Air quality worries as 1,200 homes by Thames Barrier recommended for approval

Hyde Herringham Quarter
The development would make use of a jetty on the Thames. The Tarmac plant at Riverside Wharf is on the left

Plans to turn the Charlton riverside into a residential district could take a giant step forward next week if councillors approve over 1,200 new homes on what is currently industrial land.

But some residents face living in homes where they will not be able to open their windows because of concerns over air quality from an asphalt plant next door.

The Port of London Authority and the operators of nearby wharves have submitted objections to the Herringham Quarter project, saying that residents’ complaints about air quality, noise and smell could threaten their businesses.

The land concerned (not the blocks) – Plots A and C could be finished by 2026. Plot B is the Tarmac plant. Detailed plans for plots D and E will follow

Hyde housing association is asking for detailed permission to build 718 homes along with commercial units at Herringham Road and New Lydenburg Street, close to the Thames Barrier, in blocks of up to 10 storeys. It also wants outline permission for a further 494 homes, which could follow in the future.

Councillors are due to make a decision on the scheme next Tuesday, at a meeting of Greenwich’s planning board, the committee that deals with the biggest developments in the borough.

The blocks would be up to 10 storeys high, with some to be built on the site of Maybanks Wharf, currently a recycling yard for Westminster Waste.
The Tarmac asphalt depot next door would remain in place. The first homes could be ready by 2026.

Hyde’s application is the biggest Charlton Riverside scheme to reach councillors since the notorious Rockwell scheme for land off Anchor and Hope Lane, which has now been abandoned after Greenwich Council, City Hall and the government all rejected proposals for 771 homes there. The site is now to be used as a “last mile” logistics depot.

So far just one home – a flat at the derelict Victoria pub, which is to be turned into a pizza takeaway – has been given approval out of a potential 8,000 new homes in the area.

The proposals have changed since the scheme was first unveiled in 2019, with “affordable” housing now making up 55 per cent of the total in the first phase of the scheme.

Hyde’s plans include 263 homes for London Affordable Rent, about half market rent and available to people on housing waiting lists, comprising 37 per cent of the total number of homes. Another 133 homes (18 per cent) will be for shared ownership, with the remainder going on private sale.

The second phase of the scheme will include more private housing, taking the “affordable” total down to 40 per cent across the project.

However, the quality of life for people who move into the homes has been questioned by the operators of Murphy’s, Angerstein and Riverside wharves, who say that complaining residents could put their noisy businesses at risk of closure.

Hyde’s vision of Herringham Road in the future

They also warn that the introduction of residents living so close to the trajectory of the chimney stack emissions will make it unlawful for Tarmac to operate the asphalt plant at Riverside Wharf under its current permit.

The Port of London Authority has also objected, saying that Riverside Wharf needs to be able to operate 24 hours a day because of tidal movements.

In response, the developer is proposing that people living in affected properties will have “sealed units with no openable windows which will be fitted with mechanical ventilation”.

Council planners say that this mitigation is “considered to be acceptable such that undesirable conflict with the uses at the wharves will be avoided”.

Herringham Quarter render
A view from the Thames, with the Tarmac plant on the left

Just 90 car parking spaces will be provided, with Hyde expected to pay for a new bus route to serve the site – expected to be an extension of the 301 service to zone 4 Woolwich station rather than a route to zone 3 Charlton or zone 2 North Greenwich.

Developers in the area will be expected to pay £3,000 per home to Greenwich Council for new roads, and £2,800 to TfL for new bus services.

The council is also looking for a site to place a new primary school, after concluding that a planned school on Anchor & Hope Lane would provide insufficient spaces as it would also be serving the Greenwich Peninsula. Hyde will have to pay £915,000 towards that.

The local NHS is to get £1.1m in extra funding for GP services as the commercial units on the site are too small to include a health centre; the council’s GLLaB job brokerage will collect almost £1.3 million from the scheme.

One factor that will weigh heavily on the developer’s side is that Greenwich only has a three-year supply of new housing on the way – it should, by law, have five. This is enough to get a refusal overturned on appeal – putting pressure on councillors to back the scheme.

Another scheme for nearby Flint Glass Wharf – on the other side of the Tarmac plant – is also due to come to councillors soon, with 500 homes. South of Herringham Quarter, Montreaux is developing plans for the Stone Foundries site.


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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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Hyde Housing to reveal more about its Charlton Riverside plans

The Hyde scheme would see plots A and C built first, followed by D and E, according to papers filed with Greenwich Council earlier this year. The rejected Rockwell scheme is to the left, the Flint Glass Wharf proposal is the other riverside project

Hyde Housing is to reveal more about its plans to build new homes on Charlton Riverside at an exhibition to be held next week.

In May, the housing association filed documents with Greenwich Council stating that it wanted to build 1,350 homes on a series of plots close to the Thames Barrier, including Maybanks Wharf, currently home to a paper recycling site.

Now Hyde is to hold an exhibition on Thursday 11 July (4-8pm) and Saturday 13 July (10am-2pm) about its plans. It says it plans:

  • Circa 1,250 new homes, with a target or delivering 50% of homes as affordable (it does not elaborate on what “affordable” means)
  • The provision of new commercial space, including maker, retail and wider employment uses
  • Delivery of new pedestrian and cycling routes and a comprehensive programme of public realm improvements
  • The opening up and activation of the riverfront so it can be enjoyed by local people

The documents filed to Greenwich Council’s planning team in May state that the blocks will be between one and 10 storeys tall, and that it hopes to begin eight years of construction next year, starting from the river and moving inland.

The exhibition will be at St Richard’s Church Centre, 40 Sundorne Road SE7 7PP. Coincidentally, it will be held on the same days as the exhibition on the Faraday Works scheme on the old Siemens site the other side of the Thames Barrier, hosted by developer U+I.

Saturday 13 July will also be the first public meeting of the Charlton Neighbourhood Forum, which is hoping to secure a greater say for locals in schemes of this nature.

As well as the Hyde and U+I schemes, two other major schemes are at different stages in the planning process.

They are:

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