After a break because of the pandemic, East Greenwich Pleasaunce’s New Year Wassail is back this Sunday. RICH SYLVESTER explains more…
As with all local parks, East Greenwich Pleasaunce has been a place to escape to during the pandemic. Beneath the veteran trees on this site a new orchard of plums, apples and pear trees was planted in 2012. Volunteers can join – Planting in the Pleasaunce – or Pip! to care for these trees.
Pip! also organises an annual wassail. This old English tradition – connected to Twelth Night – is to celebrate and bless the trees with cider in the hopes of a good harvest in the coming year.
The event is from 1-2.30pm on Sunday 16th January. The Greenwich Morris Men will provide some lively dancing, there will be wassail songs from Morrigan and Halstow Community Choir and some cracking tunes from Penny Gunstone and the band Clanjamfry.
Plus cider and a range of food and drink from the Pleasaunce Cafe. You are encouraged to bring drums, instruments, pots and pans!
Permission was given in 2015 for flats and a terrace of three houses on the site, but work was never completed and in 2020, a new application was submitted for the bedsits, to accommodate 49 people, as part of a “co-living” development.
That scheme was quickly dropped, and now developers have scaled back their original plans to just seven flats – three of which have already been built as part of the first proposal.
While the club’s former billiard hall would have been demolished, it is now to be retained and converted into homes. Developers say: “It is not sustainable to remove the rear building to build another almost identical one. Therefore, it is proposed to retain the rear building and to simply convert it. There would be no terrace houses proposed in the back garden and the submitted plans show communal garden space with cycle stores.”
In September 2020 plans to demolish what is left of the Charlton Liberal Club were refused by planners, who said there was no evidence that the club was unviable as it had only been on the market for one month.
A car auction house on the Woolwich Road could be joined by a shisha restaurant and music venue if its plans are approved by Greenwich Council.
Part of the Euro Car Auctions building, close to the Victoria pub, could be revamped to include a nightspot in space at the east end of the building.
The application is brief and only mentions a shisha restaurant and alterations to the exterior of the building to include an open ventilation screen and floral wall, but plans submitted to the council include a music venue and recording space. Images supplied with the application, rather oddly, show palm trees surrounding the site, which is on industrial land but is opposite houses and flats.
Euro Car Auctions, which is behind the plan, hopes that a recent change in planning laws means that permission will only be a technicality, as auction houses and restaurants now fall under the same category.
However, the council may take a greater interest in what goes on as it owns the freehold to the site, having bought it as part of its long-term plans to transform the Charlton riverside into a residential area.