‘Stick to your masterplan’: Residents launch Charlton Riverside petition to Greenwich Council

Rockwell’s plans for Charlton Riverside. Local residents’ groups say that the application “drives a coach and horses” through Greenwich Council’s Charlton Riverside Masterplan

Residents worried about the future of Derrick and Atlas Gardens – the two streets at the riverfront end of Anchor & Hope Lane – have launched a petition asking Greenwich Council to enforce the terms of its own Charlton Riverside Masterplan.

Citing the £854,000 cost of developing masterplans for the area – a figure revealed through a Freedom of Information request submitted by the organisers – the petition highlights discrepancies between the masterplan’s objectives and Greenwich Council planning officers’ recommendation to approve the upcoming Rockwell housing development application:

The Rockwell development application currently before the council drives a coach and horses through the carefully created masterplan in terms of building heights, levels of density/massing, and affordable housing. 

If the Rockwell development is approved by the planning board it will set a precedent for all future developers to ignore the masterplan in respect of further planning applications for the wider site. This will have a huge impact on the whole of Charlton.

For reasons that are hard to understand, the council’s own officers have recommended giving approval to the Rockwell development even through the application does not meet the vision or targets described in the masterplan which was commissioned by the council and approved by cabinet in November 2017.

The petitioners are unhappy about Rockwell’s plans for 771 new homes on an industrial estate which surrounds their homes. The scheme includes five 10-storey blocks.

Councillors voted to defer making a decision on the application at a planning board meeting held just prior to the May council elections.

One of the petition organisers, Helen Jakeways of community group Charlton Together, said: “It’s really vital for all of Charlton that Greenwich Council lives up to the vision and ambition of its own Charlton Riverside Masterplan.

“Not only would it be £850,000 of public money wasted if it didn’t, the knock on effect for all of Charlton would be awful if developers are allowed free rein on the Riverside plot. We’re asking everyone Charlton wide to sign the petition and support the Charlton Riverside Masterplan.”

You can sign the petition here: change.org/p/danny-thorpe-enforce-the-charlton-riverside-masterplan.

Derrick & Atlas Gardens Residents’ Association has recently joined Twitter – you can follow it here: twitter.com/DagraSE7.

Read previous Charlton Champion coverage of the Rockwell planning application here.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

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Outdoor cinema: The Greatest Showman and Moana come to Charlton House in July

Outdoor Cinema Charlton House

The Extraordinary Travelling Film Show are bringing their pop-up cinema to Charlton and screening two popular films outdoors in Charlton House’s walled garden this July:

The walled garden at Charlton House

In other local film news, the 3rd annual Charlton & Woolwich Free Film Festival will take place September 7th-15th, in venues around the area; we’ve heard rumours that Charlton House and the White Swan pub will be involved again this year and are looking forward to hearing the full line-up. You can keep up to date with film announcements – and get involved with the festival – via their Twitter account.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

Charlton and Woolwich’s Thames Path Missing Link finally due to open

Thames Path missing link
It’s coming… thanks to Paul Stollery for the photo

After years as a council pipedream, then a much-delayed period of planning and construction, the Thames Path’s “missing link” between the Thames Barrier in Charlton and King Henry’s Wharf in Woolwich will finally open next week.

Greenwich Council cabinet member Denise Scott-McDonald and City Hall walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman will open a link between the two sections of path on Wednesday 20 June at 3.30pm. (Want to go? Sign up here, and thanks to Greenwich Council for letting us know.)

Missing Link invite

The pathway – which includes a ramp from the Thames Barrier site into the adjacent industrial estate, and an elevated path at Warspite Road on the Woolwich side – will end years of aggravation for walkers and cyclists who have had to divert onto the unpleasant Woolwich Road when travelling along the Thames.

It also removes one of the few significant blockages of south-east London’s stretch of Thames Path – including an almost-interrupted riverside pathway (save for one or two blocks) through Greenwich borough from Deptford Green to Thamesmead – and makes it easier for people to cycle from riverside parts of Woolwich and Thamesmead to North Greenwich station.

However, signs on the route indicate it will only be available from 6am to 9pm. Signs also eventually indicate it will be added to Quietway 14, a cycling route from Blackfriars Road to Canada Water station.

