Greenwich Council orders demolition of 23 storey build to rent 'mutant development' due to 26 planning breaches

Greenwich Street

The recently built 2 tower development, on the south bank of the River Thames, includes one block of a 'stepped design' comprising 23, 11, 9 and 6 storeys and has an estimated 204 households in occupation.

The development - Mast Quay Phase 2 (built by Comer Homes Group) - has been investigated over the last year and the council says that it has progressed to planning enforcement because it has concluded that the completed [in 2022] building was "built without planning permission and is therefore unlawful because it is so substantially different to the scheme that was originally permitted by the planning permission that was given in 2012."

Just a few of the 26 planning deviations listed by Greenwich Council include: visible design changes to the external appearance of the towers; lower quality residential accommodation; different cladding, less glazing, smaller balconies, smaller windows and no wraparound balconies resulting in a reduction of daylight and sunlight, and a reduced outlook; increasing the approved footprint of both towers; and non-accessible 'accessible' apartments that have steps to the balconies so that wheelchair users cannot access their outdoor space.

The council goes on to say that it believes that "the only reasonable and proportionate way to rectify the harm created .... to the local area, and the tenants living there, because of the changes made during its construction is the complete demolition and the restoration of the land to its former condition."

Greenwich Council Leader, Cllr. Anthony Okereke, said "This decision is not one that the Royal Borough of Greenwich has taken lightly .... [the development] represents two prominent high rise buildings .... that are just not good enough, and the reason that they are not good enough is because the development that was given planning permission is not the one that we can all see before us today."

Cllr. Aiden Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said ".... what we have is a mutant development that is a blight on the landscape, local conservation zone and heritage assets and views. High quality, beautiful and sustainable buildings and places are fundamental to what the planning and development process should achieve .... and we cannot let what has been delivered at Mast Quay Phase 2 go unchallenged"

Cllr. Anne-Marie Cousins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement, said "Following a complex, lengthy and detailed investigation .... we are taking this unprecedented step because of the magnitude of the number of significant deviations that we have discovered .... the developer has had plenty of opportunities to apply for planning permission to vary what they had permission to build before they carried out the work, instead of applying after they had already done it .... they have had many years to engage with us regarding the amendments they claim it was necessary to make .... yet there was no contact or application made" until after the enforcement investigation had started.

The council says that it has written to all the occupants of the development to offer support, assistance and advice and that it has given the developer 28 days to submit an appeal. Pictures of the development, provided by the council, both as approved and as built, along with a full list of the 26 planning breaches and FAQs about the development and the enforcement action, can be accessed by clicking on the link above.

Looking for up to the minute updates on all selective licensing and PRS news? Follows us on Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

    Contact Request

    Fields marked* are required