Greenwich Council ask TfL to sort out their Charlton retail park design mess

Greenwich Council recently held one of their “Better Together” meetings discussing issues across Charlton and Greenwich. If you’ve never been you’re not missing much. Passing the buck is often the order of the day.

And so it was as once again as an attempt was made to blame TfL for poor public realm and design across Charlton retail parks for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

Public realm at Bugsbys Way

At the meeting questions were asked about poor public realm across Charlton and Greenwich retail parks. The council’s own Twitter account helpfully captured it:

Lobby TfL? When Greenwich have seen large sums of income to rectify issues – and approved many of these schemes lacking pedestrian access?

Anyone who has read this site for a while knows just how much income new developments in the vicinity have brought the authority via Section 106, Community Infrastructure Levy and the New Homes Bonus scheme.

Section 106 income Greenwich Peninsula ward alone totalled £87.4 million from 2013/14 to 2017/18 as this screengrab from a council report shows:

Very little of this income has been allocated to improve Bugsby’s Way for pedestrians and entice people out of cars.

No onward paving – desire line evident

If we look at developments in the immediate area we can see just what they brought the council:

  • Brocklebank Retail Park comprising Aldi, Primark etc: £300,000 in Section 106. Amount spent on Bugsby’s Way = £0
Wickes and Aldi at Brocklebank Retail Park
  • Ikea: £1.7 million in S106 for transport. Bugsby’s Way = one new crossing.
  • Sainsbury’s – £1.4 million in S106 including £512,000 for transport: £0 on Bugsby’s Way
  • ParcelForce on Bugsby’s Way: £234,000 in S106. Amount for public realm = £0
Greenwich shopping park
  • Greenwich Shopping Park (2015/16) – £650,000 in S106. Amount for public realm on Bugsby’s Way = £0
  • Former Matalan – £360,000: £0 for Bugsby’s Way

You can see the entire list and check these numbers by clicking here. Those are just developments in the immediate surrounds. Spread that net wider and far more income is captured.

But y’know. It’s all TfL’s fault.

Sprawling car parks from recent car-centric developments in Charlton

Passing blame for failing to allocate money to improve town centres, parks and streets is a very common trope.

It may explain why Greenwich are 31st out of 32 London authorities for contributing money derived from new developments onto sums given to them from TfL to improve streets and public spaces.

No paving

A great example is Greenwich allocating just £208,000 income from S106 and CIL to improve streets over the next three years in addition to £1.9 million they receive annually in TfL cash.

Hammersmith and Fulham are allocating £27 million in addition to TfL money.

Parking income heading to improving streets in Greenwich is zero. It’s £60 million in Hammersmith & Fulham.

If you want to see the numbers at numerous other London authorities click here. Greenwich is a long, long way behind many. Fitting out the Woolwich box doesn’t explain this vast gulf. Remove that amount and the authority still trails some way behind London averages.

What is particularly galling is not only failing to use income but then pleading innocence and blaming others. Let’s be clear: Greenwich have the money and aren’t using it.

This area falls under Greenwich Peninsula ward. One of the three ward councillors is Denise Scott McDonald who also holds the air quality and transport brief in Cabinet.

Viewed from Ikea’s community garden

And as covered yesterday, more and more homes are built ever closer to these shops.

And as I covered last week, hundreds more have just been submitted for planning.

Hundreds more homes submitted last week

Next year another store opens with Lidl opening. Superdrug are also moving in.

The authority though is doing next to nothing.



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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    6 thoughts on “Greenwich Council ask TfL to sort out their Charlton retail park design mess

    • Not a £ for Busby’s Way, but you can be damned sure GLLaB got their chunk of money!

      • Greenwich Councils reluctance to spend S106/CIL funds is baffling. Where is all this money going? Needless to say on wasteful projects and failed upstarts Such as GLLAB, GSS and GPS.

        The Realm is in dire need of investment, Poor outdated design and lack of maintenance as left this in disrepair.

        For too long this shameful tired administration blames others for their diabolical actions and neglect.

        REAL investment and CHANGE is needed for the residents and visitors of this Borough.

    • This is really weird – surely the council would want to spend the money?
      Is there a ‘statute of limitations’ for claiming the money from the developers?
      Isn’t there enough council staff to organise the work?
      Isn’t there enough contractors to carry out the work?
      Is the council creating a war chest?
      Can/is the money being used elsewhere?

      You would have thought the council would be flush from all the extra council tax it gets from the people in the new build flats – as well.

      • Two words – lazy and incompetent

    • This makes me so angry! How dare they blame TFL when it is not even their road? TFL are happy to consult on design issues for borough roads when funding is in place – which is of course reasonable. Greenwich are such a bloody difficult borough to deal with it makes my blood boil! Camden can’t do enough to work with us.

    • Brocklebank park Greenwich council evicted 16 small business tenants .then offered no assistance to help find new premises .10 of the businesses closed down .disgraceful.the council have no morals .then stole the 106 money .


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