Plans for a five storey block of flats in Greenwich have been refused by the council after being described as having ‘ridiculously oversized’ homes by officers.

The project would have seen nine flats being added to Woolwich Road in East Greenwich along with space for shops in the building’s ground floor.

The proposal was put forward by the Estate Charity of William Hatcliffe and was discussed at a planning meeting for Greenwich Council on May 9.

News Shopper: The site for the proposed block of flats currently includes a barber and tool shop The site for the proposed block of flats currently includes a barber and tool shop

Labour Councillor David Gardner said the borough badly needed more homes and felt the development addressed the demand for more three and four-bedroom homes in the area.

He said he also felt the proposed building had a more iconic look than other structures on the road such as the Greenwich Centre, which he described as being ‘hideous’.

A council officer described two of the units in the project as being ‘ridiculously oversized’, and said there was enough space in the development for up to 11 flats.

They said the applicants had ‘refused’ to address the issue despite being advised by officers, with the overall design of the scheme also being criticised.

Council officers said in their report: “The proposed development, due to the cumulative impact its height, scale, mass and poor design, would appear as an incongruous and overbearing development as seen from the surrounding streetscape to the detriment of the character and appearance of the surrounding area.”

The report recommended for planning committee members to refuse planning permission for the scheme.

The plans had also received 24 objections from locals as well as from several community groups such as the East Greenwich Residents Association.

A representative from the association said in their objection: “The style of the proposed new building, rather pretentiously described by the applicant as a ‘small scale, free standing urban palazzo’ is entirely out of keeping with the area.

"It has no reference to any surrounding buildings and looks incongruous in the context of the busy Woolwich Road streetscape.”

Andrew Blundy, chair of the Estate Charity of William Hatcliffe, said he would argue that the proposal was in keeping with other buildings on the road.

He said previous suggestions from council officers had been incorporated into the current plans and he felt the sizes of the flats were appropriate.

Mr Blundy said at the meeting: “I absolutely accept that these flats are all generously proportioned, and I make no apology for that… We like our flats to be nice places to live in.”

Charles Mills, the planning consultant to the project, said the development was sensitive to the range of scales and characters of the surrounding buildings.

Labour Councillor Jo van den Broek said she had no opposition with the aesthetics of the building, but criticised the lack of social housing provided in the scheme.

She said at the meeting: “I feel very uncomfortable with this. I would love to see another flat in there. I would love to see that other flat being used for social housing.”

The planning committee voted to refuse the new flats proposed for Woolwich Road. The decision was made based on the exterior design of the building and excessive size of two of the units.