Sunday 23 September 2012

Seager Distillery development

This weekend as part of the Open House event, Seager Distillery Tower's 'viewing area' was open to the public, rare access to great views which many local bloggers and residents seem to have taken advantage of. Apparently residents of the tower have access to this area, which must be fun when there are fireworks or storms to watch - bet it was full for the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies! - but yesterday was rather warm in the full sunshine.

Although it has great views, they are only on three sides of the building, and in reality it's little more than a small glass box. There's a balcony outside with railings and everything, but no access to it. That being said, it's the best place from which to see the tower, as you can ignore its priapic proportions and grim grey exterior.

Looking south, the magnificent Dawson Heights estate in East Dulwich loomed on the skyline like some kind of ghostly castle. I made a mental note to take a trip down there one day and have a closer look, it's quite tucked away and the topography of the area make it practically invisible from the main roads of the area. You really have to seek it out.

The view south

The open access also provided a welcome opportunity to chat with a couple of members of Galliard staff, who gave quite an insight into progress on the development.

Perhaps you remember a year or so ago when the developers applied for permission to relegate the proposed art gallery to a poky site on Brookmill Road because they had a hotel operator lined up to open a four star 'boutique' hotel in the old building facing the main road?

I've noticed that very little seems to have happened to the building since then, and apparently there are two reasons for that. Not only did it take a long time for the council to grant permission for the changes to the building (Quote: 'they are not the easiest of councils to deal with' - hurrah! I would have been worried to hear that they are a walkover) but also our chap confided that the hotel operator has now pulled out and as of this moment in time they have no other operator in place.

Given that they missed the obvious Olympic deadline, this news hardly surprises me. And considering there are several other hotels nearby, not to mention more in the pipeline, I would be somewhat gobsmacked if they managed to attract another operator willing to back a four-star boutique hotel on the A2 in Deptford.

I look forward to hearing what plans Galliard has for its showcase building now.


Anonymous said...

Nice pics. I was hoping to get down but didn't make it. Thanks for the heads up on Dawson's heights hadn't heard about it.

like yourself I'm not surprised about the hotel not materialising. It's pretty saturated around there.

I passed the tower again a few days ago. Still think the choice of such a drab shade of grey kills the design. It's a slender tower and it could've got away with being so much taller than its environment if it appeared 'lighter'. If a different colour or material was used it would be far improved. Who in their right mind when choosing cladding on a tower (one that already dominates it's surroundings) decides on the most miserable one possible?

Have you been down Bothwick Wharf recently? Was surprised how quickly the tower there has shot up.

Lara said...

Wahey! I went today! :-).

Deptford Dame said...

@ fromthemurkydepths yes I've had a post about Borthwick in the pipeline for some months now, must get round to publishing it! I think my photos are way out of date now so I need to get down there for some new ones.

EleanorCS said...

I live opposite the tower and the grey cladding properly miserablises my view :(

I didn't realise until I was up at the viewing gallery yesterday that in addition to the new Travelodge and the Premier Inn on Greenwich High Road there's a new Mercure hotel about to open off Blackheath Hill. That one didn't make it in time for the Olympics and I'm a little baffled as to where the custom is going to come from to keep all three going.

martinohsk said...

I for one would be very interested in reading your post about Paynes & Borthwick, especially with some recent pics. I think it's one of the most promising developments in SE London at the moment in terms of aesthetics. I've been following your blog and was disappointed when you mentioned it earlier but didn't get round to publishing.

UU said...

Not surprised about hotel not going forward.

Less then two weeks ago another new hotel has been approved by planning board next to existing Premier Inn on Greenwich High Road (where recently opened PureGym is located). There are also two hotels planned at the Movement on Greenwich High Road (to be completed by summer 2014).

It is obvious Greenwich High Road and its immediate area is becoming saturated with new hotel developments. So in near future there will be five hotels and within next two years there will be seven hotels between Greenwich Station and Deptford Bridge station.

Anonymous said...

My nan used to live at Dawson's Heights, she was one of the first families to move it. Ladlands and Brednghurst was the perfect place for kids back in the day ... we had so much fun. No one ised to lock their doors, all the kids would be in and out of each others houses, we had a small supermarket over on the bredinghurst side (I think it's 126 Bredinghust? (Nan was at 134). Alas this place is nothing like it used to be. Everything is locked up, padlocked and security coded. I'm living in Texas now, and went back on vacation 4 years ago ... it was just not the same. If y'all think this place is wonderful now, you should have seen it in it's heyday ... Crime? What crime ... not at Dawson's height's ... well maybe some kids ncking a pint of milk or playing 'Knock down Ginger' but we all took care of each other. That place is all privatized now ... it's a shame ...