Users of the DLR branch between Woolwich Arsenal and Canning Town will have noticed increased passenger numbers in recent years. This stretch certainly seems to be one of the busiest with numerous housing schemes completed in recent years with yet more forthcoming.
The DLR is seeing annual growth around 8% yet no additional trains are expected until 2022, as covered here. Initially extra trains are planned to run on the Beckton branch so the Woolwich branch may have to wait until 2023/24.
In this post I’ll take a look at new housing plans along this stretch. Crossrail is due to help alleviate crowding on this route, but the sheer amount of new homes could render that plan very short-lived. Many of these developments are directly beside DLR stations, or at least substantially closer than a walk to Crossrail stations.
Starting with Canning Town, this post will list schemes around each station on the way to Woolwich Arsenal.
Areas around this busy interchange station between the Jubilee line and DLR routes will see a number of large schemes:
The final blocks of this 1700-home development are now rising.
1,100 homes in total are being built here.
A little further east, this 336-home development from Galliard recently completed.
The next station along is currently one of the lesser-used stations but that will all change. Peruvian Wharf from Galliard Homes is on the drawing board. Passing the site this week showed some staff and machinery on site. They’ll be 950 homes and 335 car parking spaces. A planning application was submitted in summer 2016. Details are here.
A little further east is Deanstone Wharf from Oxley and Ballymore with 764 flats. It’s adjacent to Royal Wharf.
And a plan was approved last November for 75 flats on Knight’s Road from Hollybrook.
Here we see Royal Wharf. A biggie. 3000 homes in total and progress has been swift. Developers Oxley and Ballymore are again behind this. Residents have just begun to move in.
Nearby is Silvertown Quays. Approved in April 2015, they’ll also be 3000 homes here. Chelsfield Properties, First Base and Macquarie Capital are behind the scheme.Work has been much slower than Royal Wharf over the road. Millenium Mills saw demolition recently as plans to convert the building for 150 small businesses continue.
Planning permission was granted in October 2016.
This is one of the few developments listed in this post where it may be easier to walk to Custom House Crossrail due to a planned bridge, rather than jump on a DLR nearby.
Bouygues Development also plan 236 homes at a site directly next to Pontoon Dock station. It’ll be located between the station and Thames Barrier park. The application was approved last month by Newham Council. Here’s how it will appear:
A planning applications has also just gone in from Galliard Homes to build on the Royal Docks service station site with 295 homes planned.
North Woolwich Road runs west from here towards Canning Town. There are proposals to reduce the carriageway widths along North Woolwich Road. It’s a wide road that will be sandwiched between many of these large developments. A dedicated bus and cycle lane could be implemented at low cost and alleviate the DLR. Recently a cyclist was killed on this stretch and there’s been many calls for improvement.
LONDON CITY AIRPORT
Expansion of the airport was approved by Mayor Sadiq Khan on his first day in the job despite his claims on air quality and opposition to Heathrow expansion.
The airport’s owners have pledged to provide funding for new DLR trains.
KING GEORGE V
Surprisingly there’s few plans here despite some large sites for sale located by the Thames and the area near the station. I walked the area recently on the way to the ferry, documented here, and there’s so much vacant land by the river.
There’s clearly many, many developments underway or in planning here. Some are covered here.
The great hope is that most passengers will use Crossrail from late 2018 to travel to Canary Wharf enabling more space on the DLR. That will be true for many but for those coming from the south of Woolwich Arsenal station such as 700-odd new homes at the redeveloped Connaught Estate, 800 homes planned around Tesco plus other plans such as the Island Site (310 homes) and Ogilby (116 homes) on Wellington Street, possibly not.
Those commuters will reach the Southeastern and DLR station first on foot. The DLR takes 19 minutes to Poplar (which is adjacent to Canary Wharf Crossrail station) according to TfL. Crossrail will take eight minutes. By the time you’ve crossed a couple of busy roads and entered the Arsenal site, then gone down to the station to wait for a Crossrail train, that could add another 5-10 minutes on. Little net gain but more walking.
Most will use Crossrail but the DLR is still compelling. Poplar DLR station will see a new, direct link to the Canary Wharf estate too and it’ll be directly beside new office blocks that have just been submitted for planning.
If the owners of the site around the DLR station ever get around to building (10 years and counting) instead of landbanking then popping downstairs will also be preferable, especially if the weathers a bit crap. It’ll be similar for hundreds of people living at flats planned above and behind a new leisure centre located where Wilko now stands on General Gordon Square.