Although someone may need to change the spelling mistake on the signs before it opens…

While the route will be welcomed by cyclists, last week saw a “die-in” at Woolwich Town Hall protesting after three riders were killed in separate collisions in Greenwich and Deptford, including two on the A206 through Greenwich, one at the notorious Woolwich Road roundabout.

Organisers demanded the reinstatement of the full Cycle Superhighway 4 scheme between London Bridge and Woolwich, which was shortened to run between Tower Bridge and Deptford Creek Bridge by mayor Sadiq Khan.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

Sing the Baby Blues with the Big Red Bus Club on Fridays

Baby Blues flyer

Annie’s been in touch to sing us a song…

You may already be aware that the British Journal of Psychiatry published a report on the benefits of singing in reducing the impact of post-natal depression.

We’ve picked up the baton. Our mums have designed the service that they want to tackle postnatal isolation and loneliness.

Together we take a positive whole family approach to good mental health. The Baby Blues Choir brings together a parent- led stay and play, post-natal peer help & support and of course free choir lessons.

One in eight mums live with post-natal depression and many more live with isolation and loneliness.

The Big Red Bus Club is a charitable family wellbeing centre, free to use and run by local people and families.

If you fancy singing your heart out, join the Big Red Bus Club each Friday from 10am to noon during term times.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

Get Together for the Great Charlton Cake Off and more on 24 June

June’s here, which means ParksFest season has started across Greenwich borough. Charlton Park will host the Great Get Together on 24 June, with a range of entertainment including World Cup-themed live music and workshops from Global Fusion Music and Arts, the Great Charlton Cake Off with Greenwich Clandestine Cake Club, and well-being activities organised by the Big Red Bus Club.

For more information – including how to enter the Cake Off – see the Friends of Charlton Park’s website.

The event runs from 11am to 2pm on Saturday 24 June (so you can squeeze a couple of hours in before the England v Panama match).

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

It’s Thames-Side Studios Open Weekend this Saturday and Sunday

Thames-Side Studios flyer

It’s your chance to visit one of the area’s hidden gems this weekend – the Thames-Side Studios Open Weekend. Tucked away on the river at the Charlton/Woolwich border, it’s full of fascinating artists and you’ll definitely come out having discovered something new. But don’t just take my word for it….

Thames-Side Studios is the largest single-site studio provider in the UK. With nearly 500 studios we are home to an impressive array of artists, makers and designers, and this is a unique opportunity to meet them, talk about what they do, and to buy directly from their studios.

Painting and drawing, fashion design, carpentry, jewellery, millinery, photography, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and installation, tailoring, leather work, picture framing, stained glass making, writing, upholstery, illustration, shoe making, textiles, conservation and restoration, lutherie, graphic design, furniture making, film and video, skin care, architecture, wood working, laser cutting, clock making, product design, book binding, and much more.

It’s open from noon to 6pm on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June. Find out more at the Thames-Side Studios website.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

For those who held back the tide: Thames Barrier team unveils memorial

The new Thames Tidal Defences memorial

A memorial dedicated to those who worked on London, Kent and Essex’s flood defences has been unveiled today at the Thames Barrier.

The sculpture, at the entrance to the barrier’s control centre, was designed by a team led by senior technical advisor Jas Dhariwal, with materials coming from firms who already supply the barrier team.

It provides a permanent place for family and friends to remember and reflect on those who contributed to the work of the Thames tidal defences, but who have now passed away.

Work began on the Thames Barrier in 1974, following 1953’s catastrophic flooding from the North Sea. The barrier opened in 1984, but is one of only a series of defences along the Thames, including barriers on the River Roding at Barking and River Darent at Dartford.

“I think that everyone who has contributed in delivering this special memorial have done a wonderful job, in providing a lasting tribute to colleagues who are no longer with us,” Barrier engineering manager Steve East said.

Original Thames Barrier design engineer Dick Tappin speaking at the inauguration of the memorial today

The barrier’s visitor centre is due to reopen later this month after a major refurbishment, while a test closure is scheduled for this Monday (4 June) between 10.35am and 1.05pm. Tours are also available for small groups. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/the-thames-barrier.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.