Huge new Greenwich development at Morden Wharf submitted – a look at plans

In recent weeks developers behind the Morden Wharf project in Greenwich announced a press release containing no new information which was dutifully lapped up and reported by many outlets.

Only now are full details available after being uploaded to Greenwich Council’s website, so rather than rehashing a press release let’s take a look into what is proposed.

Site picture taken from pier

Firstly, what we already knew was 1,500 homes are planned at the site. Developer U&I are behind the project. Just 21 per cent of housing is affordable. It’s not viable of course – so they say – to build more on old industrial land.

Building outline from Greenwich town centre

So-called “affordable” is all shuffled off to a spot overlooking industrial units. No worries about poor doors here. Poor blocks are the theme.

The developer behind this project were the lead sponsor behind the last Greenwich Council’s award ceremony, which also has a number of developers on board.

Main sponsor at last years ceremony

One new snippet of info is that Morden Wharf will include a boathouse for the vessel Gloriana. I expect the PR will go big on this.


There’s also mention regarding the possibility of a Thames Clippers pier – but no commitment. Every developer under the sun now seems to state a river boat pier. One was mooted next door at Enderby Wharf. Another was recently submitted just north by the Intercontinental Hotel. There’s one highlighted at Charlton Riverside. Realistically boats cannot stop every two minutes.

An old overview of site . Three Clipper piers proposed here alone

The new application includes new images of a major entrance at Tunnel Avenue. There’s a Boris bus – which are never seen in this area and the dutiful appearance of a Mini and Fiat 500. Lifestyle innit.

Oh, and moving traffic this close to Blackwall Tunnel (and in future Silvertown?). This must be a sunset in mid-June around 10pm.

Entrance off Blackwall Tunnel approach

The planning application states:

“The primary arrival into Morden Wharf is from Tunnel Avenue at Sea Witch Lane. New warehouses to either side immediately express the former and current
industrial activity on the site, while providing a visual entrance to Morden Wharf.”

They might want to improve the public realm then for those on foot and bike. Heading to the o2, tube station and other attractions from this spot is bleak.

Tunnel Avenue as it currently looks

Workspace and offices are planned for new buildings at the Tunnel Avenue entrance. Sea Witch Lane is a major spine starting here heading through the site towards the Thames.


The build timetable is extremely slow. Remember this is a site which has lay empty for over a decade as London’s population rose by over a million people. U&I commissioned a masterplan seven years ago for the site. Even after such a long period of inactivity, the developer states it’ll take three years to even start on new homes. Then take a further eight years to complete.

Long empty – gasholder now gome

Extremely lethargic action by many developers makes a mockery of claims that the planning system holds up building which is being trotted out yet again to justify loosening planning rules.

Across Greenwich there are numerous sites that have remained empty for up to three decades. Much of that has had planning approval for many, many years.

Another amusing thing is part of the site has been used for a bus garage. Planning permission was never even sought for it and when I covered it last year it’d operated for two years with no approval.


Long brick elevations on warehouses will be the recipient of more faux retro art – unless by the time they finally get around to doing anything it’s out of fashion.


Get some artists in from the many studios nearby to create something interesting. This fake corporate stuff is awful.

A pub will be constructed within part of one warehouse. If I had to go out on a limb, I’d say it’ll be yet another Young’s or Fuller’s. Stifle that yawn! Lighthouse Family every Sunday is what people want don’t you know.

Once past these warehouses people will reach the Thames. A small square is located at this point beside the river.

New build, or Swindon in the 1960s?

Blocks around the square could have been lifted from a British Rail station block project circa 1965.

The next image shows yet more buildings in a similar cheap post-war vein, and that area to the left looks a fly-tipping spot if ever I saw one:

Not great public space. Dead frontage

Further along the Thames heading south will be an attractive and welcoming green space with commercial units alongside.


Beside the river

Along this stretch are the highest towers on site. The towers have not changed too much since consultation and retain the same design.

Base of tower

One change is the colour scheme to a rustic sort of red.

As is


Early render

The giant Morden Wharf sign is also no more.

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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.

    27 thoughts on “Huge new Greenwich development at Morden Wharf submitted – a look at plans

    • Big freight transfer depot??

      the pub is supposed to be on the site of the (bombed) Sea Witch and to have the same name

    • O, I do love the flights and fancies of the renders. It all looks so promising until you compare and contrast with the grim reality.

