Housing association sells ex-council ‘affordable homes’ plot to private developer

Denmark House garages
The old Denmark House garages site has been fenced off for years

A leading housing association has sold land in Charlton to a private developer – despite that land being earmarked for “affordable housing”.

L&Q has sold the plot in Maryon Road to an Abbey Wood-based developer, Brunswick Square Investments, 18 years after its former subsidiary Tower Homes bought the land from Greenwich Council for £361,000.

The land formerly housed garages for the Morris Walk Estate, and a covenant was put in place in December 2002 to ensure the land would be developed into 12 homes.

However, no development took place, and in 2015 a further covenant was issued on the land transferring it to L&Q, and pledging that the site “be used for no other purpose than Affordable Housing”, which it defines as being “social rent, affordable rent and intermediate housing” – the latter usually meaning shared ownership. It also restricted the size of any development to 33 habitable rooms.

Denmark House Garages site
This land was sold by Greenwich Council in 2002

But L&Q has now sold the land to Brunswick Square Investments, which gives its headquarters as a private house in Overton Road, Abbey Wood. The Charlton Champion understands the sale price was £605,000, but has been unable to independently verify this as Land Registry records have not yet been updated.

The site has been fenced off for years and the housing estate around it – including the next-door tower block, Denmark House – has been demolished by the building company Lovell, which is redeveloping the old Morris Walk Estate as Trinity Park.

An L&Q spokesperson told The Charlton Champion: “This land was sold as it was surplus to our requirements. As part of the sale, the covenant restricting the size of the development, and the tenure to affordable housing, remained in place.”

Brunswick Square Investments was formed in 2019 and has not yet filed accounts with Companies House, which classes the company as being involved in “buying and selling real estate”. Its sole named director, Herbert McLaughlin, has not responded to a request for comment.

Greenwich Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, Sarah Merrill, told The Charlton Champion: “We are committed to ensuring that the covenants secured against the land are fully enforced. The new owner will need to ensure that any planning application for development respects the adjacent new and existing developments and this should be a policy compliant scheme delivering the maximum amount of affordable housing.”


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We’ll think again about our consultations, Morris Walk developer Lovell says

Lovell Trinity Park render
Lovell’s proposed view from Maryon Park – where Denmark House stood until recently

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.

However, it took the form of a series of videos that could only be accessed by using QR codes. The Charlton Champion decoded the consultation to present the videos individually in a story last October.

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.


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We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. We can’t do it without your help.
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