A derelict yard in the heart of Eltham that councillors had wanted to see become new council housing could be turned into a 61-room hotel, according to a new planning application.
The land on Orangery Lane, used as a British Gas depot until the 1980s, has sat unused for years and is next door to where Greenwich Council plans to build 40 new homes.
Local councillors had called for the old yard to be bought by the council for more new homes – but town hall bosses said the owners of the land were asking for too much money.
Now the Bromley-based company Deco Design & Build wants to build a 61-room hotel with seven residential flats alongside and a business space on the ground floor which could be used as a cafe.
Previous plans to build flats on the site have been refused, but Deco says there is a “demonstrated need for a hotel at this location” and a “demand for high quality affordable accommodation in the area”, which is close to Eltham station, the high street and Eltham Palace.
It says the striking design, with curved windows, will complement the listed former Eltham House orangery on the other side of the road.
Plans for the council homes close by – also on former British Gas land that later became council offices and a base for Greenwich Foodbank – were approved by the planning board in June last year. Charlie Davis, then a local Conservative councillor, said the council should have looked at buying the old yard, which was then on the market for £2.8 million.
“Bringing forward both sites at this time would allow for a better development and would allow for more joined-up thinking. It’s not being looked at in the best way,” he said.
When the issue was raised at a council meeting later that month, Denise Scott-McDonald, who was the council’s deputy leader, said that the council had been “unable to meet the vendors’ very high expectations on the price”.
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