Bexley councillors are poised to approve a 10-storey block of flats on the site of the old Harrow Inn pub, two months after their counterparts in Greenwich approved a five-storey development across the road.
Members of Bexley’s planning committee will vote on whether to allow the housing association Peabody to build 66 flats on the corner of Abbey Road and Knee Hill at their meeting on Thursday. It wants to build 31 one-bed, 20 two-bed and 15 three-bed units, as well business space, on the site of the pub, which was demolished a decade ago. Officers are recommending the councillors approve the scheme.
The proposal would see the 66 homes split between two “cores”, with the business space proposed for the ground floor.
The northern part of the building would be between one, two and three storeys high and include 15 units, while the southern core – ranging from six to ten storeys – would include the bulk of homes. The scheme would be car-free, except for six disabled parking bays.
Of the 66 flats, 18 will be for “affordable rent” (typically half of market rents) while six will for shared ownership.
In December, Greenwich Council’s planning board backed a five-storey development of 30 flats on the site of the former post office on the other side of Knee Hill.
Three objections to the Peabody scheme have been registered, with issues including concerns over the height of the building. However, the staggered nature of the building’s height – the tallest part of the building faces the roundabout at the end of the Harrow Manorway flyover – has helped address that issue, council officers say.
“Whilst the existing neighbouring properties are predominately two-storey buildings with small frontages, this site is identified as one of only two areas where very tall buildings are appropriate within the tall-building policy,” officers say. “A good range of high-quality residential units will be provided which will broaden the range of local housing options to help address Bexley’s housing need.”
If approved by councillors, the proposal will also require the approval of City Hall before it goes ahead.
Lachlan Leeming is the Local Democracy Reporter for Bexley. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.