While most Greenwich Council watchers are poring over the forthcoming cuts, other work goes on. The Planning Department has started the process of modifying the Council’s planning strategy. This is important because planning applications are unlikely to get approval if they involve a conflict with the land uses specified in the strategy.
Accordingly the Council has published a Draft Core Strategy (DCS) and has invited comments on it.
The DCS assumes that the Borough’s population will increase from 235,000 now to 288,000 in 2027 and that this will create “a significant challenge” (Para 1.6.1). However the Council believes this level of growth to be in the public interest as it “will attract more skilled workers to live in the Borough and to work in local businesses” (Para 3.5.8)
To fit in some of these new people the Council has identified two areas of industrial land which are “under-used and of poor environmental quality” (para 4.2.4). These are Greenwich Peninsula West and Charlton Riverside. which are proposed for development as new “urban quarters” (ie lots and lots of high density housing)
Greenwich Peninsula West is bounded by the River, Mauritius Road, Blackwall Lane and Tunnel Avenue. It includes the proposed liner terminal at Enderby Wharf. The area to the north from Morden Wharf to the Victoria Deep Water Terminal is designated to remain in industrial use.
Charlton Riverside is quite a large area, bordered on the south by Woolwich Rd, on the east by Warspite Rd and on the west by the Angerstein railway line, although Angerstein’s Wharf itself and Christie’s Wharf next to it are still designated for industrial use. The Council wants to reduce the amount of retail space in this area, preferring to see this relocated to town centres. Why somebody has dreamt up the name Charlton Riverside for North Charlton is a mystery.
The DCS claims that “employment land which is retained will be intensified so there will be no net loss of employment across the waterfront area” (Para 4.2.4).
Other things of interest in the DCS include:
* A bizarre claim that Greenwich is one of the largest London Boroughs (Para 1.5.2). In fact at 5,044 hectares it is the 12th largest.
* A proposal designed to stem the flow of pub closures by forcing applicants for a change of use to demonstrate that the site has been actively marketed as a pub for at least a year.
* A policy to reduce car ownership by stopping residents of some new developments from getting on-street parking permits.
The closing date for comments on the DCS is 5th February. The document is on the Council’s website and there are several public exhibitions arranged.
The DCS is the first step in quite a long process before any new policies are set in stone. An amended document will be produced, followed by a second consultation and finally a Public Inquiry by a planning inspector.
Paul Webbewood is a former Liberal Democrat councillor for the Middle Park and Sutcliffe Ward.