Friday, August 26, 2011

Convoys Wharf planning application deadline 27 September

Lewisham Planning have put out the following notice (though it hasn't come through our doors yet):

A revised application to develop Convoys Wharf which may affect you or your property has been received by the Council as local planning authority. As you are a near neighbour, you are invited to comment on this application in writing by 27 September 2011 so that your views can be taken into account when the application is being considered. Your letter, fax or e-mail will be acknowledged, but it will not be possible for the Council to respond to your comments or any queries.

The Application has been submitted on behalf of Convoys Investment s.a.r.l. and News International Limited. A map showing the boundary of the application site is included.

You can see the planning documents on the Convoys Wharf website (Lewisham Planning's website will send you here). Or download the summary here.

Objections can be made using an online form here.

The Deptford Dame has been following the development here.

We have been putting in our pennyworth here and here and here.

Shipwright's Palace has been campaigning to have the enormous historical significance of the site fully recognised and has written a marvellous story on how things could be here in Deptford in 2020, if plans for this site were to actually acknowledge the site's heritage.

Shipwright's Palace also lists "10 Good Reasons Why" the site's heritage should be fully acknowledged:

1. Deptford is the only royal dockyard with its Tudor plan extant. The undercroft of the storehouse, the dry dock, slipways and great basin are all structures that have their origin in the Tudor period c.1517. Nowhere else in England testifies to the Tudor and Stuart arrangement of a royal naval dockyard. Regardless of the condition of the dockyard’s intrinsic structures, which are incidentally described in archaeological reports as extremely good, the plan of these structures has remained unchanged for five hundred years.

2. Nowhere else on the Thames in London is as rich with five centuries of historic association with events of national and international significance and has so little at present to visibly demonstrate this.

3. Simply because the docks, slips and basins were filled in intact a hundred years ago it does not mean they should remain filled in. In particular their below ground position does not make them archaeology, they were built ‘below ground’. Building survey is required in order to fairly and fully assess their future potential. At Rochefort in France, docks filled in a hundred years ago have been successfully excavated and repaired.

4. Deptford was instrumental in securing and maintaining Britain’s worldwide influence, leading the world in industrial design, naval architecture and military technology. The position of Master Shipwright at Deptford was the highest ranking of all the royal naval yards.

5. Maritime technology including the construction of docks and basins was exported from Deptford to its immediate neighbours on the Thames, to the outlying royal yards such as Chatham and across the world. Expertise from Deptford was employed to create the basin at Chatham, the port of Dover and even as far as Australia, where Capt. Sir William Denison, who had built the basin slipways at Deptford, went on to built Fort Denison in Sydney.

6. The success of the dockyard at Deptford gave rise to the wider establishment of Deptford town, and it has been claimed, to the maritime status of Greenwich.

7. The dockyard at Deptford is a significant site not only for the United Kingdom but especially for countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Voyages of discovery by Raleigh, Drake, Frobisher, Vancouver and Cook as well as success in numerous naval battles including the Armada and Trafalgar were made possible by the technology and expertise of the infrastructure and dockyard labour at Deptford. As well as the ‘discovery’ of the antipodean nations, the first transports enforced and voluntary departed from Deptford. Deptford’s expertise contributed to the raising of the Russian navy for Peter the Great in the eighteenth century and for Catherine and Potemkin in the nineteenth century.

8. Deptford is yet to receive the benefit of statutory heritage policy formed in relation to naval dockyards, indeed it may be described as socially excluded from specifically targeted maritime and naval policy created by English Heritage in 1998, 2005, 2007 and 2011. Studies show that areas of social deprivation benefit from investment in their heritage environments. Heritage environments contribute significantly to the wider development of local economies.

9. A debt is owed to Deptford by the present inheritors of the statutory heritage agencies for multiple failures by the heritage agencies in the past, including the loss of the Great Tudor Storehouse of 1513 in 1954 and the demolition of the last of the c.1712 storehouse in 1984.

10. Deptford deserves the right to fair and equal access to statutory heritage protection applied to royal naval yards elsewhere in order to secure the economic benefits, the social benefits and the enjoyment of the cultural capital of its heritage environment. Research indicating the presence of phenomena such as the persistence of urban deprivation in particular areas of cities, suggests that poverty and social exclusion may be related to properties of the spatial structure of the physical form of the city.


  1. Beware that downloading the dozens of documents that form the application could seriously eat into your data allowance; i have downloaded about 20 and so far they add up to 330MB

  2. I've downloaded the summary, 252 pages and 64mb.
    I read till page 100 then lost the will to live drowning under a sea of repeated buzzwords: access, open spaces, diversity, heritage,sensitive, cultural, etc etc. My own opinion is that at the moment this is a unique area, quiet and like the London I grew up in. Obviously this will change so if you've never had a poke around Watergate St or St Nicks, now is the time.

  3. Developers will be striving to acknowledge any historical associations with the site *as little as they possibly can*, and any recognition of the impact on the lives of present residents will receive the same treatment - any '106' agreement will be token and only because the developer is obliged to.

    Any opposition will have to be fought very strictly in terms of the Planning Laws, neither developers, or the Council, will pay any attention to sensible (or silly) arguments unless they contravene planning (or any other) laws.

    If this application goes through, and it will do eventually, unless the credit crunch continues or if the project becomes financially unviable. you can look forward to the kind of high rise buildings that are now common over much of SE London (and further).

    Walk over to Loampit Vale - if you like it, fine, and if you like the thought of property being bought up by investors from the far east, fine, but if you want something for the residents of the borough then thats not what you're going to get (Don't forget that the Section 106 swimming pool is a replacement for the pool in Ladywell and will have to cater for 1000s for people so isn't an addition, it's a replacement).