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Khan overrules council to approve Assael’s controversial Abbey Wood scheme

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The mayor of London has approved an amended 272-home Assael scheme five months after it was rejected by Greenwich Council

Sadiq Khan granted consent to the Eynsham Drive project after the practice made changes including adding extra play space for children, boosting the volume of trees and increasing the number of ground-floor townhouses.

The scheme features residential blocks up to 17 storeys, as well as a pet hospital and commercial space. It was called in by the mayor in August after being turned down by Greenwich’s planning board in July. 

Councillors threw out the application on the grounds that it would ‘fail to complement the character and appearance of the street scene’ and had ‘insufficient amenity spaces’ causing ‘poor quality of living’.

But now deputy mayor for planning Jules Pipe has approved the scheme under delegated powers following a representation hearing last week.

Assael Architecture director Félicie Krikler said: ‘Eynsham Drive is set to be a great addition to Abbey Wood, an area undergoing astonishing change. The contribution of the scheme to the local community is significant, creating a wealth of green spaces, sustainable energy, job opportunities and improving the pedestrian experience through the site.

‘Our design has sought to create an environmentally friendly development that brings nature and greenery into the area in a playful, interactive way. By opening up the site with luscious green spaces, we hope that residents and the public can interact and grow together as a community.’

Backed by Abbey Wood Property, the Eynsham Drive scheme will be minutes from Abbey Wood station, which is due to receive Crossrail services linking it to Liverpool Street in the City of London in under 20 minutes.

A spokesperson for Greenwich Council said: ’It’s disappointing that this application has been approved against the wishes of local residents.

’At the Planning Board, local residents spoke passionately about the issues they had with the proposed developments. The committee members listened to the residents and shared their concerns about the height of the buildings, the lack of homes for families, and the affordability of those homes. I am disappointed that the approved scheme is, on the whole, the same as the scheme that received many objections from local people.

’I do appreciate that City Hall is under pressure to get more homes built, and what is to be welcomed is the additional funding to provide local employment and training. Another positive is the social housing in this block will also go to local people who are on the housing waiting list.’


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