Greenwich approves 12,678-home masterplan

A revised masterplan has been approved for the redevelopment of land on London's Greenwich Peninsula that includes proposals to increase housing numbers by 2,000 to over 12,678, a cut in the proposed level of affordable housing provision and a dramatic drop in the amount of proposed business space.

Greenwich Peninsula: revised masterplan approved (pic Cristiano Maia via Flickr)
Greenwich Peninsula: revised masterplan approved (pic Cristiano Maia via Flickr)

The London Borough of Greenwich yesterday granted outline planning permission to developers Knight Dragon for the revised Greenwich Peninsula masterplan. A previous masterplan had been approved in 2004.

The latest application proposes a mixed-use development of up to 12,678 homes, up to 220 serviced apartments, up to 23,475 square metres of retail and food and drink uses, up to 59,744 square metres of business uses, up to two new hotels, two new schools, a new transport hub, new community and health facilities and a new 40,000 square metre film studio.

The 2004 masterplan included proposals for up to 10,010 homes, 343,600 square metres of offices, research and development and light industry, a hotel, and 33,750 square metres of retail and food and drink use.

A planning report said that since the approval of the 2004 masterplan, "there has been greater policy support to increase the supply of housing both nationally and, significantly, in London".

The report said that the application proposes that within the 2015 masterplan area, a minimum of 2,928 affordable housing units would be provided.

This would represent 22.7 per cent of the maximum 12,898 residential units (i.e. 12,678 residential units plus 220 serviced apartments) to be delivered on the site.

The council’s core strategy requires developments of 10 or more homes or residential sites of 0.5 hectare or more will be required to provide at least 35 per cent affordable housing.

The report said that the 2004 masterplan "proposed that 38 per cent of the 10,010 residential units would be affordable which equated to 3,803 units" but this was "dependent on the availability of affordable housing grant".

"If there is no affordable housing grant available the level of affordable housing would fall to approximately 20 per cent. Affordable housing grant has been significantly reduced since 2012 and is no longer available for individual developments schemes".

The report also said that the revised 2015 level of affordable homes "would be in addition to a total of 2,822 homes that have been or are currently being delivered on the wider Peninsula Masterplan site as represented in the 2004 consent".

It added that the applicant had "agreed to a review mechanism to allow for additional affordable housing to be delivered. In terms of the review mechanism, a maximum of 1,586 additional affordable units could be provided resulting in a total of 4,514 (35 per cent) in the 2015 masterplan site area which would meet the current policy requirement."

With regard to the loss of office space, the report said that, "whilst the need for the reduction in B1 office floorspace is regrettable, the principle of the proposed reduction in office floorspace is considered acceptable as this will not have a detrimental impact on current forecasts for the demand of office floor space in East London or the capital as a whole".

Denise Hyland, leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: "I know there are very real concerns about the scale of this development and those have been fully considered during the decision making process. The board felt that the plans are right for the area and for London as a whole, providing so many new homes at a time of a critical shortage in London.

"Yes, some of the buildings are tall, but these are mainly situated to the north just opposite Canary Wharf with towers that will dwarf the Peninsula structures. It is also important that where a large number of new buildings are proposed the infrastructure and layout is right and we feel this development will deliver a hugely enhanced environment."

The application will now by considered by the mayor of London. 


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