Another Thames Path closure and more on Lovell’s Wharf

Credit to Peninsula councillor Mary Mills for being the bearer of more bad tidings – another closure of Greenwich’s Thames Path. This one is on the east side of the peninsula, just past the Millennium Village, as work continues on the massive City Peninsula development. It’s not a massive closure, and the building work has already encroached on roads and footpaths between the Pilot pub and the Dome.

(City Peninsula? You didn’t know? “A scheme of 149 apartments in a 17 storey tower… over 100 units have now exchanged contracts…. shrewd investors can see beyond a short-term problem with the financial markets and look to long-term growth and stability in the housing market in London.” All in this together, eh?)

Mary has also posted the design guidelines for the Thames Path through Lovell’s Wharf – where the landowners have destroyed the old path and rerouted it into their sales office.

Generally, though, it raises more questions than answers. One bit caught my eye – I’m not quite sure the developers are sticking to their word here.

“A short section of existing footpath adjacent to Lovell’s wharf connecting the river at the south end of the site to Ballast Quay will be retained. This corner of the site possesses the distinct character of maritime Greenwich, and as such should be preserved as a ‘back door’ into the site. It also provides an excellent opportunity for interpretation and artwork.”

This must mean…

Yup, this tiny, tiny little section of old path. Keeping this little corner may be to the letter of the guidelines, but it’s hardly keeping to the spirit of them. And what space is there for “intepretation and artwork” in a tiny stump of a path?

Enhancements would include removal of superfluous flood protection and paving and introducing reclaimed cobble finishes and quayside furniture to echo the distinct feel of Ballast Quay.

No sign of those. But why put “reclaimed cobble finishes” on a path where there were none before? Strange.

If possible the existing brick wall with the ‘LOVELL’S WHARF’ inscription would be preserved and would act as a low retaining wall for the proposed planting strip separating the Thames path from the riverside.

Well, that’s gone. Unless it’s in storage somewhere – what’s happened to it?

Lovell’s has an unhappy history of landowners ignoring local opinion – in 2001 its distinctive derricks (cranes) were quitely removed because of supposed safety fears, with no reference to heritage bodies or Greenwich Council. They were thought to be the last two such cranes on the Thames in London. (The Memoryscape website outlines just what has been lost at Lovell’s.)

So it’s worrying to see that the guidelines for Lovell’s already appear to be being flouted. Is anybody from the council actually bothering to check they’re being stuck to? At the very least, walkers and locals should be watching what goes on at Lovell’s like hawks.

UPDATE 1.35PM: Forgot to add this in earlier – there’s an exhibition on 29/30 July at Christchurch Forum, Trafalgar Road, on the plans for a cruise liner terminal at Enderby Wharf. More closer to the time.


  1. I notice that Bellway have got away with erecting their advertising hoardings on the riverside. Believing this to be illegal (except for the OXO tower!) I tried to report this to the Port Of London Authority via their website forms (twice) but they couldn’t be bothered to reply.

  2. Your photo, if compared with the drawings in the guidelines, or with the drawing still visible on the architects’ website, shows that the guidelines are not being followed even to the letter. The drawings show that the old path along the top of the river wall was to be kept for half of the distance to the inlet (sometimes known as Dead Dog Bay – doubt if the developers are keen on that). Why not the whole way I don’t know.

    I thought at first that the present arrangement was temporary, to aid the sales effort perhaps, but drawings submitted for approval – and not yet approved – of flood prevention design (10/0732/SD is the reference in the Greenwich planning website) show that it is not. Why the change I don’t know. Why the loss of the wall with LOVELL’S WHARF inscribed I don’t know; an ambition to retain it was both good history and good urban design, I thought. I will try to get answers from either Greenwich planners or the design team.

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