With tower blocks on Greenwich Peninsula beside the o2 and dangleway reaching completion one thing noticeable recently has been a lack of movement on many other sites in the hands of developer Knight Dragon where new homes are already approved.
Developer Knight Dragon own huge swaths of land across the Peninsula and sped up building after taking over plots from Quintain in 2013. after a decade of inaction. Towers and other new-builds went up in the south of the Peninsula near existing homes at Greenwich Millenium Village.
When that was mid-way through work started on Upper Riverside which is now seeing residents move into some blocks.
These towers are just north of the Cable Car.
If things were to follow that pattern other sites would now be starting. But despite approval almost three years ago there has been little movement on plots 18.02, 18.03 and 19.04 and 19.05. Back in 2016 some of those plots were expected to complete in 2019.
Clearly since approval was given back in 2016 property prices – especially new builds – have begun to sink in Greenwich borough as in much of London.
And this is a problem – especially when so much land is in the hands of one developer. If they bring up the drawbridge nothing is happening for possibly years to come. And as figures show – imminent Brexit or not – population increases are still extremely high.
Non-housing plots on the Peninsula are moving forward including the P5K running track, Design District and Magazine music venue – which itself is on land that was designated housing.
But there’s little sign of work beginning soon at the many, many vast housing plots still undeveloped.
Knight Dragon have put some new plans in for some plots but why? Existing approvals conform to density in outline plans. Designs were of good quality.
The image below shows plots with still-unbuilt areas approved even longer ago in 2015:
Ultimately this brings us back to the flawed UK land and housing industry. Too many plots are in the sole hands of large developers and as soon as unsustainable double digit annual price rises halt so does building.
It took nearly 15 years for anything to happen after land was decontaminated before the Millennium until Knight Dragon took over. After constructing a couple of thousand homes (out of 15,000) will things grind to a halt again?
If that does happen it once again shows leaving so much house building in the hands of the private sector alone will not deliver much needed homes. And let’s not forget – it was the public purse which made this land suitable for building in the first place.
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