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.
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.
We recently saw a planning application for a large site in Plumstead near many bus routes and a railway station include just four homes.
This screengrab below shows the madness of paucity of ambition given the rapid increase in homeless households.
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?