Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Planning application for No2 & 3 Creekside

Following hot on the heels of our previous post, Artworks now have a Planning Application in to redevelop No.2 & 3 Creekside. See the Deptford Dame's take on the situation, and find the application here for case number DC/17/102047. Read the "Design & Access Statement" (dated 7 Aug).

OVERSIZED people create a false impression of the impact the containers will have
on the streetscape (p.54 Design & Access Statement)

The obligatory notice that should get posted to the nearest lamppost (or gate in this case) was put up by the applicant over a week late, and the boating community on Theatre Arm – as neighbouring residents (and therefore statutory consultees) – received no notice at all.

A complaint to Planning has resulted in the deadline for objections being extended to 21st September.  So there is still time write to Planning@lewisham.gov.uk quoting the Ref: DC/17/102047 (include your name and address).

Essentially, there is no reason to object to the land at No.2 being used to accommodate some light industry or creative uses, but this could be done in a much less dramatically dense manner than currently proposed (e.g. a maximum of two storeys with fewer containers) and be considerably more sensitive to the present residents on the wharf, leaving them the space under the DLR they currently enjoy.

Restoring the land to its previous use as a working yard would be an improvement, but as Mushroom noted in our previous post, the yard is an eyesore because the owner has deliberately let it get that way over several years. He also pointed out that the Conservation Area Appraisal strongly opposed the impact of shipping containers on the Creekside streetscape. At three storeys, the impact will be considerable. And instead of using bright colours for the containers, they have chosen a depressingly dark grey.

We also note that the applicant refers to its potential tenants as "commercial office space and retail" (p46), which is a slight twist on the idea of the "creative hub" they bang on about elsewhere.

There will be no walking in the road as it will be full of cement mixers heading to Sun Wharf.
The road will be shrouded in darkness (p.55 Design & Access Statement)

And not content with simply providing overpriced workspace for small business (which would fulfil the Cultural Strategy of the Council for this area), the owners are intent on maximising their profits (extracting wealth out of Deptford), by turning the yard into a night-time economy hotspot. Without any regard for their present neighbours, the boat dwellers.

The No.2 land is constantly referred to as the "Big Red site", which apparently provides "social facilities" for APT, Art Hub, Cockpit Arts and Laban (p.9), even though it's been closed for years after going 'bankrupt'. When it returns, it will be surrounded by a number of pop-up food outlets and an outdoor cinema (p.15), all of which will be open late – and all will be serviced "out of operation hours" (i.e. between 2am and 8am).

The boaters are mentioned only twice in the Design & Access Statement (p6 & 15 of a 61 page document), both times in the context of how the Conservation Area Appraisal referred to them as permanent residential moorings that have "helped to retain the function and flair of the historic wharfs...and make an important contribution." But as our previous post revealed, Artworks are intent on pricing them out, restricting the number of boats they can berth, and removing their access.

A Photoshopped view of oversized people standing next to a totally imaginary wharf
wall overlooking an existing barge (p58 Design & Access Statement) 

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