If you’ve ever wondered about the rotten-looking developments springing up around the Laban Centre in Deptford, now’s your chance to take a look, as the Theatro development opens its doors to potential purchasers this weekend.
That’s right, that’s Theatro, Creek Road, er…
Er… did Union Developments ever notice the socking great expanse of water and change of postcode between its shiny new development and Greenwich? Of course not. Reading further into the Theatro website, it’s clear that we’re not so much rebranding Deptford as “west Greenwich”, but denying it ever existed in the first place. Because the site of an old Deptford school building is now “the heart of Greenwich’s cultural quarter”.
The heart of Greenwich’s cultural quarter? Somehow, I don’t think so. Especially when it’s in bloody Deptford. (Where would Greenwich’s “cultural quarter” be, anyway? Is it the council not cleaning out the gutters again?)
Still, PR firm Wriglesworth has been spouting crap on Twitter all day on behalf of its client – unfortunately, it deleted its attempts to inform news organisations in Greenwich, Connecticut (but not Deptford, New Jersey) about its shiny new London development before I could get a screen grab of them.
But it’s probably not a good idea to bother a hyperlocal news site which knows the patch better than you do. Or a local newspaper which doesn’t cover Greenwich. Or something called “What’s On Bexley”.
I thought I’d point out some of this crap on Twitter, and got this reply from Wriglesworth. I think they were trying to have a laugh.
Joking aside, as I mentioned last year in the case of International House in Woolwich – hilariously billed as “the heart of Greenwich SE18” – you don’t regenerate anywhere by trampling all over its identity. The moment you cross Deptford Creek, the area has a specific identity all of its own.
Opposite this development was the huge Deptford Power Station, behind is where the area’s artistic community lives, side by side with the Crossfields estate. This is somewhere which nobody who isn’t a liar could mistake for Greenwich.
Interestingly, the blurb for Union Developments’ other place, The Atrium, on the New Cross Road, is fairly honest about where it is, waxing lyrical about how hip New Cross and Deptford are – “most recently New Cross was noted as the birth place of New Rave and is fast gaining ground with London’s fashionistas and music journalists as a hip destination”. So it can talk up the area if it wants to. So why is it turning its latest development into Bullshit Mansions?
(See also: Theatro’s neighbours at Crosswhatfields would like to have a word…)