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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Further along the Thames heading south will be an attractive and welcoming green space with commercial units alongside.
Along this stretch are the highest towers on site. The towers have not changed too much since consultation and retain the same design.
One change is the colour scheme to a rustic sort of red.
The giant Morden Wharf sign is also no more.
Click here to view hundreds of pages of information.