Charlton Riverside gains two new conservation areas

Cory boatyard, Charlton
The Cory boatyard is now in a conservation area

Greenwich Council’s cabinet has approved two new conservation areas around Charlton Riverside, which it hopes will preserve the area’s historic character as it prepares for huge redevelopment schemes.

One area includes the old Cory boatyards, the Anchor & Hope pub, Atlas and Derrick Gardens and Stone Foundries. The other, Barrier and Bowater, includes remnants of the old Siemens plant, the Thames Barrier, housing on Woolwich Road, the old Clancy’s pub and part of Maryon Park.

Last week’s cabinet meeting heard from local residents, and senior planner Victoria Geoghegan said the decision would “bring a positive approach to placemaking”.

Council leader Denise Hyland said: “We’ve got eight and a half miles of riverfront, and we have to celebrate that and look after that waterfront.”

Woolwich Riverside councillor John Fahy has previously reported on his Facebook page that council planners had come under pressure from a developer to abandon the idea because of the cost of maintaining the buildings.

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    Cllr Gary Parker’s Charlton Ward Report: Winter 2017-18

    Gary Parker

    Dear Charlton residents, this is my current ward report. It’s a snapshot of my recent activities, so it does not cover individual case work or a range of other meetings. I try to highlight a few key activities which may be of general interest. Please contact me direct if you want more information: gary.parker@royalgreenwich.gov.uk, Twitter: @CllrG2013.

    Planning & Development Issues – I have been working with local groups and individuals regarding a range of planning issues. I opposed the recent application by Fairview Homes, in the Victoria Way area -this application was passed by the planning board recently. The Rockwell development on Charlton Riverside is also still an issue – a revised planning application for a range of buildings/10 storey towers with only 25% ‘affordable housing’ has been submitted. I object to the revised planning application as the social rent/ housing element needs to be much higher, there are other related issues too, regarding this development. There is a large group of residents and other groups in the area actively opposing this development- I will support them as much as I can.

     Charlton Society – I attended the Charlton Society meeting on redevelopment and regeneration of the village and surrounding areas, together with other councillors and candidates from the ward, some good ideas came forward, I will be working with the CS and others to develop and support these ideas wherever possible. A meeting is scheduled in the near future to further consider these issues and proposals by myself and other councillors/ stakeholders.

    Community Wealth Conference, Preston–  I attended this on 8th Feb with other councillors from all over the UK, through a range of measures including support for small businesses, social enterprises and co-operatives, changing procurement practises, investment of pension funds and working with other public sector agencies. They have put back £200 million into the local economy and safeguarded and created 1600 jobs in the locality. The Preston model is now official Labour party policy and is now recommended best practice in England. I will report back more about this is due course for anyone interested see – www.councils.coop/case-studies/community-wealth-building.  I have long argued for similar measures in Greenwich. I will be advocating a range of new measures related to this; if I am re-elected at the forthcoming local elections.

    Events & Engagements – A selection

    • Attended two Better Together Community Engagement events covering Charlton
    • Attended the Friend of Charlton Park AGM
    • I attend the event to mark International Women’s day on 8th March
    • Attended Campaign For State Education group meeting
    • Met with council officers to discuss special anti-social behaviour review meeting I chaired which went very successfully
    • Raised some issues regarding repairs in cold weather and council policy.

    SURGERIES/CASEWORK – Raised a very large amount of housing and planning related casework, community safety and crime related issues which is ongoing.

    Dealt with a number of emergency cases due to the cold weather and have raised a number of gritting related cases I also raised a number of issues around tenancy conditions and service standards in cold weather.

    COUNCIL – I attended and chaired the Community Safety and Environment scrutiny panel and Overview & Scrutiny Panel and the Corporate Finance Scrutiny panel.

    COUNCIL – I attended and chaired the Community Safety and Environment scrutiny panel and attended the January 2018 council meeting which was lobbied by the far right and their supporters. I also attended the February 2018 full council meeting and debated the budget and council tax setting with the opposition. See the council’s website- www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk for further information and streaming of this and other council meetings.

