Charlton Riverside: Stone Foundries site sold with 1,500 more homes planned

Stone Foundries, Charlton
Stone Foundries was founded in Deptford in the 1830s

One of Charlton’s longest-established industrial concerns, Stone Foundries, is to close after a developer bought its land for a development of up to 1,500 new homes.

The sale of the Stone site to Staines-based developer Montreaux marks a key turning point in the slow transformation of Charlton’s riverside from an industrial into a residential area.

Montreaux recently won approval to turn an old margarine factory in Southall, west London, into a high-density development of 2,000 homes; while more locally it has also bought the old Lamorbey swimming baths in Sidcup for a mixed-use development.

Stone’s sale marks the end of nearly 190 of years of business in the local area. In 1831, founder Josiah Stone set up a business in Deptford casting copper nails for the shipbuilding industry. Part of the business moved to Charlton in 1917, where it continued to make castings for ships, and still produces fittings for the aerospace industry. The Deptford works closed in 1969. The firm was bought and merged into UK-based parts maker Aeromet last year.

An Aeromet spokesperson told The Charlton Champion yesterday that it was in the process of moving the former Stone operations to its sites in Rochester and Sittingbourne, both in Kent.

At its height, Stone even had extensive sports fields stretching out onto the Woolwich Road, now the site of the Stone Lake retail park.

Stone has outlasted many of its industrial neighbours by decades – the huge United Glass Works on Anchor & Hope Lane closed in 1968, Johnsen & Jorgensen’s glass works shut in 1981.

One challenge for any developer will be that some of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s Stone buildings – though unseen by most locals – are now locally listed, with the site covered by a conservation area. According to Greenwich Council’s heritage list: “The site qualifies on the grounds of historic interest mainly due to its high importance for the British Royal Navy during the C20, especially during WWI and WWII and as a notable site of employment heritage. The buildings described above are of architectural interest, especially the Offices, the Laboratory and Odeon Buildings, being substantially intact and evocative surviving examples of an engineering foundry that was of national and strategic importance. This suite of buildings is also notable for quality of materials and décor, given their construction date when so little was being built.”

The land sale means there are now five major redevelopment sites on the Charlton riverside, mostly adjacent to one another, and all at various stages in the planning process.

The other four schemes, from west to east, are:

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Free summer holiday meals for children at The Valley

The Valley
Free meals will served at The Valley on Tuesday and Thursday evenings this month

Greenwich Council’s Holiday Meals scheme, which provides hot food for children and young people during school holidays, is opening up at The Valley on Tuesday and Thursday evenings until the end of the month.

The scheme enables children to get healthy meals for free and provides families with support outside term time. It is run by Greenwich Co-Operative Development Agency in association with the leisure provider GLL and the Charlton Athletic Community Trust.

Food will be served from a mobile kitchen at Valley Central, the youth hub next to the club shop on Harvey Gardens, on Tuesdays from 7.30pm to 8.30pm and Thursdays from 6.30pm to 7.30pm until 30 August.

The scheme also operates at other locations within Greenwich borough, including the Woolwich Adventure Playground and the Clockhouse Community Centre on the Woolwich Dockyard estate. See the Greenwich Council website for more details.

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Developer plans Domino’s Pizza and flats for Charlton’s derelict Victoria pub

How developers say the Victoria would look. Not sure what that car is doing, mind

A Gillingham-based developer wants to convert the long-derelict Victoria pub on Woolwich Road into a Domino’s Pizza outlet and four flats, according to documents released by Greenwich Council this week.

Residents can have their say between now and 28 August on the proposals, which would retain the locally-listed building – notorious for its sloping floor but unused for over 20 years and damaged by fires, most recently in May – and build above and behind it to create a two-storey apartment block.

What’s there now: After May 2019’s fire

A previous application, in 2016, to demolish the building for flats was refused, while this application follows a withdrawn plan to build two large student flats behind the pub, which the council objected to on the grounds that student accommodation did not fit into the Charlton Riverside redevelopment programme.

Of converting the pub to a Domino’s pizza outlet, the developer says: “The ‘A5’ use would be a Domino’s pizza outlet. They deliver. Even in a Town Centre context 95% of orders are delivered. In a location such as this it would be a lot higher. The layout allows for moped or scooter parking. Staff would be encouraged to use the scooters or cycles to access work from home.”

Side view. Space for a mural on the blank wall, perhaps?

Some things that leap out at us.

  • Firstly, there have been six months of to-ing and fro-ing with council planners before this has emerged, so presumably they are broadly happy with it.
  • Secondly, that blank wall! Surely we can get a mural out of this. Get your thinking caps on, readers.
  • Thirdly, it doesn’t appear anyone has properly surveyed the inside of the pub, even though it is easy to get into – it is a favourite of our pal Paul Talling of Derelict London. Hopefully this isn’t a precursor of “oh no, it’s actually in a terrible state and we’ll have to knock it down anyway!”
Victoria pub interior
Inside the Victoria after the May 2019 fire. Sensitive readers: don’t look left

We took some photos of the pub last summer, a some months before the most recent fire.

The full set of planning documents is on the Greenwich Council planning website (or enter reference 19/734/F here), where you can also leave comments about the proposal.

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– Please tell us about your news and events
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