Greenwich Council ‘considering action’ after investigation highlights segregated developments

Knight Dragon PR shot of the Lighterman
The Lighterman – seen here in a Knight Dragon publicity photo – towers over the peninsula

Greenwich Council is considering enforcement action after an investigation revealed shared ownership residents are being “segregated” at new builds in the borough.

Officers are inspecting two housing developments after a Guardian report highlighted a trend with shared ownership residents being treated differently to private owners.

At developments across the capital, residents in shared ownership have been denied access to rooftop terraces and swimming pools and forced to use “poor doors” rather than enter through swish lobbies.

On Greenwich Peninsula, one development, the 23-storey Lighterman tower, is reported to have roughly 20 shared ownership households entering through a separate door to private flats. Homeowners go through a marble lobby, with a concierge, and also have access to a gym and rooftop garden.

Affordable housing neighbours told The Guardian they use a “spartan” entrance and are denied access to the rooftop terrace and gym, adding to a list of developments in London segregating households.

The development is one of two in the borough now being investigated by the council.

Councillor Sizwe James, cabinet member for growth and strategic development, said: “We expect all amenity and green spaces at housing developments in the Royal Borough of Greenwich to be accessible to all residents.

“We have been made aware that this isn’t the case at two developments. Council officials are making visits to these sites and will be having discussions with developers, alongside considering enforcement action.”

Shared ownership has householders buying percentage of their home while paying the rest in rent to a social landlord.

Affordable housing at the Lighterman is run by provider L&Q, which was approached for comment before publication.

L&Q did tell The Guardian it would consider residents’ views on amenities while ensuring “there is adequate provision of affordable housing”.

  • Last week, Lewisham Council approved a development in Deptford with a “poor door”.

  • LDRS logoTom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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