Grove Market application goes ahead despite resident concerns

The new application to build over 70 flats, a 80 bed hotel and supermarket on the Grove Market site has received approval from Labour councillors on the Planning Board.

Over 60 residents raised concerns and objections to the scheme, as well as the PCT, NHS Greenwich, all the resident associations in the local area and the Bob Hope Theatre.  Concerns centred on a number of issues, including the fact that there would be no parking for the hotel, the level of traffic that would be generated on the Eltham High Street/Well Hall Rd/Court Rd junction, the impact of the 6 storey development on the Eltham Palace Conservation Area and the single access point on Court Yard for all vehicles, including articulated lorries entering the site. 

Concerns were also raised as the Council refused to publish the Conservation Officer's report on the application, no independent analysis had been carried out of the cumulative impact of traffic in the local area, as well as any parking studies to test whether the scheme, which only includes 18 parking spaces for over 70 flats, is viable. 

All three Eltham South ward councillors spoke against the scheme, as did the two Conservative members of the Planning Board, as well as many individual residents and their representatives.  However Labour councillors unanimously voted through the application, despite even the opposition from MP Clive Efford.

The approval is also likely to lead to a CPZ being imposed on residents living in surrounding roads, despite the fact that the council's latest CPZ surveys found that residents did not want a CPZ, and this was endorsed by the Highways Committee.  Representatives of the Bob Hope Theatre also raised serious concerns about the detrimental effect on the theatre if a CPZ was imposed.

Eltham South councillor Adam Thomas said, "This is a disappointing result - we desperately want to see this site developed, as it is in a terrible state.  But we need a development that meets the needs of the local community not just the financial needs of developers."