I committed a cardinal sin last week. In my excitement about something else (which I’ll tell you about in good time) I totally forgot to go to the consultation for the Stockwell Street development. If you missed it too then you will, like me, be able to plough through the various documents at the council website - a poor substitute for actually seeing the thing. 

For me, it’s better, but still blocky and – well, just not very exciting. It’s neither traditional enough for the traditionalists nor modern enough for the modernists, and it seems to cram too much into too little space, leaving nothing for us as residents unless we want to ‘sip a cup of coffee’ in the cafe. Some people are upset there’s no provision for an antiques market, which was part of original plans before Greenwich University bought the site. Frankly I always thought we’d end up whistling for that one – it requires just too much space and would look too scruffy for a university that’s trying hard to climb the educational ladder’s aspirations.

If you want to add comments to the planning process you have until the 9th March to do so, and judging from the people who’ve copied me into their missives there is quite a variety of opinion.  You can send them here:

Directorate of Regeneration, Enterprise & Skills
Crown Building
48 Woolwich New Road
SE18 6HQ

While all that fuss has been on the centre of Greenwich, and just in case we don’t have quite enough average hotels, there’s a new project slipping in over at Norman Road, in case you’re not aware of it already, which includes yet another 3* job. Don’t get excited about the rather curious-Gaudi-esque artist’s impression in the Movement’s plans  - that’s for Clapham. There are no drawings so far for us that I can see. My eye was caught by the 5000sqft retail space. My brain is bad at square foot – is this supermarket size? Certainly worth keeping an eye on…

Finally, I’ve had several emails over the last week or so from people who seem to have only just noticed that the market is to be redeveloped. They are, of course, outraged. I share their fury, but I have to say that I don’t really think there’s any realistic chance of doing much about it now. Those of us who hated the plans had (and took) our chance at fighting it two years ago, and again a year later and got some concessions from the original, hideous, design to something not quite as hideous but still destroying historic buildings to add a trash compactor. 

We were, of course, tooled over by a combination of greed – and our own MP – in a stunning example of The Big Society in Action. David Cameron would be proud. After the council unanimously rejecting the proposals, Nick Raynsford encouraged Greenwich Hospital Trust to appeal – to people who don’t give a damn about the town – going against the wishes of everyone except Nick Raynsford and, inexplicably, The Greenwich Society, whose support I still just don’t get. To appeal against the appeal would cost a fortune at a time when Greenwich Council have to save £70m. Sadly we now just have to suck it up.

I leave you with one last thought. Visit Nick Raynsford’s page at (you’re quite safe to sign up to the thing that texts you when he speaks in Parliament, he usually only does to talk about things to do with housing) and scroll down to the member’s declaration of interests section, bearing in mind that an MP’s basic salary is £65,738.

Get yourself a calculator.

Now add up all the cash our MP has received in the past year for sundry services to the construction industry. 

Do the sums then ask yourself if he really does work for you…

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5 Comments to “Plans”

  1. tintinhaddock says:


    I went to the consultation on the Stockwell Street site over the weekend, and I have to say I disagree with you.

    I was very much in favour of the initial design – it was in stone which made reference to the surroundng buildings, particularly St Alphege, and the strong verticals gave it an elegant linearity.

    The current design, on the other hand,is faced in what looks like a honey-coloured bathroom tile from B&Q. It is blocky. And the building from Church Street looks like a hotel in the Canaries.


  2. Richard says:

    The Norman Road development includes plans for two hotels, one a 3* and another a boutique hotel (whatever that is). Anything on that site will be better than the current derelict site. The Ashburnham Residents association are on the case. They will object to whatever plans are submitted, its what they like to do.

  3. OldChina says:

    Regarding the proposed building it’s an improvement but I would have hoped for something a bit snazzier, myself.

    Regarding Nick Raynsford little “earners” on the side – good God! I started totting them up but gave up after a while.

    To take one example of many – £12,500 for 22 hours work! I’m in the wrong business! It illustrates why he’s happy to ride roughshod over his constituents wishes though. He gets waaaay more money in consultancy fees from his building mates. What a Judas.

  4. scared of chives says:

    Next time anyone sees our MP:

  5. Tom Webb says:

    Re Richard’s comments on the ATA above.

    The Ashburnham Triangle Association (ATA) is simply a group of people interested in building a sense of community in the Triangle. It tries to act as a reasonable voice on things that impact the people that live and work in the area. It doesn’t go about objecting to every new development – it puts across well reasoned arguments to help improve what’s being proposed. On the Greenwich High Road development – it fully supports the intention of the developer (Cathedral Group and the Council). What the ATA wants is for the development to strive to be the best – to really promote and add to the community, and be in keeping with a World Heritage Site. And why not want this? And this doesn’t mean it wants a Georgian pastiche. God no.