FromTheMurkyDepths

Housing and Development in London

Charlton, Greenwich, Transport

15,720 new homes approved at Greenwich Peninsula – joining thousands of others now underway

Last night Greenwich council board approved the new Peninsula masterplan covering developer Knight Dragon’s sites. Its will increase the number of homes across the Peninsula by 5690 from earlier plans, to 15,720. However, I’m not going to retread ground already covered well on 853 and Greenwich.co.uk. Instead I’ll look at how the numbers fit in with the large number of neighbouring developments. Firstly, here’s the map showing developments in the borough. Click into the Peninsula, where I’ve updated various developments with more details, particularly Knight Dragons currently developed plots:

Aside from Knight Dragon, and starting in the south west, we have River Gardens at Lovell’s Wharf. Proposals to increase the number of flats to 837 were approved this spring. Two blocks are complete here, one is very close to completion and two more are to begin.

enderby building scheduleJust north is Enderby Wharf. Stage 1 comprises 770 flats. The first blocks are complete, unfortunately without working sewerage systems.

Beside that is stage 2 of Enderby Wharf. 477 homes will be built here. This is the area that includes the cruise terminal, approved last month.

To the east of that is a 272 home development on half the current Alcatel factory. This is a joint venture between Cathedral and Weston Homes, which has been named ‘Precision‘ and goes on sale at the end of this month. Construction should commence soon.

Development on Alcatel factory site.

Development on Alcatel factory site

Now under construction

Ibis hotel now under construction

Just to the east of that are some smaller developments – 20 flats at Mulberry’s development just completing now, and a 50 bed Ibis hotel by the Blackwall Tunnel well under construction.

Mulberry have also recently purchased the land beside their development, and are expected to propose more flats. The sale was quite controversial, as the site is currently a small park

To the north of Enderby Wharf is Morden Wharf. Developers Cathedral purchased the site in March 2012. They announced in July 2013 that a masterplan would be drawn up. Since then very little has been heard. It’s a vast site – 19 acres – and will almost certainly be a high density development with numerous towers given neighbouring plots.

All that is just in the south west corner of the Peninsula. To the north is the recently completed Inter Continental hotel. This has 432 rooms and 100 serviced apartments, plus a huge hall for conventions.

Beside the o2 itself, operators AEG have decided to join the party. They are looking to build 404 flats in a 33-storey tower directly next to Peninsula Square. They are also building a retail outlet area within the 02 to attract many more daytime visitors, particularly from the lucrative Asian tourist market who often frequent Bicester Outlet Park in Oxford.

Transport pressure

Now bear in mind, all this is aside from Knight Dragons plans, approved last night. TfL must be pulling their hair out figuring out how this will all be accommodated. The only improvement coming to the Jubilee Line is six extra trains an hour, in about five years time. That pushes up total trains on the line from 30 to 36 which is the maximum it can take. Buses are often dragged out as a solution. They’re often slow as shit – even waiting at extremely congested stations is quicker than using them to reach central London or Canary Wharf.

On the other side

Greenwich Millenium VillageBellway’s 198 home Platinum Riverside tower is just about complete to the south east of the Peninsula.

A large school – St Mary Magdalene – is also planned. This will take children from ages 5-16 from a wide catchment area.

Just over Peartree way is Greenwich Millenium Village stage 3. The first ‘parcel’ of this development has just completed. Scaffolding has been coming down in recent weeks, and around 500 homes are located here.

The second ‘parcel’ of land should be commencing about now. Hundreds more homes will be built over the next 2-3 years as the housing blocks extend all the way south along Peartree Way and Horn Link Way to Bugsby’s Way.

Street design and pedestrian/cycle links are completely crap there, and Greenwich council really need to get on and use the millions coming in from Section 106 developer contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy payments to improve this area, along with the walk south along Peartree Way to East Greenwich and Westcombe Park station. An improved pedestrian environment would lessen strain on North Greenwich tube station in years to come, plus possibly raise more cash from the sale of East Greenwich library, which is now underway. This whole area, designed to prevent easy pedestrian routes south, has been covered in a previous post.

