Friday 7 January 2011

The future face of Deptford Creek

Greenwich Council has given planning permission for two new developments on the eastern side of Deptford Creek which will continue to change the face of the Creek as we know it. Both developments are on Norman Road, and both are designed by architect BPTW (or bptw if you are no respecter of grammar, innit?).

With the Creek's banks already greatly despoiled by Creekside Village, and set to be further violated by the second phase of aforementioned development, it is difficult to offer any balanced critique of the two new developments that have to face our glass monstrosity. Actually in this context they look almost friendly and cuddly. Like a rabid dog might look, if it was put next to a deranged and hungry bear.

This rendering of the future view from Creek Road bridge gives a good indication of what we can expect of 30-52 Norman Road and Hilton's Wharf, which are on adjoining sites.

Hilton's Wharf will have some 85 apartments above 500sq m of commercial floor space and three live-work units.

30-52 Norman Road will also have 85 residential units, two live-work units and 1,250sq m of commercial floor space.

I'm pleased to note that both developments will offer public access to the banks of the Creek, although the responsibility for building a footbridge across to the other side and improving cycle and pedestrian links falls not to them, but to Creekside Village phase 2.

While the architecture is not inspirational, it is at least vaguely human in scale and finishes. BPTW was also the architect for the redevelopments on the Pepys estate and Childers Street; the former very successful in my opinion, the latter moderately so. They also designed the affordable housing element of the massive 'Greenwich Wharf' - I cynically presume that's the units at the back with no river view.


Dan said...

If the work on Greenwich Reach "New Capital Quay" has hit the buffers I find it difficult to believe this will be any more successful.

Anonymous said...

Personally I prefer the glass Creekside block or "glass monstrosity" as DD puts it!

It just shows you that architecture is very subjective. I think the glass looks stunning as it reflects the sunlight throughout the day. Compared with this dull brick Norman Road development that could be any Barratt starter home.

As for NCQ - most of the units are actually bought and people in contacts have been forced to pay a percentage up front and the rest on completion. People were queuing around the block to buy them...goodness knows why the demand was so hot for a 350k one bed but I suppose it is one of the last remaining large riverside developments in a prime location.

Sue said...

I'm really surprised at how dull their new building looks! I even prefer the Galliard monstrosity to the south of the creek on Greenwich High Road – like Anonymous says about Creekside Village, it reflects the light...
Anon, surely it's all still Buy To Let...?

Anonymous said...

Not sure - they say banks aren't lending buy to let as too risky - not sure how true.

Anyway, if you are in the market for a new pad there are still 24 units (1 bed) for sale

a snip at £350k-£423k !!

Anonymous said...

It has to be said that the 'architects drawings' make these proposed developments look very much like anything else that being thrown up around SE London (and beyond).

The fact of the matter is that it's probably been a long time since an architect looked at any of these development plans, they're all built to a formula to allow the developer to throw them up with the minimum of fuss (fuss being a relative thing!).

And, of course, the bottom line for these developments is selling them, and the developer looks for 'investors' to buy flats on a global scale. For instance, the Loampit Vale development is being advertised for sale in Hong Kong with associated tables indicating how much the owner could make from renting the properties out.

Its all about short term gain for the developer and long term loss for the residents of whatever borough these 'regeneration' projects occur in.

Deptford dame said...

@anon 21.59 please don't think I was praising the architecture of the Norman Road blocks as the type of thing that developers should strive for.

My main gripes with the glass monstrosity are the fact that the scale of the development, both in terms of massing and height, show no respect for the context in which it is set. Don't forget there's a 21 storey tower still to be built on the Creek frontage. Similarly with the architecture, which would be better suited to a corporate environment.

Anonymous said...

Totally disagree with DD too. I'm not a resident of Creekside development, but I love the architecture. Certainly the public area central to it is a calm little oasis. Each to their own I guess.

I'd love to see some initiative and thought go into a footbridge link from the Creekside area to Greenwich and the station there, the redevelopment of the plot of land that is necessary for it's building seems light years away. For us folk on the north side of Creek Road it would be a nicer, quieter walk than along Creek Road and down Norman... (Creek Road seemingly gets more choked with traffic everyday)and our own foot bridge over to NCQ doesnt really address this... it just helps push more foot traffic past Waitrose.

Deptford Dame said...

@anon you might be interested in this post then