A developer has welcomed news that London Mayor Sadiq Khan has stepped in over a controversial plan to build more than 700 homes in Charlton.

The Mayor has ‘called in’ Greenwich Council’s decision to refuse Rockwell permission to bulldoze buildings near Hope and Anchor Lane.

A call-in means Mr Khan will now act as the planning authority, taking control away from the council.

Residents were in uproar when Rockwell proposed bulldozing buildings to build 11 blocks of flats, up to 10 storeys tall.

Residents’ groups and campaigners objected to the height, density, and affordability of the scheme, fearing it would set a precedent for future developments.

Squeeze singer Glenn Tilbrook was one of many residents who appealed to councillors to throw out the plans last month, claiming it would hinder access to his studio.

Chairing the meeting, in which the application was unanimously refused, Cllr Sarah Merrill said: “I think this application in absolutely no way resembles the spirit of the masterplan, in terms of height, massing and design. Some of the design is resemblant of Stalingrad.”

Campaigners claimed the scheme also ignored aspects of the council’s £800k vision for the Charlton Riverside.

In total, 11 new buildings, the smallest of which is two storeys, were proposed, with space for shops, bars and restaurants alongside 210 car parking spaces.

The Mayor of London has now stepped in to decide how the scheme progresses, to the delight of developer Rockwell.

A spokesman said: “Our current proposals will deliver 771 new homes, of which 35 per cent would be affordable, alongside flexible workspace and over 16,000 sq m of new green space.

“We are delighted that the Mayor has chosen to step in to oversee the determination of these proposals and we look forward to working with the Mayor’s office to unlock the Charlton Riverside Opportunity Area.”

In a letter to the council on August 13, Mr Khan said: “The proposed development would have a significant impact on the implementation of the London Plan and draft London Plan and there are sound planning reasons for my intervention.

"I recognise that Greenwich Council has taken a positive approach to approving new homes in the borough during the last three years, and is currently performing well in securing planning approvals for additional housing and affordable housing relative to its annual targets.

“Notwithstanding this, I note that the proportion of affordable housing secured relative to overall housing consented during this period is significantly below the Greenwich Local Plan 35 per cent target and represents a significant undersupply of affordable housing in the pipeline.”

The Mayor has also called in a rejected plan for Eynsham Drive in Abbey Wood, which would have a 17-storey tower built at the site of a car wash and pet hospital.

Cllr Sizwe James, the cabinet member for growth and strategic development, said in a statement he was disappointed the Mayor has called in the schemes.

He said: “This means that the Mayor of London, and not the local councillors elected by the people of Greenwich, will decide on these applications.

“At the planning board, local residents spoke passionately about the issues they had with the proposed developments. The committee members listened to the residents and shared their concerns about the height of the buildings, the lack of homes for families, and the affordability of those homes.

“I would urge him not to simply wave the applications through, but include us in discussions with the developers to secure a greater proportion of well designed, affordable family homes.

“We also need to learn from the mistakes made in the 60s and 70s and create proper neighbourhoods, with walkable streets, places to work and spaces for children to play and socialise.”