Greenwich Council has launched an investigation in whether work on a site in Deptford where planning permission was refused was legal – and is “not convinced” it was.   

Developer Aurora Apartments, which did not apply to build a fence around the site, but did so anyway last week (September 5), wants to build a three-storey building on the small plot of land by the Armada Community Project and Charlotte Turner Gardens in McMillan Street.  

Greenwich rejected the application at the end of March, concluding that the design, massing, and scale would be “unsympathetic and over dominant” to the surroundings.  

Aurora has appealed the decision, which will be reassessed at a future date.  

But construction workers were spotted building a fence around the site early on Saturday morning. 

A resident-led group, Stop McMillan Street Development, set up to oppose the scheme, posted a video and said: “The four vans parked illegally from before 7.30am this morning, they started work soon after destroying the morning peace.   

“Their planning application was rejected yet the developers keep coming back.”  

The council confirmed to the group on Thursday (September 10) that planning consent had not been applied for.  

In an email, a planning enforcement and appeals manager said that though the developer “may believe this treatment falls within permitted development for hoardings around development sites”, she does is “not convinced” it does.  

“I can confirm your findings that consent has not been applied for in relation to this boundary treatment and it is over one-metre in height adjacent to a highway.  

“As soon as I have any response from the developer in this instance I will advise you further, it may be that they believe this treatment falls within permitted development for hoardings around development sites, I am not convinced it does however and I will be advising them accordingly. 

“Thank you for bringing it to our attention, we have been sent several emails on the subject and I am endeavouring to reply to each one in turn, I will let you know as soon as there is any further information,” she said.  

Aurora has been contacted for comment.   

Locals have objected to the plans, saying children would lose out on “vital” play space, while a nursery playground would have been plunged into darkness by the proposed build.   

Campaign group Deptford Folk said it was a “terrible proposal”. 


A local music charity, which provides studio space for young people, was donated the former site of the Duke of Wellington Pub in McMillan Street more than 20 years ago.   

But Midi Music sold off the land, called Blusher’s site, last year for £105,000.    

According to the charity in a Companies House document, the sale “contributed towards increasing our reserve fund, easing the charity’s cashflow and even though we received £20k less from our land investment due to the reporter Japanese Knotweed presence, the reality of our financial position is positive”.    

The site once had a ‘community use covenant’, which protects it for community use, but the charity negotiated with the donor for it to be removed. This means the developer is free to build flats on the site.    

Midi Music previously said criticism of it over selling the land is “unfair”.  

Director Wozzy Brewster said because the land was charitable property, the charity had a “legal duty to get the best value for it”.