A new housing block on Creek Road in Deptford is nearing completion beside Cycleway 4.
The housing block sits in Deptford though Hyde Housing Association make little mention of that. The site is equal distance to both Greenwich and Deptford stations yet it’s Greenwich this and Greenwich that.
Residents will have a dedicated, segregated cycleway all the way into central London within a couple of years.
Numerous other large developments sites will sit near the route, including Convoys Wharf (3,500 homes) and Deptford Landings (1,200 homes) alongside the rebuild of Surrey Quays shopping centre (3,000 homes).
One wonders how long the Texaco petrol station next door to this Deptford block will last given the number of mid-density blocks in the area.
With the advent of electric cars, will we see a gradual replacement with electric top-up charging points?
That would also permit mid-density housing at the site above charging points – which petrol stations prohibit.
There’s also some very low-rise 1980s-style offices which look a prime site for new housing.
The block of 26 flats will sit above a commercial unit with resident set to move in around June 2022. The question now is will the continually delayed Cycle Highway complete first or the flats?
The cycle lane is to all intents and purposes finished between Greenwich and Deptford though has been blocked off due to funding issues on the Creek Road bridge and structural work.
Many have asked why cars and buses can still use the bridge – though the cycle lane remain closed by barriers.
Greenwich have been requesting TfL fund the work – while TfL’s funding issues have delayed completion.
Unlike neighbouring Lewisham who have stated they would seek to use developer income to fill gaps if TfL funding is withdrawn in current circumstances, Greenwich continue to often state it’s TfL funding or nothing.
While TfL have eventually found the money to complete the work at Deptford, this isn’t a scenario going away any time soon at similar projects on roads and public spaces.
Given Greenwich continue to all but ignore infrastructure investment and transport spending when agreeing funding deals with developers via Section 106, and have failed to revise very low Community Infrastructure Levy rate in 2018 as promised, it doesn’t paint a great picture for future improvements without Cabinet members acting on departments. Even now the council give no updates on any sort of timescale for CIL changes.
Greenwich still havn’t even uploaded the Section 106 agreement to the relevant application page years after approval.
Community Infrastructure Levy income is funding public realm and streetscape improvements across London. Here’s Redbridge who spent £1.496m on public realm last year plus £250k on street-scene cleaning alongside £164k on tree planting:
There’s plentiful examples in the capital. Here’s Islington where a People Friendly Streets program has benefitted from CIL cash:
In Croydon there was £135,703 on cycle hangers:
TfL are likely to be difficulty for some time, and to fill the funding gap and meet their strategies three changes are needed:
- Greenwich Planners place higher importance on public realm when agreeing Section 106 deals with developers.
- Revise CIL rates as soon as possible. A clear timescale for public consultation, a new Viability Report and then submission to the Planning Inspector.
- Utilise revenue from parking enforcement and CCTVs for Moving Traffic Offences. The parking department is still a mess, with chronic issues in the same locations which are in effect free-for-alls. It’s staff aren’t mobile (use cycles or mopeds as elsewhere?) nor proactive when there’s open goals in numerous areas.
Those three things can ensure improved public spaces borough-wide at no net cost to residents (unless you like to park on pavements) and plug any funding gaps in a time of financial constraints.