Heartless East Greenwich
On the page here Greenwich Council states that construction of the “Greenwich Centre” is due to start in December 2010.
I’d heard of the plans to build the Centre but I don’t recall seeing that date before.
Do you know whether this is part of the Heart of East Greenwich development? If so, has that date been announced officially? Are there now committed plans to do something with that site?
Andrew’s been worrying about this since May:
Whilst walking past the “New Heart for East Greenwich” today – something struck me as I walked past the blue boarded up former hospital site – if the E.Greenwich site were really in need of a new heart – it would be dead by now!
Perhaps the site is on an NHS waiting list ? I think it needs the kiss of life!
I truly have no idea what’s going on there. The Greenwich Centre is the one-stop shop for council services intended to go in the large empty space where the hospital was cleared, but any ideas about actual delivery are at best twinkles in eyes as far as I know.
In her latest newsletter Mary Mills says that at the June meeting of the East Greenwich Management Committee (not sure who this comprises of) it was decided there was “ clarification needed” for the New Heart of East Greenwich (God, I hate typing that name, it just sucks) but it “is understood a newsletter will soon be available for a developer.”
In June, apparently, this mythical ‘newsletter’ was ‘in the process of being produced. No sign of it yet, which doesn’t bode well for a December starting date.
One of the major problems appears to be that it’s not actually down to Greenwich Council what goes on on the site. It’s managed by (or at least it was last time I looked, but these government quangos seem to change with the wind) the Homes and Communities Agency (HACA) who recently lost their commercial partner, First Base. They now appear to have gone to the HACADPP (Homes and Communities Agency Development Partner Panel for those of you who don’t live in a Douglas Adams-esque world of bureaucracy) to try to find new development partners, which are pretty thin on the ground just now.
For the past – what – five, six years, there’s been a big hole in East Greenwich where the only thing that’s happened is that from time to time a new set of expensively-produced signs have gone up as the quango in charge has changed. My favourite was the jolly yellow set where small children talked about their dreams for the space – “fountains everywhere” said one young chap, who is probably in his twenties now (though unless they were going to reproduce the Tivoli Gardens – now there’s a thought – fountains ‘everywhere’ might be a tad impractical…)
Frankly I think it’s pretty unlikely that anything’s going to happen soon. In the meanwhile, East Greenwich library reels from the loss of the Meridian Music Centre, the Arches get just that little bit tattier and Woolwich Road continues to languish. I understand that the HACA are refusing access to anyone who might want to use the land for temporary purposes – as a sculpture park, for example, or temporary allotments. I’m assuming because they worry they’d have problems evicting people if they did.