Revised plans for riverside towers on the western side of Greenwich peninsula are now online with consultation underway.
Criterion capital have altered previously approved plans for three towers and a cruise liner terminal. The terminal is now gone and two stepped towers replace three.
There’s a couple of positives with this revised plan. Firstly, total homes are 567 with “affordable” now increased to 35 per cent. Of that, two-thirds are “low cost” rent. With Viability Assessments that is likely the highest the council could realistically achieve.
What is key to now see is what “low cost” translates as. If it’s London Affordable Rent then that would be a good result given current planning rules, and see around 200 for those in dire need of secure housing. One to follow.
The second is that if Greenwich get a move on and adopt revised Community Infrastructure Levy rates before plans approved, the borough and council would see greater income compared to prior plans.
In terms of design and height it’s all pretty much as expected. With outline approval already given for towers buildings of similar height were always on the card when land sold onto current owners.
The tallest here is 36 floors compared to 32 in 2015. We could expect that tripped back when final plans approved to the same level as 2015.
Previously approved plans made objections to a neighbouring plot at Morden Wharf due to height from local MP Matt Pennycook unlikely to gain much traction.
He’d argued against tall buildings as part of the overall development – which would also provide hundreds of homes at social rent levels – yet the neighbouring plot had already seen tall buildings approved by Greenwich Council.
Morden Wharf was approved and perhaps was a test of Labour’s commitment to new housing. Local MP Matt Pennycook is the shadow minister for housing and yet opposed a development that would provide hundreds of truly affordable homes in a borough and city with a sharply increasing population and housing crises.
One in Zone 2 near an Underground station to boot.
It could be argued more truly affordable homes were required at Morden Wharf but the Viability Assessment halted that. Still, trying to limit height was never going to increase forthcoming low cost housing.
The plot now revised and under consultation sits closer to existing homes than Morden Wharf.
Hundreds of social homes in Morden Wharf can also make a dent in the long list of homeless households in the borough – which has again reached all new highs to 1,880 in a report before Greenwich Council’s Cabinet this week. In addition the council’s waiting list is around 25,000.
That is costing everyone – tenants, councils, central government and taxpayers – vastly.
This plan is likely to gain approval due both to previous approval of tall buildings on site on site as well as Greenwich failing to meet housing targets, which ensures a presumption for approval if rejected and then appealed.
Plans can be viewed and commented upon here.