Trinity Park: We’ve decoded the bizarre consultation for rebuilt Morris Walk Estate

Danny Thorpe and Lovells execs
Greenwich Council leader Danny Thorpe (second left) on site for the start of demolition at Morris Walk during the summer

A new consultation about what will replace the Morris Walk Estate has been launched. However, you’re unlikely to have heard about it until this week, even though it launched last Friday, and it’s probably the strangest consultation we’ve ever come across – and we’ve seen a few in our time.

As a public service, we’ve taken the videos from it and are hosting them here so you can take part without having to flail around with a smartphone.

Demolition work is taking place on the Morris Walk Estate so it can be replaced by a new development, Trinity Park. The estate went up quickly in the mid-1960s, and it’s coming down quickly too – Denmark House, the tower block next to Maryon Park, has all but gone in just four weeks. The demolition teams could have been even speedier, but we’re hearing great care is being taken to avoid disturbing the neighbours. So far, so good.

The development is to be built by Lovell, which has turned the notorious Connaught Estate in Woolwich into Trinity Walk. It plans to replace the 562 homes of Morris Walk (all built for council housing) with 768 homes – 35 per cent will be “affordable”. The planning definition of “affordable” differs from the dictionary definition: a previous planning permission saw this break down to 25 per cent social rent and 10 per cent shared ownership, although a new planning application is on its way. We’d expect the social rent to be London Affordable Rent, which is half market rent – slightly higher than Greenwich Council rents, which are about 40 per cent market rents and among the cheapest in London.

Lovell will also demolish the dilapidated Maryon Road and Maryon Grove estates in due course; these are being handled separately.

Lovell leaflet
Lovell’s consultation leaflet – good luck with that

Lovell’s latest consultation began on Friday. It lasts a week. While other developers have made efforts to keep in touch with us about major schemes in SE7, Lovell didn’t tell us about this. It does say it told 290 surrounding residents, however, and left leaflets in locations including New Charlton Community Centre, St Thomas Church, Windrush Primary School and Time Court care home.

The consultation involves you having to point your mobile phone at QR codes which then bring up a series of videos. It’s not very accessible, to say the least – heaven knows what they made of it in the care home.

So we’ve got hold of the videos, uploaded them to our own site, and are presenting them here ourselves, right here on The Charlton Champion.

Lovell says it is unable to hold a physical consultation because of the pandemic, but others are making better jobs of it – see this Greenwich Council consultation into new housing in Eltham, or Aitch Group’s plans for Eastmoor Street.

Anyway, make yourself a cuppa, sit back, and find out more about what’s planned. (If you’re in a hurry, skip to video 6.)

By the way, we can’t change the music. Sorry.



Video 1: A brief introduction. You can probably skip this, to be honest.



Video 2: A description of the dismantling and demolition work. Morris North = north of the railway line. Morris South = south of it.



Video 3: A description of past consultation events. Local people like the public transport and green space; hate the fact they’re living next to crumbling estates with antisocial behaviour, flytipping and parked cars. They would like a small supermarket and for the development to fit in with its neighbours.



Video 4: A description of the area. Yes, you know it, but it’s all about context.



Video 5: Now it’s an introduction to the masterplan. Odd to claim that one of the downsides of the Morris Walk Estate was that it didn’t have enough private housing, but there you go. However, this promises a mix of private, shared ownership and “affordable” homes (at least they’re separated the last two out) and pledges the railway will be used to unite rather than divide the community. Taller buildings will be placed nearer the A206, smaller buildings at the Charlton end.



Video 6: The interesting bits begin. Plans for Morris North: 304 new homes (296 flats, eight houses) with blocks of up to 13 storeys. 144 car parking spaces, mostly underground. Public courtyards with green spaces, and views to the parks and across the Thames (from the 13th floor, presumably).



Video 7: Morris South plans: 462 homes (309 flats, 153 houses) with blocks of up to six storeys. Houses to fit in with their neighbours on Maryon Road and Woodland Terrace. A new pedestrian street, Maryon Park Avenue, will lead right from the park towards Woolwich Dockyard. 288 car parking spaces, to be designed so it doesn’t feel there are cars everywhere.



Video 8: What happens next. Please send your feedback and work goes on to finalise the planning applications.


Here are the exhibition boards to download, if the text on the videos is small to read.

However, they don’t include the renders of what’s proposed, so we’ve taken some screenshots. Much of the work closer to Charlton looks decent. It’s a shame the mess of a consultation lets it down.

Lovell Trinity Park render
The view from Maryon Park – where Denmark House stood until recently
Trinity Park render
The view along Maryon Park Avenue
Lovell render
Looking up Prospect Vale
Roughly where Woodland Terrace, Charlton, meets Prospect Vale, Woolwich. New housing planned for old tower block site
Lovell render
Looking along the railway line between Morris North and Morris South from Maryon Park
Morris North render
The view from Woolwich Church Street
Trinity Park
An overview of the whole development

One you’ve watched all that, you can send feedback using this form. Closing date is this Thursday, 30 October – we’d have told you about this earlier if we knew.

Please tell them we sent you.


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Demolition begins at Morris Walk Estate as developers target autumn 2021 for new homes

Morris Walk estate - Lovell image
Morris Walk Estate is finally coming down

Demolition crews have moved in to the Morris Walk Estate on the Charlton/Woolwich border, starting a year of work to dismantle the 1960s blocks before work can start on 900 new homes.

