Pickwick developers plan to build ‘aparthotel’ around closed pub

Pickwick overhead view
The houses at the back were given permission last year

Developers behind plans to build homes behind the Pickwick on Woolwich Road now want to build a four-storey “aparthotel” around and on top of the closed pub.

East Ham-based Pure Let Greenwich Ltd won permission a year ago to build six new houses in the pub’s beer garden. Six months before that, it was refused permission to demolish the pub for what council planning officers called “poor quality” housing.

Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road
The Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road. Photo by Neil Clasper

Despite planning officers making clear that they thought the Pickwick was “a landmark building on Woolwich Road which makes a positive contribution to the surrounding area in general”, Pure Let has bought now returned with plans to surround it with serviced flats, including a two-bedroom penthouse at the top.

The proposal includes the yard next door, and a “bridge” building between the two sites through which there would be access to the houses, which already have approval. The pub would be open for business, the developers say.

Pickwick render
It doesn’t look much better from down below

Residents fought a campaign against the demolition of the Pickwick in 2018. Unlike its neighbours, the Rose of Denmark and the Angerstein Hotel, the pub – known as the Roupell Arms until the 1970s – is not listed.

You can read a summary of the application and submit comments to Greenwich Council (ref 20/1300/F) before 24 June.


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Developers get go-ahead to build houses on Pickwick pub garden

Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road
The Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road. Photo by Neil Clasper

Developers have been given the green light to concrete over a pub garden in Charlton and build six new houses, despite concerns from neighbours in overlooking properties.

Greenwich councillor’s approval came months after officers threw out a scheme to bulldoze the closed Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road.

The developer, Pure Let Greenwich, put forward plans to demolish the pub’s extension in place of six new homes, concreting over the pub’s garden in the process.

Neighbour Susan Archer said her house had not been considered by officers who had recommended approving the development, which would have a four-bed family property at its rear.

She said: “My conservatory would be directly looked into by the four bedroom property. The rear buildings will be able to see directly into my property. My privacy will be totally affected.”

The resident said there has also been confusion amongst residents as to what the application was, as a previous scheme for the pub itself was thrown out last year.

A model of the plans, with the original scheme to bulldoze the pub in the corner

Council officers rejected plans last year to bulldoze the three-storey pub after more than a dozen people objected to losing the building.

The neighbour said there could have been more people objecting if the process had been clearer.

Developers said they would plant trees to screen her property from overlooking, but were left red-faced when asked about why they had already cut a tree without permission.

Chair Sarah Merrill said: “In the plans it very clearly says the tree is to be retained but it has been felled. If that’s an old plan as you say what is it doing before us.

“My view is that the pub is empty, the community space at the back is falling down. It’s an eyesore – the land is vacant. When I first looked at the application I was happy you were retaining trees so then to find out you’ve felled the huge one is upsetting. That’s disingenuous.

“However it is not worth turning down housing on those grounds. I do share concerns from the resident and there is going to be a very firm condition for screening.”

The developers said having a profitable development would eventually lead to bringing the vacant pub back into use.

The approved scheme, passed unanimously by councillors at Woolwich Town Hall, featured conditions for extensive screening of the site.


LDRS logoTom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
See more about how The Charlton Champion uses LDRS content.


Council planners recommend plan for six houses on Pickwick beer garden

Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road
The Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road. Photo by Neil Clasper

Greenwich Council planning officers have recommended councillors approve plans to build houses behind the closed Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road – five months after refusing an application to knock down the pub.

Pure Let Greenwich Ltd, an East-Ham based developer, wants to knock down the pub’s function room and build six terraced homes – five 4-bed houses and one 3-bed house – in its place and into the beer garden. Eight car parking spaces would be provided.

The company had tried to knock down the pub itself, but was refused in December after 23 objections. Just four objections were received for the proposal to build behind the pub, known as the Roupell Arms until the 1970s.

A model of the plans, with the original scheme in the corner

A report by planning officers says: “The previous outline application was refused in part due to the demolition of the original public house and its redevelopment with a part 3, part 4 storey mixed use building. The current application would see the existing main public house retained and as such has overcome these previous reasons for refusal.

“On balance, there are no objections to the demolition of the ground floor rear extension. The extension does not form part of the main functions of the pub and is a later addition to the traditional built form. It has little architectural merit and is in a poor state of disrepair. Therefore the loss of the ground floor extension is not considered to have a detrimental impact upon the pub’s viability or role in the local community.”

Councillors on the Greenwich area planning committee will decide on the application next Tuesday.


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