The developer behind the redevelopment of Morris Walk Estate says it will reconsider how it presents its consultations after presenting residents last autumn with a series of confusing QR codes.
Lovell, which is knocking down the 1960s estate on the Charlton-Woolwich border and turning it into the Trinity Park development, launched a virtual consultation with residents last year ahead of submitting a planning application to Greenwich Council.
In a residents’ newsletter released just before Christmas, Lovell said: “Concerns over the inaccessibility and complication of the online QR codes and videos have been carefully considered and will be taken very much in consideration in the next steps in the aim to create a more accessible and easy-to-understand platform.”
The estate, built on cleared slum housing between 1964 and 1966 and named after its most notorious street, originally had 562 council homes. Of the 766 homes promised on the new development, 177 will be for affordable rent (about half market rent) with 76 available for shared ownership.
Developer Lovell has submitted its planning application to redevelop the Morris Walk Estate on the Charlton/Woolwich border, with 766 new homes planned.
The application comes less than two weeks after the final consultation into the scheme ended. Locals will be able to have their say in the coming weeks when Greenwich Council’s planning department publishes full details of the scheme and asks for formal submissions. Lovell already has outline permission to build here, this application fills in the details.
Much of the old estate – built as 562 council homes between 1964 and 1966 – has now been demolished, although some tenants are still living in blocks to the north of the estate, off Woolwich Church Street.
Of the 766 homes promised, 177 will be for affordable rent (about half market rent) with 76 available for shared ownership. It promises “a high quality inclusive design which is sympathetic to the surrounding area, strengthening the visual connection across the rail line and providing green links to Maryon Park. The scale and form of the new buildings respond to the existing homes in the immediate context and integrate new green squares for people to meet and play.”
The company plans to build a mixture of one, two, three and four-bedroom houses and apartments, with more “affordable” housing and a cluster of taller blocks – of up to 13 storeys – to the north of the site. It plans 304 homes in the north of the site, of which 87 would be for affordable rent and 42 for shared ownership. There would be 144 car parking spaces.
To the south there would be more private housing, including blocks of up to six storeys high with houses closer to Maryon Park. Some 44 per cent of homes south of the railway line would have three bedrooms or more. There would be 462 homes, including 90 for affordable rent and 34 for shared ownership. There would be 281 car parking spaces, many beneath buildings to “to reduce on street car dominance and create a more pedestrian-friendly environment”.
If planning permission is given, Lovell hopes to start work in autumn 2021.
The development is part of a 12-year deal with Greenwich Council signed in 2012 which also includes the crumbling Maryon Road and Maryon Grove estates, which will also be rebuilt by Lovell, with a planning application scheduled for 2023. It has already turned Woolwich’s notorious Connaught estate into a new development called Trinity Walk.
Mick Laws, the development and precommencement director at Lovell London, said: “This is an exciting regeneration programme for the area and if planning is granted, will not only provide new homes but much needed inward investment and jobs. Lovell is dedicated to building the proposed homes and working closely with Royal Borough of Greenwich throughout the process.”
A new consultation about what will replace the Morris Walk Estate has been launched. However, you’re unlikely to have heard about it until this week, even though it launched last Friday, and it’s probably the strangest consultation we’ve ever come across – and we’ve seen a few in our time.
As a public service, we’ve taken the videos from it and are hosting them here so you can take part without having to flail around with a smartphone.
Demolition work is taking place on the Morris Walk Estate so it can be replaced by a new development, Trinity Park. The estate went up quickly in the mid-1960s, and it’s coming down quickly too – Denmark House, the tower block next to Maryon Park, has all but gone in just four weeks. The demolition teams could have been even speedier, but we’re hearing great care is being taken to avoid disturbing the neighbours. So far, so good.
The development is to be built by Lovell, which has turned the notorious Connaught Estate in Woolwich into Trinity Walk. It plans to replace the 562 homes of Morris Walk (all built for council housing) with 768 homes – 35 per cent will be “affordable”. The planning definition of “affordable” differs from the dictionary definition: a previous planning permission saw this break down to 25 per cent social rent and 10 per cent shared ownership, although a new planning application is on its way. We’d expect the social rent to be London Affordable Rent, which is half market rent – slightly higher than Greenwich Council rents, which are about 40 per cent market rents and among the cheapest in London.
Lovell will also demolish the dilapidated Maryon Road and Maryon Grove estates in due course; these are being handled separately.
Lovell’s latest consultation began on Friday. It lasts a week. While other developers have made efforts to keep in touch with us about major schemes in SE7, Lovell didn’t tell us about this. It does say it told 290 surrounding residents, however, and left leaflets in locations including New Charlton Community Centre, St Thomas Church, Windrush Primary School and Time Court care home.
The consultation involves you having to point your mobile phone at QR codes which then bring up a series of videos. It’s not very accessible, to say the least – heaven knows what they made of it in the care home.
So we’ve got hold of the videos, uploaded them to our own site, and are presenting them here ourselves, right here on The Charlton Champion.
Anyway, make yourself a cuppa, sit back, and find out more about what’s planned. (If you’re in a hurry, skip to video 6.)
By the way, we can’t change the music. Sorry.
Video 1: A brief introduction. You can probably skip this, to be honest.
Video 2: A description of the dismantling and demolition work. Morris North = north of the railway line. Morris South = south of it.
Video 3: A description of past consultation events. Local people like the public transport and green space; hate the fact they’re living next to crumbling estates with antisocial behaviour, flytipping and parked cars. They would like a small supermarket and for the development to fit in with its neighbours.
Video 4: A description of the area. Yes, you know it, but it’s all about context.
Video 5: Now it’s an introduction to the masterplan. Odd to claim that one of the downsides of the Morris Walk Estate was that it didn’t have enough private housing, but there you go. However, this promises a mix of private, shared ownership and “affordable” homes (at least they’re separated the last two out) and pledges the railway will be used to unite rather than divide the community. Taller buildings will be placed nearer the A206, smaller buildings at the Charlton end.
Video 6: The interesting bits begin. Plans for Morris North: 304 new homes (296 flats, eight houses) with blocks of up to 13 storeys. 144 car parking spaces, mostly underground. Public courtyards with green spaces, and views to the parks and across the Thames (from the 13th floor, presumably).
Video 7: Morris South plans: 462 homes (309 flats, 153 houses) with blocks of up to six storeys. Houses to fit in with their neighbours on Maryon Road and Woodland Terrace. A new pedestrian street, Maryon Park Avenue, will lead right from the park towards Woolwich Dockyard. 288 car parking spaces, to be designed so it doesn’t feel there are cars everywhere.
Video 8: What happens next. Please send your feedback and work goes on to finalise the planning applications.