Convoys Wharf
Convoys Wharf

As you may know, stage one of the convoys wharf development has been submitted to Lewisham Council.

I have long been opposed to the development on the historic dockyard, any development that does take place has to be in the interest of our community in Deptford, benefiting our young people and building the affordable housing that we so desperately need.

You can see my objection to stage one of the planning application below, I urge the local community to voice their concerns and thoughts here before the 10th October –

Objection to Planning Application DC/18/107698 Convoys Wharf, Block 08 (Phase 1) and its surrounding environment

With the desperate need for decent housing constantly at the forefront of my constituents’ needs, I must strongly object to phase one of the Convoys Properties Limited (CPL) development at Convoys Wharf.

Primarily my residents’ concerns about the current plan is the total disregard of the need for the existing community. Plot 08 is comprised entirely of private accommodation, none larger than two bedrooms. Deptford residents need socially rented, family sized properties of three beds or more.

This need has been recognised by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in the availability of funding should developments meet or exceed 35% affordable housing provision. Initial permission was given for this development of Convoys Wharf by Boris Johnson MP during his tenure in City Hall and it is right that it should now be reshaped for the many, not the few by a Labour Mayor.

In their Core Strategy Policy 1, the London Borough of Lewisham committed to seek 50% affordable housing in all new developments. Affordable housing in this context would be split at 70% social rented and 30% intermediate housing and yet no socially rented homes are planned at Plot 08.

LB Lewisham Strategy also that expects all developments of 10 or more dwellings should include family sized homes and yet none are planned at Plot 08.

CPL have offered no transparency in the financial viability of this development, despite pressure from the Mayor of London and a judge’s ruling in January 2015. CPL continue to show contempt for community stakeholders.

Furthermore, Convoys Wharf is a site of historical and cultural significance also completely ignored in the current plans. Initially CPL offered to engage with community groups and establish as Cultural Steering Group (106 Agreement, 2015) to support endeavours, such as Build the Lenox.

The Steering Group met once in January 2017 but the aforementioned groups were omitted from debate. No further submissions have been taken on by community groups.

Concerns have also been raised about the size of the proposed units which will not meet the basic requirements for children and young people. The layout of the proposed units is not sympathetic to the developmental needs of young children as it is unlikely to provide space enough for play or even private study.

A report published by Shelter in 2005 examining the effect of overcrowded properties on health notes direct links between overcrowding and health conditions in young people such as asthma. I regularly visit with constituents trapped due to high living costs in overcrowded properties which become subject to severe mould and damp. These situations would be less common with a housing stock built with a growing population in mind.

CPL include no additional provision for outdoor play areas for the children of residents. The SPG from the Mayor of London includes policy on Play and Recreation calling upon developers to provide space for children and young people on large sites.

Both the GLA and LB Lewisham have committed to clean air strategies to combat the toxic levels of pollution in the city and indeed my constituency. I see no such acknowledgement in CPL’s current plans as inclusion of green space is eschewed for greater units of luxury apartments.

The development is currently not fit for purpose. CPL need to start a meaningful conversation with local stakeholders and community groups who will inform on their plans to create a space which will work for my constituency. I suggest we arrange an urgent meeting to find a way forward for the site.

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