Tree Felling in Greenwich Town Centre – and Greenwich Park…

Sorry folks – a depressing one today. I bring you, courtesy of Rod, a set of grim pictures of Bardsley Green, which is about to be green for not much longer…

After a long fight, the developers are moving in after all.

I’ve lost track of the scope of the demolition – whether we are to lose Up the Creek Comedy venue completely or just everything but the front – I suspect we won’t see that thinking chap sitting on the bog much longer if it’s to be luxury flats…

…or whether the delightfully eccentric Greenwich Bookplace and its equally delightfully eccentric owner will finally be homeless.


I seem to remember the Lord Hood is safe now…

But if anyone can fill me in on exactly what’s going on, I’d be grateful. I sometimes wonder whether one of the most powerful weapons in developers’ armory is to string everything out and make things so confusing locals just get confuddled and give up.

In the meanwhile I also hear that there’s a planning application going through at the moment that will allow St Mary’s Lodge Cafe just inside the gates of Greenwich Park to start selling alcohol.

I confess that I don’t personally have a big issue with enjoying a nice glass of wine on a summer’s day in the park and I disagree that it’s going to lead to any more drunken disruption in the park than might already happen given the number of straightforward pubs in the area – if you really want to get tanked before you go through the park gates you only need to cross the road (and I can’t see that the drink on sale in the cafe is going to be anything other than the usual overpriced fare on sale in Greenwich Park venues) – but what concerns residents is that the application also makes provision for after-hours drinking for private events which would involve security staff at the gates etc. They’re concerned that the noise will be intrusive.

I’ve heard rumour that the park keeper is planning to clear away trees and shrubs there – presumably to increase the drinking area so it looks as though Royal Parks is supportive of the plan. I am assuming that the trees and shrubs concered aren’t going to be fabulous specimens given the way they did actually protect important trees during the Olympics, but I’d be keen to be sure of that and if they include those amazing limes that smell so heavenly every May/June I’ll erect the barricades myself.

I shall be interested to see how Greenwich Council deal with this application. I know they’ve been turning down applications in the centre of town because of potential disruption and disorder – I wonder if they’ll be dazzled by the gilding on those park gates and give the Park itself special treatment…

There’s only a week to object (if you do) but although I have seen the application I can’t find it on Greenwich Council’s website and I don’t have time to attach it as a PDF. If you want to know more email me and I’ll pass you onto the residents who are organising objections.


the attachments to this post:

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Tree felling Bardsley lane Rod 1
Tree felling Bardsley lane Rod 1

Tree felling Bardsley lane Rod 2
Tree felling Bardsley lane Rod 2

Tree felling Bardsley lane Rod 3
Tree felling Bardsley lane Rod 3

Tree felling Bardsley lane Rod 4
Tree felling Bardsley lane Rod 4


25 Comments to “Tree Felling in Greenwich Town Centre – and Greenwich Park…”

  1. Paul says:

    Yup, extremely depresssing.

    There is some consolation in the fact that we get to keep the Book place; I think Up The Creek gets to stay altho I noticed something about rebuilding the facade.

    The scheme from February of last year (to which I and I assume many others) objected has apparently been revised. Details are here:

    http://publicaccess.royalgreenwich.gov.uk:81/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=_GRNW_DCAPR_73222

    I noticed another huge tree, at the junction of ROyal Hill and Greenwich High Road, outside the Old People’s home, has been chopped down. I don’t recall any notification or permission being granted – but let’s face it, it doesn’t make any difference, does it?

  2. Boogie Bear says:

    I walk in the park daily with my dog, I guess 2 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Summer depresses me, Sunday was one day in question, as soon as the sun comes out so do the hoards of people, who to be frank, don’t give a sh*t about the park. I suspected by Sunday night/Monday morning the park would resemble a dump – I was right. Rubbish left where people sat, burnt grass from BBQs, broken glass. Were it not for the admirable efforts of the small but determined clean-up team in the park we would be lost in the summer under a sea of sh*t.

