Objecting to Convoys Wharf Planning Application – Plot 08 Reserved Matters

Plot 08 at Convoys Wharf has received outline planning permission and an application has been submitted for full permission. The current application deals with  ‘reserved matters‘, which normally include the five points listed below.  Objectors should address these issues rather than the development principle which has been approved.

My comments on the 5 points are in red text, below

  1. appearance – aspects of a building or place which affect the way it looks, including the exterior of the development. The appearance of the Convoys Wharf development is very disappointing (as discussed in the above link). It is not related to the historic character of Deptford. They are standard blocks which could be anywhere in the world. The applicants have researched Deptford’s heritage but have have then ignored it.
  2. means of access – covers accessibility for all routes to and within the site, as well as the way they link up to other roads and pathways outside the site. Far too much of the space within the Convoys Wharf site boundary has been allocated to vehicular traffic. Instead, the development should have been planned as a bicycle-first estate. There is a strong case for a bike bridge crossing the Thames immediately north of Convoys Wharf and residents should be provided with excellent cycle infrastructure. The aim should be for  most local trips to be by bike, including Safe Routes to School for parents and children. Longer trips should be done by cycling to local stations and there should be car clubs for such vehicular use as is necessary. 
  3. landscaping – the improvement or protection of the amenities of the site and the area and the surrounding area, this could include planting trees or hedges as a screen. The submitted design for Plot 08 at Convoys Wharf has far too many unvegetated horizontal and vertical surfaces. Convoys Wharf is part of John Evelyn’s former estate and came into dockyard use through his public-spiritedness. He was the most important British garden theorist of the seventeenth century. This provides an enhanced case for adopting an ambitious landscape policy for Convoys Wharf. The roofs should be roof gardens. The balconies should be large enough to serve as private green space. As many walls as possible should be living walls. There should be as much vegetation in the public open spaces as possible. The site should have excellent greenways.
  4. layout – includes buildings, routes and open spaces within the development and the way they are laid out in relations to buildings and spaces outside the development. The layout of Convoys Wharf has too many similarities with Deptford Creek Village and is likely to become another example of a bad landscape:architecture relationship. The streets at Convoys Wharf should be green streets and garden streets. The proposed open spaces should be assessed and the designs should follow established principles. 
  5. scale – includes information on the size of the development, including the height, width and length of each proposed building. See above comments on the appearance and layout of Convoys Wharf. In essence, the blocks are too blocky. Instead, they should make a welcome contribution to London’s skyline and riverscape. 

Tom Turner

Posted in skyline policy, urban design

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