Gove creates planning “Super Squad” to unlock Greenwich and Newham borough homes

Greenwich and Newham councils are set to see planning “super squads” created by central government to assist with building new homes.

A letter from Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities) sent yesterday to Sadiq Khan on the London Plan revealed the detail stating:

“Today, I can confirm that following discussions with Greenwich and Newham, I am prioritising these boroughs for assistance from my department’s new planning Super Squad.

“This team, which will comprise leading planners and specialists whose talents will be used to unblock major developments, will provide Greenwich and Newham with £500,000 worth of specialist support in 2024/25, helping to unlock over 7,000 homes.”


What sites are covered remains unknown. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities have been contacted.

In Greenwich borough a few sites fit the bill whereby land earmarked for housing has seen little to no progress for many years.

Charlton Riverside masterplan for 8,000 homes

First we have Charlton Riverside. Nearly a decade on from an extensive masterplan being adopted and only one small housing site is underway. Total homes proposed increased from 7,500 to 8,000 homes but despite a number of sites either being approved or proposed, little is happening.

Another is Abbey Wood. Peabody own land on the Greenwich side of the borough boundary and despite being given favourable CIL rates and Housing Zone status almost a decade ago, again we see nothing happening at Cross Quarter stage 2.

Old photo taken from Sainsbury’s. Area on left is Cross Quarter 2 site. Borough boundary with Bexley runs down Harrow Manorway

Stage 1 comprises the Sainsburys and adjacent flats. After 10 years of owning the land Peabody havn’t drawn up so much as an outline plan despite its proximity to Abbey Wood station.

Looking through gap in fence to extensive site empty for a decade under Peabody ownership

Greenwich peninsula

Then there’s Greenwich peninsula. Decades of plans though much remains vacant land or expansive car parks.

Car parks dominate despite housing crises and population growth

Masterplan totals there have increased over the years to more than 17,000 at Knight Dragon owned plots alone, with a few thousands more at surrounding sites.

Much of Greenwich peninsula remains empty 25 years after the Millennium Done (as it was) opened

There’s also major development around Kidbrooke and Woolwich though in many cases delays there are nowhere on the level of previously mentioned sites.

Kidbrooke is a hive of activity at numerous plots including Kidbrooke Village, TfL’s site beside the station and Greenwich Council’s developments.

Thousands of homes rising around Kidbrooke station

As soon as the Department respond with further details I’ll update the post. Newham council have also been contacted regarding their side of the river.

I would try Greenwich Council but they almost never respond to enquiries unlike most other governmental or public organisations.


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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 “Gove creates planning “Super Squad” to unlock Greenwich and Newham borough homes

  • So this” super squad” will provide planners and specialists’ to help Greenwich?
    Just where are these planners supposed to come from ?
    Are there a lot of unemployed planning officers ?
    As for “specialists – wonder who they are ?
    Secondees in from developers and who will be paying for them ?
    Council has just announced a huge package of cuts .
    Sounds like another empty pledge from Govt .

  • Pob to the rescue.

  • I am not a fan or voter of the two main parties (Conservative and Labour). Think both have had their day and nothing will change for the average man or women on the street. So I would like to see more details on how these new home proposals will be funded. Where they are proposed to be built. Will liocal infrastructure be improved. Where are the planners, builders coming from has mentioned. Will more funding be made available for apprenticeships and unemployed people to train for new skills in the construction industry and the supply chain which services the construction industry.
    I also think Sadiq Khan’s the current Mayor of London promise to build another 40 thousand homes is another empty promise.He has failed to do this previously over the last 8-9 years of his mayoralty why should now be any different ?


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