Dear Me…

Here’s an interesting one.

It’s the Council applying to itself for planning permission for a bunch of teeny-tiny houses in the ex-railway space behind the Royal Hill Lovelies (Drings, Cheesboard, Creaky Shed etc.) This is not being widely publicised – Diana who told me about this can see the site from her window and wasn’t given any notice.

For years, the site’s been used as a car park for the police station. but the council have booted out the police out the fuzzies and have applied (to themselves) for permission to build 2×4-bed semi detached, 1×3 bed house, 1×1-bed flat and ‘associated car and cycle parking’.

The fear is that they will grant the permission to themselves, then sell it on to someone else who will re-apply, possibly with some kind of ‘minor alterations’ such as we had with Lovells Wharf.

If my link above doesn’t open, the application number is 13/2723/F.

Of course a vailuable parcel of land like that isn’t going to lie fallow for long, but the sheer number of pixie-sized houses seems a bit worrying. I guess a continuation of the Prior Street allotments is out of the question, houses are almost certainly what will go up – but they should at least be discussed openly.

Diana tells me speed is important- the consultation period is, as ever, short.

21 Comments to “Dear Me…”

  1. David Carson says:

    One of the few remaining pieces of the old railway line set to disappear then…. I bet that includes the old parapet wall of what was the overbridge at the south end of that stretch. Not saying the land shouldn’t be redeveloped, just sad to see a fragment of the past reduced even further … I know this was all infilled long ago but… I hate this kind of change!

  2. Paul says:

    The council’s own West Greenwich Conservation area appraisal specifically criticises “weakly imitative” modern mock Georgian houses, like those on King George Street.

    How predictable that they would propose something similar for this site, which is far more prominent.

  3. Jon says:

    Personally I don’t see a huge problem with this one. The area is little more than wasteland at the moment and four houses really isn’t that much to fit in – it’s actually a wider and longer strip that the five shops take up, so no particular difficulty there. The council applying to itself is an odd one but I’m pleased to see them thinking entrepreneurially and, realistically, it happens a fair bit, being both the planning authority and a major land owner. Of course you’ve identified the major risk that it will inevitably be sold on but it’s not really any different to a private developer owning it in the first place.

  4. Tony Othen says:

    This proposed design is not in sympathy with this conservation area. It represents over development and will have an insensitive impact on the neighbourhood as well as having a detrimental effect on the privacy of near neighbours.
    The opportunity to introduce either a stunning contemporary landmark development or a mirroring of the existing architecture has been missed. Instead we are being presented with a mediocre, inelegant and crude piece of infill.
    There has been no consultation with neighbours or any attempt to accommodate their interests, particularly with respect to loss of light and impact on the landscape.
    The question of road safety for the car parking space in Circus Street shows a lamentable lack of thought for a car emerging out of a blind corner behind the fish shop.

  5. Meirion says:

    Is it just me – this looks OK apart from Council requirement for parking on site. Lorks save us from another “contemporary landmark development” like the Cutty Sark conservatory botch or the new School of Duff Architecture which will overshadow St Alfege’s.

  6. Meirion says:

    …and another thing the King George St mock Georgians – or much more relevantly the Circus St mock Georgians opposite the new development are rather good unless you ask an architect

  7. Paul says:

    The pair of Circus Street mock Georgian houses were done as a labour of love by a builder, and are made of bricks, with wooden windows made by carpenters.

    The King George Street and new Royal Place houses are made of brieze blocks, with a skin of bricks, and MDF and plastic fittings. The ‘multipane’ windows are one sheet of glass with strips of plastic glued on – these, and the little support brackets for the canopies are all yellowing with age.

    The King George Street houses cost £35,000 each to build. Obviously this is what the council would like on Royal Hill and Circus Street, because it will make them more money. But it’s not good enough.

    Look around Spitalfields, and there are infill Georgian-style houses made of decent bricks, with wooden windows,and correct detailing all made by the same developer that built King George Street… but decently done, presumably because Tower Hamlets care more about their historic environment than the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

  8. Franklin says:

    I agree with Paul – this site needs a higher quality design and build than we see in the mock Georgians on King George Street and Royal Place.

    I think elements of this design are actually quite good: good use of the small space, limited overlooking, and I like the internal ‘courtyard’. And in their defence they are proposing to use timber frame windows rather than PVC.

