Hundreds set to lose their homes after council orders two south London tower blocks to be demolished in planning row

28 September 2023, 08:04

The approved design, left and how the block looks in real life
The approved design, left and how the block looks in real life. Picture: Greenwich Council

By Asher McShane

Hundreds of tenants at two tower blocks in south London are set to be kicked out of their homes after a council ordered them to be demolished.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Labour run Greenwich council has ordered the Mast Quay II rental development to be knocked down and the land restored to its former condition.

The council has accused developer Comer Homes Group of flouting planning rules.

All 204 apartments would have to be emptied, potentially leaving hundreds of people with nowhere to live.

The council says the blocks have been ‘built without planning permission and is therefore unlawful because it is so substantially different to the scheme that was originally permitted’.

Read more: 'Hardworking and dedicated' soldier collapses and dies during 'brutal' training drill, as police 'launch probe'

Read more: One in five GP appointments taken up by people who are just lonely, or need relationship, debt or housing advice

The developer could be forced to bulldoze the entire block
The developer could be forced to bulldoze the entire block. Picture: Greenwich Council

One resident told the Guardian: “It seemed too good to be true and now obviously it is. Moving in I thought there were a lot of things that didn't make sense – the layout.

'There had to be a catch and this is the catch. Hopefully, the residents are going to be put before everyone else. No one wants to lose their home.”

Another said: “It was shocking news to me. It’s going to destabilise us trying to get a [new] place. Trying to get a place here has not been easy.”

Council leader Anthony Okereke said: “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 are just not good enough, and the reason 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 council claims Comer has breached 26 different planning conditions and continued to let flats despite being advised not to do so.

The council cites a lack of play space for children, no step free access for disabled residents to their balconies, and a lack of promised green space.

It also cited a reduction in the amount of space for commercial offices, shops and cafes at ground level, no roof gardens for residents and the public, lack of disabled parking bays, not enough underground parking and a gym that is not accessible for wheelchair users.

Comer Homes Group said it would appeal and has accused the council of misleading the public.

“The Comer Homes Group is surprised and extremely disappointed by the decision of the Royal Borough of Greenwich to issue an enforcement notice in respect of our Most Quay Phase II development,” said a spokesperson.

“We are particularly surprised to see the accompanying public statements which are Inaccurate and misrepresent the position and our actions

“We will be appealing against the enforcement notice and look forward to robustly correcting the inaccuracies and addressing the Council’s concerns.

“We have over many months sought to engage constructively with the Council, and notwithstanding these disproportionate actions, remain willing to do so.”

If the developer does not win any appeal it will have to bulldoze the buildings or face an unlimited fine.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Breaking
Millwall's Matija Sarkic died

Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic dies aged 26, as club 'completely devastated'

Muslim pilgrims standing at the top of the rocky hill known as the Mountain of Mercy

Muslim pilgrims converge at Mount Arafat for worship as Hajj reaches its peak

Bob Bell confronted the robber

'Hero' shop worker jumps in to grab gun-toting robber threatening female colleague, as mother-in-law praises 'lovely boy'

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, arrives at Zurich airport in Switzerland

World leaders to meet at Swiss resort on possible Ukraine peace roadmap

Live
David Cameron has warned that Nigel Farage is trying to destroy the Conservative party

General Election LIVE: Cameron warns Farage is 'trying to destroy the Conservatives', as Labour tackles NHS

The coach of one of the boys said he was 'not a monster'

'He's not a monster - he just didn't have the right role models,' claims boxing coach of 12-year-old machete murderer

Wayne Lineker was punched

Wayne Lineker's 'own brand of excess and drunkenness' to blame for attack that saw him knocked out, politician says

Alan Bates, Imelda Staunton and Tracey Emin were given honours in the birthday list

Post Office campaigner Alan Bates knighted in Birthday Honours, as Imelda Staunton and Tracey Emin made dames

Exclusive
x

Domestic abuse cases during Euros ‘could double’ as police seek to understand link between football and violence

Three drones have been seized by Merseyside Police after they were flown over Taylor Swift's concert in Liverpool's Anfield Stadium

Three drones seized after being flown over Taylor Swift's concerts at Liverpool's Anfield Stadium

Alex Jones speaking to the media after arriving at court in Houston, Texas, for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge on Friday

Judge rules Alex Jones’ assets to be sold to help pay Sandy Hook debt

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa raises his hands in parliament after being re-elected for a second term

Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as South African president for second term after deal

Co-founder of Ozy Media, Carlos Watson arrives at Brooklyn Federal Court, for an earlier hearing

Google chief gives evidence at fraud trial of Ozy Media founder

Post Office campaigner Alan Bates given knighthood in King’s Birthday Honours

Post Office campaigner Alan Bates knighted in King’s Birthday Honours but says he isn't a 'hero'

Justice Department

US attorney general will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress

A 12-year-old child was injured at the Valkea shopping centre in Oulu after a stabbing

'Far-right' knifeman attacks two children at Finnish shopping centre, leaving 12-year-old seriously wounded