FromTheMurkyDepths

Housing and Development in London

Deptford, Greenwich, Uncategorized

New Greenwich Developments Part 4. West Greenwich & Deptford

A couple of months ago I wrote about new developments going up across Greenwich. Part one covered a bit of Charlton and the southern part of the Peninsula. Part two featured the other parts of the peninsula further north and west, and part three looked at East Greenwich. Part four has taken longer than intended, and many of the images are a good two or three months old, but give a decent round up of what is going up.

New Capital Quay

Dead frontage facing creek

Dead frontage facing creek

This is ‘New Capital Quay’ from Galliard Homes and comprising 636 flats. The entire development appeared to be pretty much complete by the time this image was taken in September. Unfortunately the area shown above, with much potential as a pleasant place to enjoy being by the Creek, has little but an inactive frontage in the form of a wall. What a wasted opportunity.

Promo render of entire site

Promo render of entire site

Something that was very noticeable about this development was how it appeared to have been constructed to a very tight budget. Despite the fantastic location, facing onto the Thames and Deptford Creek, cheap materials were the order of the day. Close to this spot a new footbridge is being installed across the Creek.

Uninspiring

Uninspiring

Deptford Dame covered more of the public realm failures with this development on a post that can be seen here.

Hilton’s Wharf

Taken in September

Taken in September

Nearby is another, smaller block under construction. Hilton’s Wharf is 64 flats beside the Creek on Norman Road. This website sums it up – the emphasis is on investment and returns, and some drivel about ‘Greenwich village’. Dunno what New York has to do with it.

Norman Road frontage

Norman Road frontage

Creek frontage

Creek frontage

Norman Road

Norman Road

There is a sister scheme named Caledonian Wharf. It includes 85 flats and is being developed by Family Mosaic. The whole thing seems a bit on the fussy side. The render below shows Hilton’s Wharf before a re-design.

Caledonian Wharf

Caledonian Wharf

Council public realm failures

Also on Norman Road are some Greenwich council housing blocks. I include these here to show, yet again, the awful public realm around them. It shows that Greenwich Council deem it acceptable to leave residents living amongst very poor conditions, even in the wealthier parts of the borough.

Ugly. Easy and cheap to improve if the will was there.

Ugly. Easy and cheap to improve if the will was there.

A mess

A mess

Look at the wall here. There’s years of neglect that has left it like that. Doesn’t look very safe. Even if it is, residents can’t take much pride in their block when left like that. This is the legacy of Chris Robert’s time as leader of Greenwich Council – much of the council has become a run down mess. He thought the silly poor people would love being in a ‘royal borough’, it’d give them some pride, and thus who needs to live in well kept environments? Patronising in the extreme, and not worth a thing when many live amongst this mess.

Standard for Greenwich Borough

Standard for Greenwich Borough

They can’t blame the recession, cut budgets or anything else for this mess. The decline and neglect of public areas pre-dates all that by many years across the borough, and coincided with increasing budgets. Numerous additional money pots were available to make places people can be proud to call home, both before 2008 and since. Greenwich council choose not to use them. Then there’s the huge number of new developments that brought large amount of additional money. Most councils use this to improve local areas.

DSCF4472

Crap, cheap street furniture a common staple. Brickwork broken again in area behind.

Movement

DSCF4476

Well this is a bit different. The first time I left the DLR at Greenwich and saw this I actually laughed. It looked very silly. Loads of adornments and recent fads thrown at the exterior to disguise the basic facades, and a problem inherent with almost all UK residential developments, namely small windows.

Going back a few months later and it didn’t seem so silly, though the bikes stuck around the roof seemed a bit too try-hard.  According to the website this site consists of:

  • 181 homes
  • A 104-bedroom Travelodge hotel
  • 358 student apartments
  • 7,000sq ft business incubator units for start-up businesses
  • New extension for Greenwich West Community Centre providing 2000 sq ft of floor space and increase in the venue’s capacity.
  • Bicycle café and repair shop
  • 400 spaces for bicycles
  • Health and fitness club
  • Convenience food store
  • Nursery
  • Sustainable energy centre
  • Landscaped pedestrian boulevard with public art design by Olympic Poet Lemn Sissay and Artist Morag Mayerscough
Poor attempt to hide failures with adornements

Poor attempt to hide failures with adornments

The best thing is that they’ve used a varied pallet of materials, and some work well. The other side of the development uses white glazed bricks to interesting effect.

Deptford

Finally, a brief bit on the ‘Deptford Project’ development by Deptford station, just over the Creek. This image was taken the other day from a passing train and shows the block up to a decent height.

Taken from passing train

Taken from passing train

This is a scheme from Cathedral group, who are also behind the Movement development by Greenwich station. It will deliver 132 new homes, 7 commercial units and 2 restaurants and a new market square situated next to the historic carriage ramp. This block is a basic box ‘enlivened’ with a bright colour scheme.

Luminous

Luminous

That wraps up this collection of what’s going up around west Greenwich. Incidentally, if Greenwich council want to see how they should look after estates they could do a lot worse than look at the Crossfields estate in Deptford, which is located between the Greenwich and Deptford developments above. It shames pretty much every Greenwich Council managed estate.

4 Comments

  1. EssKay

    A bit harsh on New Capital Quay – Yes the back alleys are less than stellar, and some parts look pretty dull but this is a huge development and the main square and blocks fronting the river are actually very well thought out and about as well designed as Greenwich developments get. They are actually getting commercial tenants to occupy the estate too which is a notable improvement on a lot of other developments.

    I totally agree on your comments around the various public realm failures you’ve listed though. It’s incredibly hard to understand why this is such a universal problem in Greenwich. As you say it’s a cheap and easy thing to do and the council have received tens of millions in S106 payments alongside other funds which could have been used. They don’t even seem to replace broken railings/masonry which you would assume is their basic level of responsibility (let alone extravagant niceties like creating pleasant public spaces using modern street furniture/lighting and foliage)

    Where is all that money going?

    • Yep it’s baffling as to why Greenwich cannot even do basic stuff like replace broken fencing and railings. They seem to have been infested with a view that a) it doesn’t matter and people deserve no better and b) highway design has not chagned since the 70s. Looking at old pics on flickr and other areas have changed a lot. Many streets in Greenwich havn’t. Same dated and failed thinking lives on.

      I’m not keen on New Capital Quay at all. It really doesn’t make use of such a great location. It all looks dated – the kind of sub-par buildings that went up 10 years ago where all sorts of materials were thrown at the facade to hide deficiencies. It was delayed by a few years and it shows with its dated designs.

      Things like this in Southwark are seen more often the past 5 years by big developers. Less tacky plastic-like cladding https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.4994805,-0.1035317,3a,75y,175.4h,103.79t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1srvmR35_SLPrtacMC78TH5g!2e0

      It looks far better, more elegant and well proportioned, than most of what’s going up across Greenwich borough.

  2. Creekside Resident

    Not to mention the large development along Creek Road with 83 “contemporary” (looking like dull red brick to me) homes.

    http://www.bptw.co.uk/architecture/projects/creek-road-greenwich-town-centre.html

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