Roll up, roll up – invest in Greenwich’s crappiest hotel site

The site of the Ibis Styles, Tunnel Avenue, with Blackwall Tunnel traffic jam behind
The site of the Ibis Styles, Tunnel Avenue, with Blackwall Tunnel traffic jam behind

Investors are being sought to put cash into a hotel next to one of London’s most notorious air pollution hotspots – the approach to the Blackwall Tunnel.

The Ibis Styles Greenwich North is currently being built on a small triangle of land between Tunnel Avenue and the A102, a few hundred yards from the tunnel entrance.

The three-star hotel will see guests sleep just metres from the frequent queues of traffic waiting to enter the congested tunnel – with further traffic expected if the additional Silvertown Tunnel is ever built.

Now investors are being asked to put sums from £150,000 into rooms at the hotel, with developers promising income from the guests staying there.

One investment site claims the site, formerly a car wash, is “located at the heart of the Greenwich Peninsula”, adding it is ” less than a 10 minute walk or 1 stop on the bus to the O2 Arena Entertainment District, Ravensbourne University College, North Greenwich underground station and the iconic Emirates Airlift [sic]”.

Drawings of the finished building show the hotel surrounded by near-empty roads.


Planning permission was refused by Greenwich Council in March 2010, with the council calling it “an overdevelopment of the site that would be out of keeping with the scale, character and appearance of the immediate surrounding area”. But an appeal was allowed seven months later, with planning inspector Leslie Coop saying it “would improve the existing street scene and the character of the area”.

It is this development that is going ahead after a later application to build student flats on the site was refused in 2012 on air quality grounds. “In this location nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations are likely to exceed the national air quality objective. The proposals to mitigate the poor quality air are not considered to be sustainable or appropriate in the full time residential context envisaged by the proposal,” it said.


  1. The illustration shows one car on the tunnel approach (heading south) and none going north.

    Highly realistic.

  2. I wonder what else could usefully be done with this site.

    Its on the peninsular so anything that generates more road traffic could add to traffic congestion and air pollution. I don’t have research to back this up, but suggest that a small hotel will generate fewer daily vehicle movements than the car wash that used to be on the site.
    The probable high levels of air polution from traffic on the A102 and Blackwall lane, and the noise from traffic on the A102 mean that the site is unsuitable for new homes. I certainly wouldn’t want to live there for a long period, but might consider it for a couple of nights as a cheap stop over. A hotel will create a few jobs (probably more than the car wash), though probably on low wages,

    I cerainly won’t be investing, and I think the fact that investment is being parcelled up in small lots suggest that the developers don’t have much confidence either.

    But as London’s population continues to grow and there is a need for housing, new jobs and other infrastructure, how and where are we going to accomodate these needs ?, and what uses are suitable for small sites like these which are blighted by major roads ?

  3. Used to be the best hand car wash around. Didn’t generate lots of car traffic as it was a small car wash (anyone know where the guys who ran it have gone)?
    I used to chat to them about their health as the air next to the tunnel approach is barely breathable. We laughed about the developer wanting a hotel on the site. Seems we were wrong. Greed wins out again. Houses in our near that ultra polluted area are now on sale for 450k+. The “Royal Greenwich boom” pays little attention to things like air quality…

  4. Another piss poor development to go with all the others in this part of the world. On a brighter note it looks like someone is at last tidying up the Greenwich Hotel at the other end of Tunnel Avenue. Just need some decent street cleaners around here. The whole area from Blackwall Lane to Woolwich Road flyer is a disgrace.

  5. While this is hardly a great piece of architecture it annoys me less than other developments in Greenwich. Crappy the site may be but is it really that much worse than the Holiday Inn site on the other side of the tunnel approach? Given the levels of pollution in the area i woundn’t like to see residental or student accomodation there, but as a previous commentor noted, its not so bad for a night or two. By the looks of it the scale of the building will domianate the area but perhaps no more so than the redevelopment of the hospital site just up the road. With the popularity of the O2 as a venue i’d imagine a dull but reliable mid-ranage hotel would be popular so i think it would work as a business. As for the investment opportunity, who knows. it probably depends whether or not you have £150k burning a hole in your pocket

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