    It makes walking a dog almost impossible, mine has been hospitalised twice after eating rubbish left behind by humans or dog sh*t not cleared up by other owners who don’t deserve the right to walk in the park and give the 95% of responsible dog owners a bad name.

    As I dog owner I often get sneered at by people in the park when I’m out walking him, their implication is that he is dirty and uncontrollable – they are mistaking him for a human!

    I guess nothing will change whilst the park Police think that a drive around the park in a squad car a few times a day is going to help. They might try walking the park instead and then they will see far more abuses of cycling on paths, dog owners not clearing up, speeding cars, littering etc.

    Am I here only to throw stones? NO – I would happily be part of a volunteer park team charged with taking care of the park with some authority from Greenwich Park – it would give me no greater pleasure to look after this beautiful space, even if it meant sticking litter, cycles or dog mess where the sun doesn’t shine to those who abuse this precious space.

    RANT OVER!

  3. Wyn says:

    Thanks Phantom for mentioning the licensing application for the White House Cafe. I’m one of the residents living next door to the cafe and respectfully disagree with you that the application is harmless. If only everyone could be satisfied with a nice glass of wine in the sunshine! As we’ve seen – on a sunny day, the Greenwich Tavern across the road and the Rose and Crown round the corner get hordes of drinkers who spill out onto the pavement, litter the street with discarded bottles and glasses and generally cause a major nuisance – shouting, swearing and good old fisticuffs on occasion. By allowing the cafe to sell alcohol (and play music seven days a week) I think it will destroy the tranquility of this corner of the park. In addition, this corner of the park is on the border of the West Greenwich Licensing Saturation Zone – ie too many pubs in this area already. If anyone reading this is concerned, please, please, please do write in to object to: licensing@royalgreenwich.gov.uk. The reference is WK/201326013 and the closing date is next Wed 26th. Thanks, Wyn

  4. JR says:

    I completely agree with Boogie Bear. This Monday morning the park was an utter mess with rubbish/bottles/plastic bags/food containers strewn all over the park. It’s not as if G Park doesn’t have enough bins – there are plenty (and many were frustratingly close to where the oiks had left their mess). The guys in the litter team do a brilliant job of clearing it all away before the hoards descend again, but I fear the licensing application will only compound the problem. If anything, there will be more “plastic glasses” strewn all over the place.
    I hate seeing “our” park covered in litter.

  5. Joe says:

    Depressing but predictable news for Greenwich. What is it with this council and their intimate relationship with developers? More green space lost in the town centre. It seems as though every square centimetere has to be crammed full of luxury flats at all costs. Yet there are no corresponding increases in buses or trains (in fact it’ll the opposite once the London Bridge rebuild gets started).
    Who needs trees anyway? They only create oxygen, filter air pollution, make the place look nice, shelter widlife, add shade in summer, make people feel happier… but I suppose no one is getting rich and they are free for everybody, so we can’t have that.

    Boogie Bear is spot on with the comment about the Park. Whatever their good intentions, a couple of Parks police slowly driving around is not going to address the minority who think they can trash the place, cycle off the paths or let dogs mess everywhere. The Park just puts up a couple of signs and then looks the other way – we need people (wardens, volunteers, police or whoever) on foot to patrol in a friendly but effective way to ensure the 5% of idiots don’t ruin the Park for everyone else.

  6. BobbyT says:

    Maybe I’m being na├»ve, but surely we should be celebrating this development. Or not complaining anyway. Okay so it doesn’t have much in the way of architectural merit, but it is at least reasonably proportionate in size. Particularly in comparison to the monstrosities across the road. And let’s face it, Creek Road doesn’t exactly look all that pretty at the moment. The Book Place is saved, The Lord Hood is saved, Up the Creek is saved. Indeed if you look at the plans, the latter two might well be improved. It’s always a shame to see trees chopped down, but it wasn’t really much of a park, was it – just a bit of grass between two roads. And the little open space being constructed opposite Waitrose looks like it might be an attractive alternative. (If they ever finish it.) There are so many huge, ugly, inappropriate developments being flung up all over the borough at the moment. Maybe we should train our fire on them.

