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Demolition order given for mutant apartment block

Last month, Greenwich Council took action against the Comer Homes Group by issuing an enforcement notice requiring the demolition of the Mast Quay Phase II development in Woolwich. The order was granted due to an alarming number of significant deviations between the plans approved by the Council back in 2012 to the actual scheme that reached practical completion last year.

The breaches have been deemed serious enough for the Council to demand that the developer prepares for the demolition of both blocks, which consist of a total of 204 apartments. The effect of the enforcement action also has knock on effects beyond the developer who is responsible for the planning breaches with many occupiers being forced to relocate.

Image used from BBC.

Among the numerous deviations highlighted by the council, the failure to provide roof gardens for residents and the public, as well as children's play areas, stand out. These amenities, initially intended to enhance the quality of life for residents, have simply not been created. Furthermore, the presence of apartments labelled as "accessible" has proven to be inaccurate, as steps leading to the balconies render these spaces inaccessible to wheelchair users. 


The developer, Comer Homes, responsible for the delivery of the scheme has accused Greenwich Council of disseminating false information to the public in order to support their case for demolishing the newly-completed project. An appeal will be forthcoming and is certainly one to watch out for in the coming months.

 The enforcement action taken by the Council serves as a stark reminder of the importance of adhering to approved plans and planning conditions and shows just how far Councils are willing to go to ensure that developers don’t simply run roughshod, regardless of the current harsh development environment including spiralling material costs and high interest rates.

Clearly, as evidenced from this case, not all breaches of planning permission are suitable for indemnity insurance however where breaches are less severe in nature and more historic, insurance can often step in to protect innocent third parties.

If you have a scenario where you believe we may be able to assist, please do contact our specialist underwriting team for a more detailed conversation to explore insurance options at: 

Image used from BBC, article can be found here. 

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