Murky Depths

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Kidbrooke

619-home Kidbrooke TfL development approved on appeal

TfL scheme in background - Berkeley Homes in foreground

A Kidbrooke housing development from TfL has been approved by the Deputy Mayor for London after Greenwich Council rejected the scheme.

619 homes will now be built as a result of TfL and Notting Hill Genesis plans for a number of blocks on the opposite side of Kidbrooke railway station to Berkeley Homes 5,200-home scheme near the A2.

Site approved on appeal – sandwiched between roads and rail

Greenwich Council had blocked the scheme but are some way behind housing targets as I covered earlier today. Last year saw 1,900 net additions to housing numbers in the borough against a target of nearly 2,700 – and that is rising above 3,000.

At the same time new home starts were just 900. Way behind what is expected under Sadiq Khan’s London Plan.

Kidbrooke Exchange plan

The borough’s housing supply was referenced in the decision: “this represents not only a significant contribution to not only the borough’s supply of housing, but also a significant contribution to affordable housing.”

Affordable totals are higher than at nearby Kidbrooke Village

Affordable levels are set at 50 per cent though half of that is shared ownership with social housing comprising the rest.

Local area

Some significant infrastructure changes will be need to cope with development. There are currently no direct street crossings from the site towards a new Aldi supermarket under construction as well as local schools.

No signalised pedestrian crossing – either take the long way or run across.

Pedestrians are currently expected to use an unwelcoming underpass below the A2 approach road:

Looking towards site accessed via underpass

Traffic is another major concern for this area with large increases in congestion expected under TfL forecasts.

One of the largest red dots in Greenwich borough  is next to this site

An adjacent junction to this site on the A2 will see some of the biggest increases in traffic according to TfL’s traffic modelling – and with daily queues at this junction stretching all the way back to Greenwich and thirty per cent more traffic predicted if Silvertown Tunnel is built, will a flyover be on the cards?

Junction sees nightly queues back to Greenwich

Pipe stated the development would not have a significant impact on public transport.

New homes beside Kidbrooke station

However Network Rail’s planning documents forecasts only a five per cent increase in capacity on the Kidbrooke line by 2024.

Click to enlarge. Kidbrooke (Bexleyheath) line sees minimal capacity boost over next five years

A new bus service launched last week linking the site to north Greenwich but having tried it out, slow journey times render it unlikely many will use it to reach the Jubilee Line when rail is so much faster to central London. The Jubilee Line is also extremely busy.

Bus stop by new tower

Transport predictions appear highly optimistic or overlook other large developments nearby, and on that front two stops down the line at Lewisham we see that demolition of the former Carpetright is now just about complete. Coming to that site is a 30-floor tower.

Tower plans beside Lewisham station

The issue now is what happens with other sites under appeal including a Woolwich tower in front of Tesco and blocks in Charlton.

Tower is being appealed

Greenwich Council falling so far behind housing targets could well be a key factor. As I’ve stated for many, many years, if they had seriously pushed for mixed-use at retail park sites such as Charlton and Greenwich (Ikea anyone?) they would be closer to targets rendering some sites of apparent overdevelopment less likely to succeed.

Brocklebank Retail Park approved after 2012 masterplan

Drawing up a masterplan for Charlton in 2012 precluding mixed-use and residential was beyond bizarre. They drew up another one but the damage was done. In between many sites had been approved.

Charlton Sainsburys

Delaying a crucial Site Allocations Strategy for two years was also odd. Even after that delay, numerous retail shed sites suitable for housing above new stores are not designated as being so.

Approving those retail sheds will have repercussions in a multitude of ways for many years.

853 has also covered the scheme here.

 

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2 Comments

  1. tony g

    Greenwich Council’s defence of their decision at the inquiry was shocking and somewhat embarrassing – Sarah Merril’s responses (or lack of) to Jules Pipes’ questions were terrible – why they didn’t have someone with more knowledge on planning there is bizarre….

  2. Dave Stevenson

    More tower blocks on a constricted site and little concern about the impact on local services.

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