Greenwich Peninsula Partnership Forum (2)

Second Meeting, 13/2/02

This second meeting of this Forum was addressed by Lord Falconer
and by representatives of Meridian Delta Ltd..

Lord Falconer was unable to say much more than was already
publicly known about the time-scale for the proposed take-over of the
Dome by the Meridian Delta Ltd. consortium. Exchange of contracts was
still on schedule for early May, with a ‘completion’ date soon after.
At this time, all matters relating to the Dome would be handled by
the Consortium and English Partnerships as the land-owner. In
response to a question from the floor, Lord Falconer stated that
following signature, Government would take no further involvement in
the matter, and any future change of Government would have no impact
on the development since everything would then fall within a
standard, formal business contract. There would also be no attempt to
recoup losses experienced by the MEX.

Meridian Delta Ltd were represented by Lend Lease, Quintain
Properties, and by Anschutz Entertainment, the proposed Dome
‘operator’. Anschutz currently run the Staples Centre in Los Angeles,
which was last year voted the best performance arena in the world.
They plan is to build a similar 20,000 seat state-of-the-art
multi-purpose sports and entertainment arena within the Dome itself,
supported by ancilliary facilities including catering, etc.. The
proposal is currently to hold around 150 events per year, 40-50 at
the maximum capacity, a further 40-50 at a capacity of around 7,500,
with the rest having varying degrees of occupancy. Anschutz currently
own the Docklands Arena, but were reported (19/1/02) to be about to sell this and move all events including the London Knights Ice Hockey team to the Dome when it is complete.

In addition to the Dome development itself, a further 189 acres of
land currently owned by English Partnerships is to be developed by
the Consortium.This will result overall in a total investment in the
Peninsula over a 20-year period of an estimated £4 billion, with
a further £200 million being spent on the Dome itself.

Chris Roberts, Leader of Greenwich Council, also spoke in a very
similar vein to the previous meeting. He repeated the desire for high
quality buildings, appropriate employment and education
opportunities, especially for the non-academic disaffected youth of
Greenwich Borough, as well as an absolute requirement to provide
‘key-worker’ housing that would be occupied by Greenwich Borough
employees as opposed to those servicing Canary Wharf and all stations
along the Jubilee Line.

TfL provided a report on the latest transport initiatives for the
area. Again, nothing concrete was reported in terms of new services
and there was simply a repetition of the dates for decisions over the
four proposed Rapid Transit Links in London and the East London River
Crossing options with a re-iteration of the fact that a third
Blackwall crossing was the Mayor’s least-favoured option. For the
first time in the evening, speakers from the floor voiced dissent at
the lack of action to address issues relating to the lack of a bus
service from Greenwich Town Centre to the Peninsula Sainsbury’s,
FilmWorks. Additionally, Clive Efford, MP for Eltham spoke vigorously
for action on an decent service from Eltham Town Centre to North
Greenwich Station, a journey which currently takes 45 minutes by
existing services.

Report on first Forum meeting

Last updated, February 11th, 2002

Web’d by David Riddle

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