Herringham Quarter: Plans for 1,300 Charlton Riverside homes go to council

Is this the future of the Charlton Riverside?

Hyde housing association has formally submitted its plans to build nearly 1,300 new homes on the Charlton riverside, making it the third major scheme to enter the planning process.

It has put in a detailed planning application to Greenwich Council to build 762 homes on two plots either side of Herringham Road, close to the Thames Barrier, with blocks of up to 10 storeys. It is calling the site Herringham Quarter.

One set of blocks would replace Maybank Wharf, the current Westminster Waste recycling yard. Of the 524 flats planned for the riverside site, 21.5% would be for shared ownership, 21% would be for London Affordable Rent, a form of social rent.

Phase 1 is where 762 homes are planned. Phases 2 and 3 are not expected until after 2024

The other set of blocks, to the south, would offer 238 flats, all for London Affordable Rent. It says it plans to take vacant possession of both sites in March. Retail and workshops are also in the plans along with open spaces and a new flood defence wall.

Hyde also plans to build 530 homes on two adjoining sites closer to the Thames Barrier. However, it has only asked for outline permission for these sites; it does not expect to take possession of the land until 2024. One set of blocks would be of 203 flats for private sale, the other would be of 285 flats with 9% London Affordable Rent and 48% shared ownership.

Don’t ask why some people are dressed for summer and others winter…

Access to the new homes, however, could be a challenge for the first residents – with the sole route in and out of the site being via the industrial yards of Eastmoor Street. Hyde says it has agreed with Transport for London for a bus route to serve the site – but oddly, it would be an extension of the 301 route to Woolwich, rather than a route to North Greenwich or Charlton station. While this would be cheap to provide, it would be lumbering residents with the cost of commuting from zone 4 even though they would be living in zone 3.

The riverside development will also have to contend with Riverside Wharf – the Tarmac yard – as a neighbour. As at Greenwich Millennium Village, one block will be built to shield the development from the industrial use.

Much of what is in the planned development has already been trailed at public exhibitions. But the application submitted to Greenwich Council does provide some very useful context as to the wider Charlton Riverside project and its neighbour at Greenwich Peninsula.

Who owns what and what’s planned on the riverside – note the amount of land owned by Greenwich Council

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

Want to see what the riverside could look like in a decade?

Hyde’s map of future riverside developments (click to expand)

You can find the full planning documents – and send your thoughts to the council – on its planning website (reference 19/3456/F). If you read nothing else, have a look at the first volume of its transport and access statement, which is where we’ve lifted the images from.


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‘Rockwell’s Charlton Riverside development threatens our area – sign our petition’

Rockwell revised scheme
Neighbours have disputed Rockwell’s images of what the scheme would look like

Next month, there will be a public inquiry into plans for 771 new homes off Anchor & Hope Lane. The developer, Rockwell, is appealing against the Mayor of London’s rejection of the scheme; that followed an earlier decision by Greenwich Council to throw out the proposals. Community groups fear the scheme will get the Charlton Riverside redevelopment off to a bad start and want you to sign their petition. ANDREW DONKIN of Charlton Together, which represents groups including the Charlton Society and Charlton Central Residents’ Association, explains why.

If you care about the future of Charlton, I’d like to ask you to sign this petition calling on the Planning Inspectorate to dismiss an appeal by property developer Rockwell for its overcrowded and poorly-designed scheme on Charlton Riverside. The appeal is next month and Charlton Together urgently needs your help and signature now.

Regular readers of The Charlton Champion will recall how Rockwell’s application has already been refused by both the Mayor of London and Greenwich Council. It was refused because the plans submitted would result in the over development of the site and would fail to adhere to the vision and objectives for the redevelopment of the area set out in the Charlton Riverside Masterplan, adopted by the Council in 2017 as planning guidance for the area.

The well-received Charlton Riverside masterplan was developed over a period of five years, with the full involvement of the local community, at a cost of £854,000 using the council’s (eg, the public’s) money. The Rockwell development appeal currently before the Planning Inspectorate drives a coach and horses through the carefully created Masterplan in terms of building heights, levels of density/massing, and affordable housing.