    Council elections are coming: Quiz the candidates for Charlton and Woolwich Riverside wards

    Polling station
    Elections for Greenwich Council will be held on 3 May

    A message from Andrew Donkin and Helen Jakeways about two local elections hustings events taking place at the end of April:

    We are delighted to announce two hustings for the 2018 Local Elections.

    The Charlton Society is pleased to announce that its Local Election Hustings for Charlton ward will take place on Saturday 28th April at 11am in the Assembly Rooms, Charlton Village, SE7.

    Charlton Parkside Community Hub and the Benefice of Charlton are pleased to announce that their Local Election Hustings for Woolwich Riverside ward will take place on Sunday 29th April at 7pm at St Thomas’s Church, Woodland Terrace, Charlton, SE7.

    Both events are free and are open to all.

    These local hustings are a chance for residents to hear and question the candidates seeking their votes in the 2018 Local Election.

    Carol Kenna, Chair of the Charlton Society said: “The Charlton Society is delighted to be hosting the hustings for the Charlton Ward local elections in 2018.  It is an important opportunity for people to meet and hear from all the candidates who are standing for election and asking for their votes.

    “Charlton and its surrounding areas are facing an extraordinary level of change and redevelopment in the coming few years and local democracy has never been more important.  We hope people will come along and question the candidates about their vision for Charlton and how they will preserve and develop the community for existing and new residents and businesses.”

    Revd. Liz Newman, Rector of the Benefice of Charlton said:  “The Benefice of Charlton is delighted to be hosting this Hustings event for Woolwich Riverside ward which will enable local people to meet and question those seeking to represent them during these times of rapid change in the area.  We look forward to welcoming candidates and members of the community on the night.”

    These events are being organised by:

    Charlton ward – Andrew Donkin – email:  thecharltonsociety [at] ozero.co.uk

    Woolwich Riverside ward – Helen Jakeways – email: helen [at] helenjakeways.co.uk.

    Elections will be held on Thursday 3 May. The Charlton Champion hopes to report from at least one of these events.

  • 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.
  • Love Charlton Park? Got an idea for it? Come to the Friends of Charlton Park AGM

    Charlton Park
    Before the snow: Remember when you could see the grass in Charlton Park?

    The all-new Friends of Charlton Park have been in touch…

    The first AGM of the new inclusive Friends of Charlton Park will take place on Wednesday 7th March at Charlton House (Old Library) at 8pm.

    All welcome.

    There’s a chance for everyone to join on the night. And we should be hearing from special guest Jackie Smith – Greenwich Council’s cabinet member for parks.

    If you love the park – or have an idea to make it better (Parkrun, anyone?), go along – you’ll be made very welcome.

    Rockwell Charlton Riverside development: Consultation sessions to be held on 2 and 3 March

    Rockwell Charlton scheme
    The new proposals see brick-based buildings with a maximum height of 10 storeys

    Hot on the heels of Greenwich Council telling developer Rockwell to consult properly on its plans to build 771 homes on land off Anchor and Hope Lane, it has announced two events to take place at The Valley early next month.

    Rockwell, which is acting for Channel Islands-based Leopard Guernsey Anchor Propco Ltd, plans to redevelop the industrial estate behind and next to Atlas Gardens and Derrick Gardens, including building five 10-storey blocks.

    Plans for a 28-storey glass tower were blocked, while the developer only wants to provide 5% “affordable” housing on the site, compared with 15% for the previous plans. However, it says it will be discussing a “growth scenario” to provide more “affordable” housing with Greenwich Council.

    Local residents’ groups have been angry at the lack of consultation on the revised plans, which are dramatically different from the original scheme for the site.

    Now a public exhibition will be held at the Millennium Suite in The Valley between 3-7pm on Friday 2 March, and 10am-2pm on Saturday 3 March.

    A flyer distributed by Rockwell says “key members of the project team will be on hand to answer any questions”.

    Not much to say: The Charlton Conversations website

    It also directs residents to charltonconversations.com for more information, but that website is just showing a holding page suggesting visitors go to the council website.

