Greenwich Council have decided not to sell a rose garden in East Greenwich after a large number of objections.
The plot of land between Blackwall Lane and Tunnel Avenue was first earmarked to be disposed five years ago. It all went silent until the idea resurfaced this month. It appeared developer Pocket Loving were in line for the plot.
Little warning was given except a small notice in Weekender magazine. The Weekender website has not been updated in over a year when it comes to digital editions. The notice stipulated people must write in to oppose. Emails and letters handed in at the Woolwich Centre were not accepted.
Former local Cllr Mary Mills spotted the notice and word spread quickly, with MP Matt Pennycook voicing objections last week.
What the future for the site is remains to be seen. A giant ad board currently occupies views of the gardens.
A council statement can be seen here. It mentions “affordable” housing though this plot was not in line for council homes despite being public land and instead was to be built upon by a private developer named Pocket Living at 80 per cent market rates. They would have gained a profit margin around 20 per cent on the site rather than the land seeing truly affordable housing if the authority built directly or retaining profit and reinvested back into council services if using their own developer.
Pocket Living specialise in small flats – with many at the borderline of legal standards on size. The renewed prospect of lockdown highlighted the problems with such small homes – and losing green space in built up areas.
Other land may be sold to the group in future. It’s something this site will keep an eye on. Three plots were previously to be disposed to the group by the authority – which was eventually reduced to one.