Greenwich Wharf

I don’t like to bang on about similar subjects on two consecutive days but hey – my blog, my rules.

Sadly it’s also hardly the first time we’ve talked about this either. We’ve been through all this before – and yet again the goalposts are being kicked at by developers who, I can’t help finding myself wondering, possibly never had any intention of sticking to their original, agreed plan.

Today we are talking about yet another bland whitewash of Greenwich history – Greenwich, formerly Lovells Wharf. I don’t know of anyone who’s been a fan of this from the start – anywhere that bulldozed rather than incorporated Greenwich’s history,created a dull nothing of a development, closed off the Thames Path for bloomin’ years then diverted it to its own marketing suite isn’t going to win many local fans but at least we had the lure of a few amenities. A lovely clinic. A creche. A – heavens, really going upmarket – boat club. That sort of thing. There was also talk of a hotel and some offices to bring a bit of mixed use into the area.

Yeah. In our dreams.

A ‘new’ application has been slid under the door of the council planning department and, cynical Phantom that I am, I can’t help wondering if this was Plan A all the time.

Suddenly we’re saying bye-bye to mixed-use, community and social amenities and ‘hello’ to 246 extra flats instead. Except, of course, they don’t call them flats – they’re ‘units’ – commodities to buy and sell.

Of course, in order to build that many more ‘units’, just getting rid of a kiddie’s play area and a doctor’s surgery’s not going to cut the developer’s mustard. The whole development needs to get higher. We’re now talking tall. Thirteen storeys, if I read it right.

I note that, at present, there will be no extra parking, which I can’t see being popular with potential buyers. I am assuming there will be another application sooner or later, requesting more parking – even more cars round the Pelton Road area.

As usual there is a very short window of comment-time for this application – so if you agree that this isn’t on – then you don’t have much time to comment on the proposal. Of course, if you disagree with me and think it’s a great idea then you need to make your thoughts known too.

In order to object (or, indeed, shout ‘Hurrah, I love tediously-named flimsy new-builds in the sight-lines of the Old Royal Naval College – bring it on…’) you’ll need to register with the council first – just the once, after that you will be on the system if you want to comment on anything else.

By they way – the pic is one I’ve used before and I like because it’s the only ‘nice’ image I have of the development – Jamie’s photo of the yarn-bombed window. A little breath of humanity.

the attachments to this post:

Thames Path Knitwear 5
Thames Path Knitwear 5

14 Comments to “Greenwich Wharf”

  1. Dan says:

    Even looking at the planning website doesn’t make it that clear how long we have to register comments. I think it’s the 8th May? (I stand to be corrected…)

  2. Mary says:

    You don’t have to do it through the planning website – just write an ordinary letter on an email. PLEASE copy to us three local councillors – we won’t see your contributions unless you send them to us yourselves. Would be grateful

  3. Mauritius Resident says:

    i just tried to register but couldn’t, an error message came up.

    Where do we send the email Mary?

  4. Mary says:

    - oh and ps – any suggestions on names for blocks – I’m happy to forward them onto the council person who deals with it. I know Greenwich Wharf is a boring name, but it was the original name used in 1840.

  5. So Greenwich Wharf is original? Not Dogs Breath or something (twinned with Catsbrains, natch)

    Well, surely Lovells should feature on the name of at least one of the blocks.

    Mauritius resident – is it a problem with my link or an issue at the council’s end, this error message?

  6. Scott says:

    Ever since the council closed off access to traffic lights on Trafalgar Rd by shutting Old Woolwich Rd I look forward to there being even more traffic trying to get out of the area at the Trafalgar / Lassell junction.

  7. Mary says:

    The case officer dealing with the site is Louise Thayre – email her. Sorry I haven’t got her phone number to hand but she can give advice or explainations.

    The following are some links to Greenwich Industrial History Web site with some historical material on the site – sorry most of it is by me.
    Shaw Lovell only used the site in the late 20th century – and the firm still exists in Bristol. I have also got an article about the cranes – which I could upload onto the GIHS site too if people wanted.
    The name of the field before there was any development was Dog Kennel Field – and – er – that does sort of go with Catsbrains.

  8. Dan says:

    I’ve had a look through some of the application documents in my lunch hour. The new proposals are being shown in the context of the Enderby Wharf development. I guess their argument will be along the lines of, “If they can build over 10 storeys, why shouldn’t we?”

    This totally ignores the additional impact on local infrastructure and additional ‘canyoning’ effect on Banning Street. Admittedly, the additional storeys are on the river side of the development, so should have limited impact, but the change of uses from ‘mixed use’ to nearly wholly residential will have a significant effect on the area and on local resources.

  9. Yokel says:

    Coming from someone who lives the New Capital Quay/Creekside/Millennium Quay side of the borough, be careful about wishing for a ‘mixed usage site’. You will find you end up with lots of unrented retail units! I’d much rather see more residential use than units that empty which sit there for years benefiting nobody!

  10. Franklin says:

    Thanks Phant, great post!

    @Dan – The deadline for comments is currently 7th May. However, I have written to the planning officer requesting that this be postponed in light of the fact that the Council’s (appallingly bad) new planning website is not registering comments – and Mary Mills tells me that the hard copies are still not available in East Greenwich library. Will let you know if/when the deadline is extended.

    NB: there was a typo in Mary’s comment. The case officer’s email address is You can email your comments directly to her, but make sure to include your home address – and to check afterwards that your objection has been registered.

    @Yokel – The mixed use design of the consented development isn’t only about retail: it’s also about a range of social and amenity provision (clinic, crèche, boat club) that is essential to prevent this development from becoming a massive gated dormitory. The original planning application was approved on the grounds that it was going to be mixed use and accessible to the wider community – not an exclusive, overwhelmingly residential development.

    Finally, a plug: the Greenwich Society is very concerned about this development and highlighted the issue in our January Newsletter, which you can see here:

    Needless to say we are dismayed to see that our response to the developers during the ‘public consultation’ has been ignored, and we plan to object forcefully to the new proposals.

    If YOU are concerned about this and other similar large developments in Greenwich, then please – join the Society and help make our voice even stronger!

    You can find out more about the Society here:

    To join, click on the ‘Join the Society’ tab at the top.

  11. Yokel – It would be best if retail units were included to give some life and amenities to these developments, but were priced at a rate that is affordable to people hoping to start a business. The rents are too high thus they lie empty. Lower the rents and people will be able to open up, and hopefully some interesting things would appear.

  12. Franklin says:

    Also, when New Capital Quay’s 2,000+ residents move in, the Thames Path around New Capital Quay is reopened and the footbridge across the Creek built, there is going to be a lot more demand for those retail units at Wood Wharf and Millennium Quay…

  13. Franklin says:

    I’ve had a reply from the planning officer, who has kindly agreed to restart the 21-day public consultation period once the website glitch (which doesn’t allow users to register and thus post comments) has been fixed.

    I’ve also trawled through all 36 Design & Access Statement files. The last three in the list actually contain the entire Design & Access Statement – no need to look at the first 33.