An application submitted for major revisions to a Woolwich tower submitted only when the building was all but complete have been rejected by Greenwich council.
In their decision to developer Comer Homes the authority state that “proposed materials, as set out in the Design and Access Statement Addendum (Dec 2022) and submitted physical samples are not consistent with the approved elevations and therefore cannot be approved as these changes go beyond what can be considered through a discharge of condition”.
While the original design for Mast Quay was extremely dated – and the changes no better – these actions by the developer would set a very risky precedent regardless of design merit.
It’s far from unusual for alterations to be submitted post-approval before or during construction but not when the building is pretty much complete as the case in Woolwich.
If this was approved, developers could build structures that look little like was was agreed and only then apply for those changes once the scaffolding is down.
We’re not talking changes of balcony’s from glazing to railings – as seen at a tower in Abbey Wood – or slight alterations to fenestration. These are major wholesale alterations.
Also a thanks to Maritime Radio for the head sup on the decision.
In addition, any changes could now see the Thames Path closed for months if not years. The developers presumably knew this, and their actions in effect hold a gun to the authority’s head. Approve at the last minute or locals suffer.
It puts Greenwich Council in an unenviable position but ultimately this is a really poor show by the developer.
They left the site in a state for 20 years, failed to build throughout that time and then when they finally did, ignored what was approved.