Updated story: Developers who are turning the derelict Victoria pub on Woolwich Road into a pizza takeaway have said they will keep its famous spread eagle in place at the front of the building – but hide another eagle motif at the site of the pub.
Zaan Group, a Domino’s Pizza franchise based in Gillingham, Kent, won planning permission in 2019 to refurbish the long-closed pub as a takeaway and build a single flat at the rear of the building.
Earlier this year, a replacement proposal to build two flats at the back of the pub rather than one was approved by Greenwich Council planners.
The pub, on Woolwich Road, is thought to have closed in the 1990s and is now a burnt-out shell. But its exterior has survived, including a spread eagle motif for east London’s Truman brewery over the entrance, helping make the building a local landmark.
Neither proposal went to a planning meeting so developers were not questioned in public about their proposals. Under Greenwich’s rules, eight people need to get in contact with concerns, or local councillors can call a scheme in for scrutiny, but neither happened for The Victoria.
Last month, construction details were submitted to planners for their approval – featuring architectural drawings that included illuminated Domino’s signage but omitted the spread eagle.
A report elsewhere, published the same day that the details appeared on the council website, and accompanying social media posts implied that this meant the developer was removing the much-loved feature.
But Greenwich Council has told The Charlton Champion that the developer intends to keep the eagle over the door – and has been asked to update its drawings to reassure residents.
However, a second eagle insignia, at the side of the pub, is due to be hidden beneath Domino’s signage under the developers’ plans. The building is on the council’s local heritage list, which mentions both eagle motifs.
A Greenwich spokesperson said: “The council is currently considering a submission of details application for the former Victoria pub in Charlton.
“The applicant has confirmed that its planning proposal seeks to retain the eagle motif at the front of the building, along with the existing fascia sign, but it does not include plans to retain the eagle motif at the side of the building.
“We have asked the applicant to provide new architect’s drawings that include these important details and to avoid any further confusion.”
Sam Bowman, of Sittingbourne-based Beau Architecture, which submitted the application to the council, told The Charlton Champion: “The existing signage and Eagle Motif is to be retained. Any existing signage is to remain in situ and preserved beneath any new signage proposed as per the attached.”
Plans indicate that construction would take 74 weeks, suggesting that work is unlikely to be finished until well into 2024 at the earliest.
While the submission of detailed plans indicate progress with the plan, they still do not guarantee the development will happen: the owner of the White Swan submitted similar details for the house it wants to build on part of its beer garden last year, but construction has not yet begun.
Close to the Victoria, a planning inspector recently approved 255 homes on land between Eastmoor Street and Westmoor Street after throwing out a rejection by Greenwich’s planning board.
Residents can see the full details of the Victoria plans and respond to the application on the Greenwich Council planning website.
Alternatively, comments can be sent to planningapps[at]royalgreenwich.gov.uk citing reference 22/2493/SD.
Residents in the new Charlton Village and Riverside ward who contact the planning department may also want to contact their local councillors if they have concerns about the development.
Story updated to include comment from Beau Architecture and new drawing.
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