Greenwich boatyard still fears high-rise development costs

Greenwich boatyard still fears high-rise development costs

Campaigners against the original Lovell's plans

Paul Deverell at the boatyard

First published in News
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This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

Campaigners against a massive Greenwich riverside development have proved victorious - but questions still remain over the future of the Thames' largest remaining boatyard.

There was an outcry last year over plans for Lovell's Wharf in east Greenwich, with proposals for 528 homes in buildings up to 13 storeys high. A petition against the project was signed by more than 1,200 people and it was eventually rejected by Greenwich Council's planning board.

This Is Local London: Paul Deverell at the boatyard

In contrast, new plans which scaled back the blocks, also providing three new children's areas, a nursery, larger community space and redevelopment of the rowing club, were widely welcomed.

At a planning meeting this month where the revised plans were voted through, board member Councillor David Grant said: "The reason why we have this acceptable development and not the unacceptable development is members of this planning board voted against their officers' advice.

He added: "We do not nod through large developments. We look at them very seriously."

But afterwards, neighbour Laura Eyres told News Shopper they were concerned that other nearby projects at a higher density and with less community facilities than Lovell's - like the 272-home, 18-storey Alcatel-Lucent site - had been approved without the same level of fuss.

She said: "It's great that the developer changed the plans. Its taken so much of our time to do this and its obviously worth it because we've got a good story to tell.

"But we just feel than any plan that comes up they'll just grant planning permission. Lovell's would have gone through if we hadn't made such a fuss. We feel like we're doing the planning department's job for them."

Meanwhile, developer London & Regional Properties are still in disagreement with the Thamescraft boatyard which employs up to 20 workers and needs to relocate further down river to make way for the project.

Paul Deverell, who has run the yard for more than 25 years, says the boatyard still needs more money for its relocation than is currently on the table. He said: "My son's going to take it over but I'm not going to let him do that with a great big debt."

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