Then there’s the Ikea store on the site of Sainsbury’s, and just to add a bit more transport pressure Brocklebank Retail Park is beginning. Aside from all this, 3000 homes from Knight Dragon themselves are underway within their 15,000 total.

Necessary, but well planned?

I don’t object to this level of high-density building in zones 2 and 3. London’s population is now at its highest level ever and rising above 1 million per decade. But affordable housing levels are pitiful – 22.7% across Knight Dragon’s area. Much of the blame must go to central Government who hold most of the cards. And infrastructure provision is extremely lacking.

With at least 20,000 homes being built in a small area and potentially 50,000 people moving in, many of whom will work at Canary Wharf, it’s extremely disappointing that no pedestrian or cycle bridge appears to even be considered between the Peninsula and the Isle of Dogs / Canary Wharf. The Jubilee is seeing vast growth at Stratford and Canning Town, and will arrive at North Greenwich packed. A bridge would greatly alleviate pressure at north Greenwich.

Efforts to encourage more people onto Southeastern Metro trains from areas in the south, within walking distance, are also extremely lacking. Of course, they’re packed too, but a quick and relatively cheap solution is for all peak trains to become 12 car. This requires more stock and rebuilding Woolwich Dockyard station. Not hugely expensive or difficult compared to other schemes but government funding is non-existent.

In coming years the Charlton masterplan will result in thousands of other homes nearby. With both the Peninsula riverside to the west, and Woolwich riverside to the east, lined with towers (about 17 approved at Woolwich alone) then it’s inevitable Charlton will see the same. But where’s the long term infrastructure and transport planning?

4 Comments

  1. You are spot on about the pedestrian bridge across to the Isle of Dogs. When I asked Knight Dragon about this at their Masterplan consultation events late last year, they told me that Canary Wharf was the one to blame as they were not in favour of encouraging this movement… hopefully with the planned bridge linking the Isle of Dogs west, then there would be a push for one this side.

  2. Simon Edge

    You say TfL must be pulling their hair out wondering how all this extra transport demand will be accommodated, and any rational person would assume that to be true. However one of the arguments advanced the other night by Knight Dragon, in specific response to concerns about transport, was that TfL haven’t objected to their plans. In other words, if they’re not bothered, the transport can’t be too grave. That’s one interpretation. The other is that TfL has its head buried deep in the Thames mud to avoid seeing the problem.

  3. Shivanee

    I pointed out the numerous growth hotspots on Greenwich riverside on their own map to TfL, though to their Silvertown team. The problem is partly that TfL react and South London seems to be near the M25 in their thinking.Hopefully, Knight Dragon’s ‘Star Ferry’ plans go ahead to bring in a new way of travelling. I’ve heard great things about Star Ferries in Hong Kong from an ex-expat neighbour and my own experience in Sydney is that ferries make for really pleasant travel. It’s good that what works well in other countries is being considered here. Having lived on other lines, I think Jubilee line (and Crossrail) will cope well and doubt there will much wider transport impact from the Knight Dragon flats as they are within 5mins walking to the tube. My view is Peninsula residents will use tube (or boat) because of travelcards and regularity rather than SE trains from Westcombe Park.

    The main issue not too far away will actually be secondary school places. There are a growing number of teenagers in the currently smallish GMV and more families are settling here, eg, Millennium Primary is ‘Outstanding’ and Millennium Minis is expanding. The Peninsula is successfully attracting famillies. A quick calculation of figures quoted per development in this article (thanks MurkyDepths!) suggests approx 18,297. Add the established 1300-odd GMV + Bellway – totalling 19,597. And then Morden Wharf further down the line. Due to numbers even a minority family base, say as low as 10% will mean very very high demand (2,000 family households is very conservative). This is notwithstanding East Greenwich/Charlton birth increases and Charlton Riverside cannot happen without transport access plans. The Peninsula secondary school needs to be secular and open to local residents. To pretend otherwise is extremely poor governance.

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