I love the DLR. Who doesn’t love the DLR? Grab that front seat (right hand side so the conductor doesn’t move you) and you have prime seats to observe the ever changing London skyline.
I mean. for peak time commuters this is clearly a fantasy. But if you’re able to head over at midday then it’s just about possible.
And that’s what I did on a sunny day recently. With DLR’s every five minutes from Lewisham all day I nabbed the prime seat. Let’s have a little tour.
Firstly, as the train leaves you have a site on the right where a 30-storey tower was recently approved on Tesco’s car park.
Not much to see yet, but when complete a public viewing gallery will be open.
Then we head towards Greenwich over Deptford Creek which is one of the best bits of the journey as the train snakes its way over viaducts giving panoramic views:
A number of new towers and blocks completing soon are visible such as Maritime in Greenwich:
The slow down in London house prices (and recent sharp falls) have seen developers come up with schemes to entice buyers to new flats. Here prices start at £399,000 and Fairview are offering a free one year Travelcard. So a discount of about 0.3%. You could do much better haggling given London new build prices are down around 10% over the past year.
Next up is Essential Living’s 249-flat block now revealed:
This block solely consists of rented flats.
In addition there is work underway on the Thames Tideway tunnel:
Once onto the Isle of Dogs little new is evident until past Crossharbour station when we see the first of many new towers.
There’s more than a hint of the Nat West tower with this block named the Madison – which will contain 423 flats. This is the finished article and no flat roof!
This site will see over 900 new flats when complete in 2020.
A short distance west is The Wardian – which is two separate blocks with white banding across the facade.
These two blocks will contain 764 flats.
The DLR then swings north heading to Canary Wharf station. Being on the right hand side of the train I could only take pics over the dock towards Wood Wharf. If I was on the left I would have seen another two large blocks – Newfoundland tower and Landmark Pinnacle – the tallest of all residential blocks in the area.
Another pedestrian footbridge over the dock is planned in coming years and will be much needed given the level of building.
The only other site to cover that’s visible from the DLR is North Quay. It’s a bog plot between Canary Wharf on the Elizabeth Line and poplar DLR station which was to see more blocks but is now on hold:
Despite the huge number of new builds visible on just a 15 minute stretch of line this covers half the story. Many other blocks were not able to be photographed. Much of the vast Wood Wharf scheme is barely visible.
Millharbour Village has thousands of new homes. The next stage is being consulted upon soon which will be covered here.
It’s somewhat typical that the Isle of Dogs and Canary Wharf is seeing the highest number of towers rising at one time in its history as the property market is the weakest for at least a decade. That will put the brakes on some plans – as at north Quay – yet existing schemes will still see pressure on the DLR. Crossrail can’t come soon enough – though even then will it do much to alleviate much of the Lewisham branch?