  7. Jacky says:

    Just a bit of grass, and a few random trees can be very precious ….

  8. Jack Cross says:

    BobbyT -
    The fact that the Lord Hood, Comedy Club and Book place are being spared is good (although I always have mixed feelings about the Book Place – part of me thinks that its owner should have held out for the most cash he could extract from the developer and bought himself a comfortable modern home)but I don’t see anything to celebrate here at all.

    Greenwich is being aggressively over-developed in an insensitive way, and the infrastructure is just not there to cope.
    Saying that this particular development isn’t the worst is like having to decide whether you’d prefer to be shot or stabbed.

    When I first moved to Greenwich, years ago, I couldn’t imagine a better place to live, but now, when I walk round the town, I just feel sad as more and more vultures descend.

  9. Badgeman says:

    It’s 83 new homes; there’s 250,000 net new migrants to the UK annually. They have to live somewhere. Don’t be so selfish!

  10. Joe says:

    I think the thing is, it’s every available corner that’s being developed leaving no breathing spaces. It’s not about just this one development (no one would mind much if it were just one or two), but the fact that so much green space and trees are being lost over the whole borough and so we have to fight for even the scrappy, less well known corners. It’s rapidly changing the whole character of Greenwich. Perhaps almost the only tall trees left will be in the Park. That’s not a healthy, pleasant place for anyone to live, whether newly arrived or born and bred locals.

    Only the developers win – remember most of Greenwich’s new flats are luxury/non-affordable and often marketed in eg the Far East, so it’s not exactly helping address housing shortages but actually pricing out most people around here. Then off the developers scarper with their cash to the next place they choose as their victim, leaving a grey, concrete, over-priced site and a struggling infrastructure.

  11. Badgeman says:

    This development won’t be targeted at the top end of the market; it’s created for the Family Mosaic housing association who provide homes to rent and part-buy.

  12. Union Jon says:

    As a suggestion if the application for the alcohol licence goes through. Why don’t they enforce that all glasswhere be it glass or plastic is branded with St Mary’s on it. That way they should be responsible for any litter found in the park which is theirs. They can get a fine for each piece of litter on a totting up basis which should go back into the park for other uses. This way, either they are forced to make sure they do clear up the mess or the park benefits in the long run the income. Hopefully the former may be the solution

  13. Joe says:

    Badgerman – well, at least that’s something positive- makes a nice change from most of the others going up in the borough and across the creek at Convoys Wharf.

  14. Wyn says:

    Good idea Union Jon! Thanks for your comments BoogieBear, JR and Joe.

    The littering (glass in the grass a danger to children and dogs!) will be a direct consequence of selling alcohol from the cafe but do we really need music playing from this corner of the park 10hours a day, seven days a week? The park is such a peaceful place to get away from it all, I would think music and the large numbers of people that selling alcohol will attract in summer is bound to have a negative impact on the environment. From a purely selfish angle, my bedroom window is approx 30 metres away from the garden of the cafe so on nights when they are selling alcohol until 11pm, I will get no sleep!

    Please, please support the neighbours and the park by writing/emailing into the Council to describe your concerns. It will be too late after the application is granted.

    Email: licensing@royalgreenwich.gov.uk
    Ref: WK/201326013
    Closing date: Wed, 26 Mar

  15. Mary says:

    There’s a very small notice on all the entrances to the parks about the fact that barbeques are not permitted yet the police on their “drive by’s” do nothing about this. The state of the park sunday evening was despicable, more patrol is needed in the park to enforce the park rules.
    And on the Bardsley Green development, i agree with Joe in that there is enough development in Greenwich already and without the transport infrastructure to support it – traffic is already at a standstill most days and especially at the weekend. Why does that always get overlooked by the developers???