    • OMG talk about over development Murky, the slums of the 2030’s and 40’s already in the planning, (if built by then).
      With super-fast eco-friendly transport systems of the future,(we can only hope) do we REALLY need this huge development so close to massive other developments? Surely prime London land should be made more open and green for the young technocrats with more workplaces within a healthy open green environment, and for the wealth makers of the future, not just to build to meet council enforced targets. As has already been shown by RBG, money paid by developers to allow them to make their vast sums, allocated supposedly for community developments, seems to disappear- down Diagon Alley like a piece of Potter magic.
      Isn’t it about time there was some form of ‘serious’ community involvement in this planning process too, rather than the occasional exhibition on a bank holiday weekend, a process akin to Putin’s democratically being reelected ad infinitum at a ‘fair and democratic’ referendum?
      London in order to remain at the forefront of worldwide wealth stimulation and to continue as the powerhouse driving the economy, needs to attract the best. So we need the best in environments to stimulate those brains, the best in community facilities-build the nurseries, the schools, the coffee houses, health centres, sports and exercise facilities, all alongside the building of more thought about and less gigantic accommodation units. Do we really want another Hong Kong Island here? Washing hanging from every miniscule ‘balcony’?
      I believe this to be an opportunity for people power to get involved, the community within the area is massive now, and they ALL have, and should take up, an interest in their immediate surroundings, whether for a happy relaxed lifestyle or simply for safeguarding their investments in their own property- usually hard worked for, and the largest investments they are likely to make in a lifetime. More community engagement is required,and if ‘those that be’ don’t listen, we take action, while its still allowed here, before we become another Hong Kong under the Tory plans. And I trust that this will not mean the Thames path being closed off in a huge section for yet another ‘3+8’ years? If so, yet another reason for ‘objection’, your honour!

    • Nice to see they vision an extension of the 23 from Hammersmith to North Greenwich in that render 🙃

    • I wonder what the latest plans will look like in ten years time.

    • Not to mention the helicopters that have landed on the site for 5 minute “surveys” at 7am earlier this week! The developers have already shown that they couldn’t care less about the people already living in the surrounding community. Perhaps if they simply tried to travel to the site with public transport, by foot or car, they would get a taste of the grim reality and knock their ridiculous plans into shape. Absolutely dreadful and unbelievable that it has progressed this far. Greenwich council need to sort the narrow Thames path out immediately, rather than risk blocking off a vital route to the peninsula yet again!

    • That Gloriana boathouse will never get built.

    • Decades dormant? Blatant Land Banking!

    • Such a shame as this scheme was good when it had large green walls and the Neon sign on the top – all of that has been lost to the detriment of the scheme.

    • Does anyone know the height in storeys of the tallest building?

      • 124m I believe, shame they can’t remove a few of the shorter towers and have 1 larger tower at say 220m and open the public realm more.

    • Another large development in the Borough of Greenwich but where are all the new amenities like Schools, Hospitals, Health Centres, Shops and Public transport infrastructure to cope with the extra demand from an ever growing local population.

      There also needs to be major improvements to sewage drains waste collection etc to also cope with the extra demand from residents on the new Morden Wharf development.

      Does anyone know if Go Ahead London Central Bus Company have plans to move their bus garage from Modern Wharf over the next few years as I believe the lease of this garage was for 10 years and they must be a few years in to that least. (I cannot remember the year this garage opened).

      Correct me if I am wrong but is not the site of the bus garage is also earmarked for housing in the future.

      • Exactly where are all the new amenities and public transport infrastructure. We have seen large developments in Woolwich, Charlton, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich Kidbrooke and near by on Thamesmead. But we have not seen any real improvements to amenities and the public transport infrastructure.

        It is no wonder our Hospitals, Schools, Health Centres. Public Services and our public transport systems struugles to cope on a daily basis.

    • greenwich uni architecture students should be consulted, i’ve seen better and more thoughful designs from them!

      • The vast majority of architecture students could produce excellent design. Developers don’t want that, they want what’s cheap and financially beneficial to them. In many cases, architects are barely on board (see cut and paste boxes on low rise estates laid out in bizarre plots for maximum income)

    • Pleased to see that the weird high rise with the external metal structure – described to me by the Greek architect working for the Dutch architectural practice as being based on industrial buildings in the Ruhr in Germany – has now magically transformed into an homage to Tunnel Refineries silos. Maybe the reminder that they are likely to dig up quite a few unwelcome products of the Ruhr during construction if other local sites are anything to go by – unexploded ordnance being a local specialty – has had something to do with the rebranding. Personally I don’t think we need any more Airbnb units in the sky. There are so many unoccupied units in Greenwich that a radical rethink is needed now.

      • The pandemic and the loss of employment will see many of these new units remaining empty for some time to come.

        • I could not agree with you more anonymous201481.

          Research by Zoopla in The Londoner reveals exactly how much you need to buy your first home in the London Boroughs. .

          The Household income you would need to buy in Greenwich Borough is £105,000 and the average house prices is £475,000.

          For the London Borough of Bexley. Household income needed is £89,000 and the average house price is £400,000.

          Also for the London Borough of Lewisham the household income needed is £100,000 and the average house price is £ 450,000.

          I just do not know who can afford to buy a propety now days even if they can afford to save for their first deposit.

          We need more developments built for rent at local affordable rents along with more social housing for Council and Housing Association tenants.

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    • As workers swap Docklands flats for out of town homes post-pandemic this development has ‘missed the bus’! – outdated before the frist brick is laid!
      PS Disappointing to see Morden College associated with this abominable plan.

      • There will always be demand for city centre living not only domestically but internationally. The UK is not going to stop international non-EU migration particularly students from Asia.

        It’s near many attractions – a world heritage site, gigs, clubs, cinema and a lot more. Plenty like that.

    • New render is worse than the old one. Looks like ugly parsons house on Edgeware road. Hear hear on the amenities & transport comments.


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