A 36-storey tower block for students could be built between the O2 and North Greenwich tube station if developers get backing from Greenwich Council.
Plans have been submitted by Crosstree, a property company which has a half-share in the O2, for an 120-metre tower with 820 bedrooms for students.
The land was originally part of the Millennium Dome site. Plans for an eight-storey office block were approved as long ago as 2010, but went nowhere as dreams of developing North Greenwich as a business hub flopped.
Plans for a 36-storey block with 262 flats were approved in 2017. But work never began and Crosstree has now taken over the project, switching it to the lucrative business of student housing.
Until last summer, the land, which is fenced off with hoardings promoting the O2, was used by London in the Sky, which offered its customers a chance to eat and drink while suspended from cranes. If Crosstree’s plans go ahead, students at Ravensbourne or other nearby universities will able to dine from even loftier viewpoints on the same site.
Of the 820 rooms, 35 per cent will be “affordable”, which under City Hall rules is defined as up to 55 per cent of an annual student maintenance loan.
Crosstree says that its plans will address a lack of student housing in the borough of Greenwich and free up homes that are currently being used as student digs.
If approved, the tower will give North Greenwich commuters a taste of things to come in the area by the station, with Knight Dragon – the main developer on the peninsula – already holding outline permission for a forest of towers in the area, including 38-storey blocks to replace the bus station.
With a steady stream of students coming to London every year, housing them has become big business. A 35-storey block in Lewisham opened nearly two years ago. Plans for a 14-storey block on the site of the Woolwich Catholic Club were approved in April last year, but no work has begun on the site.