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SimpsonHaugh reworks its rejected mega-scheme ahead of mayor’s verdict

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SimpsonHaugh has made changes to a 771-home scheme in south-east London ahead of a crucial decision by the mayor of London

The practice has slashed the height of two blocks within its Charlton Riverside project while increasing the number of storeys in others, boosting the number of affordable homes and making other amendments.

Sadiq Khan called in the proposals in August after councillors on Greenwich Council’s planning board threw out the scheme saying it represented overdevelopment as well as excessive massing and density.

A decision is expected early next year by the mayor, who recently approved an Assael scheme in the same borough that was called in at the same time.

Backed by developer Rockwell, SimpsonHaugh’s plans include 11 buildings of up to 10 storeys each on the VIP Trading Estate and Industrial Estate on Anchor and Hope Lane in Charlton. As well as homes, there would be business, retail, community and leisure space. 

Councillors ruled the proposals did not adhere to the spirit or letter of the Charlton Masterplan but Khan this summer ruled there were ‘sound planning reasons’ for him to intervene, including the potential impact of the project on the implementation of the London Plan.

Reports to the mayor before he decided to call the application in highlighted that the Royal Borough of Greenwich was well below targets for affordable home delivery in the three financial years to April 2017.

Changes made since the council’s decision include boosting the number of affordable homes - based on habitable rooms - from 35 per cent to 40 per cent.

Blocks G and J - those nearest to Atlas and Derrick Gardens - have been shrunk by two storeys, while blocks D, E and F have grown by one floor each.

A car park entrance has been moved and the developer said external and internal daylight impacts had been reduced.

Rockwell Property head of planning Jonathan Manns said: ’This proposal presents a significant opportunity to provide new homes, jobs and community space in Greenwich, kick-starting the regeneration of Charlton Riverside.

’Since the mayor stepped in to determine our application we have worked closely with his team to amend the design. This has resulted in an increase to the number of affordable homes and reduction in the height of proposed buildings closest to existing residents.’

Khan said in August: ‘In my view, the proposed development has potential to make an important contribution to housing and affordable housing supply in response to London Plan policies. 

’Having regard to the above, and noting the potential contribution of the proposed development, I wish to fully consider this case as the local planning authority.’

But Cllr Sizwe James, development chief at Greenwich Council, said in the summer that he was ’disappointed’ at Khan’s decision to call in the SImpsonHaugh and Assael proposals.

’After the planning applications were rejected, we hoped that the developers would come back to us with a new application that provided much needed affordable housing for families, in developments of an appropriate size and scale for Abbey Wood and Charlton,’ he said. 

’While I respect the rights of the mayor of London to call in these planning applications, and understand the pressure he is under to get more homes built, we very much hope he will address the concerns of residents in the process.’

SimpsonHaugh has been contacted for comment. 

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