Council funded developer appeals against rejection of Eltham flats plan

By | January 2, 2023

In a confusing turn of events Greenwich Council backed developer Meridian Home Start is appealing against the Planning Board’s decision to reject plans for flats at the Shepherd Leas site on Riefield Road (opposite Falconwood Station).

The original plans for a 70 home, 9 storey tall development were submitted a year ago and were fiercely opposed with Spencer Drury (when Cllr for Eltham North Ward) presenting a 4,000 signature petition from the Friends of Oxleas Woodlands to Greenwich Council.  The Shepherd Leas development is backed by Greenwich Council with £28m of grants and  £55m of loans however, despite this support the Planning Board rejected the proposals in June 2022.  

However, in October it was announced that Meridian Home Start would be appealing against the Planning Board’s decision hoping that the nationally focused Planning Inspectorate will overturn the local decision.  This means that Greenwich Council is funding both the appeal against and defence of the Planning Board’s decision.

Ex- Eltham North Councillor and Deputy Chair of Greenwich Conservative Federation Charlie Davis commented “As the London Assembly candidate in 2021 I highlighted the need for the Shepherd Leas site to be developed and subsequently supported the plans for 40 houses there.  The plans for more than 70 homes on the site are simply an overdevelopment as even Labour Councillors on the Planning Board acknowledged.  It is unacceptable for Council funding to be used to appeal against its own decision – the plans should revert to the original one for houses on the site which was acceptable to the local community in Eltham.”

The remaining Conservative Eltham Town and Avery Hill Councillor Pat Greenwell is continuing the work to get the right scheme for this site which you can read about here. We can find no public statement from the local Labour Councillors on this development.

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