Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sun Wharf on Creekside – happening sooner than expected!

Click to enlarge

We touched on Sun Wharf as part of our coverage of the Kent Wharf redevelopment application. Public consultation for Kent Wharf in July 2014 was followed by submission of an application in December 2014 which was passed in March 2015 and work is now well under way. Included in the Bellway Homes' application was an "indicative masterplan" for the entire stretch of land bordering Deptford Creek and Creekside, going all the way down to the railway. It would add a further 242 homes. See Crossfields Estate shaded in red (our addition):

Indicative masterplan, Dec 2014
The Kent Wharf plans mainly showed the present development in context with Laban, as well as an untouched Jones Catering Supplies and Cockpit Arts.

Kent Wharf plans, Dec 2014

With Jones in possession of a lease till 2022, it seemed we might be spared the continuous onslaught of construction work on Creekside. There might be a bit of a breather before Sun Wharf began.

But it would appear from the above public consultation that all obstacles have been removed and Bellway Homes can plough ahead with their masterplan. Jones may have been offered an alternative site to continue their lease (or their lease has been bought out), and Cockpit Arts have been seduced into getting a new 'purpose-built facility'. The speed with which the Kent Wharf plans turned into reality suggests public consultation at this time means the rest of the masterplan could begin at Sun Wharf as early as 2018, around the time Faircharm and Kent Wharf are reaching completion.

As we predicted then, a tower of 14 storeys could easily rise to 18. Here's 2014's building heights:

Indicative masterplan, Dec 2014 (click to enlarge)
Indicative masterplan, Dec 2014

And here's the (only) picture on the front of the consultation leaflet (black biro is ours). My! How that tower has grown! And gone is the old Cockpit building with the Love Over Gold mural – now they're tucked into the development and overshadowed by a 9 (?) storey building! Looks like there will be a lot more than 242 homes now in the highly dense development...

Sun Wharf, Feb 2016 (click to enlarge)

Whilst these rapid changes on Creekside could be viewed with excitement by some, it's rather depressing for local residents – not everyone is out at work every day, and going by the noise and pollution already being created by demolition works at Faircharm (which we'll cover in another post) the prospect of another five years of being stuck in the middle of a building site is not a happy one. On one side is Thames Tunnel at their Deptford Church Street site, and on the other, five new developments on the Creek, plus more Thames Tunnel work across the Creek. There's also another potential Creekside development when No.3 Creekside is sold (quite possibly to Bluecroft who have already bought the MOT Centre).

The Faircharm development has recently generated convoys of HGVs queuing all the way up Creekside to take away demolition materials, but that is nothing compared to the 180 lorry trips per day planned for when construction begins. Whilst Workspace plc have cheated their way out of using the Creek to transport spoil and materials at Faircharm (not 'financially viable'), Bellway Homes at Sun Wharf should have less of an excuse – but they have not used the Creek at Kent Wharf, and there is also the little matter of Thames Tideway Tunnel's plans to use the Creek themselves. Oh, and did we mention the noise? And the floor shaking and the cracks appearing...

What can we get from all this redevelopment? New 'townscapes', a buzzing new street full of cafes and mini supermarkets perhaps? Even nearer gyms, a few galleries? More parking congestion? A one-way street? At least there might be a few more much needed homes for families at Sun Wharf, which is more than you can say for the Faircharm development. Will the Love Over Gold mural be preserved? Those who value it may have to put up a fight as it's unlikely that Cockpit Arts will argue for its retention. What will happen to Cockpit's craftspeople – will they be the first to be offered new creative spaces in Faircharm and Kent Wharf while their building is demolished? (We'll have to ask our designer friends*)...

View our Pollution Survey (May 2014) results here to get an idea of what's in store while this fantastic brand new environment is being created on our doorstep. Meanwhile find out more on Wednesday 24th Feb (3.30-7.30 at Creekside Centre) and on Saturday 27th Feb (11–3 at Laban).

* We asked a friend at Cockpit and she had no idea of the plans.


  1. Whilst I don't agree with you (in that I think this is a good thing for our wider area), I would like to thank you for highlighting the continual changes that will face us in the coming years! A great blog!

  2. They seem to have put everything up on stilts too. Are they worried about flooding do you think?

    1. At Kent Wharf, the 'creative' spaces are on the ground floor and Bellway Homes fully admitted this was because they couldn't put residential there due to potential flooding...(!)