Greenwich residents set out to improve area under and around Greenwich flyover

A number of Greenwich residents have come together to clean up paths and open spaces along Blackwall Lane linking Greenwich peninsula and east Greenwich.

Local people have taken it upon themselves to set up the Blackwall Bridge Community Garden project to clear away overgrown areas, and are planning to meet tomorrow (28 March) at 11am to undertake more work.

As long term readers of this site will know, I’ve long argued this area needed a lot more attention from authorities. With millions flowing in from major housing projects in the area, emphasis on improving pedestrian and cycling links have been overlooked. A new hotel is also due to open in the area this summer, and ever more homes are rising either side yet the condition of paths and open spaces does little to encourage active travel.

This action by residents is a great initiative and some areas already look better. It will make the area cleaner and more pleasant in the short term though there are limits to what can be achieved. Mid to long term, money for improved lighting, landscaping, murals, artwork and revamped public spaces cost money and they may be able to secure Greenwich Neighbourhood Funds – which is money that an authority must spend in the vicinity of new developments by law after payment from a developer. There is a set amount that developers must pay Greenwich Council per square metre depending on building type:

There isn’t any shortage of income from many new builds in this area of Greenwich. In addition to the legal requirement to spend 15 per cent, there is the rest (after a set amount is spent on Woolwich Crossrail station) which in the most recent available figures, showed £3,494,119.84 was unspent. Much doesn’t even appear to be allocated.

That leaves the issue of land ownership. This map is about the best I’ve seen as to which area is owned by TfL and which is council controlled:

Red = Greenwich Council. Turquoise = TfL

It’s not the best map but I believe it shows Greenwich control Blackwall Lane including paving. TfL control slip roads from the A102 and greenery between. Based on the map, the red line demarcates control:

Courtesy Google (new hotel to rear). TfL control land on right

So not easy then. It’s certainly not an attractive or welcoming link between areas of major growth. Areas under the flyover are not clear on the map.

Artwork? Improved lighting?

There’s obvious scope to improve the area:

Courtesy Google

So if you want to help get along tomorrow at 11am with a few garden tools. You can find the groups Facebook page here.

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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.

3 thoughts on “Greenwich residents set out to improve area under and around Greenwich flyover

  • Sooo brilliant, it’s initiatives like these guys have made and are making which may ‘shame’ RBG and TFL into providing the funding obliged and also keep up some regular maintenance themselves, and provide materials for planting etc to the community groups. No excuses RBG! These are guys/gals caring about their environment and they deserve both recognition and assistance, not just a Boris clapping session. I work weekends but if you ever have a midweek session i’ll be happy to do a bit. I’m going to contact RBG first about providing some bags and litterpicks for the pop up gardens around Old Woolwich Road area first, as these are rarely if ever kept clear of litter despite being newly provided with funding. And I have no idea who is responsible (it anyone) for keeping them maintained and flourishing with new soil/weeding/planting etc. Anyone know?? They also promised planters to guide cyclists on the correct route where Trafalgar Rd joins Old Woolwich Road at Christchurch junction as part of the Green Greenwich pop up gardens scheme, but these got stopped before Covid hit us. Anyone have a contact for who to approach about getting this completed? I can be emailed at work with any advice on contacts. Currently cycles traverse any part of the pavement here they think quickest route, and planters on the wide concreted areas would both enhance and improve pedestrian safety. Double whammy. 3 cheers anyway to the new group.

  • Also Murky, does the CIL fee (Community Infrastructure Levy?) developers pay apply only to the sq metre of land taken? If so I guess that encourages higher developments too, which would be less appealing if it were charged also by number of floors, since floor levels contribute to pollution from homes increasing and light reductions for all, and long periods of construction dust and inconveniences. If we continue getting 30+ floors of apartments surrounding us wherever new developments occur, and this is unavoidable (which I seriously doubt), developers need to give more back to the local community for the negative effects.

    • It’s based on total square metres of a building, so a taller building would pay more to the authority on a given plot of land.


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