Town hall chief rules out possibility of resident ballot for housing developments in Greenwich

A town hall chief ruled out any possibility that residents will be balloted on plans to knock down parking spaces and build flats on their council estates.

Greenwich council have given initial approval, which will then be consulted on, to sell land to developers Pocket Living to demolish parking and garage areas on housing estates across Greenwich  and build one bedroomed flats.

The sites under consideration are in The Heights Estate in Charlton, Kidbrooke Park Estate (KPE) in Kidbrooke Park Close, and Orchard Estate in Quince Road.

Greenwich’s cabinet member for housing, Councillor Chris Kirby, dismissed appeals to ballot estate residents and give them a meaningful vote on whether the development should go ahead.

These appeals were made at an overview and scrutiny subcommittee meeting after the cabinet decision was called in.

Cllr Kirby said: “My job is to try and provide affordable housing for people in this borough. Absolutely residents who live on the estates need to be consulted properly and have their voices heard.

“But there are people surfing sofas, there are people in temporary accommodation. This has a knock on effect on other developments where we are delivering council housing.

“If we give a veto over developments, solely to local residents who do not take the wider view of the needs of all of our residents then we are doing a disservice to the people that need housing most of all.”

The meeting room on Wednesday August 8 was filled with residents of the KPE who had come to express their concerns.

People from the crowd said that residents who live on the estates that should be given a vote on this.

One KPE resident Jonathan Dennis said: “There are people who rely on those parking spaces for their livelihoods. There are currently 40 spaces and by 6pm it is absolutely chocka no parking on the other side of the road.

“Not only are they going to take away the garages but there will be 46 more residents using the road.”

Jonathan Dennis

Pocket Living’s proposals will create 150 one bedroomed homes that are aimed at single renters and first  time buyers.

There could be 60 units at the Orchard Estate, 45 in the Heights and 46 in KPE. Properties in the scheme would be sold at 20 per cent less than market rates.

But none of them are earmarked to be affordable at social rent levels.

Mehboob Khan, Greenwich West ward councillor, said: “In principle I am in favour of development. But any development on HRA [Housing Revenue Account] land should deliver social housing for rent.”

The sub-committee members decided to send the decision back to the cabinet with comments.

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One thought on “Town hall chief rules out possibility of resident ballot for housing developments in Greenwich

  • 19th August 2018 at 10:04 am

    Parking in the main road at Kidbrooke Park Close is not going to work either as Greenwich Council has made it restricted parking less than 6 mths ago! …..joined up thinking not part of the remit it seems.


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