Plans for two tower blocks of 36 and 20 storeys next to the O2 are likely to be rubber-stamped in the coming weeks as a new area of the Greenwich Peninsula is lined up for redevelopment.

The development of 866 flats, plus commercial units and a three-storey cycle storage unit, would sit on vacant land between the Millennium Way roundabout outside the Dome and the River Thames – the first phase of a neighbourhood that will be known as Meridian Quays. 

All the homes in this phase will be for private rent, which the developer Knight Dragon says will “help accelerate delivery”.

Greenwich Council gave outline permission for the blocks in 2015, including allowing no “affordable” housing at all on the entire Meridian Quays site in return for building more elsewhere on the peninsula, including in the towers currently being built next to St Mary Magdalene school.

Councillors on the current planning board will soon be asked to approve the details of the project, which also includes rerouting some roads. The temporary Magazine London events building on the Thames is not part of this application, but in the long term will be replaced by a riverside park.

Split view of the development, one showing the tallest tower in full
The towers would be southwest of the O2. Credit: Knight Dragon

Knight Dragon plans to build 116 studio flats – 29 of which would not have a balcony – with 253 one-bedroom flats, 201 two-bedroom flats and 30 with three bedrooms. 

Just two objections were received, both from the Isle of Dogs, including complaints that the new buildings would block the view of the O2. The blocks would be finished by the end of 2027, according to documents put out in a public consultation earlier this year.

Developer's render
The development would incorporate a “bridge” over the Blackwall Tunnel. Credit: The Greenwich Wire

Greenwich’s planning officers are recommending that councillors approve the scheme. The plans are currently due to be discussed at this Tuesday’s meeting of the planning board, but could well be postponed because of the number of other proposals on the agenda, including the redevelopment of the old Greenwich town hall into flats

Apart from some changes to roads, the area at the north end of Millennium Way has changed little since it was first built at the end of the 1990s. 

The site at Millennium Way as it is now. Credit: Google Streetview

But other big changes are on the way, including building 38-storey towers on the site of the current bus station, which would be rebuilt beneath a car park further south. The entire area between the station and St Mary Magdalene school will be turned into homes and open space under Knight Dragon’s plans to build more than 17,000 homes across the peninsula.

The developer says it wants to turn Millennium Way into a “boulevard”, with public spaces running from one side of the peninsula to another.

A 36-storey student tower is also planned between the O2 and North Greenwich tube station, overlooking Peninsula Square. Those plans are being put forward by Crosstree, a property company which has a half-share in the O2.

More details about the Meridian Quays scheme can be found in the design development report (caution: 370MB download). It can also be read in 50 parts on the council’s planning website, but in the interests of transparency we have put them into one file.