The amended scheme, created after discussions with Khan’s officers at City Hall, sees two storeys lopped off a block that overlooked homes in Derrick Gardens, meaning the historic cottages of Atlas and Derrick Gardens will now have a four-storey block behind them.
Another block, to the south of Atlas Gardens, has also had two storeys removed, cutting it down to five. Other blocks around the site have been increased in height to compensate.
Rockwell’s new scheme is unlikely to satisfy critics, who say the developer’s plans go against the recently-adopted Charlton Riverside masterplan, which sets out a vision for lower-rise developments aimed at families in Charlton to sit in between the towers of Greenwich Peninsula and Woolwich.
All 11 councillors on Greenwich’s planning board rejected the scheme, with chair Sarah Merrill declaring: “This application in no way resembles the spirit of the Charlton Riverside masterplan, in terms of height, massing and design. It’s reminiscent of Stalingrad.”
But Rockwell – which has retained former Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts’ company Cratus Communications as lobbyists – insisted it was “fantastic opportunity to kick-start the regeneration of this area”.
Greenwich Council has hit out at “misleading rumours” that a major scheme to redevelop Morris Walk Estate has been delayed for nine years.
The programme, which will see the estate on the border of Woolwich and Charlton knocked down and replaced with new housing, was due to begin this year. Demolition was due to start this autumn. But little has happened so far, and the council and developer Lovell are currently discussing timescales for the scheme, which was first announced five years ago.
Tenants and leaseholders in both the Morris Walk and the adjacent Maryon Road estate have already moved out, and people on the council’s homeless list have moved in on a short-term basis. But many have spent all year waiting for the council to finally move them out so developer Lovell can begin work.
They were due to be moved out by late summer, but have been left in limbo by the unexplained delay to the scheme.
Chris Kirby, the council’s cabinet member for housing, spoke out after it emerged a residents’ group had been told the scheme had been delayed until 2027.
“I am saddened and disappointed that misleading information appears to have been given to local residents,” Cllr Kirby told The Charlton Champion.
“On behalf of the council I would like to apologise to residents who deserve better than to be subjected to gossip and rumour about what is going to happen to their home and their community.
“I also want to reassure residents that the council are in active discussions aimed at ensuring this project remains on course and delivers the homes that local people need.
“As soon as the new timescales for the project are finalised we will be contacting our residents to update them fully.”
Built for the London County Council by Taylor Woodrow Anglian from prefabricated parts in the mid-1960s, the construction can be seen in some shots in the cult film Blow-Up, which featured scenes shot in and near Maryon Park.
Across the three estates, 1,064 homes originally built for council rent will be replaced by 1,500 homes with 35% as “affordable”, a catch-all for a range of tenures from shared ownership, through proportions of market rent to social rent. Of the total number of homes, Greenwich Council says 25% will be for social rent, and that the scheme is at no cost to taxpayers.
The scheme follows the demolition of the Ferrier Estate in Kidbrooke, which had 1,910 council homes when completed in 1972, and its replacement with Berkeley Homes’ Kidbrooke Village development, which will have 738 homes at social rents when finished, along with a further 787 “affordable” homes.
Neighbours of the estates have been hoping to secure improvements to the area as part of the development. While the missed timetable has made it clear to all that there is a delay, the 2027 date emerged in, of all places, the publicly-available minutes of the Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks’ AGM last month. Maryon Park is adjacent to the Morris Walk Estate.
The minutes note that residents were “shocked to be told by councillors that work on the Morris Walk estate will not now go ahead until 2027. This will presumably have an effect on any plans for the Maryon Park playground, where we will continue to press for improvements and updating”.
Woolwich Riverside councillor John Fahy, whose ward covers the two estates, called upon Lovell to give the land up.
He said: “It is a matter of regret that Lovell seem to have taken a decision not to develop the estates until 2027. Officers continue to engage with them to clarify their intentions.
“300 residents are living in the most appalling conditions and remain an urgent priority. Clearly Lovell have failed to honour their commitment and should relinquish any rights they have in respect of the land in question.
“The council should urgently consider developing the site as part of its commitment to maximise council housing in the borough. Housing demand is a priority and any land available must be used now rather than allowing a developer to land bank for commercial gain.”
Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust was set up by Greenwich Council in 2014 to manage historic buildings in the borough, including Charlton House, the Assembly Rooms, and the Tudor Barn in Eltham, as well as the borough archives and war memorials.
