Royal_Arsenal_Block_C1_view_03_A_rev-CA large number of developments are now under construction close to the Southeastern line running via Greenwich, which will see cuts in the number of peak time trains in just over four months time. So it was a bit worrying to read a comment from ‘SEdriver’ on the London Reconnections blog casting doubt on longer trains being ready to run by January 2015. As previously reported, nearly 20% of trains will be cut in the evening rush hour on the Greenwich line. Capacity is supposed to be maintained by extending the remaining 80% of trains. If 12 car trains do not run then will this be achieved?

But even if capacity can be maintained at current levels, it still raises the question of just how long will that be sufficient? Overcrowding and passenger numbers continue to increase, yet southeastern lines in SE London are some of the few in London with no plans for additional trains any time soon.

After reading the latest comment casting doubt on longer trains, I decided to look into just what developments are now under construction, or due to start imminently. I’ve listed them below from Slade Green up to Deptford, and included only those that will see a reasonable number of people walking to stations.

Slade Green

Ratio – 372 new homes. Close to Slade Green station and developed by Red Row. Construction is ongoing with first occupants moving in from September 2014.

Erith

Erith Park – 622 new homes. Construction has begun. Replaces former Larner Road estate.

Erith Park development
Erith Park development

Belvedere

Belvedere Park. 402 properties. Some complete whilst others are still under construction.

Abbey Wood

Cross Quarter. 220 homes. Construction has just commenced.

(Thamesmead) – 296 homes in Southmere Village Stage 3 under Gallions plans. New owner Peabody Homes is revising scheme. The development is within walking distance to station.

Plumstead

No large developments nearby at present.

Woolwich Arsenal

A large number under construction. Commuters moving to Woolwich have the option of DLR & river boat services but many will use Southeastern. At the Royal Arsenal there are various stages of development at different levels of completion –

Stage 4. 592 flats. Under construction. Located in towers above Crossrail station.

Stage 5. 92 properties. Under construction. Located closer to Thames.

Stage 6. 219 flats. Above Crossrail station. In two towers next to Stage 4. Imminent.

Stage 3. 234 properties at ‘Laboratory Square’. Not yet begun despite following stages beginning. Presumably next?

There are also 2,032 more flats planned in the Berkeley Homes masterplan and also other developments such as Crossrail’s planned development of 394 flats, but these are not advanced enough to add immediate pressure to the rail line.

Connaught Estate rebuild – 654-684 new homes (Replacing existing homes here and at both Morris Walk and Maryon Grove listed below under Woolwich Dockyard). Net increase of 500 at three sites with 1100 homes demolished and replaced by 1600 new build. Work beginning summer 2014.

Former Co-op department store. 74 flats in refurbishment of existing building. Under construction.

Tesco ‘Woolwich Central’ stage 2 – 512 additional homes. Located next to currently built section. Construction not yet begun but should start soon.

Woolwich Dockyard

Morris Walk Estate rebuild as One Woolwich – 696-766 new homes

Maryon Grove rebuild – 150-165 new homes

Charlton

No large developments nearby.

Developments at stations past Charlton have a wider choice of transport to major areas of employment. Some commuters will be using the DLR or Jubilee Line. However SE still provide quick access to central London and will be used by sizable numbers of commuters.

Westcombe Park

Victoria Way –  145 properties under construction

Greenwich Millenium Village Stage 3. 500 properties currently under construction. Located about 10 minutes walk from Westcombe Park station so reasonable to assume a decent number will use southeastern trains along with the Jubilee Line.

The many other developments on the Peninsula (many now under construction) will be closer to the Jubilee Line so the numbers using southeastern are likely to be limited.

Maze Hill

Greenwich Square  – 645 in total. Former hospital site. Some buildings almost complete. Occupation begins soon.

The Peltons – 86+ across three sites. Opposite side of junction to Greenwich Square. Parts complete September 2014.

Alcatel Telegraph works – 272 flats. Planning permission April 2014. Cathedral Group.

Lovell’s Wharf/River Gardens – 700 properties in total. Not entirely sure how many have so far been constructed, how many under construction now and how many to be built in future stages after planning permission refused in 2013.

Enderby Wharf – 770 homes. Barrett Homes.

Greenwich

Movement – 181 residential apartments, 358 student apartments, 104 bed hotel. Some completed. Located directly next to the rail and DLR station.

New Capital Quay – 980 homes. Completing now.

Caledonian Wharf / Hilton’s Wharf – 85 homes. Half this development seems to be under construction. This building runs alongside the Creek.

Deptford

Now under construction directly next to Deptford station
Now under construction directly next to Deptford station

Deptford Project – 127 homes right next to station. Can be seen above. Construction now begun.

Paynes & Borthwick – 257 homes. Is this completely finished and occupied now? Last I saw it it mostly looked complete and I know some people have moved in.

There’s also Convoys Wharf with 3500 new homes. This isn’t as advanced as many others listed above, as it has been in planning discussion and dispute for years. Though in March 2014 the Mayor gave outline planning permission and it is likely work will begin soon.

There are many more developments in Deptford that are planned with many towards Rotherhithe. Their location will see a decent number of people using the London Overground but some will possibly head to Deptford station.

Have I missed any others along the entire line that will place pressure on services? I’ve excluded many that do not look like starting any time soon. This also doesn’t include other developments that aren’t within walking distance of a station. Of course at other developments people will still drive, take a bus or cycle to a station but the list would just be too long.

In addition there will are many more proposals at various stages of planning. Recent masterplans at Woolwich and Charlton would also see much induct rial land used for housing purposes particularly in some of the areas mid way between Woolwich Dockyard and Charlton.

Pressure on services

The excellent new Royal Greenwich Time blog has a recent post showing that Greenwich is projected to have the largest population growth of any London borough from 2011-2013, yet the biggest reduction in employment. This will put massive strain on transport networks as more people are traveling further to work. Though this post focuses on rail there will of course be big pressure on roads, health, housing, education and more from this growth.

With all these developments under construction right now, or in advanced planning and likely to start soon, it is imperative that issues are overcome to ensure 12 car trains can run as soon as possible. In addition the process of securing additional trains for the line should begin as soon as possible so every train can make maximum use of new infrastructure. Greenwich council belatedly supported the push for re-zoning Woolwich Arsenal station. They now need to be joining Lewisham, Bexley and Bromley councils, as well as Dartford and Kent, in lobbying for more trains, as should local MP’s. The current vague plans which will only provide new trains in 3-4 years may be too long to wait.

Click here to see a good blogpost from the Barneystringer blog which highlights that Kent has some of the highest numbers of people working in London compared to locally, compared to other counties surrounding London.

I’m sure some readers are thinking why procure additional trains for a couple of years up to 2018, when Crossrail will render them surplus to requirements? Well, even with Crossrail the Greenwich line is in an area with the biggest population growth in London, so long term demand is there. Plus, many trains on the line arrive from Kent, where future growth will be focused to add to the numbers traveling into London, with large scale developments planned at Dartford, Rochester, Chatham, and Ebbsfleet Garden City (next to Northfleet station). Any new stock would find a long term use.

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