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Charlton

Controversial Charlton development back again bringing £4.9m S106 income

Plans by developer Rockwell to build 771 homes in Charlton are back before Greenwich’s Planning Board next week. Greenwich Council’s Planning Board voted to defer a decision before the local election in May.

Just 25% of homes are “affordable”, and of that only 71% is social housing.

Planning deferred before election

As reported on Charlton Champion:

“Cratus Communications, the lobbying company which has former Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts as its deputy chairman, is involved in the Rockwell project. Former Greenwich chief executive Mary Ney is listed on the Cratus website as an “associate”, while one-time Greenwich Labour borough organiser Michael Stanworth heads up the company’s London lobbying operation.”

This post won’t cover the ins and outs of the process but will look at the amount of money it’ll bring Greenwich Council if approved and where it will go.

£4.9 million will come in to council accounts through Section 106 payments. Though largely superseded by the Community Infrastructure Levy, large developments still bring in both, as this does. CIL will be in addition to £4.9 million S106 income and will total millions more.

Near the proposed development site

But for now, here’s the S106 priorities according to this document:

£2.1 million will go towards a new east-west road.



Our old friend GLLaB swallows a very large chunk once again: £812,000.

£830,000 for bus service improvements and “infrastructure” is listed. No detail on what that includes and Councillors need to be drilling down into exactly what the details are and not these very vague terms. Look at other boroughs and they often list specific schemes.

Could this improve the station area and approaches and public space surrounding nearby shops suffering dated design? It’s far from pedestrian friendly nor a good introduction to the town.

Modern, people friendly design?

So what does that leave for such improvements? Well, public realm gets no mention whatsoever so expect badly designed streets to stay that way.

Better cycle and pedestrian facilities? Just £150,000 from a massive development.

A new crossing or two and some paint on the road then?

All it says is “improvements to local cycle routes and nearby junctions / pedestrian improvements”.

But again, where? How many times have we heard that in the area?

And that’s if they are ever seen. Over the road the Sainsbury’s brought in over half a million for improvements four years ago and it’s never been spent.

When the next cycling or pedestrian accident occurs none of this will be forgotten.

At the same meeting they will reconsider plans for a tower by Abbey Wood estate, which is near the top of the list of deprived areas in London. Out of £1.25 million income from the development, Greenwich Planners have also determined no money should be spent on the adjacent estate in the draft agreement.

Developers are offering £50k above what they are obliged to do. Good of them. Pitiful from Greenwich Council and overall £50k from £1.3 million is chicken feed. GLLaB takes a hefty £400,000 there as well.

As stated before, if Greenwich Planners and Councillors are attempting to create two-tier towns and resentment they are doing a grand job. Local people should see areas improve from huge developments in their midst. Currently they’re getting little to nothing.

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2 Comments

  1. Charles Calthrop

    It looks almost identical to the developments at Kidbrooke and along Deptford Creek – for all the world identical to the low-res backgrounds of video games. The greatest mistake made in modern architecture was to replace the draftboard with a PC as most modern residential architecture consists of is a selection of rectangles copied and pasted to create a light-blocking slab

  2. JJ

    Some of the infrastructure spending should also be spent on improving road crossings and street environment further east on Woolwich Road as well as by the station.

    At the moment the crossing outside Windrush Charlton School is completely inadequate and will only become more so as the school reaches capacity in the upper years and the neighbouring UTC coverts to a full 11-18 secondary school as the Greenwich trust School. At the moment the poor phasing of the lights and constricted island refuge at best make crossing unpleasant for children as young as four (and indeed their younger siblings) and in my view at least the set up is an accident waiting to happen. This is combined with the typical Greenwich street clutter and restricted pavements for parents and children approaching the school from Maryon Park.

    While the idea of the green bridge raised some time ago seemed nice in principle, in practice a simpler cheaper option that can be executed quickly would be better. When the revised Charlton Riverside masterplan was presented a road engineer proposed a simple straight through crossing situated between the two schools along with opening up the pavement to Maryon Park.

    This would surely be a good use of a small portion of the £4.9m and would also benefit future residents of Charlton riverside by opening up a more pleasant route through to the green chain parks up to Charlton Village.

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