Cladding already falling off new Deptford tower block

Various pieces of cladding are falling off a recently completed tower block in Deptford on Creek Road.

I’d heard of problems and visited yesterday to take a look and found damage in a number of area of the building’s façade, plus scaffolding erected near to catch any falling cladding.

Various sections falling off

Emails had said this had been in place for some time. The Union Wharf block only completed in 2019. It’s a development from Essential Living.

The build to rent development consists of 249 flats. Brick-effect panels are bolted onto the exterior and their integrity appears to be an issue. Cladding consisting of yellow brick-like panels and green tile panels are breaking off.

Developers have been incorrectly calling Greenwich though it’s actually in Deptford.


Presumably to justify high rent levels:


Rent cost

One bright spot at least is that as a build to rent block there are no owners on the hook for cladding problems.

Though residents paying such high levels of rent would at least expect decent build quality. Well, everyone should of course regardless of rent levels, but given the premium nature of marketing, this is shoddy in the extreme. This isn’t a cheap development to live. Failures across the block in more than one area raises questions of overall problems across the block and quality of construction and materials.

Failures of brick-effect cladding panels

For something like this to happen so shortly after the flammable cladding scandal almost beggars belief. Back in September 2019 I went to visit this block to view changes to the creekside – and in all directions other blocks were clad in scaffolding to remove flammable cladding including New Capital Quay and those directly opposite.

2019 visit

Not even two years later and action is now needed to protect pedestrians from falling debris.

If this does turn out to be a widespread problem, we could see another scandal in the making.


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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.

5 thoughts on “Cladding already falling off new Deptford tower block

  • Union Wharf is actually in the borough of Greenwich. The boundary doesn’t quite follow Deptford Creek.

    • Yep I know but it’s pretty clear what they are trying to do. It’s a marketing ploy. It’s not much different to stating Thamesmead is Greenwich as developers do. It’s the borough yes, but not the town which they avoid in their branding.

  • I’m sorry to say but cladding failures are nothing new. Back in March 1984 the Association of Metropolitan Authorities released a book entitled Defects in Housing part 2, industrialised and system built form of construction from the 1960s and 1970s. With a section under costs, typically a localised cladding failure cost local authorities one thousand pounds to remidy. This was caused by poor workman ship. Lack of building regulations, or contractors installing the cladding under Deemed to Satisfy. Quite sad how government in the 1980s deregulated our building regulations?

  • And where it becomes interesting is the proposed (over) development of the the Laban centre, which is in Lewisham, and which doesn’t (or didn’t at the time of a consultation meeting) seem to interest Greenwich planners.

  • Same thing is happening in Woolwich with the Vantage / Kinetic towers near the road side. Some brick cladding fell off the building outside the M&S entrance they have had to put some hoarding up in the impacted areas until further inspections can occur. Sounds like the brickwork facias on the balconies will be replaced but hold up at the moment with the insurers.


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