Sealed windows for residents if 1,200-home Charlton Riverside scheme approved

Hyde Herringham Quarter
The development would make use of a jetty on the Thames. The Tarmac plant at Riverside Wharf is on the left

Plans to turn the Charlton riverside into a residential district could take a giant step forward next week if councillors approve over 1,200 new homes on what is currently industrial land.

But some residents face living in homes where they will not be able to open their windows because of concerns over air quality from an asphalt plant next door.

The Port of London Authority and the operators of nearby wharves have submitted objections to the Herringham Quarter project, saying that residents’ complaints about air quality, noise and smell could threaten their businesses.

The land concerned (not the blocks) – Plots A and C could be finished by 2026. Plot B is the Tarmac plant. Detailed plans for plots D and E will follow

Hyde housing association is asking for detailed permission to build 718 homes along with commercial units at Herringham Road and New Lydenburg Street, close to the Thames Barrier, in blocks of up to 10 storeys. It also wants outline permission for a further 494 homes, which could follow in the future.

Councillors are due to make a decision on the scheme next Tuesday, at a meeting of Greenwich’s planning board, the committee that deals with the biggest developments in the borough.

The blocks would be up to 10 storeys high, with some to be built on the site of Maybanks Wharf, currently a recycling yard for Westminster Waste.
The Tarmac asphalt depot next door would remain in place. The first homes could be ready by 2026.

Hyde’s application is the biggest Charlton Riverside scheme to reach councillors since the notorious Rockwell scheme for land off Anchor and Hope Lane, which has now been abandoned after Greenwich Council, City Hall and the government all rejected proposals for 771 homes there. The site is now to be used as a “last mile” logistics depot.

So far just one home – a flat at the derelict Victoria pub, which is to be turned into a pizza takeaway – has been given approval out of a potential 8,000 new homes in the area.

The proposals have changed since the scheme was first unveiled in 2019, with “affordable” housing now making up 55 per cent of the total in the first phase of the scheme.

Hyde’s plans include 263 homes for London Affordable Rent, about half market rent and available to people on housing waiting lists, comprising 37 per cent of the total number of homes. Another 133 homes (18 per cent) will be for shared ownership, with the remainder going on private sale.

The second phase of the scheme will include more private housing, taking the “affordable” total down to 40 per cent across the project.

However, the quality of life for people who move into the homes has been questioned by the operators of Murphy’s, Angerstein and Riverside wharves, who say that complaining residents could put their noisy businesses at risk of closure.

Hyde’s vision of Herringham Road in the future

They also warn that the introduction of residents living so close to the trajectory of the chimney stack emissions will make it unlawful for Tarmac to operate the asphalt plant at Riverside Wharf under its current permit.

The Port of London Authority has also objected, saying that Riverside Wharf needs to be able to operate 24 hours a day because of tidal movements.

In response, the developer is proposing that people living in affected properties will have “sealed units with no openable windows which will be fitted with mechanical ventilation”.

Council planners say that this mitigation is “considered to be acceptable such that undesirable conflict with the uses at the wharves will be avoided”.

Herringham Quarter render
A view from the Thames, with the Tarmac plant on the left

Just 90 car parking spaces will be provided, with Hyde expected to pay for a new bus route to serve the site – expected to be an extension of the 301 service to zone 4 Woolwich station rather than a route to zone 3 Charlton or zone 2 North Greenwich.

Developers in the area will be expected to pay £3,000 per home to Greenwich Council for new roads, and £2,800 to TfL for new bus services.

The council is also looking for a site to place a new primary school, after concluding that a planned school on Anchor & Hope Lane would provide insufficient spaces as it would also be serving the Greenwich Peninsula. Hyde will have to pay £915,000 towards that.

The local NHS is to get £1.1m in extra funding for GP services as the commercial units on the site are too small to include a health centre; the council’s GLLaB job brokerage will collect almost £1.3 million from the scheme.

One factor that will weigh heavily on the developer’s side is that Greenwich only has a three-year supply of new housing on the way – it should, by law, have five. This is enough to get a refusal overturned on appeal – putting pressure on councillors to back the scheme.

Another scheme for nearby Flint Glass Wharf – on the other side of the Tarmac plant – is also due to come to councillors soon, with 500 homes. South of Herringham Quarter, Montreaux is developing plans for the Stone Foundries site.

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