  16. Jack Cross says:

    Badgeman -
    would you do me the courtesy of reading what I actually wrote, and then explaining how I’m being selfish.
    I’m glad to hear that the Bardsley Green flats are going to be for rent and part-buy, but in the end its irrelevant. Greenwich is being over developed and the infrastructure isn’t being increased to enable it to cope.
    This is going to cause all kinds of social problems.

  17. Andy says:

    The ‘Heritage Impact Assessment’ for the Creek Rd development site I found particularly interesting. Especially the quote that the view of the new buildings from St Alpheges Church Park will largely be obscured by trees…So why did I notice that not one but TWO lovely trees that we’re close to the wall of the park where the development will border have been CHOPPED DOWN this week!!! Folks the destruction has already begun…not to mention how all the extra folk living next door to this lovely quiet little park will impact on it’s ambiance!

  18. Jack Cross says:

    Andy -
    stop being so selfish – Badgeman has already explained that every inch of Greenwich has to be developed with high-density housing to accommodate immigrants.

  19. Badgeman says:

    The government’s scheme to create another housing bubble/crash is progressing nicely, I believe. Prices in London are unsustainable, and the contagion is spreading. So long as our government has no control over our borders, and we keep on importing 200,000+immigrants each year, the housing crisis will continue, more of our green spaces will disappear, and chronic congestion in the south of England worsen. That’s why we need to send them a clear message in the forthcoming European elections.

  20. Meirion says:

    A couple of comments on here are flagrant attempts to stir up racist anti-immigrant prejudice rather than comments on the development. As it happens I think the Bardsley Green plan is a good one, the right scale and well designed, unlike the Causescu Palace style monstrous school of architecture opposite St Alfege’s or the Disney blots at the pier.

  21. Jack Cross says:

    Badgeman -
    Thanks for confiming that you are what I thought you were…..

  22. Tina says:

    “the Causescu Palace style monstrous school of architecture” – ha ha, I agree. And the massive construction on the old hospital site, and the ‘exiting development’ at the top of Blackwall lane, why must all new developments be so large?

  23. Andy says:

    I agree Meirion I don’t see what immigration has to do with this – however whether or not this development is less massive & ungainly as others it’s an odd coincidence that when trees were felled on Bardsley Green the two in St Alpheges Park were also cut down & this area is not part of the development zone! It’s an indicator of the usual arrogance & casual disregard of developers & probably Greenwich council too! I bet the many gravestones some from the 1700′s lining that boundary wall will not end up ‘relocated’ elsewhere in the park & I suspect more trees will be disappearing also!

  24. Meirion says:

    Andy – I’m with you on the St Alfege’s trees. You know that St Alfege’s have a plan to build some flats on their land as a revenue raising measure? They mentioned it when I went round the crypt during Open House London last year. I’m not in favour of trees and scrub being cleared at Greenwich Park gates either. Always thought the park could do with a few more wild areas – fence off the dell behind Queen Elizabeth’s Oak and let it turn into scrubland perhaps. I’ve always wanted to scatter wild flower mixture on the top of the circular reservoir but that would probably mean being hauled off to the Park jail – which used to be in QE’s oak of course.

  25. Joe says:

    So the St Alfege’s trees – were they felled without planning permission? Does anyone know? If it really was done without permission then it should be followed up with the Council. If it turns out it was approved then that’s a shamefully cynical action but unfortunately entirely predictable in the current political climate.
    Meirion -yes, it would be nice to have one or two more wild areas in Greenwich Park, to provide a few quiet havens for wildlife away from disturbance, but the management are in fact opening up more and removing fences. It’s a noble idea in theory to open up access even more(and aves them a bit of cash re maintenance, no doubt)but I think reducing the fenced-off areas might just cause a lot of the shyer, more vulnerable, wildife to retreat even further into the margins.