High-rise blocks are returning to Kidbrooke with a £1bn estate set to include a 25-storey tower more than twice the size of any of the buildings demolished to make way for it.

The neglected, rundown blocks of the Ferrier Estate were all finally demolished last year with the promise of "homes fit for the 21st century" in a scheme named Kidbrooke Village by developer Berkeley Homes.

News Shopper: One block left in Kidbrooke Ferrier Estate demolition

But Berkeley were slammed by Eltham MP Clive Efford earlier this year for "sheer naked greed and opportunism" after plans for the final phase included a 31-storey block.

That block's height has now been reduced slightly in the final plans submitted to Greenwich Council but is still a towering 25 floors high - a 13-storey increase on the old eyesore Ferrier Estate buildings that were knocked down.

Following the criticism, elsewhere on the development a proposed 18-storey block has been reduced to 12 and a 12-floor building down to eight. 

Overall there will be 4,800 homes - a massive increase on the old 1,900 dwelling estate.

Mr Efford told Architects’ Journal magazine earlier this year: "I’ve been staggered by the sheer naked greed and opportunism of Berkeley Homes. 

"The tower has been overwhelmingly rejected and condemned by local residents. 

"Who are these properties being built for?"

Mr Efford told News Shopper: "The proposed tower block is completely out of character with the original plans for Kidbrooke Village.  We constantly hear of the demands of the developer but there's precious little about what they are doing for the local community.

"Too few of the homes that they are building are affordable for young people who are seeking to buy or rent in or nearby the community in which they grew up."

And Nick Russell, who ran a group supporting Ferrier residents when some faced eviction, said: "We kind of expected the density to increase really because they want to maximise the profits they can make out of it. But there was nothing in the original masterplan that indicated such a large tower block.

"From the drawings it looks alright but I would be worried about the effect of so many more people on local infrastructure like the trains which are already jam-packed."

News Shopper:

The final phases of the detailed village plans comprise an additional 782 new homes and Berkeley says it will add a further 4,374 jobs to the 12,400 opportunities already created by the village over the past five years.

Berkeley Homes say it will also include coffee shops, 23 acres of new parkland, permanent space for a Sainsbury’s Local supermarket, reintroduction of buses to the village centre, children’s play areas and the planting of more than 1,000 new trees.

The development, in partnership with the Greater London Authority and Greenwich Council will also see a new, larger Wingfield Primary School delivered six years earlier than planned.

Coupled with an improved bus interchange, reinstated B16 route and new pedestrian and cycle routes, there will also be a new railway station in place by 2017.

Divisional managing director of Berkeley Homes Karl Whiteman said: "The submission of the final phases takes us a major step closer to completing south-east London’s newest and most affordable village, generating over 4,000 jobs to add to the 12,400 opportunities already created at Kidbrooke.

"We’d like to thank the local community, council and everyone who participated in the July consultation and really helped us to shape the final plans which will extend the growing community we have at Kidbrooke Village. 

"Greenwich is thriving and ever-changing, and it’s a very exciting time to play a part in its evolution."
Work is planned to begin early next year if plans are approved.

The plans can be seen at greenwich.gov.uk and at the Kidbrooke Village Information Centre from October 13 to November 10.