FromTheMurkyDepths

Housing and Development in London

Greenwich

Revisiting new Greenwich developments as they complete

It’s been a while since I put up updates showing the state of construction with various new builds around Greenwich. I covered the area’s developments and public realm back in April. First up on this post are the Greenwich Millenium Village blocks, which are now almost complete. Around 500 flats are here:

GMV

It’s looking good. This sort of scale would be ideal for many streets around London. The block closest to the river will also be joined by another to the west, beside the yacht club. I didn’t see much sign of any sort of commercial space, though it’s a little way off completion.

GMV 2

The blocks will also extend south towards Westcombe Park station and the forthcoming Ikea, with cranes already erected for the next phase:

Cranes up for next stage heading south. Ikea site on left

Cranes up for next stage heading south. Ikea site on left

Further south beside the roundabout under the Blackwall Approach road, is the old fire station where refurbishment looked complete, give or take a missing sign:

old fire station

There was more evidence around here of little attention being paid to linking new and older parts of town. Maybe I wasn’t too observant, but when walking from Westcombe Park station towards the new GMV developments, the quickest path and route appears to lead to a dead end, with the crossing entirely obscured. No signage shows the way beyond:

This is the quickest route to new developments, but no signs

This is the quickest route to new developments, but no signs

A prominent sign informing pedestrians there’s a crossing ahead (to the left behind the building) and where it leads, would help. It could be attached to the lamp post directly ahead. Westcombe Park station is quite a bit closer to much of GMV than the Jubilee line station, and if working in the City is the better option with trains to Cannon Street. This route will be used.

There’s a blue sign for cyclists showing the way by road, but it’s of little use to pedestrians. On the other side of this divide, over on the Peninsula, signs also fail to direct people south or alert pedestrians to what is there:

sign

Areas to south of Blackwall roundabout ignored

It could be that they fell off as it looks like something was there, but no directions for Westcombe Park station, or anything in East Greenwich is now in evidence. Another development that shows why improved links and signage are necessary is the forthcoming Ibis hotel on Tunnel Avenue:

New hotel opening in 2016

New hotel opens in 2016

This has taken years to get going but is now on schedule to complete in 2016. Nearby is Mulberry’s small block with fit out underway:

mulberry

Just over the road is the Morden Wharf site, still vacant, but this spot offered a different view of the Enderby Wharf site:

enderby wharf

Closer to the riverside, and the block above appears to be shorter and less pronounced, with this view showing the next block underway closer to the river:

enderby wharf

Beside this is ‘River Gardens’, or Lovell’s Wharf, which is really taking its time to get anywhere. This is the third of five main blocks, with smaller buildings positioned between:

lovells wharf

The following two blocks will be between the above block and Enderby, located on an old riverside site still hanging on in there. The juxtaposition between this old slice of the riverside and new builds encroaching on all sides is fantastic, but not for much longer. Detailed applications have been submitted for the next stages here:

old riverside site

Here’s River Gardens and Enderby Wharf seen from the riverside path:

Greenwich developments

To the left is the 29-storey tower on the east of the Peninsula. I’ll cover that area in the next post. Finally, back to east Greenwich, and the old library was forlornly standing derelict. It’s now up for sale:

east greenwich library

Who knows what’ll happen to it. Demolition? It could make a nice pub or restaurant, at least on part of the site, but not as things stand with the ugly, messy and cluttered state of the street outside. What business would take a punt in such an off-putting environment? The increase in new homes nearby should help with passing footfall, but street design and signage seems to do its best to prevent people travelling this way.

There could be scope to remove almost all the obstructions and street furniture seen above, narrow the road and move one bus stop, install a single crossing instead of staggered and widen the paving. A segregated cycle lane could even be installed. Narrowing the road here wouldn’t reduce road space due to the wide central reservation used for a staggered crossing.

I will upload more pics to the Flickr account soon, which can be seen here. All the developments above can also be seen on the Greenwich developments map below. Double click to scroll into Greenwich for information on each site:

5 Comments

  1. GMVresident

    I see in the top photo that the parking is as bad as usual, with cars on the pavement and blocking the cycle lane. Don’t forget that Ikea will also mean a fair few people heading to the shop from Woolwich Road / a206 after arriving by buses, as well as Westcombe Park, so better links across the Woolwich Road roundabout are also needed for those people. Most will come by car though clogging up the roads.

    What’s the betting better links aren’t in place by the time ikea opens? It should already be in place. If a huge housing development hasn’t done it, then will a huge shop?

  2. bibbles

    One big problem seems to be that those who plan these things expect nobody living on the Peninsula to want to go south. We all want to only go north to the o2 and the tube apparently …

    Nonsense of course. There’s many occasions when I want to go east Greenwich or to the north Kent line which serves many areas the tube doesn’t. So it’s cross the Blackwall, which is made as unpleasant and difficult as possible, or get an often-overcrowded bus, which is mad to for such a short journey.

  3. EssKay

    Nice write up and good to see that some of these developments are finally getting moving.

    I do worry about the densities though. Building high rise, very dense residential areas is all well and good if you expand the transport links and services in the area to cope – but I can’t see any evidence of that happening. Unless i’ve missed something, there are no plans to significantly expand capacity on the Jubilee line and no plans to add any new public transport links or even a pedestrian/cycle bridge to Canary Wharf (where most of the new residents will invariably be working).

    Instead the council seem to be betting the farm on the Silvertown tunnel – hoping somehow that this will add extra transit capacity in the borough when all the indications are that all it will do is attract more traffic from surrounding boroughs / counties, whilst degrading the liveability of the peninsula by creating yet more residential islands surrounded by massive dual carriage ways.

    I’m also unaware of any plans to add any significant new public realm in any of these developments. I’m sure the Thames path will be spruced up a bit for the blocks facing the river, but what about new parks, museums/galleries/libraries, community facilities etc?

  4. james Ross

    LXB retail properties have they purchase the freehold of BQ in Charlton and read on line that BQ have 9 years left on their lease?????????

  5. James

    Hello, I was wondering if you knew anything about what might happen to the old Arches Leisure Centre? I notice it is on your map, and having grown up in Greenwich I am in the process (hopefully) of returning to the area, very close to this site indeed. Any info would be most appreciated as this is a great site and it would be wonderful to see them make the most of this former public amenity, at least with something tasteful and befitting its superb location.

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