Plans for 80 Greenwich Council homes on green space between Kidbrooke and Eltham are set for approval next week.
Councillors on the planning board will discuss plans to build next to the Brook Estate as part of the council’s Greenwich Builds programme to begin 750 new council homes by 2022, with planning officers recommending they approve them.
While the land on either side of the Rochester Way will be a well-known landmark for drivers and bus passengers, the space is not protected from development and has been in the hands of the council’s housing department since the estate was built after World War II.
The plans for 58 houses and 22 flats, with a commercial unit and 48 car parking spaces, include improvements to the open space that will remain.
Neighbours on the estate have mounted a campaign against the development, saying the project will completely change the character of their neighbourhood – mainly comprised of suburban semi-detached homes – which has already lost its community centre and the Rochester Way Social Club, both of which have been replaced by projects from the council’s spin-off housing company Meridian Home Start, which offers homes at higher rents than ordinary council housing.
In response, the council points to the 20,000 people on its housing waiting list and says residents of Eltham and Kidbrooke have more open space than others in the borough.
The council received 53 objections, which included complaints that it should be building on brownfield land at the former Thomas Tallis School site first. A plan for 117 homes there was approved last month, with more likely to follow.
The plans would see 18 houses built between Halsbrook Road and Rochester Way; 35 houses and a five-storey block of 12 flats between Ridgebrook Road and Rochester Way; and five houses and a four-storey block of 10 flats between Bournbrook Road and Rochester Way. A new pedestrian crossing will be built on Rochester Way.
A report to councillors says that the development “would make a valuable contribution to the delivery of additional housing within Greenwich, in particular social housing of which there is a significant demand”.
Councillors on the planning board will decide on the application at their meeting on Tuesday.
Close by, plans to create a small brewery as part of a pub at Jack’s Acre, the Meridian Home Start development on the site of the old Rochester Way Social Club, were withdrawn from a planning meeting last week.
Councillors had been due to discuss the proposal for Common Rioters at the Eltham and Kidbrooke planning committee meeting last Thursday. The pub already has permission as part of the Jack’s Acre development, although 19 people objected to the brewery plan. The proposal may return at a later date.
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