Morden Wharf: Our towers won’t be a blot on Greenwich landscape, developer insists

Morden Wharf
At present, the tallest tower close to Morden Wharf is 17 storeys – but it could be joined by taller buildings at Enderby Wharf

The developer behind plans for 1,500 homes next to the Blackwall Tunnel has said its proposals will be in keeping with the local area after local MP Matt Pennycook criticised its application to build towers of up to 36 storeys.

U+I plans to redevelop Morden Wharf into housing and business space in a development including blocks of 21, 25, 30 and 36 storeys. A second planning consultation on the scheme closed last week.

Features in the new consultation included space for a new bus route into the site, in response to an objection from Transport for London on the grounds that the development would be poorly connected.

Of the 1,500 homes, 316 (21 per cent) will be for London Affordable Rent – about half market rent – with 96 being three-bedroom homes aimed at families. A further 153 (10.2 per cent) will be for shared ownership. Because of the large proportion of three-bedroom homes, U+I says its scheme will provide 35 percent “affordable” housing by habitable room.

Morden Wharf render
U+I’s plans for Morden Wharf include 1,500 homes in towers of up to 36 storeys

Pennycook has submitted an objection to the scheme, published to social media on Monday, saying that it would interrupt views from Greenwich town centre and be out of proportion with the lower-rise Enderby Wharf development next door.

Over 360 objections have been received by Greenwich Council, with over 110 comments in support. Councillors are due to meet soon to decide on the proposals.

While he said he had no objection to the site being redeveloped, Pennycook said U+I’s plans would “have a detrimental impact on the existing character of the area” and that the four towers would be “wholly inappropriate” for the location, formerly home to the Tunnel Refineries glucose plant.

While Enderby Wharf has permission for towers of 24, 27 and 32 storeys connected with the now-scrapped cruise liner terminal scheme, Pennycook argued that this should not be a factor in decision-making as the land’s new owner, Criterion Capital, is planning to come forward with new proposals. Criterion says it is still planning three towers on the site.

Pennycook added that council planning policy stated that buildings at Morden Wharf should, in any case, be smaller than those at Enderby.

Criterion Capital says it still wants to build towers at Enderby Wharf. U+I’s Morden Wharf towers are faded out in this drawing

But a U+I spokesperson told 853 that its proposals were in keeping with what was planned elsewhere on the peninsula – with Knight Dragon, the area’s biggest developer, recently granted permission for 38-storey blocks at North Greenwich station.

“Our proposals for Morden Wharf will turn what is currently an underused, brownfield industrial site into a new mixed-use neighbourhood, centred on a new three-acre riverside park, which will be open to the public,” she said.

“As well as providing 1,500 much-needed homes – 35 per cent of which will be affordable – new commercial and employment space across the site will generate around 1,100 permanent new jobs, providing a significant boost to the local economy.

“Proposals have been developed in close consultation with the local community and the design of all buildings has been carefully considered to ensure they are in-keeping with the emerging context on the peninsula.”

Morden Wharf render
Plans have recently been amended to include space for a bus route

At present, the tallest towers on the peninsula are up to 29 storeys at Upper Riverside, just east of North Greenwich station; with the 24-storey Lighterman tower further south. However, development on the west side of the peninsula, which includes Morden Wharf and Enderby Wharf, is governed by a different masterplan to the rest of the area: the tallest block there is 17 storeys high.

Across the river from Morden Wharf, another cluster of towers is appearing at Wood Wharf on the Isle of Dogs, including a 57-storey residential block.

Last month U+I confirmed that Brew by Numbers, a Bermondsey brewery, would be moving into Morden Wharf this summer and opening a taproom.

Help 853 continue reporting on public interest issues in Greenwich and southeast London – we are the only outlet regularly producing original journalism in the borough, and we can only do it with your funding.

Please join over 100 donors who use Steady, PressPatron or Patreon to give a little towards our costs every month. The money pays the bills, a wage for the editor and pays others to write for the site.

You can also buy the editor a coffee at Thank you.