Open meeting this week to discuss Sainsbury’s and M&S plans

The consultation period for the public to put forward their views on the proposed Sainsbury’s and M&S development ends on May 29th.

You can comment yourself by following this link.

Following on from our last open meeting, the Charlton Riverside Action Group have arranged another get-together that will allow people to chat with the developer behind this project.

It’s short notice, but it will be held at the Charlton Liberal Club (non-political), 59 Charlton Church Lane, SE7 7AE on Wednesday 23rd May at 7.30pm.

We’ll have a representative from LXB who will talk in detail about the application and can answer any questions you may have. We’ll then urge everyone to send in their own feedback before the end of the month.

And just in case you didn’t know already, CRAG is a non-political group made up of concerned local residents that have come together to try to improve the local area. We’re concerned about traffic, pollution, improving public transport and cycling routes, and ensuring that one of the last underdeveloped areas of river-side in London is used for the benefit of local people.

We are all local residents and hope that we can re-establish a greater sense of community to improve our area jointly – in partnership with the council, local businesses and developers.

We’d love you to get involved too.

You can contact CRAG at charltoncrag[at]gmail.com

Plenty of space to park at Charlton’s new Wickes

The new Wickes DIY store in Charlton opens later this month. It means a move over to Bugsby’s Way at the northern end of the retail park from its current home facing onto Woolwich Road.

Here’s a first glimpse at what it looks like from the outside. Just look at that car park – plenty of room.

Luckily, there’s more car parking than we used to have when it was a Lidl. Looks more than there is at the current Wickes, which must be a good thing as it’s always jam-packed.

Can’t see any trees, but that surely means more room for cars. With increased gate receipts at Charlton Athletic after their recent promotion, surely match day parking won’t be a problem anymore.

Thumbs up all round.

Wonder how the developers will fare with their next project.?

Application in for new Charlton Sainsbury’s and M&S

View of Sainsbury's from Gallions Road

Detailed plans were released this week for the proposed Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer stores, set to be located within Charlton’s retail park.

These images form part of developer LXB‘s application to Greenwich Council. A planning board will then decide whether to approve or reject these plans – likely to be some time in June.

View of M&S and coffee shop from Woolwich Road

There’s several elements to this application including an impact assessment on retail in much of south-east London. A thorough report by consultants WYG states that:

“The enhancement of the retail facilities at Bugsby’s Way will not affect Woolwich’s status as a Major Centre, nor its prospects of being re-designated as a Metropolitan centre in the long term.”

Their reasoning behind this are the new developments in Woolwich, such as the Tesco, that WYS believes will regenerate the SE18 area, keeping shoppers from getting into their cars or straying onto a bus and travelling over to Charlton.

Another talking point recently has been the downgrade of the western end of Woolwich Road (from Charlton station to the flyover) and how these new developments will impact on the near 24,000 vehicles that use the road on an average weekday.

An equally in-depth report by transport specialists Vectos makes no mention of this, however. It references the draft supplementary planning document that appeared in January. But doesn’t take into account the changes made for the finalised version that states clearly a wish to downgrade the road.

This website understands the developer LXB have been told by TfL and the council’s highways department that alterations to plans won’t be considered until the road has actually been downgraded.

Meaning, the proposed reshaping of Woolwich Road for deliveries and customer access (including current work being undertaken for the Travelodge) don’t take this downgrade into account.

This agreed Charlton Riverside Masterplan also calls for an upgrade to Charlton station which would surely mean a re-think on the junction next to it.

Would it be outrageous for me to suggest that a coherent plan for Woolwich Road, using a bit of foresight, might save a lot of time, money and upheaval in the future?

Two different diagrams highlighting proposed changes to Woolwich Road

The old retail barns that currently occupy this site lay dormant, aside from the odd illegal rave. Wickes is the last store still operating and is believed to be moving into its new home next to Matalan in the next two weeks.

If approved by the council’s planning board the new Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer would be looking to open before the end of 2014.

Members of the public can comment on these proposals and view all the documents by visiting Greenwich Council’s planning website.