A developer’s appeal against a planning refusal to build a block of flats by a playground in Deptford has been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.

Developer Aurora Apartments wanted to build the three-storey building on a small plot of land by the Armada Community Project and Charlotte Turner Gardens in McMillan Street.

Locals 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. 

A campaign group was also set up to stop the development.

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

See more:Developer defends proposed block of flats by playground in Deptford

See more: Deptford playground could be plunged into darkness if block of flats approved by Greenwich Council

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The developer appealed the decision but the appeal has been dismissed because of the impact it would have on neighbours and the area in general.

The Government planning inspector wrote: “The proposed block, in view of its scale, location and visual context, would be crammed onto its site and would appear over-dominant, impinging harmfully on openness and obliterating the pleasant views into the park enjoyed by passers-by, whether on foot, cycle or in cars.

“To my mind, the development’s intrusive nature would represent the antithesis of good quality urban planning and would case unacceptable harm to the well-balanced townscape that such planning has achieved.”

They also said building the block of flats would lead to “substantial harm” to neighbours.

“The proposed development would harm the living conditions currently enjoyed by the residents of several of the existing flats on the opposite side of the road by reason of adverse visual impact,” the inspector said.

A spokesperson for the ‘Stop McMillan Street Development’ thanked the community for its support, but said they are concerned that the developer might come back with more “damaging proposals”.

He said: “On behalf of the community we welcome the decision, which was critical to protect the local area from this intrusive development, and which follows a strong response from the community.

“We are concerned the developer will return with further damaging proposals, and the site remains hoarded off with unattractive fencing and is now the scene of fly tipping.

“We would like to work with the RBG to protect the land, and the park within which it sits, for community benefit.

“We are incredibly grateful to the support we’ve received from the local community, from Deptford Folk and from the local MP Matthew Pennycook,” he said.


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, in 2019 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, but only if its proposals are accepted by the council.  

The developer has been contacted for comment on the decision.