Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Eltham, Housing

Greenwich Council plan new housing in Eltham

Site behind these shops

Plans are in to demolish buildings on land just behind Costa Coffee and Clintons.

Given the prime town centre site near extensive public transport options including buses and trains, this will be a key test of how ambitious they are in tacking the chronic shortage of housing and assisting with rapid increase in homelessness.

Courtesy Google

The site includes Greenwich foodbank which will need to be provided with suitable alternative accommodation.

At many previous sites the authority has proposed – and built – extremely low-rise housing in built-up areas limiting those who are assisted. This is not only poor for those in need but also costs all taxpayers dearly, as more people are then housed in expensive temporary private accommodation costing up to £100+ per night.

Site plan

We recently saw a planning application for a large site in Plumstead near many bus routes and a railway station include just four homes.

Plumstead plans see low rise set among taller buildings

This screengrab below shows the madness of paucity of ambition given the rapid increase in homeless households.

Figures from April 2018 to March 2019

Recent figures from December 2019 show it’s now jumped to 1,186.

How Greenwich proceed will also be a litmus test of whether those in need and taxpayer value takes precedence over those complaining about new homes in their area. Those complaints are almost always from those already lucky enough to already be in secure housing.



The site has a seven-storey BT exchange on one side, shops another and offices and car parks on other sides. NIMBYs shouldn’t be too prevalent, but never underestimate the moans of the fortunate against those in need.

Will Greenwich Council listen to them once again?

8 Comments

  1. CDT

    I hope this site will be for local affordable rented social housing. Does anyway know how many homes are planned for this site?

  2. CDT

    **anyone know** I meant to type.

  3. Kevin

    The Borough could do with some extra sheltered housing accommodation for elderly and disabled residents. Many of whom are living in larger homes which they find difficult to manage and heat. These residents are often lonely and feel isolated.

    This would allow them to down size from larger properties in to safe and secure purpose built apartments with help/support from the Councils On Call service and Wardens which are more suitable for their needs.

    • Margaret Wheeler

      I totally agree. I live alone now in a 3/4 bed parlour house which is much too big for me. I want, need to downsize but finding it hard to find the accommodation in the area that I want.

  4. Jack

    The context of the site is more than the BT building and includes a number of listed buildings, etc. So whilst it can accommodate residential development – the impact of the bulk and scale of a building equivalent to the BT one would be harmful to heritage assets amongst other things.

  5. Graham

    Yes we do not want to loose any more of our Heritage in the Borough, However, I do totally agree with Kevin that we do need more sheltered accommodation for our elderly and disabled residents in the Borough located close to local amenities.

  6. CDT

    Yes I am all for saving our heritage in the Borough as this helps to make Greenwich famous and attracts tourism from all around the world. However, more needs to be done to attract people to visit heritage properties at other sites out side of Greenwich Town Centre.

    However, I do totally agree with Kevin. We do need to do more sheltered accommodation for our elderly and disabled residents in the Borough as a priority.

    However,that said I also welcome all homes that are for social housing at local affordable rents for Borough of Greenwich residents who are living with parents or relatives and are struggling to get on the housing ladder due to being on a low income or caring etc.

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