I've been meaning to write about Paynes & Borthwick Wharf for some months now, ever since I was down in Twinkle Park at about 7am on a Saturday morning and was remarking on the almighty racket coming off the site as the builders hammered on, impervious to local residents.
As a few people have commented, the new buildings on the east of the site, which is right next to Twinkle Park at the bottom of Watergate Street, have grown quickly in recent months. The main tower can be easily picked out from the various high points I've visited in the last few days, including the top of the Seager Distillery Tower, Point Hill, and One Tree Hill in Greenwich Park. That being said, it is still massively overshadowed by the ugliness of Creekside Village and the bulk of New Capital Quay, and if the Convoys Wharf towers get built as proposed, it will be stumpy by comparison.
|View from Twinkle Park|
As far as their marketing material goes, United House and LaSalle Investment Management clearly believe that Deptford is still a hard sell, even for riverside developments next to 17th century listed buildings, so they have relocated it to West Greenwich, SE8.
A press release says the development "will provide 257 high specification one, two and three bedroom apartments and 10 live/work units in a landscaped setting with views towards Canary Wharf, Greenwich and the City. The mixed-use regeneration scheme will also feature 38,000 sq ft of art gallery, restaurant, commercial and retail space and a total of 150 underground parking spaces.
"Paynes & Borthwick will comprise 203 residential units for private sale and 44 affordable homes which will be managed by Hexagon Housing Association. The development will include a new residential tower rising to 16 storeys and the sympathetic conversion and sensitive restoration of the existing warehouse buildings which will retain their original facades.
"The master plan for the project has been agreed by the Boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich to advance the regeneration of this area of London, which has been designated a Creative Enterprise Zone by the Government."
Naturally in their site rendering the developers have taken the liberty of including Twinkle Park, just to make it look greener and more attractive than it would do if it was just a load of buildings with green roofs. It's not an outright invention of course, but it does seem galling that they are using a lovely little green space which has been created by and is maintained by the community in order to sell private flats. Not least because the park is already becoming badly overshadowed by the high buildings.
As developments go, it's not a bad effort. The owners were obliged to retain the facade of the old wharf building, on both sides of the structure, and although they've stuck the usual double-height glass box on the top, set back from the facade so that the planners will let it ride, it's not offensive by any stretch of the imagination.
The new-build blocks are relatively dense, but by dint of the site plan, the architects were prevented from creating anything as monstrous as the blocks on New Capital Quay, and they have actually included two relatively low-rise blocks between the new build and the renovated facades which should make the public plazas a little more attractive.
|Two low rise blocks - view from the river|
|Twinkle Park on the right hand side, looking along the retained facade|
You only have to look at the sad, boarded-up ground floor of Wood Wharf, and the shenanigans over the Seager Distillery Tower art gallery to know that it's not going to be a straightforward transformation into the 'Creative Enterprise Zone' that is being touted.
|View towards the river|
|View from the road, looking west|