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Regeneration specialist U+I has submitted its plans for a major mixed-use scheme on Greenwich Peninsula that will deliver around 1,500 new homes, hundreds of new jobs and more than six acres of high-quality public realm and a landscaped park along 275m of the River Thames.
Designed by acclaimed Dutch architecture firm OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), Morden Wharf comprises 12 high quality and tenure-blind residential buildings, as well as commercial, retail and community spaces, and will generate hundreds of new jobs.
The plans have been submitted to the Royal Borough of Greenwich for approval following extensive consultation with the local community and key stakeholders.
U+I’s proposals include over three acres of riverfront park, known as Morden Park, which will offer fantastic views of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and Canary Wharf across the River Thames. The park will lead directly off the Thames Path and will be open to workers, visitors and residents alike. The landscape design is inspired by the site’s history as a marshland and will add a significant new ecological resource to the area. The Thames Path will be significantly upgraded and increased in width to 6m (3m for pedestrians and 3m for cyclists).
A new public square that will host seasonal events and markets will be laid out where the Thames Path meets Sea Witch Lane, the main boulevard that runs east to west through the scheme. Underground car parking facilities means the public space will cater almost exclusively to pedestrians and cyclists.
The open space at Morden Wharf will include play and recreation space designed for all age groups, amounting roughly to three-and-a-half football pitches, helping to address the existing deficit of open space in the area.
The approximately 1,500 homes, of which 35% will be affordable, will include a mix of private sale, shared ownership and London Affordable Rent, which in particular will have a focus on family homes. A number of the residential buildings will feature vertical green façades that will help to provide natural screening and improve air quality.
The scheme will also deliver a mix of commercial and employment uses that will create around 1,100 new permanent jobs. This includes commercial, retail and community use, including smaller flexible spaces for SMEs and creative businesses. Echoing its rich history as a place of industry, a series of maker spaces and light industrial units will sit on the part of the site designated as Strategic Industrial Land. Over 2,400 construction jobs will also be generated over the course of the development programme.
An existing warehouse on the site of an old pub, The Sea Witch, that was destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War, will be retained to accommodate a new pub together with a mix of refurbished workspace for creative businesses. Other features of the scheme include a potential children’s nursery and other community space.
The plans also include a new permanent boat house on an existing jetty, designed by architects Carmody Groarke. The boathouse could provide a permanent mooring for Gloriana, the Monarch’s Royal Rowbarge, which was expertly crafted to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Morden Wharf is located in the South Western corner of the Greenwich Peninsula around 15 minutes walking distance from North Greenwich Station on the Jubilee Line. Upon completion of the Silvertown Tunnel, Tunnel Avenue, which runs along the Eastern edge of the site, will become two-way which could allow for a new bus service that runs between Morden Wharf and North Greenwich Station.
Richard Upton, Chief Development Officer, U+I, said: “Morden Wharf will bring together new homes, retail, leisure, employment and an extensive riverfront park, to create a diverse community rooted in the site’s heritage. Centred on a beautiful park and world-class public realm this scheme is set to transform the area into a distinctive, green, mixed-use development, while driving growth and employment and delivering 1,500 much-needed new homes.”
Reinier de Graaf, Partner in charge of the project, OMA, commented: “Morden Wharf is designed to foster community and has the right mix of uses to create a successful and vibrant neighbourhood, all stitched together with beautiful public realm. We have drawn design inspiration from Greenwich Peninsula’s industrial heritage – from the warehouses and silos that once sat on the site, to the iron lattice structure of the gasholders. We have also looked back further, to the original marshland landscape of the peninsula, and in creating the park and public realms we are seeking to return the post-industrial landscape to a more natural and ecologically diverse condition.”
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