Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday gave his approval to a major development at Deptford river side. The Convoy’s Wharf scheme will contain 3,500 new residential units and will be built on the site of the former Royal Dockyards.
The development is controversial. Many see it as too dense for the area, and believe it does not adequately reflect the site’s huge historical importance. Like many modern housing projects, the bulk of the flats will be unaffordable to most who live in the area (525 out of the 3,500 are deemed ‘affordable’ and, of course, that’s a debatable term).
To speed up development, the Mayor ‘called in’ the project last autumn, taking responsibility for the decision away from Lewisham Council. Yesterday’s mayoral green light comes with provisos for the developer, Hutchinson Whampoa, including £70 million of investment into local amenities. The site must incorporate a community hub and primary school, linked to the historic Sayes Court Garden. The developer must also fund a feasibility study into rebuilding the Lenox warship — a vessel of Charles II, built in these dockyards — as a cultural asset for the site. These concessions have been welcomed by some, but questions still remain over how well local infrastructure will cope with so many new homes.
In related news, two more towers for City Road also received the Mayoral approval. Like Convoys Wharf, The City Forum development was also called in by Boris Johnson, but has now been given the go-ahead.
The scheme by Foster and Partners would see nearly 1,000 new homes, 300 of which are deemed ‘affordable’. The development includes two towers, one of 155m, the other of 137m (for comparison, the Gherkin is 180m), plus smaller residential blocks, a hotel, a crèche, retail and office space.
City Road contains an emerging cluster of high-rise homes, with several other towers already under construction. We’ll run a more detailed feature on the various developments in the near future.