Greenwich Council has been pushed to do more about the Leegate redevelopment on the borough’s border with Lewisham – but its deputy leader would not commit to meet the company behind plans for tower blocks on the site.
Galliard Homes wants to build towers of 15, 13 and 11 storeys on the site of the 1970s shopping centre, which has been earmarked for development for many years.
The 15-storey block would face the historic New Tigers’ Head building – a former pub which recently reopened as a shop – which is in Greenwich borough, although the development itself is in Lewisham.
Residents’ groups have voiced concerns about the scheme, which would include 590 new homes – about a quarter at London Affordable Rent levels – as well as a small supermarket and a pub.
At last night’s full council meeting, deputy leader Denise Scott-McDonald said in a written response that the developer had been in touch with Greenwich officers, but the company had not followed up an offer of a meeting.
Davis said Scott-McDonald could do more and criticised the council’s lack of action.
“It’s quite disappointing that the council have taken an attitude that because they haven’t been approached, they aren’t going to do anything,” he said.
“Can the cabinet member commit to speaking to developers and putting the concerns of residents about the Leegate development on record rather than waiting to be spoken to?”
But Scott-McDonald, who is also Greenwich’s cabinet member for regeneration, did not address the point.
“In April this year, the officers were approached by the developer and they said they were more than happy to meet them, but the developer never got back to them,” she said.
“As it says [in the written response], we’ve noted the concerns of residents and groups and if we are approached by Lewisham Council we will make a comment. Yes, officers have made themselves available but developers haven’t come back to us.”
Galliard recently amended its plans to make the main 15-storey tower more slender, but has not yet submitted a formal application to Lewisham Council. A consultation is open at leegate-regeneration.co.uk until Tuesday.
The Leegate scheme was the second development on the borough boundary to be raised at last night’s meeting, with plans for an 11-storey tower opposite Falconwood station raised by Conservative councillor Spencer Drury.
Meridian Home Start, which has been spun out of the council, wants to build 83 homes for discounted rent with an 11-storey block at Shepherd Leas, on the borough border with Bexley.
Asked by Drury last night about a 4,000-name petition against the scheme, cabinet member for housing Anthony Okereke implied that the views of Greenwich residents would get priority when the scheme goes to planning – even though many of the homes nearest the development are in Bexley.
“On the matter of the petition, I just wish all of them were from Greenwich,” he said. “However, if they are, it will be fed into that consultation process when it comes to it.”
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