Stone Foundries: Police desk and 1,200 homes planned for Charlton Riverside redevelopment

Stone Foundries location

A police desk is among the plans for 1,200 homes to be revealed to local people on Friday by the developer seeking to transform the Stone Foundries industrial site off Woolwich Road.

Montreaux, which bought the site earlier this year, promises “retail, workspace, community, leisure and social infrastructure” along with the new housing. It is the fifth development to come forward for Charlton Riverside.

More details have now emerged about the scheme. It says about 420 homes (35%) will be “affordable” – there is no detail yet on how affordable this will actually be as these are down to negotiations with the council and City Hall. Greenwich Council’s local plan states that developers must provide “at least 35% affordable housing” (our italics).

The police desk is an eye-opening offer. With government cuts forcing the closure of nearly all of Greenwich borough’s police stations, Charlton has lost its nearest police stations in Greenwich and Woolwich and is now served by Plumstead and Lewisham. (An even more local police front counter for many, at Westcombe Park station in Combedale Road, Greenwich, closed about two decades ago.)

However, officers are close by, even if largely out of sight – they parade at Warspite Road, just outside the Charlton Riverside area. In other parts of London, local councils have stepped in to try to keep a visible police presence in communities – just how this developer-funded offer works out remains to be seen. After all, will there even be enough police to staff it?

Montreaux is also promising a “large, open green space” and will “support upgrades to the area’s transport system to avoid congestion” – again, just how much this will be above what the council will demand anyway remains to be seen.

Steve Lawn, Montreaux’s project lead, says: “We are very excited to regenerate this underused site and bring new life and employment to an overlooked area of Charlton. At the same time, we will integrate the area’s heritage into our scheme and provide a better home for the existing businesses who wish to remain.”

The firm also quotes Mark Ager, whose Flower Skills company is based on the Stone site. “Montreaux has listened to us throughout this process and we are delighted we will be staying on in the regenerated scheme, as part of a more diverse and vibrant business community,” he says.

Greenwich Council deputy leader David Gardner is among those who have seen the proposals. He says they are “far too dense and high“.

The exhibition will be held at The Valley on Friday 13 December from 2pm to 7.30pm (coinciding with the home match against Hull City) and from noon to 4pm on Sunday 14 December.


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Charlton Riverside: Stone Foundries site sold with 1,500 more homes planned

Stone Foundries, Charlton
Stone Foundries was founded in Deptford in the 1830s

One of Charlton’s longest-established industrial concerns, Stone Foundries, is to close after a developer bought its land for a development of up to 1,500 new homes.

The sale of the Stone site to Staines-based developer Montreaux marks a key turning point in the slow transformation of Charlton’s riverside from an industrial into a residential area.

Montreaux recently won approval to turn an old margarine factory in Southall, west London, into a high-density development of 2,000 homes; while more locally it has also bought the old Lamorbey swimming baths in Sidcup for a mixed-use development.

Stone’s sale marks the end of nearly 190 of years of business in the local area. In 1831, founder Josiah Stone set up a business in Deptford casting copper nails for the shipbuilding industry. Part of the business moved to Charlton in 1917, where it continued to make castings for ships, and still produces fittings for the aerospace industry. The Deptford works closed in 1969. The firm was bought and merged into UK-based parts maker Aeromet last year.

An Aeromet spokesperson told The Charlton Champion yesterday that it was in the process of moving the former Stone operations to its sites in Rochester and Sittingbourne, both in Kent.

At its height, Stone even had extensive sports fields stretching out onto the Woolwich Road, now the site of the Stone Lake retail park.

Stone has outlasted many of its industrial neighbours by decades – the huge United Glass Works on Anchor & Hope Lane closed in 1968, Johnsen & Jorgensen’s glass works shut in 1981.

One challenge for any developer will be that some of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s Stone buildings – though unseen by most locals – are now locally listed, with the site covered by a conservation area. According to Greenwich Council’s heritage list: “The site qualifies on the grounds of historic interest mainly due to its high importance for the British Royal Navy during the C20, especially during WWI and WWII and as a notable site of employment heritage. The buildings described above are of architectural interest, especially the Offices, the Laboratory and Odeon Buildings, being substantially intact and evocative surviving examples of an engineering foundry that was of national and strategic importance. This suite of buildings is also notable for quality of materials and décor, given their construction date when so little was being built.”

The land sale means there are now five major redevelopment sites on the Charlton riverside, mostly adjacent to one another, and all at various stages in the planning process.

The other four schemes, from west to east, are:

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