Yesterday’s DLR opening came on the network’s 24th birthday – and got me thinking back to how the Isle of Dogs was back in 1987, before it dominated our skyline, and when all Canary Wharf had was an old banana warehouse where TV programmes were made.
Back then, you couldn’t move in Greenwich for the furore over the proposed Canary Wharf development, which would tower over our historic view from Greenwich Park and ruin something which drew in millions from around the world. It was almost the NOGOE of its day. When One Canada Square finally opened, for years it sat alone thanks to the original developers going bust, a big ugly finger raised over our lovely view.
Now there’s a cluster of skyscrapers, it isn’t so bad – and from certain angles, it looks striking and impressive. But I can’t help thinking how much nicer the classic view from Greenwich would be if it simply wasn’t there.
But now Greenwich faces having three more skyscrapers on its doorstep, with plans resubmitted to Lewisham Council for three tower blocks of 40, 32 and 26 storeys at Convoys Wharf, Deptford. The site’s actually slap on the Greenwich/Lewisham border, but has had very little attention this side of the boundary. I wrote about it – and attitudes between Deptford and Greenwich – in December 2009, and since then most of the site has been flattened.
Perhaps these images, published by the Deptford Dame, might make people in SE10 sit up and take a bit more notice of what’s going on in SE8. They’re the renders showing the impact the tower would have on the surrounding area, with three reminding us it’d change many views from Greenwich.
What’s not shown is the impact on Cutty Sark Gardens, or on numerous run-of-the mill vistas in the area. These towers are going to be hard to escape. Already, the view from The Point is dominated by another development just over the boundary, at Deptford’s Seager building – now rebranded by Galliard Homes as the “Distillery Tower Greenwich“. Does it need another one?
There are big objections to this in Deptford, with some arguing this development will just sit behind brick walls and do nothing for the area (see the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich), and others putting forward an alternative vision that respects the site’s past as England’s first royal dockyard. Without Deptford dockyard, Greenwich may not have assumed such regal importance later on.
There’s more at Transpontine and Crosswhatfields, while Deptford Dame has summed up the proposals. Greenwich West‘s local councillors are registering objections to the scheme and would no doubt like to hear from you if you’re on this side of the border. Comments need to be with Lewisham Council by 27 September.