Not getting what you want out of life? Charlton-based life coach JUDITH QUIN might be able to help. After working as an actress and qualified massage therapist, she’s now a vocal coach, helping people build up their confidence. Her first book, Stop Shoulding, Start Wanting, shares the tips she’s learned. You can meet her at a book signing at Waterstones in Greenwich at 6pm this Thursday, 29 November. She spoke to The Charlton Champion about her work and her life in SE7.
How did you end up becoming a life coach?
I’ve been a bit of a natural coach my whole life, I was the one my friends would come to for advice (not that coaches give advice). But in reality, I fell into it. A massage client asked me one day if, as an actress and sound healer, I knew anyone who could help her husband with public speaking.
I did the job, he nailed his talk and I started having other clients ask me the same. One of those clients asked me when I’d trained as a coach – I hadn’t ever heard of coaching! She said what I was doing was coaching and sent me a link to The Coaching Academy where she’d trained – I went to their free event and signed up.
What personal experiences do you bring to your sessions?
I specialise in vocal confidence, helping people to find their voice and be able to speak up for themselves, or speak in front of others, so I bring a lot of my skills as an actress. For the life-coaching part of what I do, clients can be so varied in their experiences the best thing I can bring is knowing how to listen, ask good questions, and hold clients accountable.
Could you describe a typical client and what they did they get out of your sessions>
The clients who get the most out of working with me are those who are ready to step up and take leadership of their life. Often I work with people who are ready for promotion at work, to step up to the next level in their business or public speaking engagements, or find the confidence to be heard. The results are usually more confidence and clarity to move forward, not just for speaking, or at work, but also in life.
In the words of a couple of my clients:
“A life changing experience. Cured my fear of public speaking. Boosted my self-confidence.”
“For years I have always been looking to others for answers. Working with Judith has made me realise that I have all the answers within… Coaching in my opinion is: productive, personal, positive problem-solving.”
What led you to write the book?
It had been in me for years, but when I became a coach and realised I wasn’t the only person who believed that to “should” through your life is a waste of energy it became clear. So many of my friends kept telling me I should (ironically!) but I wanted to put it out there as it was something I kept taking about.
How long have you lived in Charlton for?
It’ll be 12 years next year!
What are your favourite things about the area?
All the green space, the fact I can be in town in 25 minutes, Blackheath farmers’ market, and the old coffee hut in Charlton Park.
How does living in Charlton contribute to a happy and confident life?
All the above. And that I know lots of my neighbours.
What’s the one piece of advice you could give to someone trying to improve their life?
Well … other than “stop ‘should-ing'”…
You can’t change other people, you can only change you; but also, if you don’t tell people what you’re thinking or feeling about their behaviour, you can’t expect them to know, so you don’t give them the chance to change.
Judith Quin will be at Waterstones, 51 Greenwich Church Street SE10 9BL from 6-7pm on Thursday 29 November – book a ticket here. Stop Shoulding, Start Wanting is also available on Hive Books (to pick up at Ottie and the Bea on Old Dover Road) and Amazon.co.uk.
WIN A COPY OF THE BOOK! Charlton Champion members can win a free copy of Stop Shoulding, Start Wanting by answering a really easy question. Sign up at www.patreon.com/charltonchampion by noon on Sunday 2 December and follow the instructions there. You can help us keep the site running and have a chance of winning a book!
News from Charlton House about its involvement in a new scheme providing support for local residents with learning disabilities:
Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is delighted to announce that Charlton House has been confirmed as A Safe Place, part of a network of shops, cafes, museums and heritage buildings around the Royal Borough of Greenwich where any local resident with a learning disability can go for help should they need it.
With funding from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), support from the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Metropolitan Police, the Safe Place Scheme was set up by Advocacy in Greenwich.
Charlton House as a heritage building at the heart of the borough is proud to have joined this new initiative and scheme, providing support or shelter should anyone feel scared, intimidated or unsafe.
As Christmas creeps closer, it’s quite possibly time to purchase some presents for your nearest and dearest – unless they only deserve a lump of coal this year…
Here is a round-up of the festive events The Charlton Champion has details of so far, but please let us know if you’re organising something that we’ve not spotted yet. Send us a message or leave a comment below, and we’ll update this list over the coming weeks.
Thursday 13 December has the British Oak pub on Old Dover Road hosting an 8pm Beer and Carols night in conjunction with St John’s Church, Blackheath.
On Christmas Day The Old Cottage Coffee Shop in Charlton Park are running its annual Christmas lunch for the elderly and it need volunteers and donations for the day. Please get in touch in person or on Twitter.