Murky Depths

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Greenwich

Next stage of Greenwich Millennium Village to be decided next week…perhaps

Next phase

Plans for a further 135 homes at Greenwich Millennium Village are up before Greenwich’s Planning Board next week with officers recommending approval.

I looked at the plans back in June of this year. This site is the furthest west of this part of GMV to be submitted so far. When complete this area of GMV will total nearly 3,000 homes.

Plot is south of ecological park in red

Affordable housing is set at 15 per cent and the planning document states “whilst this is below the requirements of the masterplan which requires 20%; the overall delivery to date is 21% meaning there is currently a slight over delivery and there is no requirement to provide the 20% affordable housing on a plot by plot basis.
This has been subject to viability testing, which confirmed that no further
units could be provided”.

Next phase

Good old viability assessments. Perhaps if such a low level is the only viable amount that can be provided then the amount paid for land was too high? That, or profit margins set at a minimum of 20 per cent to ensure a development is viable are a little much.

Taylor Wimpey are involved in this project and made a profit of £53,073 on average for each UK home they sold last year.

Latest results show profit levels of £811 million which was up 19 per cent on the previous year. Help to Buy is given as one reason for the large jump. Say no more.



It’s important to remember that the low level of “affordable” here is not even for social housing. Thirty per cent is for shared ownership which requires a mortgage then rent on top. It’s “affordable” that often requires a salary of at least £40,000 a year.

More cars for the area

Car parking levels are set at 84 spaces with 65 allocated to residents of this plot.

Access to public transport is rated two (one is the best). I often find these measurements a little funny. On paper this is well located but as anyone on the ground knows, pedestrian paths heading south to east Greenwich and the nearest station at Westcombe Park are pretty dire.

The tube is a fair walk north and towards a very busy Jubilee Line. In terms of buses many are busy on roads congested much of the time. Some places with a PTAL rating of 4 are in reality far better.

Not a pleasant walk to nearest station

As this parcel of land dates from the time outline permission was granted in 2014 there is no Community Infrastructure Levy requirement. All income to the local authority is derived via Section 106.

I’ve read the entire report and looked at the council’s planning portal and there is no Section 106 agreement – nor even a hint of detailed plans where the council will spend income triggered by this stage.

Not a great welcome to “Royal Greenwich”. Wrong part of town

Despite the recent Climate Emergency declaration at a full council meeting there’s still little sign they taking it seriously and looking to improve walking and cycling facilities and improve street design locally.

The plans are very likely to pass given they conform to the 2014 outline plans already approved. If the Planning Board do reject this plot the developers would have a very strong case on appeal.



So far the Greenwich Millennium Village has taken 20 years to provide little more than half the eventual homes planned on the site so far built. Across the entire development just 20 per cent will be “affordable” as the taxpayer stumps up billions to house people in expensive private lettings. In Greenwich borough it’s around £100 million alone. One of the principle developers makes a profit of £811 million a year.

What housing crises?


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4 Comments

  1. Paul SuperUnknown

    The article reinforces the truth that Greenwich Council are muppets! They are just a tool used by developers to justify their own inherent greed by screwing the Public! £54,000 average per unit, yet truly affordable housing is nil.

    • fromthemurkydepths

      Just a technicality – it’s not nil just a very small amount.

  2. Dominik

    I have moved in to one of the properties at GMV two weeks ago – love your blog.

    I have to say that it does feel like a bit of a construction site, but developer profits and lack of Section 106 spending aside, all the new builds will hopefully make the broader area a more pleasant place to live, as this will drive Council Tax income and spend in the local economy (shops, bakeries, cafes, pubs, handymen etc.). At the moment, the area does appear to be a bit of a graveyard. No on-site gyms (the closest is Anytime Fitness – 15 min walk away along a side of a very busy Bugsby’s Way), coffee shops or bakeries.

    With a badly-behaved teens loitering around the area (kids fighting at a local park, well-dressed females getting thrown small rubbish at them), no wonder why no one is a fan of social housing – why would they? And these are my observations from just the first few days in the area. Mind you, I just moved in from Grange Road – itself not exactly an oasis of calm – social housing there also, unfortunately, presented the same challenges – no respect for either the property (subsidised by you and me – the taxpayer) or neighbours.

    All that said, you are right to keep shedding light on the Council’s responsibilities – if you don’t, then not many will pay attention.

  3. Graham

    I feel yout frustration Dominik. Sadly this much the same as many other developments around the Borough, This is the biggest problem now days no one one as respecrt for each other any more. or for other peoples property.

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