Wednesday 22 January 2014

Deptford Dockyard and Sayes Court Garden discussed in Parliament

A press release from our local MP: watch the debate on BBC Parliament via Iplayer here.

Dame Joan Ruddock MP has challenged the government to recognise the unique heritage features of the site of Henry VIII’s naval shipyard, otherwise known as Convoys Wharf, Deptford, the subject of a multimillion pound planning application. 

Joan Ruddock said: ‘This development must be led by its heritage. Convoys Wharf with a foot print equivalent to the Southbank covers the site of Henry VIII’s naval shipyard established in 1513. Archaeological surveys have revealed extensive slipways, the great basin and dry dock, the remains of the Tudor storehouse and the foundations of the great diarist John Evelyn’s 17th Century manor house. 

‘This site is one of London’s best kept secrets and also one of its greatest opportunities.’ 

In an adjournment debate today Joan Ruddock told the minister: ‘We want to create a destination that both honours the past and creates a vision of the future that embraces the vibrant and dynamic community that is Deptford’. 

She said: ‘Two locally developed projects would fulfil that ambition and demand incorporation at this stage of the planning process. Sayes Court Garden would create a 21st century garden at the entrance to the development and an Urban Horticulture Centre. 

Building the Lenox would build a replica of the 17th century wooden warship in the grade II listed Olympia building which covers historic slipways.’ 

Sir Terry Farrell’s master plan for the site puts the Olympia at the heart of the development however the plan, while recognising the projects, fails to place them within their historic context. 

Current owners Hutchison Whampoa have asked the GLA to determine their outline planning application. In the debate tonight Joan Ruddock will be appealing to the heritage minister to back the local vision. 

Specifically she will ask the Minister to activate an emergency listing/scheduling procedure based on the available archaeology. This would ensure that Hutchison Whampoa and the GLA proceeded with the full knowledge of the heritage protections on the site and how this should influence design and construction decisions. 

‘Convoys Wharf sits alongside the Greenwich World Heritage site of the Royal Palaces, the National Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark. Hutchison Whampoa have a unique opportunity to create a development with heritage at its heart and for Deptford and its dockyards to once again become a jewel in London’s crown.’

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