Plans for 700 student rooms at “Greenwich Quay” development – which is in Deptford

In one of the least surprising events recently seen proposals have been announced for a major development beside Deptford Creek and near the Thames.

The site has long appeared a prime redevelopment spot given high density buildings around while low-rise 1980s blocks lingered on.

Current buildings on site more like a Barrett home in suburban Reading than Zone 2 London

Developer Tribe seem set on student blocks totalling 700 homes. They’re calling it Greenwich though it’s actually in Deptford.

It’s not a looker. Bloated, chunky blocks are shown in renders. It’d be far better to break up the roofline with far greater variation in height with something a bit more elegant, particularly with the biggest offending block close to Creek Road as seen on the left below.

Courtesy Tribe. Block on left imposing. Massing requires breaking up with variation in height

This design just isn’t good enough for such a site near the Thames and Deptford Creek visible across a wide area.

The lower rise block isn’t the worst is a non-descript way but the other is lacking any sort of grace or style. An intruding turgid behemoth hogging the space.

If that meant going higher in part then so be it given it’s already labelled an area suitable for going tall. What is shown however doesn’t work.

Nearby student development

The site sits close to another proposed student block at the junction of Creek Road and Norman Road.

Proposed block over the road.

A large number of student blocks have been revealed recently in the borough and this could bring yet more pain in lost revenue.

Greenwich Council could be set to lose millions in key revenue from these developments after long failing to revise low rates they collect from developers.

Benefit of proposal are active street frontages and creekside path

After finally starting the process in 2023 they had committed to do in 2018 but never did – and in turn losing large sums and falling way behind similar London councils in obtaining revenue – they then revealed proposed changes earlier this year would not cover new student housing at the very time many student residential plans have been announced.

That’s despite Greenwich Council’s student accommodation CIL rates already being far lower than many other London boroughs.

Transport links

In the recent past many student blocks have been revealed. In August another 350 rooms were revealed in Greenwich.

Yet another is proposed beside the o2 with 800 rooms. Located beside a Zone 2 near North Greenwich station, there’s a very strong case for higher CIL rates on a site just a short distance on the Jubilee Line from various universities and central London.

Student tower proposed beside o2 and north Greenwich station. Low CIL rate proposed for site

With all this happening, surely they wont again squander millions in potential income to benefit local services and residents services during a time of central government cuts?

CIL can and does pay for a swath of services in other London boroughs such as healthcare, education, parks, town centres and so much more.

CIL funds community services all over London. This in East London

The site revealed this week is also a short distance from central London. It’s zone 2. A train takes eight minutes to reach London Bridge. DLR links are also fast to Stratford and Canary Wharf.

Greenwich’s current CIL rates for new student accommodation development could be brought closer to other London boroughs given many are located in such prime locations.

To give some comparisons:

Greenwich £89.09 per square metre

Newham £189 psm

Tower Hamlets £447.31 psm

Haringey £265 psm

Lambeth £400 psqm

Even Bromley is £150 psm

If Greenwich Council fail to increase – particularly in prime spots near excellent transport links – they’ll be repeating all the same mistakes made with other tenures since 2015 which has seen the authority sit plum last across all of London in some years for raising revenue for services.

Greenwich not only has its own university but offers fast links to others such as King’s College

Are the Planning Department, Officers and the Cabinet going to make the same mistakes yet again?

If they do, it’ll be residents losing out on a huge range of improvements that could be made borough-wide.

An event covering plans is to be held on Monday 13 November between 4-8pm at Unit 5 on site.

Other details including feedback forms can be found 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 “Plans for 700 student rooms at “Greenwich Quay” development – which is in Deptford

    • There’s also a student block coming in Woolwich at the catholic club building near the Elizabeth line station. The major growth area in London development now is student living, co-living and build to rent.
      So of course after making dubious decisions on raising revenue from various new developments for a decade the royal borough now decide to ignore that very growth area when they finally seek to modernise rates on other tenures that are in decline in volume right now?!?

      You have to hand it to Greenwich Council they really don’t seem to want funds to improve the borough. How are they so bad at this? A developer’s dream and it’s local people miss out on funds.

    • There is a provision for people to ask public questions of Councillors at Council meetings.
      Ask that Question at their next meeting which is in December.
      You have to give notice in advance.

    • “Developer Tribe seem set on student blocks totalling 700 homes. They’re calling it Greenwich though it’s actually in Deptford.”

      No it is not in Deptford but it IS in West Greenwich. It has been Greenwich Council there for ages, General Post Office/Royal Mail has not always followed council boundaries since it introduced postcodes in 1959. By the way, IF it was a development in Deptford then certainly Lewisham Council would be the council responsible.


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