Valley House: So, whatever did happen to the big building site next to Sainsbury’s?

Valley House in March
Valley House in March: There wasn’t a lot happening two months ago…

It’s been the most puzzling development in Charlton since the last puzzling development. What on earth happened with the big building site next to Sainsbury’s?

You know the one. The one that’s had hoardings up for years that have forced cyclists to mix it with the HGVs. Plans for a nine-storey block were turfed out in 2015, a seven-storey block was approved a few months later.

At the time, the development was largely private. Work on 73 flats – 62 private, four for shared ownership and seven for social rent – began more than three years ago. They included 22 studio flats, 3 1-bed flats, 37 2-bed flats and 11 3-bedroom flats. Progress since then has been sluggish. Commuters who use Charlton station have, however, lost the view of Canary Wharf from Delafield Road.

Peabody render
“The queue to Sainsbury’s is only back to the bus stop, shall I get some milk?”

The housing association Peabody has taken over the scheme from developer London Green. Two months ago, just before lockdown – in fact, at the last planning meeting before everything ground to a halt – Greenwich Council gave permission for the scheme to be reconfigured. The biggest change was that the scheme was now becoming 100% “affordable” – in reality, this means there will be 54 flats for shared ownership and 19 flats for social rent. The 22 studio flats would become proper 1-bed flats, although a lift would be removed, the concierge would go, and the Breeam rating (a measure of energy use and sustainability) was downgraded from “excellent” to “very good”.

Valley House, Charlton
Scaffolding has come down in recent weeks

Since then, work has been going on – at a distance, of course. And this weekend, Peabody is launching the scheme to buyers. “So much to see. So much to do. So much to come. That’s what we love about Charlton. An area experiencing regeneration but already well served by shops and transport.” Oh heavens. “In the age of Uber Eats it might be all too tempting to order in to your sleek new pad, but you don’t have to stray far if you’d rather a night out. Within a few minutes walk dependable chains like Frankie & Benny’s and Nando’s rub shoulders with local favourites such as seafood restaurant Winkles, the riverside Chef House Kitchen and tempting Thai joint Cattleya.”

Winkles, the van outside the Anchor and Hope, will no doubt be delighted it’s been upgraded to “restaurant”.

Anyhow, should you fancy somewhere “located in Greenwich” (nope) or “located close by North Greenwich station” (good luck with that), you can check it out on the Peabody website.


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