peninsula towers

As 2015 draws to a close, here’s a brief round-up of what happened over the past year with new developments across SE London. Half of it is for my sake as much as anything, as with so much going on it’s easy to forget just what is now underway or proposed as we head into 2016.

Woolwich

A continuous flow of proposals came in throughout 2015. Some were quite small in scale, with others on a far broader level. Earlier this year plans were revealed for the indoor market site in an attempt to marry old and new Woolwich more successfully:

Spray Street site
Spray street masterplan

After giving Woolwich a compromised and dumbed down building that drew much criticism, Tesco thankfully failed to gain planning approval in early 2015 for the next stage of development. They eventually sold up later in the year, along with sites at Bexleyheath (more on this in a future post) and Lewisham.

Towers grew above the Crossrail station. More from Berkeley Homes are now beginning by the riverside. They’ll make a bigger impression as we move into 2016.

RRoyal Arsenal Riverside Tower
Construction begun late 2015

The demolition of the Connaught estate begun. About a third is now levelled. It’s part of a 1600 home scheme labelled ‘One Woolwich’.

A number of office to residential conversions popped up – the job centre and office block by Lidl amongst them.

Greenwich.

The Peninsula masterplan was approved – an increase in homes up to 15720. Blocks completed at the first stages of Enderby Wharf, where residents moved in to initially find no working sewers. Plans for the next stage, with a cruise liner terminal and taller blocks were approved.

Sales also begun on the ‘Precision’ development on the Alcatel site, located beside Enderby. Construction should begin in 2016.

Greenwich_Peninsula Knight Dragon dev
The first tower has now topped out

The various developments at the east of the Peninsula moved quickly. Developer Knight Dragon’s tower can now be seen on the riverside. Another will shortly rise beside and three more further north by the cable car also begun construction in the latter half of 2015.

The latest stage of Greenwich Millenium Village has almost completed. Work is now moving onto blocks further south.

The Inter Continental hotel beside the o2 opened in December. It has 432 rooms and 100 serviced apartments

O2 operator AEG submitted plans for a 36 storey tower at the end of November.

Work was underway at a few sites in Greenwich town centre. A row of buildings rose along Creek Road with Up the Creek comedy club sandwiched in the middle. On the Greenwich side of the Creek a large block appeared – named Hilton & Caledonian Wharf.

Lewisham

The Renaissance development completed with the final tower opening.

Over the road saw Thurston Central complete. An ASDA will open on the ground floor in 2016.

The end of the year saw work begin on the substantial student block in the area. And early scoping reports were submitted for more towers on the retail sheds holding out in the area. Towers up to 25 floors are proposed.

The towers of Lewisham Gateway in front of the station took shape on the skyline. Cladding begun appearing by the end of the year. The convoluted and disruptive road changes have persisted all year, but the final layout will be in place in the first half of 2016.

Deptford

A 22-storey block was proposed at Arklow industrial estate with 336 flats planned, plus a 22-storey, a 249 block was approved beside the Creek.

The huge scheme for 3500 homes at Convoys Wharf, which will utterly transform the town, made little progress throughout the year. Will we see movement in 2016?

The Deptford Project is now pretty much complete, with final touches being applied.

market yard 2

Eslewhere, and plans for 3000 homes at a couple of housing zones were announced early in 2015. These will mainly be located at Thamesmead, Plumstead and Abbey Wood.

Peabody Housing Association still havn’t submitted final plans for even the earliest stages of their Thamesmead redevelopment, but after very slow progress since their takeover of Gallions, finally revealed some plans at the end of the year. A planning application for the first stage is expected early 2016. And not before time.

Peabody plans square
Peabody’s plans for Thamesmead

Elsewhere at Kidbrooke, more blocks and housing completed across the area where the Ferrier estate stood. As 2015 drew to a close, work begun on the main town centre area by the station. Towers will rise here.

On the other side of the tracks, TfL and Network Rail started looking at the possibility of another 20 storey tower. Rapid growth in passenger numbers continued at Kidbrooke station.

At Erith various schemes progressed. 2000 homes are now in the pipeline.

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Transport

The DLR network was up 8% on the year in latest figures. Southeastern was up 6% across its network, but when looking more closely the lines serving London suburbs saw higher growth. SE station user growth surpassed Southern and South West trains. No end in sight to strong growth is likely, but still no additional trains have been approved by the Department for Transport.

Crossrail work continued at Abbey Wood and Woolwich. Abbey Wood saw the old station demolished and a new platform is now almost complete for use by February 2016. Woolwich station box is being fitted out.

On the roads, congestion was ever present at various places. Even those areas that had avoided traffic before, such as the main link from Abbey Wood station to Thamesmead, became slower as various developments and road alterations slowed down traffic and buses.

A scheme that will have major impact is a £1.2m project on the major road from Plumstead to Woolwich. It should eventually provide far better cycling and bus facilities but congestion will be severe when construction begins.

The controversy over the Silvertown tunnel continued. TfL are keen to push ahead with support from Greenwich council, whilst others such as Lewisham are opposed. The next mayor will decide upon gaining office after the election on May 5th 2016.

There’s tons more that could’ve been included here and no doubt some massive schemes have been overlooked. I got to the end before even remembering Convoys Wharf. But this is really a brief snapshot to give a quick oversight of what’s been going on, and how much more is in the pipeline in 2016.

As Crossrail gets closer and demand for housing and transport infrastructure continues to rise sharply, many more developments will no doubt arise as significant changes occur across many towns in SE London.

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