Peninsula developer wants North Greenwich bus station to be at foot of car park

A view of the proposed Station Square looking towards North Greenwich station, with the car park to the left

North Greenwich bus station would be relocated to the bottom of a multi-storey car park under revised plans issued by the Greenwich Peninsula’s lead developer, which were submitted to Greenwich Council earlier this month.

The new plans follow reports, passed from the Greenwich Society to Architects’ Journal last month, that plans to build a winter garden and 40-storey blocks by acclaimed architect Santiago Calatrava had been dropped by Knight Dragon, the Hong Kong-based company which is leading the development on the peninsula.

The revised masterplan still shows large blocks being built above North Greenwich underground station, opposite a multi-storey car park for events, which would replace the existing O2 car parks. The bus station would wrap around the car park and be part of a new development called Station Square. A second, “non-event”, car park would be built to the south of it.

Proposed North Greenwich bus station
The view looking away from the Underground station

“Generous pavements with tree planting, seating and sheltered areas, alongside active adjacent ground floor uses such as shops, cafes and building entrances, will provide a pleasant environment for those waiting for buses or moving through the space,” Knight Dragon says. The car park would be screened from view.

There is no new detail on the capacity of the bus station: this scheme is a revision of a 2015 masterplan which only included a modest increase in space, for 17 bus stands rather than 15, and 11 bus stops rather than seven. While Crossrail may mop up some bus passengers from the Woolwich direction – those who can afford to pay extra to travel from zone 4 – there is increasing demand from the south of Greenwich borough, where Kidbrooke and Eltham residents can save money by travelling from North Greenwich in zone 2 rather than their own zones 3 and 4 stations. A new service from Kidbrooke, the 335, begins next month. Plans for housing on the Charlton riverside will also add to demand.

Greenwich Peninsula masterplan revision
Tall towers are still shown on top of the Tube station. The bus station and two multi-storey car parks are highlighted

The scheme by Calatrava, whose work includes the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia and the main railway station in Liege, Belgium, still appears on Knight Dragon’s website.

Knight Dragon’s plan is part of a wider revision of the plan which is centred around the peninsula’s central spine – running from St Mary Magdalene School to the current tube station car park – which it is calling Brickfields. It includes 5,800 new homes – up 1,700 on the 2015 scheme – as well as student accommodation or “co-living” units, shops, offices, a theatre and community facilities. At the centre of Brickfields would be a pedestrianised street leading to Station Square, while the grim Millennium Way dual carriageway would be transformed into a “boulevard”. Plans for a film studio have been dropped.

Millennium Way, boulevard-style

A large public space, Edmund Halley Square, would be built between Millennium Way and the Design District, the blocks currently being built to the east of North Greenwich station. The Silvertown Tunnel would run underneath.

“Due to constraints associated with the tunnel, development is limited above and adjacent to it. A new open space makes the most of this and generates opportunity for a variety of leisure and wellbeing uses, making Edmund Halley Place a lively new space encouraging an active, healthy lifestyle for residents and visitors,” the plan says.

The one parcel of land not included is the site of the East Greenwich gas holder. The application says Greenwich Council has drawn up a planning brief for homes and offices on this site, which would be next to a major road junction if the tunnel project goes ahead.

There was a public consultation on the plans earlier this year, however, 853 understands that some local groups are only just finding out about the revised plans.

Knight Dragon render
Knight Dragon is also applying for detailed permission to build next to St Mary Magdalene school

Knight Dragon’s outline plan is combined with a detailed application for new housing next to St Mary Magdalene School, including blocks of 30 and 22 storeys.

Of the 476 homes planned, about a third will be at London Affordable Rent – a form of social rent – with another third available for shared ownership. Of the homes at London Affordable Rent, 17 will be four-bedroom townhouses.

Knight Dragon will clearly be hoping that the relatively high proportion of homes at social rent in the new development will help push the whole application – including its revised outline plans for much of the rest of its site – through when it finally reaches councillors on the planning board.

  • North Greenwich Tube station is being used as a test bed for a new way of displaying information for passengers, updating the old “rainbow boards”. The update to the station’s electronic display means local lines are prioritised and larger text is used. Ben Gammon, TfL’s head of digital, said: “We expect all signs on the Tube network to be updated in the coming weeks, starting with the Jubilee line, and the new layout will also be introduced across other TfL services later this year.”
  • 9.40am update: Some extra detail added on the car parks.

    The full, very detailed plans – including the design and access statements, which give general overviews of the two plans, are on the Greenwich Council planning website, reference 19/2733/O. Comments need to be with the council by 9 October.

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