Rockwell’s ‘Stalingrad’ plans for Charlton Riverside killed off after site sold for logistics hub

Anchor and Hope Lane
Rockwell had hoped for approval for its development here

Controversial plans for 771 homes off Anchor & Hope Lane have finally been scrapped after the site was sold to a company promising to revamp it as a logistics hub.

Rockwell’s proposal for the VIP Trading Estate was the first to come forward as part of plans to transform the Charlton riverside to provide up to 8,000 new homes. The scheme was fiercely opposed by residents of Atlas and Derrick Gardens, whose homes would have been in the shadow of the proposed blocks, as well as community groups, councillors and local MP Matt Pennycook.

Rockwell revised scheme
Rockwell’s proposals were rejected three times

The scheme was rejected by Greenwich councillors in 2018, with Sarah Merrill, the chair of planning at the time, saying it was “reminiscent of Stalingrad”. The decision was called in for scrutiny by Sadiq Khan, who rejected it himself. Rockwell then appealed to a planning inspector, but the scheme was rejected a third time.

Greenwich Council officers had originally recommended approving the 11-block development.

After Rockwell lost its appeal, the site was sold by its owner, the property investment company Zenprop, to another property company, Falconbrook. An industry website, React News, reported that Falconbrook had talked to Greenwich Council about building homes on the land.

Anchor & Hope Lane development site
The VIP Trading Estate will now become a logistics hub

But with industrial land now at a premium in London, a third investor, GLI, has snapped the site up – reportedly for £42 million. The site will focus on “last mile” and “last hour” deliveries, the company said.

GLI, which has already snapped up sites in Park Royal, Mitcham and Croydon as part of a push into London, said the revamped hub “will be highly energy efficient and redeveloped on a net zero carbon basis”,

The sale will be a setback to Greenwich and City Hall’s plans for new housing on the Charlton riverside, which have so far yielded just one new home – a flat at the Victoria pub, which is being redeveloped into a pizza outlet – after two other schemes were also refused.

The developer Aitch Group and the housing association Optivo are appealing against the refusal of their plans for new housing off Eastmoor Street, near the Thames Barrier, which together would have provided 255 homes, including 107 for affordable rent. Aitch has also submitted a new application for 149 homes on its site, with just 11 for affordable rent.


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