Greenwich 2000 – Frightening.. or what…??

With the year 2000 now past, Greenwich Borough Council and its residents have a legacy of new buildings completed, as well as yet more proposed major developments on the river frontage and environs between Deptford Creek at its western border with the London Borough of Lewisham, and the old Royal Arsenal at Woolwich.

Here is the latest update of developments working downstream from Deptford (22/2/22):

On western border and technically outside the area in the Borough of Lewisham, but of major concern… Convoys Wharf. Previously News International Ro-Ro terminal and warehousing for newsprint. Massive housing development without later proposed Liner Terminal. Approved by Lewisham Council, May 2005.

Borthwicks Cold Store & Payne’s Wharf. Proposed demolition and redevelopment of important building. 2004 and 2005.

Rachel McMillan College & Student Residences demolition. Replacement with a new Student ‘Village’ (completed 2005)

West Greenwich School (Rose Bruford College) Site. Demolition and replacement with flats (largely completed in 2005)

Greenwich Reach West, Fairview Homes Development (completed 2005)

Statue of Peter the Great alongside Deptford Creek (unveiled early 2001)

Deptford Creek and Greenwich Gateway Developments (Major works. Single Regeneration Budget funding granted)

Laban Dance Centre (completed Summer 2002)

DLR viaduct – Lewisham Link (completed 3/99)

DLR Lewisham Link (commercial operation began 22/11/99)

Hotel next to Greenwich Station (first proposed 1998, finally opened as a Novotel, Spring 2005)

161-165 Greenwich High Road (planning application, December 2004)

Greenwich Reach East, original site for proposed Liner Terminal (site clearance began July 2001, work suspended April 2002, new application June 2005. Plan abandoned.)

Wood Wharf re-development (planning permission granted, April 2001. Demolition complete)

Boardwalk from Greenwich Town Centre to Deptford Creek (revised planning permission granted)

Greenwich ‘RY Britannia’ Project (proposal rejected, went to Edinburgh)

Cutty Sark DLR Station and Centros Miller site development (complete)

Thames DLR tunnel (complete)

Cutty Sark Gardens improvements (officially opened, 28/5/99)

Gypsy Moth and associated dock removal (plan by UKSA to refurbish and sail it around the World again! Re-launched in Gosport, June 2005)

Greenwich Pier/Promenade redevelopment (planning approved, construction postponed.)

Greenwich foreshore sunken by-pass (proposed.. no money!)

Greenwich World Heritage Status UNESCO approved Dec ’97

Cable car link from Greenwich-MEX (proposal, June ’98.. dead!)

Greenwich Tourist Information Centre (Old Royal Naval College, Pepys Building, opened June 2000)

Sir Walter Raleigh statue (removal from The Mall to new location outside GTIC)

Royal Naval College (transfer to University of Greenwich complete. Trinity College of Music opened September 2001. Nuclear reactor, JASON, decommissioning complete).

Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital University of Greenwich Learning Centre (complete)

Greenwich Devonport Nurses Home University of Greenwich student residences and conference centre (complete)

National Maritime Museum, Neptune Hall Project (opened April 1st 1999)

Opening up the ‘Grand Axis’ of Greenwich Park (complete)

Millennium Walk, Greenwich Park (complete)

Anchor Iron Wharf (new riverside walk and garden, restaurant and housing to 8 stories. Completed spring 2004)

Highbridge Wharf (complete, 11/98)

Trinity Hospital (proposal to develop flats in garden to rear off Old Woolwich Road)

Lovell’s, Granite, Badcock’s, & Pipers Wharves (historic cranes on site demolished as ‘unsafe’ March 2001. Planning application for site presented for public discussion 12/04. Includes two large residential towers and low rise, business premises, public open space and widened riverside walk. Some sites are complete but others still at the planning stage in late 2021)

Enderby Wharf River Steps (complete, October 2001)

Enderby Wharf (proposed site for Liner Terminal. Agreed by Greeniwch Council, but issues remain (12/2017) regarding pollution from diesel generators while moored with objections from Tower Hamlets Council and local resident groups (EGRA). Proposal finally canned in July 2021)

Greenwich-Dome Riverside Path (now complete) & inland cycleway to Dome (complete)

Temporary floating accommodation for Dome workforce (application rejected)

200 metre Globorama Tower Victoria Deep Water Terminal (plan shelved)

‘Sky Pod’ cable car river crossing (outline planning permission, March ’98, but shelved)

Third Blackwall Crossing or Silvertown Tunnel (building finally commenced 2021)

North Greenwich Jubilee Line Station & associated transport interchange (fully opened November 1999 – station canopy and entrance hall to be re-designed, 2021)

Thames Path round Dome complex (opened 17/9/01)

New Millennium Experience Exhibition at the Dome (MEX) (now closed)

Legacy plc Dome Business Park (withdrawn)

Meridian Delta Peninsula/Dome Scheme (20-year plan – details finalised 7/04. Enabling works begun Spring 2005. O2-branded arena opened 2007.)