    But why on earth don’t architects designing mock Georgian/Victorian houses use appropriate dimensions for the windows? Like the mocks on KGS, Royal Place and Circus Street, this proposed design has those squat little ugly windows at first and second floors.

    It’s meant to be a continuation of the existing terrace, for goodness sake! Why not replicate the dimensions of the existing windows?!

  9. Mark says:

    I can see the site from my window but have also not received any notification. Presumably this is a deliberate policy to reduce the number of objections.

    Circus Street is already being scarred by the hideous new one bed house being built opposite this proposed development.

  10. Craig Oaks says:

    Sneaky…..Planning……Sneaky…..Local Councillors bumming themselves with backhanders…..Sneaky.


  11. Paul says:

    ANother interesting point: the council would apparently rather have short-term cash than stimulate local employment by having a shop on this site.

    The Royal Hill shops are an asset to Greenwich. You’d think the council would want another good shop, rather than turn a quick buck, wouldn’t you?

  12. John says:

    This is a crude development that seeks to place a 30ft., Berlin-like, high wall facing the garden and front door of the Meeting Hall. The result of which is that it places the ground floor in semi-darkness.
    The Meeting Hall is a former protestant church that was built over 100 years ago. As it was next to the railway cutting and was not overlooked the only windows are on the south and east of the building.
    The proposed building should not receive planning permission as no lighting report has been submitted.
    The present plan is also unsympatheic to the single storey and two storey building on either side of the proposed two 4 bedroom, 3 storey building.
    Planning permission should be rejected

  13. Laura says:

    The present proposal to build two 4 bedroom houses will mean the lovely mature tree, next to the Meeting Hall, on Circus Street will be cut down.

    As this is a conservation area and the tree has a preservation order it is protected.

    Thus the present proposal must be withdrawn and revised.

  14. Laura says:

    Another point that the local community should be concerned about is the proposal to place a driveway adjacent to the Fishmongers.

    This is the narrowest point of Circus Street. The pavement is only 1mt wide. The diveway will be hidden to both pedestrians and drivers. Also there is a another driveway opposite into Turpin’s Yard.

    I doubt if an indepedent developer would be given planning permission for what is clearly a design that is creating a dangerous hazard. Local Councillors must request major revisions to this planning proposal.

  15. Brad says:

    On a slightly related note – does anyone know what used to be on the site between Drings and the Cheese Shop? It seems to me that this would be a prime location for another shop so I’m surprised that its not been renovated. Does anyone know if there are plans to do anything with it?

  16. John says:

    The shop in question is the oldest remaining shop in Greenwich, dating back to the 17th century.
    It is a listed building and is owned by a property developer who appears to have placed renovations on hold after detailed archaeological excavations, monitored by National Heritage, earlier in the year.
    I agree the shop should be brought back into service and thus enhance the shop parade both visually and economically.
    This is another reason why a cheap, Barrett-like, building must not be erected directly behind these historic shops.
    Councillors please note you have a duty to preserve the unique history of Greenwich and prevent sub-standard architecture in a conservation area.

  17. Maeve OKane says:

    A decent food market like Brockley Market on Saturdays would be ideal on this site, and the local shops would benefit from the extra footfall. Instead we get more boring bloody houses, yawn.

  18. Craig Oaks says:

    John’s pleading to the local Greenwich councillors will fall on deaf ears I fear.
    They are a disgrace. There only interest is in bin cleaning (thats O’Mara’s fetish) and developement…..nothing else. Laura mentions ‘a tree’, and a ‘tree’ with history!!!
    These bunch of grubbers have no interest in the aesthetic value of anyhting other than a brick.

  19. Brad says:

    Thanks for the reply John, hopefully the shop is indeed brought back into service at some point.

    I agree with Maeve, a food market on weekends would be a great idea, I would definitely make good use of it!

  20. John says:

    The site is adjacent to the Grade 2 listed Meridian Hall.

    The present proposal places an ugly 3 storey building on the corner of Peyton Place in front of a historic Victorian building and out of keeping with the terrace of cottages.

    The present planning proposal should be rejected on this alone

  21. Louie says:

    The proposed development is a buffer zone for the designated Greenwich World Heritage Site.

    As such, the highest architectural standards and building materials should be enforced.

    What is proposed is a poor pastiche of early Victorian architecture, with off- the-shelf Wicks doors and windows.

    At best shameful, at worst pathetic