Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Greenwich

New block of flats at Blackwall Lane in Greenwich submitted

Plans have been submitted for 27 flats in a new block of flats on what was Universal MOT and tyre centre in Greenwich. Meantime’s brewery is just to the north.

The site sits alongside listed Rothbury Hall and will top out at six floors. It’s a smart bit of infill and reduced down from seven floors in draft plans.

Location in Greenwich. Many developments sites can be seen

The scheme will comprise 37% so-called affordable housing (by unit) and of that 60% is social rented and 40% in shared ownership. Lanbury London are the developers.

There’s no figures yet on S106 but CIL income to Greenwich Council would be £70,000 at £70 per square metre. Annual council tax income from the flats is predicted to be £77,000. The Planning Statement claims some S106 will go towards public realm and local improvements yet when looking at specifics in the Planning Statement Appendix it’s going to a car club and – you guessed it – GLLaB.

Meantime brewery is next door

This one modest scheme alone is likely to at least match the amount almost a year’s negotiations with TfL have brought Greenwich in Silvertown Tunnel mitigation funds at £350,000. Of course, the likelihood of using income for parks, children’s play areas and safer, more pleasant streets and walking links is unlikely if past form is any guide and when looking at the Planning Statement appendix.

The resolute desire to ignore parks and public space from incoming S106 and CIL funds seems to continue apace. It was recently revealed just 0.3% of S106 income from new developments was allocated to parks and open space last year. Yet in recent weeks residents in areas such as Abbey Wood and Charlton have been told there is no money for parks.

The architects do talk about public realm improvements and adding greenery to Mauritius Street but it all comes down to how the council decide to spend money they receive.

Of course S106 allocation only at draft stage right now so that could be changed but as we’ve seen in places like Abbey Wood they continually opt to ignore investment in local areas from new developments.

If you live in the area and you would like money to improve the local area you’d best email your councillors now.

Click here to see plans.

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8 Comments

  1. SG

    It’s actually not legal to use S106 to pay for improvements to local areas – you can only use S106 to pay for items needed to make the development acceptable in planning terms.

    • fromthemurkydepths

      It can – as dozens of examples in neighbouring authorities show and highlighted on this site. Greenwich themselves have done it – to very limited extent

      • SG

        No actually they can’t – what you will find is that the population growth from the development etc resulted in S106 monies being used to pay for certain projects in the examples you cite or that it’s CIL. If you seek funds to invest in the local area to appease local residents etc that does not meet the legal requirement tests. Planning decisions do not exist to pay for current deficits and issues.

        • fromthemurkydepths

          I’m referring specifically to S106 spending on green space, parks and public realm. It could be allocated due to population growth and a need for recreational space and encouraging walking and cycling to mitigate challenges from population growth. That argument stacks up in East Greenwich. As for CIL – Greenwich are very reticent about revealing information on it apart from obligatory 15% local spend.

  2. Also legal agreements cannot be discussed until the site has planning consent – and this is just an application. There is nothing wrong though in people writing in to object or whattever to make suggestions about how money might be spent – or indeed suggest any mitigating factors – like for instance that this is a huge great obtrusive block on a corner on what used to be open space attached to the church. By the way the two parks on the Peninsula do not belong to the Council. Other parks in the area – ie East Greenwich Pleasaunce had money spent on them deliberately designed to make them sustainable in a future funding drought.

  3. Graham

    So why then has section 106 money been given to GLLAB (Greenwich Local Labour and Business) in Woolwich from a development in Greenwich has reported recently? GLLAB has nothing to do with developments in the Borough of Greenwich? So should not have received this money if that is the case SG.

  4. Scott Green

    Looks like a smart building. Hopefully as you say, some money goes into other improvements.

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