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Mayor could save TfL-backed Glenn Howells housing scheme

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Sadiq Khan has handed a lifeline to a Glenn Howells Architects 619-home scheme in south-east London after Greenwich councillors voted to reject it

The Mayor of London’s office called in the practice’s Kidbrooke Station Square proposals and will make the final decision on whether to allow them to proceed.

Backed by Notting Hill Genesis and Transport for London – which is chaired by Khan – the scheme features eight residential towers ranging from nine to 20 storeys on a 1.7ha parcel of mostly scrubland north of Kidbrooke station.

Half the homes would be affordable and the scheme also includes a small amount of office and retail space as well as a bus station and two public squares

A planning application was submitted to Greenwich Council last year, and officers recommended approval, but councillors this summer voted to reject the plans.

Their grounds for refusing consent included overdevelopment, excessive height, harm to the setting of listed buildings and failure to demonstrate acceptable impact on public transport.

But deputy mayor for planning Jules Pipe wrote to the council saying the scheme could contribute to implementation of the London Plan. He published figures showing that the council had delivered less than half its targeted total of affordable homes between 2015 and 2018.

The Glenn Howells proposal included a modern bus interchange as well as a new entrance to the train station and a contribution to new lifts within it, according to to a Greater London Authority report to Pipe.

Plans drawn up for the scheme were ‘generally of a high design quality’ it added.

Pipe has asked to be sent relevant information and will hold hearings in due course before making a decision on the scheme.

In documents submitted to planners last year, the practice said: ‘The proposal is to create three typologies, each with a distinct individual character which form part of a greater architectural cohesion.

‘The two taller buildings or marker blocks create bookends for the site and proposal, framing the scheme and responding to the adjacent Kidbrooke Village to the south. Three mid-rise or mansion blocks and three low-rise or shoulder blocks make up the central mass of the proposal.’

It added: ‘The generous public and private amenity, quality architecture and massing, public transport connections and commercial use strive to create a friendly, welcoming place to live and visit.’ 

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