Charlton and Woolwich Arsenal set to lose Charing Cross trains from 2022

Southeastern train at Charlton
The new Southeastern franchise begins in April 2019

Charlton and Woolwich Arsenal stations will lose direct trains to Charing Cross from December 2022, according to the Department for Transport’s plans for the new Southeastern franchise, which have been published today.

The invitation to tender sets out what the Government expects of the firm which wins the new franchise, which due to begin in April 2019. It sets out the basic service the winning operator is expected to provide.

Currently, six trains per hour run from Charlton to Cannon Street via Greenwich, with two running to Charing Cross via Lewisham.

From next year, this will become four trains via Greenwich to Cannon Street, two to Charing Cross via Lewisham, plus two new Greenwich line trains that will run via Blackfriars to Luton on the Thameslink route.

But from 2022, those Charing Cross services would be rerouted to Cannon Street, calling additionally at New Cross and St John’s. Passengers who want Waterloo East and Charing Cross will have to change at London Bridge.

Southeastern invitation to tender
Part of the specification being given to bidders for the new franchise. Thameslink trains not shown.

Looking in the other direction, there is also an option given for bidders to extend one set of Greenwich line trains to Maidstone West, while Belvedere and Erith may see a cut in services, with bidders asked to provide only a minimum of four trains per hour. The planned Thameslink trains are not set to call at those stops.

There are also changes planned for elsewhere on the network, with more trains to Victoria from Lewisham, although these will no longer run through Blackheath.

Last year, transport secretary Chris Grayling refused permission for Transport for London to take on Southeastern’s metro services. The new franchise is due to last until 2027.


Charlton Lane level crossing: What’s happened to the footbridge?

Charlton Lane level crossing
Where’s it gone?

A few weeks back, Network Rail workers moved in on the level crossing in Charlton Lane. And took away the footbridge.

Arthur asked The Charlton Champion what was going on. So we asked Network Rail.

A very nice spokesperson told us: “The footbridge at Charlton Lane has been taken away for major refurbishment and re-painting. We aim to get it back in position before Spring 2018 and in the meantime if people could use the level crossing we would appreciate their patience and understanding.”

A bit inconvenient if you come at a time when there are multiple trains coming, but hopefully a brighter and less creaky bridge will be back in place soon.

Fairview trims Victoria Way development but keeps 10-storey blocks

40 Victoria Way design
The plan includes two 10-storey blocks next to the railway line

Plans for new homes on the remainder of the old Thorn Lighting site on Victoria Way have been revised, cutting the number of dwellings from 341 to 300.

But developer Fairview New Homes still plans to build 10-storey blocks on the site, which has caused anxiety among residents who live close to the proposed scheme.

Fairview submitted the plans back in June, but has now changed its proposals following discussions with Greenwich Council planning department.

40 Victoria Way application

It says 35% of the new homes will be “affordable”, while a nursery and business space have also been added to the scheme.

The changes are, according to the planning documents:

  • 330 new dwellings, including 35% affordable homes – tenures and mix as previously ‘agreed’ with RBG Planning Policy, namely 77 rented (including 29 family rented units) plus 37 intermediate /shared ownership.
  • New D1 Nursery building at approx. 439m2, with a potential child capacity of 125 children depending on ages and up to 22 staff / jobs – based on DfE / OFSTED requirements.
  • A new dedicated B1 employment building – building ‘A’ at 999m2 (GIA) of open-plan flexible floor-space, suitable for SME workspace, with a capacity of approximately 85 FTE roles. A combined potential employment offering of approximately 107 jobs.
  • Design improvements to the ground floor layout and elevations along Victoria Way and the internal ‘Avenue’
  • Increase provision of 3-bed family units to 89, bringing the percentage to 27%.

40 Victoria Way proposal
View up Victoria Way taken from the original application
40 Victoria Way scheme
View from Gurdon Road, taken from the original application
Victoria Way scheme
The tall block can be seen in this view from Fossdene School

The scheme can be found by searching for reference 17/1795/F on Greenwich Council’s planning pages. Comments need to be in by 13 December.

St Thomas Charlton Night Shelter benefit concert: Friday 1 December

St Thomas church

Each year between and March, St Thomas’ Church in Charlton is one of a group in Greenwich borough who collaborate on the Greenwich Winter Night Shelter project.

