer warned that the pub would face demolition if it could not be redeveloped.
Zaan has three years to start work on the site, council officers have said. The sole objection pointed out the takeaway’s proximity to local schools, but a report by a council officer states: “The specific intention is not to cater to pupils of nearby schools. In light of this [the] proposed change of use to a takeaway would be unlikely to significantly undermine efforts to combat childhood obesity.”
The scheme is also the first Charlton Riverside development to get approval – even if it may end up being the smallest with just one home, with thousands more planned for future years.
Seven schemes are in the pipeline:
- Housing association Optivo plans 67 flats in a seven storey-development just behind The Victoria, replacing the old Beaumont Beds warehouse.
- Developer Aitch Group wants to build 192 flats in blocks of up to ten storeys on land bounded by Eastmoor Street, Westmoor Street and Mirfield Street
- 1,500 homes from developer Montreaux on the industrial estate containing the Stone Foundries plant behind the Stone Lake retail park. The land was sold last year and the scheme has not yet entered planning.
- Hyde housing association wants to build nearly 1,300 new homes at what it calls Herringham Quarter, using a number of sites including Maybanks Wharf.
- 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;
- 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 for Faraday Works was made last year;
- 771 homes off Anchor and Hope Lane from developer Rockwell, thrown out by a planning inspector last year.
Greenwich Council also owns significant portions of land on the riverside, and next week its cabinet is due to approve plans to buy more, The town hall is set to buy land on other side of Penhall Road from Leopard Guernsey Anchor, a company involved in the ill-fated Rockwell scheme rejected last year. The purchase price has not been disclosed. The plot is next to land the council already owns.
Another formal council document, the Site Allocation Plan, will also come up before the cabinet next week. This reiterates the council’s plans for housing and employment on the riverside, and gives guidance for developers looking at various plots of land. This includes the Makro site at Anchor & Hope Lane – where it says any development “should accommodate a mix of small and medium sized commercial, retail, leisure and community uses and flexible SME space”, although there is currently no suggestion the the cash and carry retailer is planning to leave the area.
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