Head uphill from a pretty sorry looking Woolwich Road in Charlton and you’ll soon see some new blocks appear. These flats from Fairview Homes on Victoria Way are part of a large 330-home development named Synergy.
Plans for this site were approved in January 2018 with 144 parking spaces on site. The site was formerly a factory, and the western half was developed earlier this decade.
At the time TfL raised concerns about 144 more cars. Given Silvertown Tunnel is expected to bring 30 per cent more cars south of the river, and with TfL expecting some to exit onto local streets in Greenwich the additional traffic from flat occupiers was an issue – though ultimately ignored.
The lowest blocks face Victoria Way and then rise heading west. I walked to the other edge of the plot to see the scale.
Blocks rise up to 10 storeys. Given the prominent position up a hill, they can be seen from Charlton’s retail parks below:
The scale of the site can also be seen by peering through fencing surrounding the area:
And by now you should know where I’m going with this. Public realm. Sorry, I know, but it’s so bleak in places around the site. Almost two years after approval and a Section 106 agreement has not been uploaded to Greenwich’s planning page. See here for yourself.
This is quite unusual compered to other authorities. Given that I often research stories by looking at various council’s planning pages it’s noticeable that Greenwich seem to not include them for some time, if at all. Other council’s often do. This matches discussion on S106 on agendas at planning meetings. Some London authorities formally list S106 on planning agendas. Greenwich do not.
And as I covered last week, millions of pounds in S106 and CIL receipts in Greenwich borough are lying unspent. At the end of 2018/19 it totalled £7.1 million unspent after allocations had been spent on Woolwich Crossrail and other commitments.
Only by looking at a specific S106 list hidden away in a council report do we see S106 income so far. It’s £347,538 for employment – which means GLLaB.
This site has also so far brought £747,000 in Community Infrastructure Levy payments to Greenwich Council according to a newly released list.
No word at all on where that will be spent.
There’s a lot of street clutter in the area but very few trees. Is there a geographic reason for that?
It’s all a bit drab along here.
This plot is outside the Charlton Masterplan area which was to have 5,000 to 7,500, but which already bumped up to 8,000 before a single home has started.
I almost missed this on the side of a house alongside the site:
The architecture is bland. Some attempts at brickwork detailing on ground floor level are evident to alleviate the anonymity.
I left the site by heading through the foot crossing along the Angerstein branch line. It’s a quick way for residents moving here to reach Westcombe Park station.
New track has been laid since I last passed through. The crossing earned a last-minute reprieve – though Network Rail have not guaranteed it’s continued operation.
That would leave many new residents without a quick link and forced to use the Angerstein roundabout under the Blackwall approach flyover.
The development should see its first residents in the first half of 2020 as buildings appear externally complete.
Whether we’ll see greenery or even paving slabs instead of tarmac for paving remains to be seen.
This shows the general area. Wide paving, Tarmac for paving. No trees. Not much of that £747,000 CIL could make this a place that is a least a little bit more appealing and healthier:
The development also raises the question of pressure upon Woolwich’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It’s been at code black for a sizeable number of days recently. It’s the most severe level of alert and signifies significant pressure on services as this screengrab shows:
The hospital’s A&E saw its highest ever number of patients in one day earlier this month.