Council orders developer to tear down tower blocks

Developer Comer Homes Group is being ordered to demolish two residential tower blocks in south London following a planning row.

Greenwich Council launched enforcement action this week over Mast Quay Phase II in Woolwich which was completed in late 2022 and now contains residents in the stepped twin towers of 23, 11, nine and and six storeys.

The council claims the build-to-rent development has “26 main deviations to the original planning permission” which was granted in 2012.

These include visible design changes to the towers making them “more solid and bulky”, changes to cladding and a lack of a promised roof garden for residents and children’s play areas and gardens.

Greenwich said: “The Council believes that the only reasonable and proportionate way to rectify the harm created by the finished Mast Quay Phase II development 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.

“Therefore, the Council issued an enforcement notice on Monday 25 September which is subject to appeal rights for a period of at least 28 days following the date of issue. To support the residents currently living in the development the Council has written to them directly to provide them with support, assistance and advice.”

Cllr Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “This decision is not one that the Royal Borough of Greenwich has taken lightly, but I believe it is reasonable and proportionate to the scale and seriousness of the situation.

“Mast Quay Phase II represents two prominent high-rise buildings on Woolwich’s riverside that just are 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.

“The right thing to do is not usually the easy thing to do. That is why we will not standby and allow poor quality and unlawful development anywhere in our borough and we are not afraid of taking difficult decisions when we believe it’s the right thing to do.”


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