Peabody fail residents in Thamesmead and Abbey Wood as they miss deadline after deadline

Since Peabody absorbed Gallions Housing Association in Thamesmead seven years ago they’ve hardly covered themselves in glory with those on the ground in the area.

Politicians and the media are often taken with their slick PR, but for residents its another story.

Housing Zone land. Fenced off to public. No intention to build

One major aspect is sloth-like progress at building thousands of new homes at various plots. Residents have been kicked out, shops closed against owner’s wishes and then, well, nothing happens.

Some sites were already all-but-flattened when they took over (officially it was a merger but in reality a takeover) in 2014 while others saw empty buildings sit for years until eventually flattened before land left empty.

Vague plans for Binsey walk all there is after years of land ownership

A couple of weeks ago I went to visit the first major site Peabody are completing. So far around 150 homes are ready. Add that to 60-odd at another site in Thamesmead and they’ve so far managed just over 200 out of 3,000 promised as part of Housing Zones in seven years.

There’s other sites they own that are lying empty for years outside the official Housing Zones, and I’ll get to the latest on them shortly.

The first 150 homes and public space has much to commend it, yet as the planned heart of the town just how viable are shop units when surrounded by large, empty plots as the Housing Association fail to build?

Binsey Walk

Directly next to Southmere Village is the former Binsey Walk. Another deadline has come and gone there.

 

Southmere Village Phase 2 is the renamed Binsey Walk, and it was supposed to start on site in March 2021.

Of course there’s been the pandemic, but Peabody have yet to even consult to any great degree let alone reveal detail plans and submit them before approval.

General massing plan along Harrow Manorway

They were well behind even before March 2020. If they intended to start on site in March 2021, much of that prior process would have been underway. It wasn’t.

Failure to have a rolling construction program risks Phase 1 sitting in isolation, with commercial units sitting empty through lack of footfall.

At a previous consultation Peabody stated they were intending to charge market rent to business. Let’s hope anyone thinking of creating a business are aware of a lack of footfall given large vacant plots on two sides to to Peabody inaction.

Mergers

Since Peabody “merged” with Gallions in 2014 they’ve again merged once again with Family Mosaic in 2018 and now are merging again with Catalyst.

Empty for years

It’s widely suspected this has ensured that eyes are off the ball and hampered what should be their core requirement to provide housing. In the meantime many have been evicted from homes, communities spread far and wide and now continual delays in residents moving back if they ever do so.

Outside of the core Housing Site zones lies other Peabody owned land such as the former Harrow Inn at Abbey Wood.

Harrow Inn site owned by Peabody. No progress

It’s currently a messy wasteland and eyesore. Planning permission has actually been submitted and approved here. Nothing is happening.

Harrow Inn site

Back to Thamesmead and hundreds of homes were brought down along Harrow Manorway over the past two years scattering more residents far and wide.

Peabody have again submitted no detailed plans to rebuild the area.

They missed deadline after deadline for submitting plans, then when they got around to it outline plans were submitted. It’ll be some time until subsequent detailed plans are submitted let alone building commencing.

Homes being brought down some time ago. No submitted detailed plan for replacement

I’ve watched a few Peabody video calls and consultations and beyond the slick presentation, the substance was woeful. Timelines are almost beyond belief at nearly two decades to build housing on some plots when aren’t that large.

I havn’t even got onto other plots where Peabody have said absolutely nothing whatsoever. The large plots along Harrow Manorway and Binsey Walk have had talk if little action.

Other sites havn’t even had talk.

Housing Zone sites from almost 7 years ago. Very few developed

There’s little doubt Peabody have let thousands of people down in Abbey Wood and Thamesmead. They’ve evicted large numbers and not built. Eyesores sit in prime sites. Worse, they don’t even have plans in places.

Will any politician start calling them out or continual to get taken in by that slick PR?

And when will politicians learn that offering numerous plots to a single developer is a recipe for slow building? The last thing needed with rising amounts of homeless households and a housing shortage.

 

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John Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

3 thoughts on “Peabody fail residents in Thamesmead and Abbey Wood as they miss deadline after deadline

  • October 13, 2021 at 3:59 pm
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    Peabody can’t keep small play parks fit for purpose. Next to the old canal in plot T10 there is the only basketball court for miles and they have removed the hoops rather than address the rotting concrete ground and unsafe paky conditions. Close the court rather than refurb and problem solved. They are hoarding land and without oversight and instruction there is little incentive to improve communities. Peabody are the wasteland they create, but Greenwich are more than happy to sit and watch it all. Cllr Peter Brooks is constantly badgered by myself and others but hasn’t anything to show if he has lifted a finger for his own residents.

    Reply
  • October 13, 2021 at 9:43 pm
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    Peabody are land banking whilst they wait for Woolwich to gentrify with Crossrail coming, hoping the knock on effect will be to raise the land value of surrounding areas. If they develop and build now they won’t generate the same profit. I remember there was intervention years ago when the major supermarkets were land banking, same needs to happen now.

    Reply
  • October 14, 2021 at 1:45 pm
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    The site in Abbey Wood was tidied up by several workers with strimmers a week or so ago. Unsure if this means building work is going to start shortly – but why would they do that otherwise?

    Reply

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