A walk along Norman Road last week revealed that an office block on the corner of Greenwich High Road is no more.
When I last passed the site Norman House was surrounded by hoardings indicating imminent demolition. Well, the post-war building is now gone with piling already on site for a new block of flats.
So what’s coming here? You won’t be too shocked to hear it’s a block of flats approved in March this year.
The tallest block will be 12 floors and the entire development will comprise 63 flats. As for developer income to the council through Section 106; £63,000 will go to GLLaB. None is allocated to safer streets for pedestrians or cyclists nor the crumbling estate on Norman Road.
This estate would certainly meet the criteria for funds given proximity to the new housing block and potential use by pedestrians as a cut through towards Greenwich town centre.
Ignoring public realm is why Greenwich are 31st out of 32 London Councils when it comes to utilising developer income to top up funds given by TfL for improving streets and public spaces.
Greenwich have allocated just £208,000 over the next three years from Section 106 (and Community Infrastructure Levy funds) to top up annual TfL money though the Local Implantation Plan. Here’s a snapshot of how much other London Labour boroughs have committed to:
- Hammersmith & Fulham: £27 million
- Hounslow – £5.2 million
- Lewisham – £4 million
- Lambeth – £3.9 million
- Ealing – £2.3 million
- Brent – £6 million this year. Next 2 years TBC
Compare that to £206k in Greenwich borough. Sums allocated to fitting out the Woolwich Crossrail station box allocation does not explain this vast disparity – and neither does funding the Freedom Pass as all other councils do.
Such small sums then see the authority stating to residents they cannot carry out certain projects and to ask TfL. Well, TfL are giving millions each year to every London authority but the borough is failing to top up sufficiently with income from developers.
Out of 63 flats at this new development just one unit has been allocated towards social housing.
The wider site is a bit of a building site at the moment with nearby Thames Tideway work well underway. The housing block site should complete in 2021.