Mayor approves plans for major new development at Convoys Wharf
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson yesterday (Monday, March 31) approved plans to build up to 3,500 new homes and create over 2,000 new jobs on a site in Deptford that has been derelict for 14 years.
Convoys Wharf is one of the largest potential sites for much-needed new housing in the capital. Over the past decade a series of proposals to regenerate the site stalled before they could be considered.
An application was submitted to Lewisham Council in May 2013, but the local authority was unable to consider it before the statutory 16 week period to determine planning applications of this nature expired. At the request of developer Hutchison Whampoa, the Mayor chose to take on the role of planning authority in an attempt to bring the plans to fruition.
The 40-acre Convoys Wharf site was once home to a royal dockyard founded in 1514 by Henry VIII. It is also the site of the historic Sayes Court Garden and the boatyard where the Lenox warship was built.
At last night’s representation hearing at City Hall, the Mayor granted planning approval, subject to a Section 106 agreement, which requires City Hall planners to meet with Lewisham and Hutchison Whampoa to come up with a workable, alternative scheme for Sayes Court Garden.
The Mayor also heard the views of the Build the Lenox community project, who wish to construct a replica of the seventeenth century warship. The Mayor said that the developer must fund a feasibility study into the Build the Lenox project to produce clear options about how it can be incorporated into the regeneration scheme. He also said that the developer should contribute towards the business case of whichever of these options is most feasible.
The developer will also build a community hub that will be linked to Sayes Court Garden, with an integrated new primary school included at the heart of the site. There will be shops, restaurants, 525 affordable homes and a new riverside jetty park forming part of an increased area of public space.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “We need to build thousands of new homes in the capital and proposals to do that at Convoys Wharf have stalled for far too long. I am pleased that we have been able to work on a scheme that will have enormous social and economic benefits for local people while preserving the heritage aspects of the site.”
London is experiencing an unprecedented population boom and over the next few years a million more people will have to be housed. The Mayor has called in 11 planning applications since 2009 as he looks to use the full range of his planning powers to speed up the decision-making process so that it is possible to reach a verdict on these vitally-important applications in a timely fashion.