East Greenwich’s B&Q store could be replaced by a major new housing development on the site of the current Ikea store car park.
Developer London Square has opened a consultation into its plans for the Millennium Retail Park, which would see Ikea and the Odeon cinema remain, but the 20-year-old DIY warehouse disappear.
Up to 1,400 homes could be built in a proposal that would link Greenwich Millennium Village and existing communities in east Greenwich after nearly a quarter of a century. Details are sketchy, but London Square promises to “transform the existing site and create a new neighbourhood that will deliver new homes, cafés, shops and new pedestrian-friendly spaces, including a new public square at the heart of the site”.
Most buildings would be around seven or eight storeys, but some could be up to 20 storeys tall. Car parking for Ikea and the Odeon would be below the development, potentially on the ground floor. The development site does not include the Sainsbury’s petrol station left over from when the supermarket moved to Gallions Road in 2015.
“We are working to agree a temporary parking solution with Ikea for the construction period,” the developer says. Work on the scheme could begin in spring 2023.
Nearly a quarter of the homes – 24.5 per cent – would be for London Affordable Rent, about half market rent, with 10.5 per cent being for shared ownership. Like most major new developments in the area, it would be car-free, with residents banned from obtaining parking permits.
The developer plans a “green shield” to protect the development from the adjacent A102, which is likely to be also carrying Silvertown Tunnel traffic when the development is finished. It says it will “comprise a mix of trees, planting, a living wall and building massing adjoining the Blackwall Tunnel approach, that will protect the site to the north from the pollution and noise created by this busy route”.
“The development will serve as an ecological bridge between the suburban gardens of Westcombe Park and the green spaces within the Greenwich Millennium Village Ecological Park,” the developer adds in the consultation.
A similar principle is used nearby where blocks in Greenwich Millennium Village are designed to shield residents from the aggregate works at Angerstein Wharf.
The site has been a retail park since 1999, when Sainsbury’s opened its ill-fated “eco-store” on the site, with the cinema and other retail following after that. Ikea replaced Sainsbury’s two years ago. Before the site became a retail park, it served as a sports club for the nearby gasworks, before the Metrogas club moved to Avery Hill in 1989.
Two months ago, Greenwich councillors approved detailed plans for the final phase of Greenwich Millennium Village, backing plans for 489 homes on a site across Bugsby’s Way from B&Q and Ikea.
The scheme could potentially form a template for redeveloping the Charlton retail parks to the east of the site. None are currently in line for development, although a recent council planning document suggested the Makro site off Anchor and Hope Lane “should accommodate a mix of small and medium sized commercial, retail, leisure and community uses and flexible SME space”.
London Square is currently redeveloping the old Greenwich police station site on Burney Street into 59 homes. Its other developments include the former Crosse and Blackwell factory in Bermondsey and the old Royal Star and Garter Home in Richmond.
The consultation is open at mrpgreenwich.co.uk, with virtual events taking place at 6pm on Thursday 25 and Monday 29 March.
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