Hoardings are finally being erected around a condemned housing estate in Charlton – but locals will have to endure five more weeks of the derelict homes attracting flytipping and antisocial behaviour, this website has discovered.
Workers have started to put up fencing around the Maryon Grove Estate, two weeks after photos on this website showed how years of neglect and vandalism had left the estate wrecked.
Incredibly, people were still living in temporary accommodation in some of the estate’s 172 homes as recently as last month, 853 has discovered.
Neighbours of the estate, on the border with Woolwich, have had to put up with years of neglect on the estate, which was used for emergency accommodation after tenants and leaseholders moved out in the mid-2010s.
They were told on April 12 that “vacant possession” had been achieved in March and that hoardings would start to go up that week, but that work would not be completed until May 23.
This website understands that work did begin last week, but a visit to the site on Monday afternoon revealed the reason for the slow progress. Only two workers were putting up fence posts on Maryon Grove, close to Woodhill primary school.
Two police officers could be seen combing the smashed-up passageways for anyone inside the abandoned flats, many of which have been left unlocked and open for anyone to enter. Two of the derelict maisonettes were destroyed by fire last month.
Pictures of the estate have been circulated widely on social media and the condition of the estate appears to have deteriorated in the past two weeks, with more front doors left open and front gardens full of flytipped furniture and tyres.
The council claimed that it had been “clearing fly tipping on a weekly basis to ensure fire hazards are minimised”.
Greenwich also said that its caretaking service was “still active on site with the aim of keeping the area free from debris as well as maintaining visibility”.
However, locals who have to live next to the site have good reason to doubt that this is happening, not least because the whole site is covered in debris.
On the other side of the estate from where the fencing is slowly going up, a large rubbish bin had been left overflowing – despite a resident reporting it to the council the previous week. Nothing had been done.
“You could not make this up,” one local said.
Maryon Grove has been emptied as part of a major scheme to hand three council estates in and close to Woolwich to the private sector for redevelopment. The project was agreed by the borough’s leader at the time, Chris Roberts, in 2013.
But the deal with Lovell has been blighted by delays and disagreements.
The first estate, the Connaught, close to Woolwich town centre, has been demolished and replaced with a new development, Trinity Walk. Work is now under way on new homes to replace the Morris Walk Estate, next to Maryon Grove.
Up to 165 homes are eventually planned for the site, according to a planning brief submitted nine years ago. Some 90 of these will be council homes, as part of a deal struck last year to rescue the whole project.
Only outline plans have been submitted for Maryon Grove, although the estate was always meant to be the last to be redeveloped. Detailed proposals had been due in January, but these have so far not materialised.
Greenwich Council has previously said that it plans to demolish Maryon Grove “as as soon as possible”. That needs formal approval from the council’s cabinet and locals have been told that this is imminent.
The council has also said: “Plans for the site will be developed in consultation with local residents and businesses, to ensure we get the best possible scheme for the community.
“If there are any concerns about anti-social behaviour on the site, please call 101. In an emergency, please call 999.”
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