Monday, February 23, 2015

Fifty shades of grey: new developments will cause massive increase in road pollution

(Click to enlarge)

We have drawn a map of the up-and-coming new developments about to happen on Creekside, Deptford Church Street and locally which shows the routes their construction traffic will take in the not-too-distant future.

The map has been updated since last week when it was included in an objection made by Crossfields TRA to Lewisham Planners on the Kent Wharf application (see previous post). Kent Wharf goes before the Strategic Planning Committee on March 5th (end of next week), so please get your comments into Planning by then. You may wish to makes specific comments on the heights, the overshadowing, the canyonisation of Creekside and the paltry lack of affordable homes, as well as noting the lack of an overview of all the developments on the Creek that will impact on local infrastructure.

You can read the Crossfields TRA objection here. An oversight means it omits another large development which is now included in the map above: Lend Lease's 'The Wharves' on Evelyn Street, currently in 'consultation'. Go to to find out more (also see The Deptford Dame). Drop-in exhibitions are being held on Sat 7th, 10th & 12th March – details here

All these developments intend to use Deptford Church Street to gain access to the M25 via the A2. No less than four will use our narrow and quiet back street, Creekside. These include Faircharm 'Creative Quarter', Kent Wharf, Greenwich Creekside East and Creekside Village East. See previous posts here (Faircharm) and here (both Creekside Easts).

The TRA objection was also sent to the Councillors on the Strategic Planning Committee and Sustainable Development Select Committee, who have consequently expressed an interest in hearing more from local residents on the issue of construction traffic pollution and its effects on the health and well being of those living, working and visiting in the neighbourhood. So please let the Councillors know what you think!

Lewisham Planning officers' agree there is going to be a huge problem, which is why they have been asking developers to use Deptford Creek wherever possible and requesting that they design their construction management plans with regard to the timing and approach of other developments. However, both the current live applications (Kent Wharf to LB Lewisham and Essential Living to LB Greenwich) do no such thing. We have yet to hear any fully justified reasons why Deptford Creek (or in the case of Convoys Wharf, the river) cannot be used. Objections from locals can help to strengthen the planning officers' requests, so please find the time to object before it's too late.

To recap: the Kent Wharf development will be 143 units with a 16 storey tower; Essential Living's Greenwich Creekside East is for 249 (two towers at 21 & 10 storeys); there will also be Creekside Village East by Kitewood (244 flats, two towers at 25 & 10 storeys); and already passed is Faircharm Creative Quarter (148 flats, a 12-storey tower + commercial space). In all the total affordable housing included across these four is a mere 20%.

The Faircharm development intends to utilise 180 HGV trips a day in and out of their site on Creekside. A similar useage (or higher) can be expected from the other sites. Deptford Church Street will be used by Thames Tunnel (who plan to partially close it), Convoys Wharf, Tidemill, and later on, three four other new developments.

Lewisham Cyclists have now been alerted and were surprised to learn just how many proposed developments will be using roads that the new 'Cycle Quietway' will have to traverse. The new cycle routes which TfL hopes to have up and running by late spring 2016 are aimed at encouraging less confident cyclists to get on their bikes more frequently...

Pollution is already at dangerous levels in the area, and can only get worse. The map below shows the results of our Citizen Science Air Pollution Study in February 2014 when we measured the Nitrogen Dioxide levels in the area and found them to be way above the European legal limit of 40μg/m3. Inevitably, the Kent Wharf application underestimates present levels and considers itself in isolation to any other development in its contribution to raising those levels – they'll be using "less than 200 HGVs" so no need to worry! But with four developments happening at the same time on Creekside the number may well reach around 600.

And that is just Creekside. The implications for the south of Deptford Church Street, Deptford Broadway and Blackheath Hill – where all this construction traffic will converge and where we recorded levels twice the European legal limit or higher – are too hideous to contemplate.

(click to enlarge)


  1. There will be a lot of traffic, they should use the Creek. However, I live basically opposite Kent wharf and it's a derelict site which detracts from creekside is fly tipped and desperately needs to be developed. Change can't happen without impact. Construction will be temporary, long term impacts need to be considered like how affordable is the commercial space? Will it actually be filled or left vacant like creekside village?

  2. Agree. Short term pain but worth it in the long run.

  3. It is hardly short term and could go on several years.

  4. In terms of our deptford history it is very short term.

    1. In terms of my life history, 'several years' might be all of it. I have breathing difficulties already.

  5. Pollution can affect our health in many different ways. Long-term exposure to air pollution can contribute to the development of chronic diseases and increase the risk of respiratory illness. Fumes from diesel engines can cause lung cancer. Exposure to traffic-related air pollution causes exacerbation of asthma.

    There is also a growing body of evidence showing that babies’ exposure to air pollution before they are born is associated with low birth weight, poor growth (intrauterine growth retardation), and an increased risk of chronic diseases in later life.

    Studies have examined the impact of particulate matter pollution on mortality and have found that particulate matter (PM) pollution could be associated with the deaths of 4,300 Londoners each year.

    Living close to busy roads has been shown to have negative impacts on the health of both children and adults. Research by Dr Ian Mudway and colleagues at King’s College London showed children living close to main roads have lower lung capacity at age four.

    A recent study presented to the European Respiratory Society showed that people with bronchiectasis (a condition in which the airways of the lungs become abnormally widened) living close to busy roads had a higher risk of death than those who did not live close to a busy road, and that this risk increases the closer people live to those busy roads.

  6. In terms of a child's life it could half of it.
    In terms of an OAP, it could be the rest of their lives.

  7. Any chance of anyone who isn't a wealthy banker or oil tycoon's relative being able to afford one of these new flats? Thought not. We breathe in their pollution and suffer the congestion, then some rich investors make lots of cash by renting to wealthy people or leaving the flats unoccupied until they find someone who is. Meanwhile the local community just becomes more expensive and most people, except lottery winners, have to move away to find somewhere to live.

  8. Deptford Creek can be used for barges which will remove the requirement for a huge number of HGV's the planners should contact the PLA for advice on this. When Greenwich reach was built a company called s walsh provided barges for removing the excavation soils by river.