At the same meeting the committee will consider plans for the associated development at Amersham Vale, on the site of the former Deptford Green School.
I've written about Tidemill before, causing a bit of a hoo-hah by revealing that the claims the council was making for the number of social/affordable housing units the development would deliver were overstated.
The council responded with a statement which you can read at the bottom of the original post, but my point is still valid. The current application for Tidemill is for 209 units; 175 private and just 34 'affordable', not the 78 that the council is trumpeting. The mix that the council is shouting about will only happen if the developer manages to access some mysterious, unspecified 'grant' funding which will subsidise it.
As the committee report states: 'The delivery of this uplift in affordable units is dependent on grant funding being secured by the applicant.'
While the agreement commits the developer to make 'reasonable endeavours' to secure this unspecified funding, I am sure there are many circumstances beyond the developer's control that could derail the process. It's great to be optimistic but the council's statement that this development 'will provide' 37% affordable housing looks a little threadbare.
There have been a great many objections to the redevelopment plans, including anger at the loss of the green space of the former school grounds; objections to the height, proximity and overlooking/overshadowing impact the new blocks will have on existing housing such as Frankham House and Princess Louise Building; complaints about the lack of consultation from residents of the Reginald Road housing whose block is to be demolished; objections to the creation of gated public space; concern about the demolition of the caretakers house (the smaller building next to the school) and so on.
Some of these objections have been addressed, with the revised application showing amendments to certain blocks to reduce the proximity to existing buildings, and some of the overlooking issues. But objectors say that loss of light and overshadowing is still a major issue.
The loss of the gardens will mean quite a significant habitat reduction in the centre of Deptford. While we have plenty of public space, much of it is hard landscaping with trees, which is of limited interest to wildlife. The open space that will replace the Tidemill garden will also feature a lot of hard landscaping and a few manicured lawns - a pitiful substitute for the existing sprawl of green.
Over at the Amersham Vale site it's a similar story in terms of affordable housing. The proposed development will create 120 flats in blocks of up to five storeys high. Of these 120, only 19 will be for shared ownership/social rent - again the council is banking on the developer being able to achieve grant funding to subsidise additional 'affordable' units and improve this ratio from 16% to 32%. If the grant is not forthcoming, the ratio will remain pisspoor.
The proposed buildings take up half the site - the remainder now being occupied by the newly-built Charlottenburg Park, itself intended to compensate for the part of Fordham Park that was annexed for outdoor space for the relocated Deptford Green School.
As the officers report points out, the arrangement of the blocks is sufficiently cramped/awkward that some of the new units are overshadowed by their neighbours, and four of them will not receive any direct sunlight in the winter. There is also one living-room window that will not receive the required level of daylight - let's hope the resident is a night worker.
With these two developments on the table and scrutiny of Lewisham's planning process currently rather keen, it will be interesting to see how the meeting on Thursday pans out. I doubt it will be dull, so if you are keen to find out more about how the planning process works without having to stick pins in your eyes to keep yourself awake, this is probably the meeting to go to.