Sun Wharf: 19-storey tower next to Deptford Creek set for approval

Sun Wharf render
The tower would be next to the railway line and Ha’penny Hatch bridge

Update – May 10: This meeting was cancelled, as was a rearranged meeting on 15 March. In early May, a new consultation began on the scheme, following concerns about the new buildings blocking sunlight to Kent Wharf.

A 19-storey tower block next to Deptford Creek is set to be approved by Lewisham councillors next week after planning officers gave it their backing.

Bellway Homes plans to demolish warehouses off Creekside and put up three new buildings at Sun Wharf, behind the base of Cockpit Arts and the recently-built development at Kent Wharf.

Of the 220 flats, 21 per cent would be for London Affordable Rent – half market rents and available to people on housing waiting lists – while 14 per cent would be for shared ownership.

The site is currently used by a catering hire company, and the new buildings would include creative workspace and commercial units, including in a “container block” fronting Creekside.

Bellway also plans to open up the path along the creek as well as creating new public space and two play areas for children.

If the Sun Wharf scheme gets the go-ahead, the tower – which would have a distinctive saw-toothed roof – would be the latest tall building to be given approval on the Deptford side of the creek.

On Creekside, the Faircharm development has a 12-storey block while Kent Wharf rises to 16 storeys. On Copperas Street, blocks of 26 and 30 storeys were approved 14 months ago. They would be next to the 23-storey Union Wharf development by Deptford Creek Bridge.

Sun Wharf render
A 16-storey tower has already been built at Kent Wharf (right)

A 28-storey tower at Ravensbourne Wharf, on the other side of the creek, was approved by Greenwich Council in January 2020. However, Greenwich has objected to the Sun Wharf scheme. Its officers say that there is not enough information on how the scheme would look from Greenwich town centre, or on the effects on residents of the 12 and 16-storey Saxon Wharf blocks, across the creek on Norman Road.

Recommending the scheme for approval, Lewisham officers say the development would represent 13 per cent of the borough’s annual housing target, so would “make a substantive contribution to Lewisham’s housing needs”.

The 19-storey block, which would overlook the railway line and Ha’penny Hatch bridge, would “sit comfortably within the existing built context”, they say.

Lewisham’s officers concede that the development would affect views from the Point and reduce sunlight levels for some homes in Kent Wharf, but maintain that these issues are outweighed by the benefits of new housing and public space.

Planners recommend that Bellway contributes £80,000 to improvements to the Creekside area for pedestrians and cyclists, pledge to open its new public space by the time it opens its 100th flat, and pay £99,000 towards Lewisham’s local labour and business scheme.

Sun Wharf render
The scheme will also include new public space

Future occupiers will also have to be warned about noise from Brewery Wharf, across the creek in Greenwich, and about their neighbours at Cockpit Arts, which is planning its own redevelopment scheme with new studios and a public cafe.

Close by, plans emerged before Christmas to rebuild the Birds Nest pub with 31 new homes and more commercial space.

Lewisham’s strategic development committee – its equivalent of Greenwich’s planning board – will discuss the Sun Wharf scheme on Thursday, in a meeting that will also be webcast.


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