Housing block at Blackheath business estate set for approval
The site is on Blackheath Hill beside a major estate rebuild at Heathside and Lethbridge which totals 1,200 homes. I covered that back in 2018.
New blocks before Lewisham’s Planning Committee next week comprise 2288 sqm of workshop space, 1080 sqm commercial space and 63 flats, with 20 “affordable” and 43 private. Vabel are behind the project.
14 of the 20 homes classified as “affordable” are London Affordable Rent which Lewisham are classifying as social homes. The rest is shared ownership which is not affordable to many and the cause of much recent media coverage of excessive charges and service charges alongside rent and mortgage costs.
There are around 15 companies currently on site across a wide range of industries. The developer states they can return after – though upheaval will be substantial and support needed. A £10,000 bursary will be made available to commercial occupiers.
Blackheath Hill and surrounding areas have a history of land collapses and voids due to caves and tunnels below ground. Detailed investigations into land conditions will be required.
It’s notable how in comparison to documents relating to new plans across neighbouring Greenwich borough, this plan has details of local street improvements and funding in place before approval after discussions with Lewisham Officers, including:
- The provision of improved pedestrian crossing facilities at the junction between Lewisham Road / Blackheath Hill. The junction lacks pedestrian ‘green man’ facilities.
- Improvement works to the existing vehicular access point on Blackheath Hill and a raised table crossing
- £50,000 towards a sustainable and active travel improvements to enable the Council and TfL to undertake and carry out feasibility work and/or combine with other funding to deliver improvements on Blackheath Hill
Lewisham’s equivalent of GLLaB will see £25,440. If this was just over the borough boundary GLLaB would almost certainly take the majority of funding leaving pedestrians and cyclists with minimal improvement. Lewisham Council allocating funds to the nearby Lewisham Road and Blackheath Hill junction would also be unlikely as Greenwich regularly claim they can only spend money either on or directly next to a development.
We see yet another plan outside the Greenwich borough boundary again proving what Council Officers and some councillors have stated for years is incorrect. If this was adopted in Greenwich we would have seen estates, parks and streets improved borough wide instead of being told it was not possible.
A very similar scenario occurred nearby at the former Magistrates Court in Greenwich. There is no green man crossing for pedestrians at a junction when walking the quickest route from Deptford Bridge DLR to the proposed hotel. However, Greenwich did not insist on any changes when the development was decided. It was approved in May 2020.
Plans for the block on Blackheath Hill will be decided on Wednesday 16th December.
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