Friday 1 August 2008

Apartment city SE8

You might think Deptford has plenty of apartments already, being caught in a pincer maneouvre between Millennium Quays, the Glasshouse, and OneSE8, not to mention the myriad of ex-council maisonettes available at very reasonable prices on Crossfields, Evelyn and Pepys estates.

But not a bit of it. We all know about the forthcoming Old Seager Distillery, which is currently being built at the moment and will offer 219 flats next to Deptford Bridge DLR station, most of them in a tower block.

And that's not the half of it. The Dame had a quick scoot round her demesne with a camera, followed by a surf on the world wide web to show you how you can expect the area to change in the next year or so.

Starting at the smaller end of the scale comes the Princess Louise Building, just off Deptford High Street, which is almost finished. According to the developer's website, there are a few remaining. So if you are not bothered about your privacy, or already own some large net curtains, pop on over there and snap one up. Joking aside, I think this is quite a nice development, it fits in well with the scale of the surrounding buildings and brings a splash of colour and modernity to the area.

Going up a bit in scale, comes the Drake Apartments; 80 studio, one and two bed apartments sandwiched between Evelyn St and Clyde St. This site has been hoarded and ready to go for several years, I was quite shocked to find it had advanced so far in a matter of months. Pretty mediocre-looking - nothing offensive but nothing too exciting either, although in comparison to its neighbours, it would probably be seen as pretty glamorous! Nice to see the land being used at last, and the development is at least in approximate scale to its surroundings.

Now we take something of a leap, both in terms of size of development and cost. Paynes & Borthwick Wharves have been torn down, all except the building facades, and currently look like this (from the back):

In due course, they will look like this (from the front):

The blurb on the site promises:
"257 apartments will be created in 8 blocks, a high proportion of which will have views across the River Thames. 1, 2 and 3 bedroom duplex apartments will be available with the benefit of private garden areas and 180 secure underground car parking spaces."

Not a particularly stunning development, although the retained facade certainly gives it an edge over most of the dismal apartment blocks on the opposite side of the river, but nothing particularly offensive by riverside standards.

The site goes on: "Commercial units will be available to creative industries in the area, a public arts programme will integrate artwork into the buildings and public spaces and, during the development, around 11,000 square feet of internal space will be available for events, shows, performances and presentation facilities for local and visiting arts organisations."

All sounds very pleasant, although of course cynics will ask whether there will be any grants to encourage use of the public spaces or to fund the events, shows and performances. The developers have got off to a good start though, by setting up the P&B cultural showcase, which is open to all local creatives and artists in Deptford, Greenwich & Lewisham. Upload your work and projects to the site before 27 September to meet the submission deadline.

And finally, the monster of them all.

This innocent-looking hole in the ground between the Laban Centre and Creek Road is set to become Creekside Village.

The Village (if you haven't seen this before, make sure you are sitting down before you open the link, possibly while taking a stiff drink. And not just because it's an incredibly annoying website design) is set to offer Deptford a further 801 residential units, along with some more commercial space to add to the empty commercial units we already have aplenty on Creek Road. And apparently the three 'dynamic triangular buildings wrap around the Creek signifying the Laban as a cultural landmark'. Quite how they do this is beyond me - to my (obviously untrained) eye it seems as though they overshadow and dominate the Laban.

So far, only the smaller of the blocks are under construction. The land for the triangular buildings is still covered in derelict buildings, huge buddleia bushes and colourful graffiti.

Get down there quick while you can still get a hint of the Creek's industrial past.

Of course I haven't even touched on the proposed redevelopment at Deptford Station (*yawn*), the eternally-postponed Convoys Wharf, the developments this side of Greenwich - either the riverside properties and the new blocks next to the rail station - or New Cross. All I can say is it's going to take more than a few extra carriages on the DLR to get us all to work!


CarolineLD said...

Wow, until you put all this together I hadn't quite realised how many new flats are on their way! Perhaps not the best time to have to sell them all...

Anonymous said...

Cool round up. The Paynes and Borthwick development has been postponed whilst the firm weathers the credit crunch.

You also missed another big one the other side of Deptford Creek from Millenium Quay/ Creekside Village -

Personally I can live with the big developments - Creekside, Seager Distillery, etc. ... sometimes you have to accept change isn't incremental but quick ... and they should be better than 60s tower blocks ...

Anonymous said...

deptford, and lewisham, (and many other places) have become a developers plaything. What might be 'modern' for a short while will become aged and tatty in an even shorty while.

Goodbye individuality, hello uniformity

Anonymous said...

I walked up Creek Road and up to the river a few weeks ago and realised I'd forgotten just many developments are taking place around there - and wondered how many would survive the credit crunch. Sad to see the Paynes/Borthwick development left half-done, it's a real blight on that corner of Deptford.

Richard Elliot said...

"We all know about the forthcoming Old Seager Distillery, which is currently being built" - I heard a rumour that development had been halted while they re-applied for planning permission for a taller building. However, that was before the worst of the credit crunch so it could all have changed now.

I think all the new developments are broadly positive. I like the area, but it could still do with a bit of gentrification as far as I am concerned. All the young professionals moving in will help push things along.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for adding that one nano, that's what I was referring to by 'the developments this side of Greenwich' but I couldn't remember the name.

I admire your optimism about them being an improvement on the 60s tower blocks - but don't forget when the 60s tower blocks were built, they were state of the art too!