Roden Richardson, the vice-chair of the Charlton Society, said: “If the Rockwell development appeal is allowed by the Planning Inspectorate it will set a precedent for all future developers to ignore the masterplan in respect of further planning applications for the wider site. This will have a huge impact on the whole of Charlton and beyond it across southeast London.”

Helen Jakeways, from Charlton Together, added: “It would set a dangerous precedent if this appeal is allowed at this density. There are many other developers waiting in the background to see what happens. All of their proposals for new housing are well over the density required for their plots in the Masterplan and the London Plan. There are no agreements currently in place for local infrastructure, which includes, roads, school places, doctor surgery places and public transport. This will affect everyone living and working in the SE7 area and all the areas around it.”

If you’re reading this and you care about Charlton, please sign the new petition. Numbers really will count when it is presented to the Planning Inspectorate in mid-November.

You can sign the petition at change.org.


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Metro Bank plans drive-through branch for Charlton – despite housing plans

Metro Bank design
The bank plans a glass-fronted building

Metro Bank is planning to open a drive-through branch in Charlton – on land designated by Greenwich Council for long-term housing development.

The bank has agreed to take over the McDonald’s branch on Bugsby’s Way, and plans to knock it down and build a new building with drive-through facilities, so customers can do their banking without the bother of having to leave their cars.

In its planning application to Greenwich Council, the bank – which already has a drive-through branch in Southall, west London – says planning law already allows it to use the existing McDonald’s building. However, this would be “a missed opportunity to significantly enhance the site”.

The Charlton Champion has contacted McDonald’s to find out the fate of its current outlet; however, the fast-food giant’s lease runs out in October 2021. This website also understands that Metro Bank has been interested in moving into Charlton for some time, and at one point was in talks about moving into the Sainsbury’s M&S development on Woolwich Road.

Now Metro, which has high street branches in Bexleyheath, Bromley and the City of London, has opted for a drive-through branch – a concept common in the US, but which failed to catch on when introduced as an experiment by British banks in the 1950s. One remained in Leicester until the late 1980s, closing shortly after a car crashed into its entrance gate.

As reported on From The Murky Depths, the bank’s plans do little to improve the miserable and intimidating pedestrian environment on Bugsby’s Way – and how Greenwich Council deals with this could be an indicator of just how serious it is about plans to transform the Charlton riverside from a collection of retail barns and industrial uses to a new, mixed-use neighbourhood with 7,500 new homes.

The Charlton Riverside masterplan, published in 2017, states that the Bugsby’s Way retail strip does not conform with the council’s “policy to promote Woolwich as a metropolitan town centre”.

It adds: “There is potential for some of the retail activity to remain, potentially embedded within new neighbourhood or local centres, but with a significant change to a mixed use form of development.”

However, as many of the retail barns have recently been built, the council does not envisage development starting on this part of the riverside until 2031.

Prudential, the insurance company, bought the whole Peninsular Park [sic] retail park – which sits between Asda and the Angerstein Wharf railway line and opened in the mid-1990s – in December 2016 for £38 million. Most of the leases run out next year or in 2021; the leases for the Smyths Toys and Tapi Carpet branches last until 2028.

Metro Bank, which rather optimistically refers to the area as “North Greenwich”, says it is aiming for a 25-year lease on the site – putting a spanner in any plans to rework the site for residential use until the mid-2040s. It says it will create 25 jobs with the proposal.

A letter from council officers submitted with the plans says: “The use of the building as a bank with drive-thru facilities will maintain the attraction of the retail park to customers and continue its economic contribution.”

In its transport statement, the bank claims most customers will use public transport or walk. The council’s transport officer raises no objection, saying there is an “abundance of parking available”.

To see further details, and to comment on the application, see reference 19/2781/F on Greenwich Council’s planning website. Comments need to be submitted by 30 September.


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