Skyscape cinema/live performance stage (closed, then demolished May 2001)

Millennium Pier (completed November 1999, fully operational)
Canopy revisions proposed late 2021

Emirates Cable Car (fully operational)

David Beckham Soccer Centre (completed, closed by DB in 2009, taken over and closed finally in 2014 with the pre-fab buildings relocated to Southend United Football Club)

Holiday Express hotel & Chinese restaurant (Blackwall Lane/Bugsby’s Way junction with Millennium Way, complete)

300 acre Peninsula Master Plan & ‘Millennium Village’
Construction began 29/11/99, first occupations 12/00.
Multi-storey Phase 1A ready for occupation, 9/01
Phase II ready for occupation, 6/02.
Phase 1B ready for occupation late 2003.
(Development continues 2022!)

Village Eco-Park (opened 2/02)

Millennium Village Primary School and Health Centre (opened 2/01 and 7/01 respectively)

14-screen Multiplex Cinema and three restaurants (west side of Peninsula site. Opened 7/4/2001. Now the second busiest cinema in the UK.)

Sainsburys, Comet, Homebase & Jewsons (west side of Peninsula site. Opened 11/99. Homebase/Jewsons closed 3/01. Comet closed. Sainsbury’s closed 2015. IKEA have purchased the site, demolished Sainsbury’s eco-store and plan to open a new outlet in 2018.)

B&Q Superstore replacement for Homebase (opened 10/8/01)

Peninsula Site road works infrastructure (began April ’98. Complete)

Guided bus rapid-transit link from MEX – Charlton Station. Never used! Ripped up April 2001, replaced with ordinary road and buses re-routed to it, 5/01.

Waterfront Transit The Dome to Abbey Wood & Thamesmead. (Mayor agreed, Spring 2003. Stalled)

A102 improvements four lanes each way between Woolwich Road flyover & Blackwall Lane + new foot/cycle bridge (complete)

Greenwich Millennium Controlled Parking Zone (post-Millennium phase operational)

MEX traffic calming measures (complete)

Cleared site options along Charlton river frontage and Woolwich Road

St. Alban’s Sand & Gravel Works new gravel conveyor (opened March 2001)

Asda site regeneration (application approved)
Adjoining site retail park (completed late 2003)

Makro store improvements (completed 4/99)

Transit link turn-around Charlton Station/Charlton Church Lane (complete, now unused)

Charlton Athletic F.C. Stand redevelopments (West complete 9/98, East additions & North Stand work begun 5/01, completed 1/02. Further proposals to increase capacity to 30,000+ by adding extra tier to East Stand, 2004)

Widening of Woolwich Road to dual carriageway between Woolwich & Bugsby’s Way (opened 11/99)

Stone’s Sports Ground retail park development (opened 11/98)

New Situsec Wharf and Coated Roadstone Plant (operational 3/99)

Royal Commonwealth Buildings development, Woolwich

Mast Pond Wharf (Hotel approved 3/99 but never built. New plans for housing 1/04). Thames Path through MPW site 5/01)

North London Line Woolwich Tunnel Link (proposal – abandoned)

DLR – London City Airport to Woolwich Link (proposed, 7/01, agreed 1/04, complete)

Crossrail Tunnel and new stations at Woolwich and Abbey Wood (completion 2018)

Royal Arsenal Park (opened, July 2000)

Royal Arsenal Heritage Site development in stages… on-going

Royal Arsenal Pier (officially opened March 2002, commuter services delayed but now operational)

Royal Artillery Firepower Museum (opened May 27th 2001, closed July 2016. Exhibits currently in store in Wiltshire, not open to the public, for future display in the proposed Salisbury Plain Heritage Centre)

Greenwich Heritage Centre and Local History Library (opened in old Arsenal buildings, early 2004)

Thames Path through Royal Arsenal (opened May 27th, 2001)

Gallions Reach Bridge Local Link (passed by Greenwich Planning Board 12/04, with Mayor for final OK. Public enquiry to be held. Still no decision on new crossing 2/22!)

Many local residents haven’t heard of all (or any!) of these, but it’s only when you put them together like this that the magnitude of the changes that have occured, are planned to occur, in this area become clear. It is perhaps more the totality of what has been achieved than the individual elements that now needs careful consideration. From many points of view any changes should be seen as being of benefit not only in relation to employment prospects for the area, but also to the general improvement in its appearance. Just one example which has had relatively little discussion locally is how was it possible for the Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital and Devonport Nurses’ Home to remain unoccupied and in such a decrepit condition for so long at the heart of a World Heritage Site?

The downside had to be the potential impact of hugely increased visitor numbers to the Greenwich area, especially in the Millennium period itself (from December 1999 to January 2001). Original estimates quoted by the Britannia Project from the Price Waterhouse Feasability Study, Britain’s Millennium Experience Festival, for instance, put daily visitors to the site for that year at around 125,000, adding up to 12 million in addition to the current, relatively modest, 2 million or so annual visitors to Greenwich. In hindsight we now know that such forecasts were wildly inaccurate, and probably would have proved so regardless of the perceived quality of what was on offer at the Dome.

New developments are almost bound to happen regardless of public opinion, so the Blackheath Society, Charlton Society, Greenwich SocietyWestcombe Society, other local interest groups and all local inhabitants should be constructive, but nevertheless vocal, in their opinions when they are needed.

Author: David Riddle, then Chair, Westcombe Society Environmental Sub-Committee.
Most of the above item was first published in the Westcombe Newsthe newsletter of the Westcombe Society, February 1996, and, with permission, in Docklands Forum magazine.
Also referenced in a letter to Greenwich Time, March 19, 1996

Latest information update: June 22nd, 2005.

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