Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Kidbrooke

Revised plan for 1,306 Kidbrooke Village homes after July rejection

Berkeley Homes are back with a new proposal for Kidbrooke housing blocks which will go before Greenwich Council’s Planning Board next week.

Previous plans were rejected in July this year. New plans see total homes in this phase unchanged at 1,306. Rejected plans sought an increase of 302 homes above previously agreed levels.

New plan covers areas of Phase 3 and Phase 5

Transport

One reason for rejection was future pressure on trains from Kidbrooke station. Greenwich Council planners respond in the report to state “No objections have been raised to the train capacity figures by TfL or the Council’s Highways officer.”

New homes beside Kidbrooke station

The obvious response to that is TfL do not operate trains through Kidbrooke – and a Highways officer is not a rail expert. It is Network Rail and Southeastern who need to be in the loop.

It is Network Rail who draw up plans on future capacity through Route Strategies, and the most recent Kent Route Study  foresaw limited increases in capacity on the line.

Click to enlarge. Kidbrooke line sees minimal capacity increase planned in Route Strategy

A new factor is that the Bakerloo Line extension by 2030 now appears unlikely two stops down the line at Lewisham which could have alleviated some pressure.

The applicant is looking at increases in passengers based solely upon the uplift in units in this specific latest stage of Kidbrooke Village (302 homes) rather than a cohesive approach looking at wider developments which is in the thousands.

Development in background is separate from Kidbrooke Village

The absence of close working with Southeastern and Network Rail in various planning applications is notable, with a silo-like approach often taken at each development – or phase of development.

According to the plan, “the increase in passengers as a result of this application negligibly decreases the current spare capacity within the AM Peak from 29.03% to
28.38%” when leaving Kidbrooke in the morning peak towards central London. But of course, even if correct, trains with reduced capacity then stop at Lewisham soon after with numerous new builds now underway around the station.

First crane now in place for these blocks beside Lewisham station

In the short term demand for rail is of course depressed, but these buildings will be around for far longer than the current situation. How will it be in a decade?

There will be 456 car parking spaces in this phase. The site is adjacent to an area projected to see the largest increase in congestion when Silvertown Tunnel is completed.

Red dots indicate extra congestion post tunnel completion. Kidbrooke A2 junction sees largest increase alongside Woolwich

Another recently revealed project is a Greenwich Council housing development, as covered here:

Revealed July 2020

Berkeley Homes are planning an incredibly slow build out rate – as of course there is no need for quick building in a housing crises – though even with a very slow 2028 completion timetable, rail service improvement beyond a modest number of new trains (which could well simply be replacing existing stock) are not confirmed.

Height

Building heights have been revised in the new submission. The planning report states: “The maximum height of the tallest building in the scheme, Block F1, has been reduced by two storeys, from 17 to 15 storeys. The height of the part of the block fronting onto Cator Park has also been reduced from 14 storeys to 13 storeys.”

Another issue of contention has been to locate all “affordable” homes in one block and not incorporate tenure-blind development in this phase. This remains under revised plans, with the report stating: “The proposal to locate all 151 of the Affordable Rented units in Block J has not been amended.”

Kidbrooke block

L&Q are due to provide the “affordable” housing element. Only 20 per cent is at London Affordable Rent levels. These are “52% higher than the average 2017/18
council rent and 32% higher than the average 2018 housing association rents. Service charges are extra.”

The planning application states the single tenure nature of Block J will make service charges collection and maintenance easier to achieve. It also contains larger units.

If approved, £302,000 will be allocated to GLLaB. Amounts to transport, public health, public realm and other areas are unspecified. Given traffic projections after 2025 and Silvertown Tunnel completion show Kidbrooke seeing some of the most severe impacts, no exact sum for sustainable travel is disappointing. Greenwich council do have power here, and cannot continue to always deflect to a financially hamstrung TfL.

A decision will be made on revised plans next week.

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3 Comments

  1. Roy

    When discussing Kidbroke…there are quite a few bus Services running through Kidbroke…and these could be easily increased….as the station is extremely close to the A2 or A20….2 minutes away in fact….luckily for this proposal Sutcliffe Park is adjacent to the station. Biggest problem as usual are Parking facilities..which are poor

  2. RC

    In keeping with Greenwich Council’s habit of absurdity, the article states that the Council referred to TfL and the Highways Officer for any train capacity objections regarding the planning proposal. If it had referred to Network Rail and Southeastern – as the author remarks would have been more useful and appropriate – then Greenwich Council might have been reminded of the planned closure of direct services to Victoria from Kidbrooke station (and others) in 2022.

    This is a move that is going to create even more capacity issues as travellers will be cramming into the Charing Cross and Cannon Street services to change at Lewisham to get to Victoria. And of course it will further deprive residents in this area of transportation options.

    Direct trains services to central London are highly valued by local residents. If in any doubt, you only have ask folk in Westcombe Park/Maze Hill/Greenwich how they feel about it. In 2015, they had direct train services to Charing Cross terminated.

    So when things return to something like normal again, presumably by 2022, the usual travellers changing at Lewisham, on the station’s very narrow platforms, can look forward to bumping into a new wave of travellers from Kidbrooke/Blackheath changing there to get to Victoria.

    I couldn’t find stories on this site that tell of the loss of the Victoria and Charing Cross services, but 853 covered them.

    https://853.london/2017/11/29/blackheath-kidbrooke-and-eltham-to-lose-direct-trains-to-victoria/

    https://853.london/2015/01/09/southeastern-shambles-greenwichs-farewell-to-charing-cross/

  3. Putting all the ‘poor people’ in one block doubtless in some out of the way corner does not surprise me. So much for social cohesion.

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