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.


PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. And we’ll do the others better than anyone else. We can’t do it without your help.
– Please tell us about your news and events
– Become a monthly supporter at presspatron.com/charltonchampion
– Donate to our running costs at paypal.me/charltonchampion

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.


PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. And we’ll do the others better than anyone else. We can’t do it without your help.
– Please tell us about your news and events
– Become a monthly supporter at presspatron.com/charltonchampion
– Donate to our running costs at paypal.me/charltonchampion

MP criticises ‘bad practice’ at Fairview New Homes’ Synergy development on Victoria Way

Fairview Synergy development
The Synergy development is now poking into the sky above Charlton

Local MP Matt Pennycook has reacted angrily after the developer behind 330 new homes being built on Victoria Way shrugged off complaints about the impact of construction work on the site’s neighbours.

Fairview New Homes dismissed a series of issues raised by Pennycook on behalf of residents about dirt, idling construction vehicles and work taking place outside permitted hours.

Its senior site manager, Matthew Hook, said “we can only assume that the points raised are generally historical” and said that Greenwich Council was happy with the cracked state of the road outside the development site, which is being branded Synergy.

After effectively being told residents’ complaints were groundless, Pennycook has now said he will name the company in Parliament as an example of bad practice in the construction sector. He is also asking for residents with complaints to get in touch with him and the company.

Greenwich had threatened Fairview with an unlimited fine in December 2018 after complaints that contractors were working outside permitted hours. Hook claimed that the work was actually being carried out by a utility firm.

Fairview Synergy
Residents have had to put up with dust and construction lorries

Hook also said that the points had been addressed in a meeting with the council on 25 February, and that no further complaints had been made since.

“So to summarise, all of the concerns raised in your letter have already been discussed, reviewed and mitigated following a meeting between [Fairview] and [Greenwich Council] on the 25/02/19 and to date, since the meeting we have had no further complaints or correspondence from local residents or [Greenwich Council] or any other industry bodies such as the Considerate Constructors Scheme regarding the development on Victoria Way,” Hook wrote.

However, the residents’ complaints were made to Pennycook at a roving advice surgery on 30 March, more than a month after the meeting with the council, with the letter written on 14 May.

Pennycook has responded: “It is patently the case that local residents do have outstanding complaints about construction management on the site. Rather than seeking to dismiss these complaints as you did in your letter, a responsible developer would have engaged with the substance of each of them and given due consideration as to what more could be done to alleviate them.

“I intend to name [Fairview] on the floor of the House of Commons and use your letter as an example of bad practice in the sector as well as making additional direct representations to ministers at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.”

The source of residents’ gripes was clear on Thursday afternoon, with surfaces on the lower stretch of Victoria Way covered in dust from construction. While a site worker hosed down the entrance to the development, nothing was being done about dust and grime outside people’s homes. The wheels of a passing construction truck did not appear to have been washed.

Fairview Synergy site
Fairview has hosed down the road and pavement outside the site, but not outside people’s homes

An eight-strong committee of councillors approved the scheme, which includes two 10-storey blocks and 144 car parking spaces, by six votes to one in January 2018. Among the complaints from residents was a lack of consultation with neighbours about the scheme, and accusations of bullying tactics.

Fairview has not responded to a request for comment.

Cratus Communications, whose deputy chairman is former Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts, handled the consultation for the Victoria Way scheme. Last month, the company published a blog post on its website claiming it was “quietly revolutionising and abolishing the traditional view of ‘faceless’ developers sweeping into town and ‘doing what they like’”. “Communication with existing residents has to be managed carefully and with tact,” it added.

If you live close to the Victoria Way development and are affected by the dirt and grime from Fairview New Homes’ Synergy development, please email matthew.pennycook.mp[at]parliament.uk, and copy in matthew.hook[at]fairview.co.uk. Comments are also open below.


PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. We can’t do it without your help.
– Please tell us about your news and events
– Become a monthly supporter at patreon.com/charltonchampion
– Donate to our running costs at paypal.me/charltonchampion
– Buy Darryl a coffee at ko-fi.com