‘Affordable’ housing slashed as Charlton Riverside developer tries to please councillors

Aitch render
Despite the bus, this is the view from Westmoor Street

Local people waiting for housing could lose out after a developer submitted a new plan for homes on the Charlton Riverside, just a few months after Greenwich councillors threw out their first scheme.

Last year, Aitch Group’s plans for 188 homes on land between Eastmoor Street and Westmoor Street, close to the Thames Barrier, along with shops, workspace and a new green space were thrown out by Labour and Conservative councillors who objected to its height. It comprised two blocks of five to nine storeys.

The Coopers Yard development would have included 40 homes for London Affordable Rent – available to people on Greenwich borough’s 23,000-strong housing waiting list – and 10 for shared ownership, making a total of 30 per cent “affordable” housing.

Aitch render
Aitch says its scheme mostly conforms with the masterplan

Aitch has now appealed against that decision, but has now returned with a new application to build 149 homes in blocks of up to eight storeys as well as retail and business space.

In the new scheme, just 11 homes would be for affordable rent, and four for shared ownership with the new application – making just 11 per cent “affordable” housing.

Aitch render
A view of the new proposals, looking towards Woolwich Road

Local lobby groups, including the Charlton Society and the Charlton Central Residents Association, were enraged by the original plans for buildings of up to nine storeys, believing this broke the terms of a masterplan they were closely involved in writing.

However, they are unlikely to be won over by the new plan, which is just one storey shorter.

Eastmoor Street
Eastmoor Street as it is now. The flats would overlook Barrier Gardens on the right

A four-year-old masterplan for the Charlton Riverside – which both Greenwich Council and City Hall have long earmarked for thousands of new homes – suggests a maximum height of ten storeys for buildings, with guidelines of three to five storeys in that particular area.

The situation is complicated by the Environment Agency objecting to ground-floor housing close to the Thames Barrier because of the risk of flooding – an objection which calls parts of the masterplan into question.

Similar concerns also led to a second scheme on a site next door, from the housing association Optivo, also being rejected, with councillors voting down 67 affordable-rent flats. Optivo has also launched an appeal.

Eastmoor Street
This site could be transformed if Aitch gets its way

Apart from the lower heights and lack of “affordable” housing, the revised Aitch scheme is largely the same as the one rejected last year, with a “green link” to Barrier Gardens between the two blocks of housing, and an eight-storey tower on the corner of Mirfield Street and Westmoor Street.

The entire area is currently industrial land at present. With the exception of a single flat behind the derelict Victoria pub, no proposals for the Charlton Riverside have been approved since the masterplan was approved in 2018. Plans for a second flat are awaiting a decision.

Read full details about the proposal: Design and access statement and planning statement

More details and comment: Greenwich Council planning website


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