Neighbours object to plans to convert 19th century Greenwich pub into hotel as ‘overdevelopment’

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Plans to convert the building of a 19th century pub into a hotel, have been blasted by some neighbours with one objector calling it a “monstrosity” and a “hodgepodge” among the Victorian houses on the road.

Greenwich Council has received plans to reopen The Pickwick, a pub in Greenwich Peninsula dating back to the 1830s.

The plans, sent by Pure Let Greenwich Ltd, would see the current pub being restored and the accompanying bed and breakfast being refurbished.

An extra three storey building would also be added to the site, with office space on the ground floor.

Another artist’s impression of the reopened pub and accompanying aparthotel. Photo from J Butterworth Planning – Neel Dakshy

Planning documents from Neel Dakshy Architecture, on behalf of the applicant, described the development as an “aparthotel”, with rooms including kitchen facilities for long or short-term rental.

The aparthotel would include 19 units across the original pub building and new development, including 16 serviced studio rooms.

The Pickwick on Woolwich Road was rebuilt in 1862 and has been closed since 2017, according to council documents.

The building also includes 16 rooms that were used for a bed and breakfast alongside the pub, all of which will be repurposed into rooms for the aparthotel.

The plans have received 22 objections from locals following two rounds of consultation in May 2020 and March 2023.

Neighbours of the pub criticised the proposed design, stating it was an “overdevelopment” of the site, and was not in keeping with the existing pub or surrounding Victorian houses.

One objection was summarised in council documents as: “Poorly designed building described as a ‘monstrosity’, ‘hodgepodge’, ‘eyesore’, ‘towering’ and ‘mismatched’.”

Residents were also worried about noise from the beer garden planned for the front of the pub, which was previously approved by Greenwich Council.

One anonymous resident said in council documents that Woolwich Road was an unsuitable location for the beer garden as it was too narrow and “quiet” in the evenings.

However, residents were said to support the refurbishment and reopening of the pub, calling it a “landmark building” on the road.

Council officers also said in their report that the front garden had been approved to redevelop the beer garden originally at the back of the pub.

They said: “Once the proposed development is completed, it is considered that the proposed development would not result in undue noise, light or air pollution as a result of an increased number of customers in this mixed use area.”

Residents and officers also praised the retention of the pub’s historic facade, which is planned to be restored in the renovation.

The decision on The Pickwick pub will be discussed at a planning meeting for Greenwich Council on June 13.


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