Sunday 25 March 2012

Open day at Convoys Wharf

The Convoys Wharf community consultation day attracted a large number of people from the local area and beyond, with tours of the site and presentations from local community groups.

It was fascinating to see how much of the original docks are still there, only just below the surface of the ground. Many of the stone and brick structures seem to be in pretty good condition where they have not been damaged by later construction, although the archaeologist Duncan Hawkins, whose company CgMs is working for developer Hutchison Whampoa, would not be drawn on the structural soundness or otherwise of the dock walls.

The turnout was impressive, and quite a few people were unable to find seats in the marquee, which had been set up with tables and chairs, but still remained standing throughout the presentations, demonstrating that they were keen to hear about the alternatives.

The head of the European arm of developer Hutchison Whampoa, Edmund Ho (below), welcomed everyone to the event during the introductions, along with Joan Ruddock, who attended the launch of our alternative vision last year, and declared herself to be in full support of our plans. 

Deptford Is.. member William Richards (below) introduced the three projects that we are proposing, and urged the audience to consider the future of the site very carefully.

"It must be said that anyone here should count themselves as crazy if they were to resist inevitable and necessary regeneration of this site, which has the assets of place, location, scale and heritage to make it remarkable in London.
"It is with a desire to achieve that the community offers its ideas. Some of the specific ideas are relatively new, some are the result of ten years of actively engaging with and researching the site; all the ideas are almost beyond imagination - but the challenge for everyone in this room is to elevate the future of the site beyond the banal, beyond the expedient and reflect the values of the site into the future. It must be excellent.
"It must work, for those who live here today and for those who will come to Deptford in the future."

William introduced other members of the group to talk about our three proposals - the Lenox project, Sayes Court Gardens, and the Seven Bridges, all of which were also presented at our alternative vision launch last year.

Other presentations included inspiring contributions from members of the Second Wave Youth Arts group in Deptford, who urged the planners to consult and engage with the young people of the area. It was not simply a plea to be consulted, it was a confident statement that the young people of Deptford have a lot to offer that the masterplanners can benefit from.

Architect Sir Terry Farrell, whose firm has been employed by Hutchison Whampoa to review the masterplan for the site, rounded off proceedings by explaining that he and his team would go away and consider all the comments and ideas, before starting on the next phase of the consultation process which would inform the masterplan review.

The Deptford Dame has also published a report on the event, which you can read here.


  1. Our Heritage Needs to be Available to Public
    View and Properly Protected without being
    Buried beneath Characterless Skyscrapers
    Symbolic of this Characterless " Modern Age "

    We Need the Deptford Royal Dockyard Site
    HMS Deptford Commissioned

  2. Excellent proposals from Deptford Is. The developers need to consider these ideas carefully and take action to support these issues which would contribute to a future for Deptford.

  3. Very impressive. So much thought, creativity and effort had gone into the presentations. I was particularly impressed by the Landscape architect's proposals, they didn't simply speak about what they wanted to receive from the developpers, they actually presented a detailed plan of their vision. The visualisation of Dacca Street transformed to a tree lined georgian style grove was beautiful. As a Deptford resident I am mainly excited at the prospect of being able to walk directly to the river. I am also very happy to imagine shops, bars, restaurants etc being built on the site, this would be an excellent improvement to the area which currently has just a few convenience stores, gambling and fast food take away stores. Currently for nice restaurants or bars you have to head to Greenwich or Tower Bridge, there is nothing on our door step. I would love to see the use of old stone and brick (like the brick used in the archway by Waterstones in Greenwich). The mix of old stone with modern glass would look clean and attractive. Why not attact Greenwich visitors to Deptford? I cannot wait to see life and beauty breathed into the area and I am confident that Sir Terry Farrell is the man to do that!

  4. Great presentations, particularly William Richards (great speaker) and the landscape architects. I look forward to the exciting new developments!