Last summer it applied to Greenwich Council for permission to cut three floors of planned office space down to two, and to change the ground floor of the development’s northeasternmost building – the one nearest to the terraced houses on Victoria Way – to a convenience store.
But council planners refused the application. While there were 22 objections – on grounds ranging from traffic, pollution and noise to “concern that the development would bring non-residents into the estate” – planners blocked the scheme because Fairview had not provided adequate proof that it had marketed the office space within the development to potential occupiers.
Now Fairview is back with a new application. It said it had struggled to sell the office space and that there is “limited demand for office accommodation across [Greenwich] borough and the limited demand which did arise was focused outside of Charlton and primarily within the borough’s town centres” and the st.
Fairview added that its office space was also competing with The Gateway, the Greenwich Enterprise Board building opposite in Troughton Road, which is also “suffering continued vacancies”. (GEB’s website says there are no vacancies there.)
The developer says a convenience store would generate 14 jobs, compared with 18 for the office space.
As with the previous application, the convenience store operator is not named. The Co-op and Sainsbury’s have taken spaces in new developments in the area in recent years – a new Co-op opened in Greenwich Millennium Village late last year.
A convenience store could be coming to the Fairview New Homes’ development on Victoria Way, replacing planned ground-floor office space.
Fairview gained permission for 330 homes on the old Thorn Lighting site in January 2018, despite 125 objections from residents and local councillors, with concerns raised by Transport for London and the Greater London Authority about the 144 car parking spaces included on the site. Fairview was accused of “bullying tactics” by the chair of one residents’ group. The first residents moved into Bowen Drive last year.
Now three floors of planned office space could be cut to two, with a planning application to change the ground floor of the development’s northeasternmost building – the one closest to the existing terrace at the foot of Victoria Way – to a convenience store.
“However a convenience shop operator has expressed interest in the ground floor (218sqm) of the commercial unit at the above site. This use would contribute towards local employment opportunities and create an active frontage to the site whilst retaining two floors of B1 office floor space above,” Fairview says in its application to Greenwich Council.
The convenience store operator is not named. The Co-op and, to a lesser extent, Sainsbury’s have taken spaces in new developments in the area in recent years.
“It is anticipated that the convenience store will be used by local people and that trips will occur mainly by sustainable modes,” Fairview says, which may come as a surprise to anyone who has seen the number of cars stopping outside local corner shops.
“It is anticipated that any associated delivery and servicing movements will be infrequent and undertaken using smaller vehicles, such as cars, small vans and LGVs.”
Two extra floors could be built on top of a development in Victoria Way under a recent law change that enables developers to add storeys to existing buildings without having to apply for planning permission.
Developer Imtiaz Mukhtar has notified Greenwich Council of plans to add the extra storeys – and eight new flats – to the Fair Apartments block at the northern end of Victoria Way that was built in the mid-2000s.
The original development – built in the site of a small print works – was contentious when it was first proposed 18 years ago, with Greenwich Council refusing initial plans for 18 flats and four three-bedroom houses. A planning inspector subsequently approved the scheme. The current development – for 14 flats and four houses – was given approval in 2004.
While the current scheme is roughly level with the Victorian terrace next to it, this scheme would see it grow higher, from three storeys to five.
Three years ago, Greenwich councillors controversially approved 330 homes from Fairview on the other side of the terrace – although while the inclusion of 10-storey blocks upset neighbours, the buildings closest to the terrace were kept down to three storeys. That development is now partly occupied, with a footpath linking Victoria Way and Dupree Road now open.