The Thames pub, Thames Street
The Thames has been closed for about 20 years. Photo: Ewan Munro via CC BY-SA 2.0

Greenwich Council planners are recommend developers get the go-ahead to knock down the old Thames pub in west Greenwich – but objectors have dubbed its proposed replacement an “eyesore”.

Cobalt Equity Management has proposed knocking down the former public house in Thames Street to build a seven-storey block of flats and shops.

Plans emerged earlier this year for a smaller tower block, but the developer withdrew that and went back to the council with a larger vision.

Officers at the council have now recommended those plans for approval at a planning meeting next week.

However, more than a dozen objections have been made – with some dubbing the proposed building an “eyesore”.

According to council documents released ahead of next Tuesday’s planning meeting, The Greenwich Society said: “We do deplore the loss of the pub building, which makes a positive contribution to the riverside area.

“We find the design of the building discordant in this setting. We regret that the proposal is now seven storeys high rather than part six and five as in one of the previous proposals.

“We again object and consider the scheme should be amended to achieve greater harmony with its context.”

Closed since 1990s

Neighbours said new flats would cause traffic problems and criticised the loss of a traditional pub.

Officers said the pub no longer has a role in the community as it has been empty for so long. It has been closed since the 1990s.

Previous schemes have been rejected by the council over fears of an adverse impact on neighbouring properties.

The developer says it has addressed concerns raised by planning officers at the council by simplifying the scale and appearance of the flats.

In its application it said: “The building is currently vacant and is in a poor state of repair, having last operated as a public house in the 1990s.

“The building has subsequently suffered from a long term lack of maintenance which has caused significant structural defects and damage.”

Room for a micro-pub would be included on the ground floor, with shops and offices also planned.

Officers at the council said: “The proposed development, while representing an increase in scale in comparison to the existing building, is considered to be appropriate when viewed within the context of the surrounding larger scale developments.

“The overall design of the building has been carefully conceived in order to provide a high quality appearance, while also mitigating the potential impacts upon neighbouring amenity.”

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Tom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Scheme is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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