The Phantom Misses The Enderby Wharf Proposals
Okay, so I’m back. It’ll take me a couple of days to work through the emails and messages that have arrived over the past three weeks – sorry if I missed your event.
Much has gone on over the past weeks but one thing I’m particularly sick about missing was the council’s hastily put together proposals for a Cruise Terminal at Enderby Wharf. There’s precious little about it at the council website and, frankly, I’ll be amazed if many people at all got to the consultation, which was worthy of a Douglas Adams novel – if not actually in a locked filing cabinet, the next best thing – last Thursday and Friday only, at Christ Church’s forum.
Now, I know there’s not much time before 2012, which is when the world as we know it ends as far as the council (and for that matter the government) is concerned. I am also aware that this cruise terminal notion has been knocking around for yonks. But did the council really have these drawings in their back pockets just waiting for Chris Roberts to announce them?
The weird thing is that in principle, I don’t have much of an issue with the concept. The land’s not doing much as it stands, and at least not ALL of it’s yet more sodding luxury flats (of course the obligatory hotel and ’residential’ is shoehorned in, but hopefully they’ll be reminded by someone at City Hall that this side of the river was designated as industrial). Who the hell is going to USE all these hotels after 2012 – I mean cruise passengers live on their liners…)
But, staying on the positive, it’s actually something that is nominally to do with the river and, if the council is to believed, will create a ‘public realm’ (whatever that means, but it sounds grand) across 50% of the wharf – that’s more than we currently have even when the path is open (cough.)
Not having been at the consultation I couldn’t tell you what ‘skills academies’ are or whose kids will go in the creche, and neither do I know what will go in the ‘studio workspace’, but judging by Dazza’s experience, who did make the event, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you if I been able to go. He tells me that no one was interested in talking detail, merely big-picture, blue-sky generalities.
And that’s where I worry. The detail. The photos in this post are all by Dazza, from the ‘consultation’, and although he hasn’t actually said he left out pictures of what it will actually look like, I can’t believe that he wouldn’t have taken one if there had been anything for the public to see. There are currently 18 months to go until the magic 2012. What kind of jerry-built Nissen huts is the council proposing that could be built in that time?
I know that the architectural quality of stuff on the peninsula is variable at best, but I truly hope that whatever replaces the pictures in this historical photo will be of better quality and appearance than what is there now (I’d value expert opinions as to the historical and social importance of the buildings that are there at the moment. I know Enderby House is listed – but is there anything else we should be worrying about? We lost a couple of nice things at Lassell’s Wharf; I wouldn’t want that to happen again.)
Dazza told me that the PR guys told him there would be no problem at all with the impact of extra traffic, because everyone would use the bus or the new Clipper stop.
Now while I welcome a new Clipper stop (in truth that would be the only way to persuade wealthy cruise-liner tourists to go to central Greenwich at all – otherwise they’d just hop on the Jubilee Line to Bond Street) and I guess a nice new bus route (not actually proposed as far as I can see) might be good, but it’s pretty naive to think that there will be virutally no impact on traffic to the Blackwall Tunnel.
I don’t know what to make of this. It doesn’t help that I couldn’t get to the display, but from what Dazza tells me, I wouldn’t have been able to make anything of it if I had. The unseeming haste of it all bothers me. Does anyone have ANY more idea of what might be going on?
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