Is a council estate in Greenwich still being ignored as funds allocated nearby?

Last week this site covered plans to spend money on a patch of greenery by Creek Road in Greenwich. Whilst some of the work looks good two main points arose; will landscaped areas be maintained and will an adjacent council estate be improved alongside given it has been poorly maintained for so long?

After completion

Not doing so will further increase the contrast between the two areas. What’s interesting is the area they want to focus money is already *better* than the estate:

Site where money will be spent

I hadn’t taken any pics for around a year of the Haddo and Thornham Street estate since scaffolding was evident on the main estate tower. If work was being carried out on the buildings surely some investment on crumbling public spaces surrounding the site would be undertaken? Well, that would happen in the vast majority of authorities across the country – and many of those have far fewer new developments bringing in many millions of pounds.

Slowly crumbling

But, no, of course it hasn’t. The scaffolding has gone but public space remains pretty terrible. Why break the habit of a lifetime.

I’m not sure the pictures do a good enough job of showing the extent of neglect.

Brickwork loose and falling out on every single wall around raised planters

The tower has a sizable space currently used for nothing. There’s any number of better uses for this land:

Children’s play area? A spot to rest? Trees?

The wider area is scruffy and underutilised by residents:

Always money for clutter and street furniture

The estate already looks quite incongruous with new builds all around. Barely a penny from those has gone towards the estate. That divide will only widen when Greenwich Council work on the green area opposite New Capital Quay and ignore this area (which is less visible to tourists).

Not a place for people to stop and relax

I’ll channel Neil Kinnock here, and what we have is a Labour Council, a Labour Council, apparently content to leave council estates to rot as money flows in from new developments. Baffling. It’s as though those in more deprived areas aren’t worthy of places they can be proud to call home.


When I have residents emailing me showing years of futile attempts at communications with the authority to even do the basics, let alone improve areas then things seem very, very broken. This all goes back long before cuts and shows chronic mismanagement – often to the detriment of the poorest.

Yet head over to the Cutty Sark and an estate there is one of the few that has seen investment. What does that tell us? It can be done – but only when the eyes of the world are on them?



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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    9 thoughts on “Is a council estate in Greenwich still being ignored as funds allocated nearby?

    • FAKE NEWS!

      I can clearly see a new bollard installed. The locals are no doubt overcome with joy at being blessed with such investment from Woolwich Town Hall.

      Nah – they couldn’t give a flying f*** for poor areas even in the middle of wealth and a world heritage site. They ain’t Labour as we know it.

    • Oh my god! It’s so horrible! How can people even live there.. Let’s tear it down and build anew, modern spacious affordable homes full of light!!!

      • God forbid money from new builds improves the environment around social housing such as play parks – or even keeping the area in a safe and attractive manner

    • Zettines – by your sarcastic tone you’re not one of those Labour members/councillors who lives in a nice house in, say, Eltham and has never set foot, let alone lived, in a council home are you? Rather common among Labour in Greenwich these days sadly. Long gone are many who knew poverty and regarded the poor of worthy of living in beautiful places. They weren’t far left or anything just in touch with the working class.

      The article appears to argue the very opposite to knocking down estates but leveraging income to narrow the divide. As things stand, leaving them like this makes it easier to justify demolition. Maybe that’s the plan.

      Why not develop a lovely area for residents of the block to enjoy with family?

    • I live in a flat behind the big tower and to be fair its better this side with kids play area but the main estate entrance is bad. It’s not great bringing friends over to your home when it looks so shabby. The walls have been bad for 15 years. Kids being kids pull bricks out and I’ve seen one thrown. You don’t get anywhere raising these things as the “royal” borough don’t care.

    • I remember walking past that highrise block when it was covered in scaffolding and now that it’s down, I am hard pressed to see the difference. The lack of landscaping is in keeping with the low quality refurbishment.

    • This estate has been ignored for years. I cannot see any improvements to the estate coming anytime soon from Greenwich Council which is a shame, As the area is in desperate need of improving to make the estate safe.

    • I grew up in the estate in the left of the second picture and lived there for 17 years. I went to visit it recently and was really sad to see that Greenwich council (like a majority of council’s in South London to be honest) have clearly invested no money in it and have let the area deteriorate.

      I don’t know if anyone else remembers the Haddo estate? You can barely find anything about it online apart from two pictures and of course it was immortalised in Mike Leigh’s ‘All or nothing’, but I feel like that got purposely run down by the council then they knocked it down and replaced it because it was one of the first things that people could see when they pulled in on the DLR to Greenwich station.

      I remember my mum having a really tough time with Greenwich council when I was growing up there and they neglected the tenants on our estate terribly!

    • *clearly invested very little money in it


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