Friday, September 20, 2013

Deptford's FUTURE gets a preview at London Open House weekend at TWO venues

At the Waiting Room coffee house this afternoon some contractors acting as representatives of Convoys Wharf S.A.R.L. (a company registered offshore to avoid tax and legislation) AKA Hutchison Whampoa, popped by to put up a poster about their London Open House day.

After they'd gone, the cafe's lovely proprietors added their own hand-written flash "Check out the development that will affect your area".

It's very kind of Hard Hat to tell us about this, after all, they didn't have to. Surely they don't really want us locals to come to their open day anyway cos otherwise they'd have done a bit more than put up  a poster up in a coffee house.Why not leaflet our doors, surely they could afford that, what with their owner, Li Ka Shing, being the 8th richest billionaire in the world.

Take heed. This may be the last chance you, Deptford citizens, will get to physically view the models that accompany the proposals for Convoys Wharf which currently reside with Lewisham Planning and are due to be decided by the end of this year. (There is still time, then, to add your comments, despite the premature deadline given earlier this year). Please do! Tell them how deceptive their models are! Tell them what you feel!

There will be an Open Day at Convoys Wharf this Saturday 21st September, 11am-5pm. You can go onto the actual site (something you're never allowed to do at any other time) and view the plans concocted by the architects Farrells (the same Terry Farrell who created the MI6 building at Vauxhall, aha). The plans have not changed much since the last exhibition which we reported on in March (see bottom of this post for more Convoys related posts), and you can still view the plans in the Deptford Lounge or online.

But this is an opportunity to get on the site and IMAGINE the 12-18 storey buildings, topped by the 48-storey tower that is accompanied by two 38-storey towers. For reference, the nearest tall building is the new one at Paynes & Borthwick Wharf right next door. That's 18 storeys. If that's not tall enough for you, there's Aragon Tower further down at Pepys Estate, that's 28 storeys (whilst Eddystone & Daubeney are 24). So! twice the height! IMAGINE!

Imagine being surrounded by buildings like we are on Crossfields but with every building being two to three times as tall and then also, nine to ten times as tall. And only 14% of them being "affordable".

Find it on the Open House website here. It seems to have disappeared from the 'Lewisham' listings (which includes Lewisham Arthouse, Glass Mill Leisure Centre and 8 more), so don't search for it by borough! Find it in our own special section: Deptford.


Master Shipwright's House

Find it here (listed under Greenwich and Deptford). Sat & Sun, 10am – 4pm
NB: Access may be restricted at Watergate Street by gas works being done for Paynes & Borthwick Wharf. Access also possible via Deptford Green. All complaints:
United Construction.

Next door to the Convoys Wharf site is the 16th century building (later modified in 1708) that was once part of the King's Yard and overlooked the Double Dry Dock. Both were built in 1513 on the orders of King Henry VIII to create the Royal Naval Dockyard which went on to build ships for war and empire (and empire-related piracy), as well as science and exploration, that made Deptford an amazing hub of industry and technology, of making and manufacturing, for four hundred years.

The Master Shipwright oversaw the ships being built in the Double Dry Dock. If you want to know why the building was separated from the yard, come and visit. There'll be plans and photos on show, plus some extras – because this year is the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's founding of the Royal Dockyard. 

On Saturday at the Master Shipwright's House, there will be cannon fire on the hour and costumes in the morning, historians and artists who love Deptford, the actors from Horrible Histories will be on call – and to complement the masterplan delivered by Convoys Wharf next door on the site of the King's Yard, there'll be presentations by the locally grown projects that have found a way to bring Deptford's heritage into the 21st century, namely Build The Lenox and Sayes Court Garden, both of which look to the future whilst taking inspiration from the past, and which, they believe, have a road map that the developers and council should start taking seriously as an alternative to the profit motivated luxury flats plan.

The problem is that Hutchisons (for short) want to sell off individual parcels of land and these home grown projects (Lenox and Sayes Court) really don't fit with that, especially since they need to be situated on the tiny and only bits of open public space left that won't be built on. Both projects have the blessing of English Heritage and the National Trust, but are Hutchison's listening?

If you believe in history that lives in the present, rather than in road names and the names of luxury towers, come and visit the Master Shipwright's House. If you visit the Convoys Wharf exhibition first, why not go on to the Master Shipwright's House and tell them what you thought. And vice versa.

See the Deptford Dame for a review of the last time this building was part of Open House (2010).

Here is a great resource for the government's Made In England campaign durind the Olympics, and number one is Heritage. King Henry VIII. How on earth can Deptford Dockyard be left out of this?

Also see:

June 20:
June 23:

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