Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Meet the developers...Thursday 30 January, 7.30pm at Pink Palace

Representatives of Bellway Homes have invited themselves to this Thursday's Crossfields Tenants & Residents Association's meeting at the Pink Palace (7.30pm start).* They would like to tell us about their plans to redevelop Kent Wharf.

Kent Wharf is the area of derelict land next to the Laban and opposite Finch House. It backs onto Deptford Creek and, like almost all the property on both sides of the Creek, has been on the cards for redevelopment for some time. Recently, Kent Wharf was sold to Bellway Homes as one of 4-5 'parcels' of land surrounding the Laban. The other parcels form part of the originally much larger Creekside Village site that have also been derelict for some time.

The land was marketed for the owners by DTZ ("a global leader in property services and corporate real estate solutions"), which put out a brochure in July 2013, from which the following two illustrations have been taken. (We have added Convoys Wharf to the first one, to add extra context – click both images to enlarge).

As usual, the marketing blurb emphasises the transport links to Canary Wharf and the "close proximity of increasingly popular and continually improving Deptford Town centre, dubbed the 'new Shoreditch' with more artists per square mile than anywhere else in the capital".  They suggest the new owner might build a "high quality residential-led mixed use development" of up to 100 apartments, which must include an element ("ideally a minimum of 20%") of employment floorspace with a focus on creative uses – to be situated on the ground floor since sensitive uses like residential cannot go there because of the flood risk!

This illustration shows the 'land parcels'. We have added the borough boundaries. The existing Creekside Village West lies within the Greenwich boundary, as does Plot A, part of 'Creekside Village East'. Earlier this month, the Deptford Dame posted about the recent sale of Plot A. Not a fan of the present blight on the landscape that is Creekside Village West, she reported "Essential Living ('specialist developer of homes for the private rented sector') has bought the eastern parcel of land and intends to submit a new planning application for construction of a 17-storey tower next to the Creek." She suspects that "Greenwich Council will simply wave it through as they have done in the past" and speculates that the new development will follow the previous designs for the site – it is likely to be more of the same:

Hopefully, the Kent Wharf development, which comes under Lewisham, will not follow suit – although plans were rather speculatively drawn up some time ago by the Creekside Village architects Squire & Partners for the whole of Creekside, including Crossfields, to look like Creekside Village! There's little chance of those plans being resurrected, but the Kent Wharf site might still include tall buildings – after all, Lewisham approved a 12-storey tower at Faircharm. And a quick look at Bellway Homes' rather bland developments in the capital do not inspire confidence.

But whatever your opinion of the design of the buildings going up around here, it is the construction of these two new developments that will impact detrimentally on Crossfields residents. With 180 lorries a day already expected on Creekside from the Faircharm redevelopment (for three years) and Thames Tunnel's proposals to partially close Deptford Church Street (for three years or more), the environment surrounding Crossfields will just get worse and worse before it gets better.

Update: See our newer post on Thames Tunnel and Deptford Church Street

*The TRA meeting will also discuss MITIE works and Thames Tunnel proposals for Deptford Church St.

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