Fairview New Homes tries again to add convenience store to Victoria Way development

40 Victoria Way
The Bowen Drive development in its marketing pomp: The proposed store would be on the ground floor

The developer behind 330 new homes on Victoria Way is trying again to add a convenience store to the development – months after its first attempt was refused.

Fairview New Homes controversially won permission for the development on the old Thorn Lighting site in January 2018, and the first residents moved into Bowen Drive nearly two years ago.

Last summer it applied to Greenwich Council for permission to cut three floors of planned office space down to two, and to change the ground floor of the development’s northeasternmost building – the one nearest to the terraced houses on Victoria Way – to a convenience store.

But council planners refused the application. While there were 22 objections – on grounds ranging from traffic, pollution and noise to “concern that the development would bring non-residents into the estate” – planners blocked the scheme because Fairview had not provided adequate proof that it had marketed the office space within the development to potential occupiers.

Now Fairview is back with a new application. It said it had struggled to sell the office space and that there is “limited demand for office accommodation across [Greenwich] borough and the limited demand which did arise was focused outside of Charlton and primarily within the borough’s town centres” and the st.

Fairview added that its office space was also competing with The Gateway, the Greenwich Enterprise Board building opposite in Troughton Road, which is also “suffering continued vacancies”. (GEB’s website says there are no vacancies there.)

The developer says a convenience store would generate 14 jobs, compared with 18 for the office space.

As with the previous application, the convenience store operator is not named. The Co-op and Sainsbury’s have taken spaces in new developments in the area in recent years – a new Co-op opened in Greenwich Millennium Village late last year.

Residents can comment on the proposal and see more details on the Greenwich Council website.


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Bowen Drive: Convenience store planned for Fairview’s Victoria Way development

40 Victoria Way
The proposed store would be on the ground floor

A convenience store could be coming to the Fairview New Homes’ development on Victoria Way, replacing planned ground-floor office space.

Fairview gained permission for 330 homes on the old Thorn Lighting site in January 2018, despite 125 objections from residents and local councillors, with concerns raised by Transport for London and the Greater London Authority about the 144 car parking spaces included on the site. Fairview was accused of “bullying tactics” by the chair of one residents’ group. The first residents moved into Bowen Drive last year.

Now three floors of planned office space could be cut to two, with a planning application to change the ground floor of the development’s northeasternmost building – the one closest to the existing terrace at the foot of Victoria Way – to a convenience store.

“However a convenience shop operator has expressed interest in the ground floor (218sqm) of the commercial unit at the above site. This use would contribute towards local employment opportunities and create an active frontage to the site whilst retaining two floors of B1 office floor space above,” Fairview says in its application to Greenwich Council.

The convenience store operator is not named. The Co-op and, to a lesser extent, Sainsbury’s have taken spaces in new developments in the area in recent years.

“It is anticipated that the convenience store will be used by local people and that trips will occur mainly by sustainable modes,” Fairview says, which may come as a surprise to anyone who has seen the number of cars stopping outside local corner shops.

“It is anticipated that any associated delivery and servicing movements will be infrequent and undertaken using smaller vehicles, such as cars, small vans and LGVs.”

More details and comments can be left on Greenwich Council’s planning website.


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