APOLOGIES for delaying last week's column until this week - I have been waiting, so far in vain, for news of the Olympics planning application (promised by "late November" - only one day left, guys!) and the closure of the foot tunnel (supposed to be discussed by the council's cabinet on 17 November - but the meeting was cancelled).
I'll post a new column as soon as I have anything concrete to tell you on either subject - probably later this week - but while we wait, let's talk conservation areas. There are six in SE10 and the Greenwich borough parts of SE3 - and the council has been reviewing five of them: West Greenwich, Greenwich Park, East Greenwich, Blackheath and Blackheath Park. The sixth, Ashburnham Triangle, was done last year but I will include that too, for completeness. The reviews also consider whether any more buildings should be listed or locally listed.
Greenwich Council reviews always cause small a ping on my sonar - is the agenda to sneak through something we might not like? In this case, however, there appears to be little cause for alarm. The proposals from the six reviews are as follows:
- Listing about 25 buildings, all in Ashburnham Triangle; see below for the full list.
- Locally listing about 200 buildings, including the Greenwich Power Station, the Pavilion tea-house in the Park and most of the Span estates in Blackheath. See below for the full list.
- In West Greenwich, reducing the boundaries of the conservation area to take out flats "of no special merit" around Dutton Street and Winforton Street. Adding two Victorian schools, St Alfege with St Peters (in Creek Road) and James Wolfe (Randall Place). Possibly adding the cabaret club in Creek Road.
- In East Greenwich, extending the conservation area to include the whole of Trafalgar Road from Christ Church to the Royal Naval College, including all of Old Woolwich Road.
- In Ashburnham Triangle, small extensions on the fringes the conservation area. (No changes proposed to the boundaries of the other three.)
All buildings in conservation areas are subject to extra planning controls - on, for instance, the placement of satellite dishes and the size of extensions allowed, fences, walls and railings. West Greenwich, East Greenwich and the Ashburnham Triangle (though not the other three) are "Article 4" conservation areas with enhanced protection where nearly all external alterations, including re-roofing and new windows and doors, need planning permission.
Listed buildings have statutory protection - that is, it is a criminal offence to change them (inside or out) without special listed building consent. Locally listed buildings have no special extra protection - they are just buildings the council thinks are nice. Having your house on the local list might increase its value, though.
The buildings proposed for listing (in alphabetical order by street) are:
Blackheath Road: 53-75 (odd numbers)
Greenwich High Road: 21, 24, 26, 28, 133, 133a, 135
Greenwich South Street: 80-98 (even numbers)
The buildings proposed for local listing (in alphabetical order by street) are
Ashburnham Place: 18-27 (odd)
Corvette Square: all
Greenwich Park: Pavilion Tea House
Greenwich Park Street: Former Post Office sorting office
Greenwich Power Station and coal jetty
Hardy Cottages: all
Kidbrooke Park Road: 11-29 (odd)
Maze Hill: 75-81, 89-93 (odd)
Orlop Street: all
Point Hill: 29-35 (odd)
Randall Place: All houses on north side
Roan Street: 33-47 (odd)
Shooters Hill Road: 63-103 (odd)
Straightsmouth: Lovibonds Brewery Warehouse
Trafalgar Road: 177
Wellington Grove: St Ursula's School
Plus most of the Span estates in Blackheath Park, including The Plantation, Corner Green, The Keep, The Lane and The Hall except 1-27 Foxes Dale and 51-63 The Hall.
It's also nice to see how the Greenwich Park conservation area appraisal waxes lyrical about the park's "sense of continuity and timelessness" that "acts as an oasis for visitors... hugely significant for historical, cultural and ecological reasons." The Olympics'll soon put a stop to all that nonsense, eh!
PS - Nice to see the Mercury and News Shopper following up another one of our stories - on Chris Roberts' moonlight flit to a safer ward - for the second time in two weeks, though again sadly without acknowledgement. You read it here first...