‘Stick to your masterplan’: Residents launch Charlton Riverside petition to Greenwich Council

Rockwell’s plans for Charlton Riverside. Local residents’ groups say that the application “drives a coach and horses” through Greenwich Council’s Charlton Riverside Masterplan

Residents worried about the future of Derrick and Atlas Gardens – the two streets at the riverfront end of Anchor & Hope Lane – have launched a petition asking Greenwich Council to enforce the terms of its own Charlton Riverside Masterplan.

Citing the £854,000 cost of developing masterplans for the area – a figure revealed through a Freedom of Information request submitted by the organisers – the petition highlights discrepancies between the masterplan’s objectives and Greenwich Council planning officers’ recommendation to approve the upcoming Rockwell housing development application:

The Rockwell development application currently before the council drives a coach and horses through the carefully created masterplan in terms of building heights, levels of density/massing, and affordable housing. 

If the Rockwell development is approved by the planning board it will set a precedent for all future developers to ignore the masterplan in respect of further planning applications for the wider site. This will have a huge impact on the whole of Charlton.

For reasons that are hard to understand, the council’s own officers have recommended giving approval to the Rockwell development even through the application does not meet the vision or targets described in the masterplan which was commissioned by the council and approved by cabinet in November 2017.

The petitioners are unhappy about Rockwell’s plans for 771 new homes on an industrial estate which surrounds their homes. The scheme includes five 10-storey blocks.

Councillors voted to defer making a decision on the application at a planning board meeting held just prior to the May council elections.

One of the petition organisers, Helen Jakeways of community group Charlton Together, said: “It’s really vital for all of Charlton that Greenwich Council lives up to the vision and ambition of its own Charlton Riverside Masterplan.

“Not only would it be £850,000 of public money wasted if it didn’t, the knock on effect for all of Charlton would be awful if developers are allowed free rein on the Riverside plot. We’re asking everyone Charlton wide to sign the petition and support the Charlton Riverside Masterplan.”

You can sign the petition here: change.org/p/danny-thorpe-enforce-the-charlton-riverside-masterplan.

Derrick & Atlas Gardens Residents’ Association has recently joined Twitter – you can follow it here: twitter.com/DagraSE7.

Read previous Charlton Champion coverage of the Rockwell planning application here.

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Greenwich Council defers decision on 771 homes at Charlton Riverside

Rockwell Charlton Riverside
Rockwell’s plans for the residential garden areas

Greenwich councillors have decided to defer a decision on whether to approve controversial plans for 771 new homes on an industrial estate at Anchor & Hope Lane until after next month’s council elections.

Developer Rockwell, which is acting for Channel Islands-based Leopard Guernsey Anchor Propco Ltd, plans to redevelop the industrial estate behind and next to Atlas Gardens and Derrick Gardens, including building five 10-storey blocks.

Planning offiers had recommended approval of the plans, which went before the council’s main planning committee this evening, on the grounds that it would kickstart other developments in the area.

But Charlton Together, an alliance of local groups, had called for the decision to be deferred so councillors could visit the site.

Greenwich West Labour councillor Mehboob Khan proposed the decision be deferred because he was “not comfortable taking this decision at this point in the municipal year” – a reference to the poll on 3 May.

A new planning committee will take a decision on the site after the election.

Council deputy leader Danny Thorpe was one of the councillors on the committee, despite having chaired “stakeholder forums” about the development. He backed the deferral, while planning vice-chair Ray Walker and Eltham North councillor Steve Offord were the only ones to abstain.

Anchor & Hope Lane development site
Part of the site as it is now, with low-rise Derrick and Atlas Gardens to the left

In total, 11 new buildings are planned, with space for retail and commercial use alongside Anchor & Hope Lane. 210 car parking spaces are planned.

Those were changed to the current proposals in January 2018 to fit more closely with the council’s Charlton Riverside Masterplan, and again in March to increase the level of “affordable” housing to 25% (17.7% for social rent, 7.2% at “intermediate”) – below the council’s target of 35%.

Charlton Together – which includes the Charlton Society, Charlton Central Residents’ Association, Derrick and Atlas Gardens Residents’ Association, SE7 Action Group, Charlton Parkside Community Hub and local churches, says Rockwell’s plans represent “a wholesale departure” from the council’s new masterplan for the riverside area.

Objectors say the buildings are too high and the development too dense – particularly when the masterplan says most buildings in the area should be between three and six storeys.

Greenwich MP Matt Pennycook had added his voice to the objections, writing to councillors on the planning board to emphasise that the proposal “falls short of the development proposal that is needed to ensure that the vision for Charlton Riverside as an exemplary urban district is realised”.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

Des res, overlooking the Blackwall Tunnel approach – new flats and office space for Bramshot Avenue?

 A ‘Sold’ board has gone up on the vacant plot at the western end of Bramshot Avenue. Property developers Kingsbury Consulting show the site as being ‘Sold for development’ on their website, with planning permission for ‘7 apartments and commercial’; the site is bounded by the approach road to the Metropolitan Police car pound, and overlooks the A102.

Full details of the planning application – approved back in September 2013 – can be found on the council’s planning website; search for Ref 13/1887/F or ‘Bramshot’. The plans indicate a 4 storey building with 7 flats above a single office space, parking for 9 cars, plus a ‘green roof’. We’ve seen no indication yet as to when building may take place.