Plans for 322 new homes in “a blossoming, leafy and green neighbourhood” on the old Thomas Tallis school site in Kidbrooke have been unveiled by Greenwich Council.
The scheme, which would turbocharge Greenwich leader Danny Thorpe’s plans to start work on 750 new council homes by next year, when his Labour group faces re-election.
The scheme would include five buildings from six to 15 storeys. Ten per cent of the homes will be wheelchair accessible, and all will be available for London Affordable Rent – about half market rents and available to people on waiting lists, but higher than traditional council rents.
It will also include 100 trees, play spaces for children, communal courtyards and a new community garden with space to grow plants and vegetables. Heating and hot water will be provided by air source heat pumps while there will also be green roofs and solar panels.
“This sustainable, modern and sympathetic design represents the pinnacle of what we are achieving with our Greenwich Builds council home building programme,” said Anthony Okereke, the council’s cabinet member for housing.
At present, 388 homes across the borough have been completed or have been given approval – including 117 on an adjacent plot on the old school site, which will have blocks of between five and ten storeys.
The extra 322 homes at Kidbrooke Park Road would nudge this over the 700 mark. Other schemes, such as plans for 49 homes on the Barnfield Estate, are yet to enter the planning process.
This new scheme means over half of Greenwich’s first batch of new homes would be just a few hundred metres from the former Ferrier Estate – sold off by the council to Berkeley Homes a decade ago to create the Kidbrooke Village development.
They will be closer still to the Transport for London-backed Kidbrooke Station Square scheme, where Greenwich councillors initially threw out plans for 619 new homes, saying the area lacked sufficient transport connections. City Hall overturned the councillors’ objections and approved the scheme itself.
Those concerns may well evaporate for one of the town hall’s own schemes – and one with huge importance to a key Greenwich Labour policy aimed at chipping away at the 23,000-strong housing waiting list.
The scheme would be car-free, with over 600 cycle spaces to be created, but no plans to improve cycle routes in the area have been included in the consultation.
Thomas Tallis School occupied the land from 1971 to 2011, before moving to a new building nearby. Allotments behind the site are the last remnant of the RAF base that was there until 1965.
In a brief consultation held earlier this month, allotment-holders spoke of their fears that the new blocks would overshadow their land. “Because of the high buildings on the boundary, the development will cause serious loss of sunlight to the Kidbrooke Park Allotments,” one respondent said.
“The availability of sunlight has a massive impact on plant growth.”
A key aspect of the council’s home building scheme is that the homes are carbon neutral, but this has come at a cost – earlier this month it was revealed that the cost of the programme had leapt up to £314 million, blamed in part on increased parts and labour costs and difficulties with the modular construction techniques used for many of the schemes.
A consultation is now live at kprsouth.commonplace.is, with a planning application due early next year.
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