Murky Depths

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Kidbrooke

Further increase in Kidbrooke Village homes could be approved next week

Greenwich planners are recommending approval for a further increase in homes at the Kidbrooke Village masterplan site.

This increase would take homes planned at future plots to 1,306. That is compared to original plans for around 900 which was then increased to over 1,200.

New block. An increase of 400 homes from prior masterplan total

Overall the masterplan site has risen by more than 20 per cent since inception from 4,000 homes to over 5,300.

Parking will comprise of 428 resident car parking spaces and 28 visitor spaces.

This will place additional pressure on the adjacent A2 junction – which was forecast to see a congestion increase in TfL modelling for Silvertown Tunnel even before these new revisions and other developments in the vicinity.

Red dots indicate extra congestion post tunnel completion.

“Affordable” housing totals 38.5 per cent though most is shared-ownership which requires a mortgage, additional rent then service charges. The split of the affordable units will be 151 (30%) “Affordable” Rent and 352 (70%) Shared Ownership.

Greenwich Housing Department themselves stated that the ratio is the wrong way round and not “in line with Core Strategy requirement, which should be 352 Rented units and 151 Shared Ownership units”.

Developer Berkely Homes last week announced an increased average profit margin across new homes from 31.3% to 33.2% per unit.

New homes in Kidbrooke

The Blackheath Society noted that all “affordable” homes are to be located in one block on the “fringes of the Masterplan area furthest away from the Village Centre and with a less direct access to the bus and rail services focussed on the Hub”.

Cycle parking will total 2,403 spaces. Greenwich’s current refusal to engage on funding bids means we know little detail about any new protected cycle lanes. A map shows little more than lines near the A2 which already exist:

Not much to go on

The nearby route goes through Birdbrook nature reserve then through underpasses under the A2. It’s also not directly through or beside Kidbrooke Village and is rather secluded. Major roads through the site were built with no protected cycle lanes:

Lacking protected cycle lanes

Lack of cycle lanes continues to the north over the railway past a number of sites that would appeal to residents on  a bike – if cycling was safe.

Road between Kidbrooke Village, schools and shops such as a new Aldi supermarket. No lane.

Things aren’t any better heading south:

No cycle lanes in the shadow of Kidbrooke housing

You can add all the cycle parking in the world but if lanes aren’t well designed, if in place at all, many won’t cycle.

Courtesy Google. Junction to south of Kidbrooke Village site

The less said about junctions in the area the better. Both north and south are very poor:

Courtesy Google. Junction to north. Homebase is now Aldi.

There’s a small amount of segregated lane past one junction which abruptly stops before the next beside anew Aldi supermarket.

When it comes to rail the current situation means all bets are off, though Berkeley Homes claim in the application that 1,300 new flats would produce just 66 more morning peak time train users across the entire peak period.

Even now with a pressing need to reduce car usage with public transport out of bounds, GLLaB takes the cake again for incoming funds. With Section 106 income, £302,000 extra is allocated to GLLaB.

Current area lacks formal pedestrian crossings in places despite increase in homes and shops

Other elements may see an increase in funding  allocation but there is no set figure listed. The list does not mention public realm and transport will see no more cash as the 335 bus already runs. The list is:

“GLLaB; cultural strategy; emergency services; public safety improvements; environmental health; waste disposal and recycling facilities; community facilities; education; social services; primary health care; bus improvements to be extended to cover this development.”

It’s car-centric with some nods towards sustainable transport but when it comes to action, it’s lacking yet again in these plans.

Awful junctions around the site mean even if a bike through the park is nice, getting anywhere for work or leisure not an appealing prospect and remain offputting to most upon hitting main roads. Same old, same old. Even a global pandemic can’t change that.

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9 Comments

  1. Hedley Shaw

    A quick look on the GLLaB section on RBG website currently shows 1 full time job vacancy listed; 0 part time vacanicies listed; 0 apprenticeships listed; 0 Open Days listed …. great value for money there then

  2. Dave

    I would love to know how these figures are calculated – Berkeley Homes claim in the application that 1,300 new flats would produce just 66 more morning peak time train users across the entire peak period. There was an equally ridiculous small number on the planning application for the Henley Cross development on the north side of the railway line.

    Basically they are arguing that only 5% of flats will have someone catching a train in the morning. Given the number of young professional couples who are likely to be occupying the flats, surely most of them will be commuting to town, and I don’t think the majority will be cycling.

    • Graham

      Yes I agree Dave i think there will be a lot more residents travelling in to town by train or heading off to North Greenwich station on the 335 bus to catch the Jubilee Line towards Dockands (Canary Wharf).

      As many of the residents will need to be in the higher wage bracket to be able to afford to buy a property on Kidbrooke Village. Especially for young first ime buyers.

    • Completely agree with you. I recall that in one of the new blocks in Deptford they estimated there would be six extra train trips a day. This was in a fairly big block that would appeal to the young couple demographic. I queried it at the time but didnlt get a response.

    • fromthemurkydepths

      They’ll often cut and paste from an area that has much higher tube usage, for example. But here it’s a bus for 20+ minutes to the nearest tube so who would do that instead of taking a train directly on their doorstep to
      the City or West End in about 20-30 mins in total? Or a train to Lewisham then the DLR to Canary Wharf? Far more predictable in timing than a bus liable to hold ups around Greenwich (hello Silvertown).

      • Stephanie

        The footpath on the rhs as you head south on Kidbrooke park road (next to the John roan playing field) has a joint cycle/footpath sign up but the bridge is a major pinch point the cycle lane just stops abruptly as the road narrows.

        My daughter is going to have to cycle that way when she starts senior school next year and will either need to get off her bike and push it over the bridge or google maps sends you further down the a2 towards eltham or then back on yourself.

        It’s such a pity as the a2 cycleways are so well thought out and then they just stop at the most dangerous point.

        On the transport point I really don’t know before the pandemic I would have said the train numbers were woefully inaccurate but actually many companies have realised they can save massive amounts on office space by making people work from home more. I think you’re likely to see substantially different transport use in the future. Therefore it is important that the developers ensure that the flats have spaces within them which support working from home.

      • Graham

        Well we all know the new Silvertown Tunnel when built will bring gridlock to the the Borough and along with inceased pollution and traffic noise which does nothing to help people’s quality of life.

        Buses services will be delayed as the A102 Blackwall Tunnel Approach is nose to tail already in the peak hours on a good day, Get a problem with the Blackwall Tunnel and the aea goes in to gridlock this will be so much when both the Blackwall and Silvertown Tunnels are open.

  3. Graham

    *** First time buyers **

    • Stamp duty has just been abolished (temporarily) for properties under £500,000 and this may help some ‘first time buyers’ who are not necessarily be young people.

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