    You can wade through all the planning documents and comment by searching for reference 16/4008/F at Greenwich Council’s planning pages. You can also read part one and part two of the lengthy design and access statement, which outlines the proposals.

    Vote for Charlton’s Big Red Bus Club to get new windows from council fund

    The Big Red Bus Club
    “We need new windows!”

    Charlton’s Big Red Bus Club children’s centre wants your backing in a council-run vote to get £8,000 to replace its windows.

    Residents in most of Charlton are eligible to vote in the poll in how to spend the Greenwich Neighbourhood Growth Fund, which is money taken from a levy the council has to charge on developers.

    Greenwich councillors decided last year to divide the borough into four areas, which would hold their own online votes on how to spend the money. Most of Charlton has been grouped with Woolwich and Kidbrooke for these votes.

    The only Charlton project in this round of voting is for the Big Red Bus Club, the free children’s play centre in Charlton Park.

    It wants £8,400 to install new windows: “The project aims to replace windows at Charlton Under-5s Play Centre and refurbish the locks of the metal security grate, bringing both into use after decades of disrepair. It is currently home to the Big Red Bus Club, a family wellbeing centre that runs a range of free services for local families.”

    The other projects in the vote are Greenwich and Lewisham Youth Theatre, based in the Royal Arsenal, and a digital inclusion programme on the Woolwich Common Estate.

    To vote, you need to open an account on the council website – www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/register – then once that’s one, vote at www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/growthfund, picking area three.

    Council website typo

    Please note: it’s definitely windows they’re replacing. Windows.

    Live in Peninsula ward? One quirk of this scheme is that if you live in Peninsula ward (north of the railway line and west of Ransom Walk), you’re included in Greenwich and Blackheath’s vote.

    Projects very near Charlton vying for your vote in that poll include a digital inclusion programme at Mycenae House, an equipment upgrade at the Blackheath Westcombe Autism Support project based at the Montessori school on Westcombe Hill, a pond-dipping platform at the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, and new outdoor play equipment for The Bridge play centre in East Greenwich Pleasance. More at www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/growthfund.

    Developer Rockwell told to consult community about new Charlton Riverside plan

    Rockwell Charlton Riverside
    What Rockwell says the development’s residential garden areas will look like

    The developer hoping to build the first major housing development on the Charlton Riverside has been told it needs to properly consult the local community before Greenwich Council will decide on its plans.

    Rockwell, which is acting for Channel Islands-based Leopard Guernsey Anchor Propco Ltd, plans to build 771 homes on land behind and next to Atlas Gardens and Derrick Gardens, including five 10-storey blocks.

    But local residents’ groups complained that Rockwell had not consulted them properly on the project – which has changed dramatically from the developer’s original plan to build glass towers on the site.

    Now they have been told by Greenwich Council that Rockwell has been advised to, and has promised to, consult residents on its proposals.

    Led by the Derrick and Atlas Gardens Residents Association, a loose coalition of local organisations has now formed around the proposals, including the Charlton Society, Charlton Central Residents Association and others – with the shock of the Fairview Victoria Way planning decision prompting many to keep a close eye on the Rockwell scheme.

    Charlton Society planning chair Roden Richardson said working together and using social media was proving to be effective.

    “Any number of people are now contacted simultaneously and instantaneously to distribute a given message,” he said.

    “In the case of the latest application that meant all our fellow community stakeholder members and councillors, leading council staff, the Greater London Authority and, of course, our MP, all virtually at the touch of a button. If we handle this kind of thing wisely, it might begin to help a bit to make community and council more like constructive partners than frustrated strangers.”

    In total, 11 new buildings are planned for the site, with space for retail and commercial use alongside Anchor & Hope Lane. 210 car parking spaces are planned. But the developer only wants to provide 5% “affordable” housing on the site, although its application says it is in talks with Greenwich Council about a “growth scenario”.

    Cratus Communications, the lobbying company which has former Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts as its deputy chairman, involved in the project. Former Greenwich chief executive Mary Ney is listed on the Cratus website as an “associate”, while one-time Greenwich Labour borough organiser Michael Stanworth heads up the company’s London lobbying operation.