The Greenwich Peninsula’s controversial Morden Wharf development site has been bought by Galliard Homes and a developer from Singapore, a year after the site was first put on the market.
Towers of up to 36 storeys are due to be built on the site, next to the Blackwall Tunnel entrance, along with 1,500 new homes.
The proposals were passed by Greenwich councillors two years ago on the casting vote of Stephen Brain, the former chair of planning. Opponents included Matt Pennycook, the Greenwich & Woolwich MP, who said he was “incredulous” that the towers of 21, 25, 30 and 36 stories on the riverfront had been approved.
But the developer, U+I, was bought shortly afterwards, and last October – soon after Greenwich Council had signed off on the final details of the plans – the renamed Landsec-U+I company decided to sell up.
In Greenwich, Galliard is best known for building the New Capital Quay development at the mouth of Deptford Creek, while just across the borough boundary it also built the Seager Tower next to Deptford Bridge station. The company is also behind plans to redevelop the Leegate Centre at Lee Green, also just over the border with Lewisham, and is involved in proposals for 26 and 30-storey towers at Deptford Creek.
Galliard has teamed up with City Developments Ltd, a Singapore company whose other London interests include the Stag Brewery site at Mortlake and Teddington Riverside, built on the site of the old Thames Television studios.
Little has happened on site at Morden Wharf since the site was approved, although plans to fell willow trees on the riverside path to improve flood defences were approved last month. An aggregates work on the site will also be expanded to take over a jetty so ships can carry waste material there.
With Galliard likely to want to put its own stamp on the plans – plus an increase in building costs since the plans were approved – locals will now be waiting to see what changes are made.
The sale will also result in a windfall for Morden College, the charity that owns almshouses on Blackheath and historically owned much of east Greenwich.
Mike Hood, the chief executive of Landsec-U+I – which has this month unveiled its plans for Lewisham shopping centre – said: “We’re proud of the transformational masterplan at Morden Wharf in collaboration with Morden College to create a whole new Greenwich quarter with homes, jobs and a Thameside park.
“Following the receipt of planning consent last year, our focus has been to raise vital funds for the charity’s work across the borough. We intended to find a specialist partner to begin to deliver the consented scheme, and through Galliard Homes, we have done that. We will continue our strategy to invest in our mixed-use urban regeneration pipeline over the next five years to realise our ambitions.”
Meryl Davies, the chief executive of Morden College, said: “Morden College is pleased that the sale of Morden Wharf will regenerate another area of southeast London, expanding the community that lives to the east of Greenwich town centre. Our founder, Sir John Morden, bequeathed the land to the charity over 300 years ago so that Morden College would be able to care for and support older people who are in need in perpetuity. This sale enables us to continue to work towards that goal.”
The sale of Morden Wharf comes just weeks after another developer, Criterion Capital, confirmed plans for its own towers of up to 36 storeys at Enderby Wharf. The two developments would share a Thames Clippers terminal if they go ahead.
• Close by, Transport for London is planning to build 300 homes next to the entrance to the new Silvertown Tunnel. The development, which could involve towers of 12, 17 and 20 storeys, would be built on the site of the old No 1 gas holder, which was demolished in 1985 and is being used as part of the tunnel construction site. The proposal emerged in a preliminary application to Greenwich Council.
TfL recently relaunched its property arm, Places for London, with the aim of providing “sustainable, desirable, beautiful homes” as well as raising cash for the capital’s transport network.