St Thomas’ opens its doors for one night each week, providing up to 15 homeless people with a hot shower, an evening meal, a warm place to sleep and breakfast, as well as a packed lunch to take away.

Other churches in Greenwich borough pitch in so a volunteer-run service is provided all through the week.

We covered the St Thomas’s Church shelter in February 2016.

Here’s a video showing what happens in the church on Fridays when it hosts the shelter…

All this costs money to provide, and to help raise funds, there’ll be a concert at the church at 7.30pm on Friday 1 December, featuring popular classics for cello, voice and piano. For more information about the concert or the shelter, call 07989 740 252 or 020 8854 0841.

Charlton night shelter poster

Pop-up Pottery Shop: Meet Charlton’s ceramicists at The Corner

This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday there’s a chance to start your Christmas shopping, support local potters, and have a nose into the former pet shop on the corner of Bramshot Avenue and Sherington Road. Over to Pop Up Pots organiser Louise Tomlins:

I am a former midwife and now work as The Accidental Knitter, producing knitted and other handmade items. My husband and I bought 96 Bramshot Avenue as a rebuild project and it’s still very much a work in progress! I have had a number of pop-up shops over the last 12 months and have been overwhelmed by the support from the local community.

I met Fiona Veacock during this time and am delighted to be hosting a pottery pop up to showcase her work along with Anne Richards, Katherine Joekes and my own.

I am lucky to have my own wheel and share a studio with Anne and having making a piece of pottery as an item on my a bucket list has changed the direction of my life. The plan for the shop in the long term is for it to be a coffee shop but that is very much my husband’s project. 

The event runs at The Corner, 96 Bramshot Avenue, London SE7 7JN on:

Thursday 8.30am-4.30pm

Friday 8.30am-4.30pm

Saturday 10am-4pm.

PS. We’d like to feature more local artists and makers on The Charlton Champion – as time allows – and we’re particularly interested if you produce work that depicts or features the local area. Get in touch with us here!

‘Deteriorating’ Charlton Village placed on Historic England ‘at risk’ register

Charlton Village
Charlton Village: Conservation area ‘at risk’, Historic England says

Charlton Village’s conservation area has been added to Historic England’s “at risk” register, with the agency warning that its condition is “deteriorating”.

The Heritage at Risk register highlights important sites that are in danger of being lost due to neglect, decay or inappropriate development.

Charlton House’s former summer house, which is now being restored, has been on the register for some years, but whole conservation areas can also be added to the list.

33 The Village
Bowes’ shoe shop closed at Christmas 2015

The village has long been disfigured by empty and neglected shop units. Number 33, the former Bowes shoe shop, has sat empty since it closed nearly two years ago. Land Registry documents indicate it has been owned since 1989 by Kamil Ahmet of Clapton, east London.

11 The Village
This unit was left open to the elements during the summer

Number 11, the former Sol Property Services, has had a front door panel left open to the elements for weeks earlier this year. It is owned by Maqbool and Nadeem Chaudry of Birmingham, according to the Land Registry.

While the recent revamp of the White Swan and the arrival of the Kasturi Indian restaurant have given the village a bit of a lift, it has struggled to attract other new businesses that would keep these properties in good condition and start restoring The Village to its former glory.

Two years ago, this site published one resident’s musings on how the area needs a regeneration plan. Who will make the first move to sort Charlton Village’s problems out – residents, or Greenwich Council? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Charlton’s skatepark officially open: photos

Unperturbed by Storm Brian, a decent crowd showed up in Charlton Park on Saturday morning to witness the official opening of the skatepark. A downpour mid-morning meant a bit of delay in proceedings but by 11.30am skating was underway, after a short speech by Denise Scott-McDonald, Greenwich Council’s cabinet member for Culture, Creative Industries and Community Well-Being, who encouraged the crowd to “to get skating, whatever your age!”.

The skatepark is located next to the outdoor gym, close to the Old Cottage Cafe. It features a bowl, plus a street skate area, and was being used by people on skateboards, BMXs, and microscooters when we visited.

You can read Greenwich Council’s press release about the skate park launch here.



Did you go along this morning? Have you tried the skatepark? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments below.