Pocket Living withdraw housing plan on New Eltham car park

Pocket Living have withdrawn contentious plans for new homes on a car park beside New Eltham railway station.

Local Cllr Lauren Dingsdale (Labour) announced the news stating:

“Whilst we desperately need more housing in the Borough, tiny over-priced apartments on a land the size of a postage stamp, was not the right use for the land.

“I am now going to try and engage with the Co-op on potential uses that would benefit the local community.”

Homes located away from Footscray Road and close to existing homes raised opposition. Blue area would be better site.

The plan certainly had issues. For one, it seemed odd Pocket Living and the co op sought to locate planned homes close to existing two storey residences rather than closer to the main road.

Locating homes close to Footscray Road shops would also allow opening up and greater visibility of a somewhat off-putting path as seen below.

Building homes on this end of site reduces overlooking issue and can open up narrow path

However, the basic principle of housing on part of a car park that is never more than half full at a site beside a station is sound. Transport-oriented development is the way forward to reduce car dependency. Regular trains run within a minute’s walk alongside buses to various towns.

Some opponents claimed parking would be an issue though that’s easy to solve. Do not permit residents to have parking permits via agreement when approved. Then ensure regular enforcement so cars parked locally have a permit. It’s already in a CPZ.

Large car park for small store. It’s rarely ever more than half full. Station on left

Given the borough’s homeless household population has rocketed from 655 to 1,611 in just five years – costing taxpayers huge sums and leaving many in poor quality emergency accommodation – the need for homes is pressing.

Scale of housing crises laid bare

Given land is owned by the co-operative, one would hope a greater amount of affordable homes could be secured in any revised plans.

Pocket Living offer 80 per cent of market rates and class that as “affordable”.

In an ideal world we’d see a large amount of truly affordable social homes, but given constraints and the desperate need something is better than nothing.

Taken from New Eltham station. Site is metres away

New homes would also offer footfall to support local business.

If all we end up with now is yet more years of a half empty car park while ever more people are forced to live in expensive emergency housing, that’s a result that benefits no one and will cost many more.

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

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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.

3 thoughts on “Pocket Living withdraw housing plan on New Eltham car park

  • I know councillors have to play to their own voters but I still don’t like it when a Labour councillor in such a crises appears content with no homes on site and “talks of potential uses that would benefit the local community”.
    People forced to move away due to high housing costs or in emergency housing miles away from friends and family may no longer be local but they need a voice too. I’d expect Labour councillors to be the ones to take a balanced view but I’m seeing too many seemingly happy to block homes. She isn’t saying she’ll fight for better but vague terms of what’s best for locals. The local opponents?
    There’s also two other Greenwich Labour councillors seeking to block new council homes (!) on garages in the borough at a meeting next week. Putting the comfortable with cars above those in dire need. This isn’t what Labour should be doing.

    Reply
  • A Pocket Living development won’t provide for “People forced to move away due to high housing costs.” We looked into this in detail when they proposed a development near us in West Greenwich. If in the other case you’re referring to the Greenwich Homes (council) development off Lewisham Road, this is excellent, and we supported it. From looking at the consultation, the owner-occupiers around it are the real problem: there’s some appalling comments on it as objections if you look.

    Reply
  • Ballard – Yep I said a revised development not via Pocket Living’s model.

    Something different that could include some homes at social rent or there or thereabouts would be beneficial alongside other tenures.

    There’s some nonsensical objections and often from the type of people comfortable in life who will object to anything regardless of design and tenure. Cllrs would ideally object to selfish people who don’t want others to have a decent, secure home. The I’m alright Jack type who will flit to every excuse under the sun to stop new homes as they’re alright so why let anyone else have a chance?

    Reply

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