Woolwich tower changes built without permission rejected by Greenwich Council

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”.

Approved but not built

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.

Façade extremely basic

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.

What’s been built

Also a thanks to Maritime Radio for the head sup on the decision.

What’s worrying in Woolwich is the new homes are now being advertised and marketed – often with images of the original design and not what has built – which could now leave residents in the lurch.

What was approved. A dogs dinner

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.

Approved

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.

Adverts are far from enough to cover site costs and my rent.

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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.

14 thoughts on “Woolwich tower changes built without permission rejected by Greenwich Council

  • What on earth were the Building Inspectors doing throughout all of this?
    https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/info/200198/building_control
    ‘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.’
    That would be completely unacceptable. There’s been too much of that going on for years to permit developments …
    e.g. https://853.london/2010/05/11/thames-path-closure-greenwich-council-grovels-to-developers/

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  • Correct decision by the council

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  • They look awful. Saw them a few days ago and while the original isn’t great these are a massive downgrade.

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  • The developer should be made to pay for closing the Thames path again or be forced to construct temporary path – maybe some form of cantilevered path out from the river wall.

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  • Comer Homes are total scoundrels. Good to see the councils around London holding them accountable

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  • I’ve previously complained to Greenwich council regarding developments that didn’t stick to the planning stipulations but never received a response.
    I hope the council stick to their guns and force the developer to correct their buildings to the approved plans (regardless of cost and time), otherwise a dangerous precedent will be set and its the people in the borough who will suffer in the long term.

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  • The buildings look like stacks of portacabins – utterly dreadful.

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  • Building control is a separate matter from planning.

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  • It’s rather telling that you have to flick through 20 photos on the Zoopla listing to get a decent view of the exterior.

    Almost like they’re embarrassed to show it.

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  • Absolute shame of the bully boy tactics by developers. They’re nothing but bullies they sleep and dream nothing but greed.

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  • Were the councillors working from home while these flats were being built

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  • This is scandalous behaviour!!! The fenestration and cladding looks bloody awful!!!

    Reply

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