New plan to replace closed Charlton Liberal Club with six flats

Charlton Liberal Club proposal
The new design is planned to fit in with its neighbours

Developers have come forward with a new proposal to replace the closed Charlton Liberal Club building with six flats – their third attempt in two years.

The main Liberal Club building on Charlton Church Lane was converted into flats in 2016, with the club moving to a new building next door, but that closed two years later with its trustees putting it up for sale.

In 2020, a Enfield-based company, Liberal Ltd, applied to build a three-storey building with eight flats – but the proposal was refused by planning officers who criticised the design and said that that the loss of the club would deny the area a community facility and a source of employment.

Charlton Liberal Club
The club closed in October 2018 and has been boarded up since 2020

Last May, another application was submitted, keeping the club in the basement and offering six flats. This plan – which flew somewhat under the radar – was also rejected.

Now the company is back with a “radically different” proposal, once again getting rid of the club but replacing it with a building designed to more closely match its neighbours.

“The proposed replacement building would, instead, be hip-roofed, reflecting that of No 59, an early Victorian villa,” the company says in planning documents. It would contain five two-bedroom flats and one three-bedroom flat.

The application also includes a letter from the estate agent Acorn, which sold the building to developers after receiving 88 enquiries, most of them from buyers looking to turn it into homes.

Charlton Liberal Club
The first plan for the club was rejected two years ago

It said: “It is clear that there is no demand for a Liberal Club in the vicinity, as the sole reason we were instructed to sell the property was because the club were in large amounts of debt being unable to make it financially viable any longer. They stated that this was due to a large change in the local trend and demographic over the past few years, and therefore a lot of their members had moved out of the area or for one reason or another were no longer able to take part in club activities.”

The club saw out its final days as a watering hole for Charlton Athletic fans on their way to matches. The club’s museum was later given a batch of items from its archives.

In December, a plan to convert the nearby Conservative Club into seven flats was submitted to the council.

Full details of the application, and more images, can be found in the design and access statement.

To see more documents and to comment on the application, visit the Greenwich Council planning website.


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Mega-bedsit plan for Charlton Conservative Club withdrawn as Liberal Club development refused

Google image of the Charlton Conservative Club
The old Charlton Conservative Club (image: Google)

A developer has withdrawn plans to turn the former Conservative Club on Charlton Church Lane into 26 bedsits to accommodate 49 people.

The club closed seven years ago and permission was given in 2015 to demolish the rear hall to provide a two-bedroom flat and a three-bedroom maisonette together with a new block of three two-bedroom flats, and construction of a terrace of four two-bedroom houses on land at the back of the property. Work began but was never completed, and construction workers have continued to arrive at the site.

Greenwich Council confirmed that RIU Management (UK) Ltd, a company based at the former club, had withdrawn its application in a letter to people who had objected to the plans. The company is controlled by 58-year-old Sanjai Dhar, who is also registered at the club; however it was originally set up by a British Virgin Islands-registered company, Riu Management, which had a correspondence address in Switzerland, according to Companies House records.

“The proposal is a form of residential accommodation aimed at providing affordable and high quality accommodation in the form of co-living arrangement,” planning documents said. “With the average house price in Greenwich at a value of £554,000, co-living which is a house in multiple occupation, offers an affordable alternative of living accommodation whilst retaining the luxury. Therefore, this a growing trend and co- living arrangement caters for young professionals who struggle to afford London’s increasing property prices.”

Meanwhile, plans to demolish what is left of the Charlton Liberal Club and build a three-storey building with eight flats have been refused by Greenwich planning officers. The scheme had been submitted by an Enfield-based company, Liberal Ltd, controlled by property developers Can and Kerem Yavuzarslan.

The council said there was no evidence that the Liberal Club was unviable as it had only been on the market for one month, and that the loss of the club would deny the area a community facility and a source of employment. It also said the “proposed design is excessive in scale and poorly sited, such that it appears cramped with its plot and creates an uncharacteristic terracing effect”.

The main Liberal Club building was converted into flats in 2016 and a new building erected next door, but the club closed two years later.


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