A Freedom of Information request has revealed concerns over a planned tower in Greenwich. In January 2023 the Design Council took a look at plans as is routine before final submission.
Revised proposals have seen the previous plan ditched with a student block now being pushed. Plans were covered on this site back in May 2023.
They had reservations about the design in January stating a building of the “same height and footprint without architectural quality is something we cannot support”
In addition they noted that the “proposed design includes too many compromises” and provides a “suboptimal response to Norman Road”
In terms of the relationship to the creek alongside, the Design Council said it needs to “better emphasise Deptford Creek and support access to it”
The design as it stood back then would lead to “congested public realm uses”
It encouraged the developer and architect to look at projects in east London and reduce the number of rooms.
In response amendments have seen “The number of uses at ground floor has been reduced since the DRP. The design was amended adding a service yard to the North, decongesting the southern public realm. The frontage along Norman Road will have active frontages with welcoming, legible entrances on the building corners for easy wayfinding”.
Upon submission the total number of rooms had reduced by 23.
It also stated “we consider the current scheme to be lacking in its sustainability strategy” and questioned to use of a concrete frame, as well as access to the cycle store which would see the lift shared with bins on collection day.
In response, the final application stated “The waste management strategy has also been refined further. A dedicated store at ground floor for each use is proposed, allowing the lift to basement to be used exclusively for cycle access to the student bike store”.
In terms of retaining the existing building, the final application states:
“The possibility of retaining the existing building was also explored during the design development following comments raised at the DRP.
“This idea was explored in a number of different ways from full facade retention of the existing building fronting Norman Road, to partial retention of some of the wall, potentially framing a part of the landscape.
“These ideas were tested in plan, massing and visual to see how the new and old could interact and whether or not this would be right for the site. Whilst useful to explore these options, ultimately it was decided not to retain any of the existing building frontage over concerns in the quality of the brickwork, and for the stark contrast that would be created, which was felt to unbalance the proposed architectural language.”