Bakery win appeal to open in Blackheath Village former bank

Bakery chain Ole & Steen have won an appeal against Greenwich Council’s rejection of a proposal to open in a closed bank.

The company applied to open at the former Lloyds bank which closed in 2020. This site covered the plan in August 2021.

Greenwich Council rejected the plan in September 2021, though an appeal was successful last month.

The plan saw proposals by Ole & Steen for the locally listed building for “alterations to window openings to extend vertically, replace windows with timber sash and restore sills”.

Render of building upon completion of work

Changes are rather modest. Here’s the current appearance:

Current appearance

When we think of what Greenwich planners do allow (and how they ignore advice from external bodies) it all seemed a bit odd given the building is now vacant for two years.

As the appeal states, the building was “formerly the Alexandra Hall, built in 1863 and named in honour of King Edward VII and Princess Alexandra of Denmark.

The building passed to Lloyds Bank in the 1920s and the present appearance of the banking hall dates from extensive alteration and restoration work in January 1970.”

Previous changes

The Planning inspector’s report notes windows have been altered before:

“It is apparent from all of the evidence before me that the fenestration on the ground floor of 15-17 Blackheath Village has been altered several times over the years, reflecting the changing uses to which the building has been put.

A 1910 photograph of the building in its meeting hall days shows a very different frontage to Bennett Park in particular, with a prominent two-storey bay window which has since been subsumed (at ground level) into the front extension and corner infill which wraps around into Blackheath Village and now forms the focal point of the building in the streetscene.

A photograph from 1930 shows a former shop unit which was absorbed into the Lloyds Bank premises, and which resulted in a further change to the Blackheath Village frontage.”

Cash machines were also installed since, with pretty ugly timber now filling the space. Greenwich Planners were ok with those being replced with glass, but resisted the other windows being lengthened.

In recent days I’ve covered plans by Ole and Steen to open another outlet in Greenwich town centre. Whether that is in place of, or in addition to the Blackheath site remains to be seen.


Running a site alone takes time and a fair bit of money. Adverts are far from enough to cover it and my living costs as a private renter.

You can support me including via Paypal here

Another option is via Patreon by clicking here

You can also buy me a beer/coffee at Ko-fi here

There's also a Facebook page for the site here

Many thanks

J 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.

    6 thoughts on “Bakery win appeal to open in Blackheath Village former bank

    • sometimes you really wonder about Greenwich Council planning department and their attitudes towards people and businesses putting money into providing a valuable and useful public provision, what on earth had they got in mind for the building?

    • While it’s nice that the vacant Lloyds bank will get a new lease of life, I have to wonder quite how many high end bakeries Blackheath Village can support?

    • I agree elthamwatcher. It’s baffling how they would reject such a proposal, yet approve the rubbish and destruction they have done elsewhere. They should be jumping at the chance to have a high end and desirable business like Ole & Steen move in. As for listed building consent, lowering the sills would actually improve the proportions of the windows and ground floor facade greatly. It’s really a no brainier.

    • It will be a great improvement on the ghastly Gail’s which is overpriced and tasteless!

    • The decision for the appeal has taken way too long to come through!

    • Has there been any further development on this? The site still seems to be vacant but it is not advertised anywhere.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.