The estate is being redeveloped in conjunction with the Connaught Estate in Woolwich, which has largely been rebuilt by developer Lovell as Trinity Walk. The company hopes to start work on the new homes at Morris Walk in autumn 2021.

Built in the mid-1960s as part of a long-delayed slum clearance programme – Morris Walk was one of the streets destroyed – the estate was constructed using prefabricated parts built at a factory in Norwich and taken by train to Charlton, where lorries would take the parts to the estate. Two flats were put together each day. The first tenants were housed in December 1964, and the estate was finished by the autumn of 1966.

The distinctive blocks were seen as a success at the time, but within a year of the estate being completed severe condensation started to blight its 562 homes along with rodents and poor soundproofing. A gas explosion at Ronan Point – built using similar methods – across the river in Canning Town in 1968 led to more worries about the blocks, and they were refurbished in the mid-1980s. Plans to demolish the blocks were announced in 2006. Delays have reset the project since then, with discord between the council and Lovell. Demolition was due to begin two years ago.

In 2014, outline planning permission was given for up to 766 homes – a quarter for social rent and 10 per cent for shared ownership. Those plans envisaged tall blocks to the north with houses and maisonettes to the south. However, a new masterplan is being prepared and detailed plans will have to be approved by Greenwich Council before work can begin. A consultation is due later this year.

Chris Wallace, the construction director at Lovell said: “The demolition work is a very complex procedure which has to be carefully planned due to the height and layout of the estate, the vicinity of the rail lines and proximity of the local community. As usual, health and safety is our key priority and we will communicate to the local residents on a regular basis.”

The start of demolition comes after the Ministry of Defence and police apologised to neighbours for setting off explosions in the derelict estate in June.

Both Greenwich Council and Lovell said they were not responsible for allowing emergency services to carry out exercises on the estate, with conflicting accounts over what happened. Lovell has now blamed a “miscommunication” between it, the MoD, police and council.

The MoD said: “We regret that the conduct of this exercise caused disruption, particularly as the activity took place late in the day. The Ministry of Defence continues to be extremely grateful for the support from the local community for critical exercises such as this, and we apologise for the inconvenience it has caused.”

The Metropolitan Police said: “The Metropolitan Police Service were advised of a military exercise due to be held on the 23rd June at the Morris Walk Estate. The MPS regrettably did not foresee the impact that this would have on the community. We apologise for any upset or distress caused to the community by the Military activity during their training exercise.”


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Neighbours angry after mystery explosions rock doomed Morris Walk Estate

Morris Walk Estate
The Morris Walk Estate was fenced off last autumn

Residents were left furious after emergency services carried out exercises in the boarded-up Morris Walk Estate on Tuesday evening – but both Greenwich Council and the developer who will rebuild the estate have denied responsibility for the incident.

People who live close to the estate, on the Charlton/Woolwich border, were disturbed by two loud explosions and other noise during the afternoon and evening, with one blast happening at 10.50pm.

Some reported seeing the army on the estate, which is to be knocked down as part of a £269m deal with the developer Lovell, which is also rebuilding the Connaught Estate in Woolwich. The estate was emptied last year and hoardings have been erected ahead of demolition.

Both the council and Lovell have insisted they were not responsible for allowing the exercise to take place on the estate. Neither party can even agree on which emergency services were on the estate, with Lovell insisting the army were not involved but the police and fire brigade were.

The incident came three days after an attack in Reading in which three people died, after which a man was arrested under the Terrorism Act.

Woodland Terrace/ Prospect Vale
Residents in Woodland Terrace, Charlton, back onto the doomed estate

Helen Jakeways, who lives next to the estate, told this website: “The disturbances started yesterday mid-afternoon with a huge bang that sounded like a bomb going off which shook the walls of my house. This was followed by a series of smaller bangs and what sounded like an intermittent stream of fireworks or firecrackers. It took me over an hour to stop my terrified dogs from shaking.

“I was then woken up at 10.50pm to the sound of another huge explosion which shook the house again and resulted in yet more terrified and shaking dogs.

“On all fronts this exercise was absolutely unforgivable, especially given the anxiety and stress many people are experiencing right now. My inboxes have been full of comments from really concerned neighbours today – this shook everyone up round here, especially those who are feeling vulnerable at the moment, and I’m not surprised.”

Another resident, Ed Simmons, said on Twitter: “So the MoD are blowing stuff up on the estate behind our house whilst engaging in urban combat training at 11pm in a derelict estate, 100 metres from my open window. The house shook, the machine gun isn’t so bad in comparison!”

Fenced off Morris Walk
Some work is already taking place behind the hoardings

Greenwich Council said it had not been informed of the exercises on the estate. A spokesperson said: “The council understands that was some activity by the MoD and police which caused some disruption and concern to local residents. The council was unaware this was taking place and had not been notified by Lovell, the council’s developer partner for the redevelopment of this estate.

“The council has made clear to all parties this is unacceptable and is sorry that this has happened causing concern for local residents. The council will carefully review any further requests and in the event permission is given that there is clear communication with residents in advance of any activity being undertaken.”

However, a spokesperson for Lovell said that the police and fire brigade were on site, and it had not allowed the exercises on site either.

A spokesperson for Lovell said: “Following the activities reported on the evening of Tuesday 23 June on the Morris South Estate, Lovell can confirm that no such similar activity will take place after the company takes ownership and control of the land from Monday 29 June.

“Going forward, if Lovell has to conduct any activity which may cause a disturbance outside the agreed construction hours, the company will consult first with local residents to make sure local residents are fully aware.”


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