Neighbours of Greenwich Millennium Village have hit out at what they dub “development by stealth” after councillors approved amendments to the next phase of the housing scheme on the Greenwich Peninsula.
Plans to build on between Peartree Way and Bugsby’s Way have long been contentious, with a separate application to build a 13-storey block next to Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park thrown out last November.
On Tuesday night, changes to previously approved schemes to build other blocks nearby, that would reduce car parking spaces and increase the height of buildings, were the latest to upset those living nearby.
The developer, Greenwich Millennium Village Ltd, had made an application for a “minor material amendment” to get the proposal through – using a part of planning law, known as Section 73, which meant it only had to amend the decision made by the council in 2014, rather than submit a whole new application.
But a Greenwich Society spokeswoman told councillors: “I don’t see anything minor about a major redesign of a key development site. This has become a standard planning developer ploy at the Peninsula where it is planning by stealth.
“We get increased density and small units, rearranged units and less commercial space and we never get less density and smaller buildings and green space.
“This process is designed to wear down local residents who object originally but don’t realise this is how the developer designs the project”.
Peninsula Ward councillor Stephan Brain added: “Residents held a large meeting and also had a Facebook consultation and all these views were unified. They are worried about problems the Peninsula have already seen.”
Brain said that Southern Park – the green space adjacent to the ecology park – would be overshadowed by eight and 11-storey blocks. “You will have seen how many people use that space. If planning is consented, the proposed building will damage it,” he said.
“Town houses behind the flats will be significantly overshadowed. The houses are bookended by flats.”
A spokesman for Greenwich Millennium Village played down residents’ fears of a lack of car parking by saying there was an underused visitors’ car park available.
He added: “This will be the only section 73 application we make for this development. We work within our maximum height parameters. More often than not a lot of what we propose is below what the parameters allow for us. this is a long term investment for Greenwich Millennium Village.”
Councillors on the planning board voted in favour of the changes at a meeting that also featured a controversial redevelopment of a school in Lee.
Tom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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