An Overview of Deptford Creek

An Overview of Deptford Creek

Last year in my topographical drawings I focussed on the amazing scale of developments on the Greenwich Peninsula, including a major exhibition at The Greenwich Gallery over the festive season. However, my spasmodic journeys into DLR land have reinforced my belief that the Docklands Enterprise Zone of yesteryear is quite extraordinary as infill schemes of greater plans are maturing beyond belief. Who would have thought the tiddly toytown railway would have matured into such a diverse network serving not only the City but Stratford to the north, Beckton, City Airport and on to Woolwich with the Greenwich line into Lewisham . With Canary Wharf as the hub, the cross rail station has already arrived. Whoever designed such a pair of grand stations there certainly had the foresight and confidence!!

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Recent journeys to and from Lewisham have revealed some surprises as Creekside developments along this once-forgotten commercial tidal waterway have revealed a host of redevelopment sites which are well worth exploring.

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Who would have thought that so many hotels and student halls of residence would be opened, serving the University of Greenwich, Trinity Laban and Goldsmiths? Development of studios and workshops have been opened (and closed!); dense housing developments in tower blocks as well, mostly within easy reach of the DLR. Both Thameside and Creekside locations have attracted investors onto once brownfield sites, even replacing power stations and gas works of yesteryear which required wharfside locations.

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Perhaps the granddaddy of all is the construction of the Thames Tidal Sewer Tunnel which will compete with Bazalgette’s magnus opus. The preliminary works have started all along the Thames and nearer home just where the DLR crosses the Creek. Murphey, the well-known civil engineer, have been commissioned to build the first phase adjacent to the existing Norman Road pumping station which will eventually help sewage on its way. It’s said to be the deepest and largest tunnel ever built in the capital, which will follow under the tideway from Brentford in the west to Crossness in the East, diving under the Greenwich Peninsula, which will save a mile or two out of its 20-mile length.

Details are readily available on these massive schemes which will become much more apparent as the years drag on! Much of the necessary plant is planned to utilise river transport, and much of the spoil will be shipped downstream to be used as landfill where needed. Added to this work is talk of a new Thames crossing, be it road, rail, tunnelled or on a dramatic new bridge. No doubt Boris would like to reopen the proposed estuary airport debate as well. I wonder what the incoming mayor’s views are to all this!!

However, be of good cheer as the Tall Ships are planned to start their Trans-Atlantic gathering here again in Royal Greenwich and at Woolwich next Easter – a noble way to celebrate Father Thames.

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Also for your May diaries, the Battle of Jutland Centenary Commemorations will be launched on a Royal Naval battleship which will be moored at Greenwich Tier buoys between 20-25th May.

 

The largest passenger ship in the ‘World’ is due to call – date to be confirmed.

 

All these events will be best seen from the terrace tables at the ‘Sail Loft’, the new Fullers riverside pub!

www.britishlegion.org.uk/events

www.thamestidewaytunnel.co.uk

About RiverWatch returns

Peter Kent shares his Thames riverside studio viewpoint

One response to “An Overview of Deptford Creek”

  1. Julian says :

    In a recent meeting between Friends of Deptford Creek and the Thames tunnel contractors they subtly pointed out that transport of spoil by water is still being “evaluated”and that it has to be proven to be economically viable. However they are reasonably confident, though it was the river contractor speaking !
    As is usual with grandiose schemes there is a tendency to push aside all in their path and not fully consider the impact of some of their plans but at least they are talking. Use of the river has to be evaluated more than just financially, The environmental impact of transport by road when coupled with the welter of new developments all using the roads means it must be the river, but in a careful and
    considered way and not at the expense of the unique environment of the Creek or the boaters, schools, and walkers that use it.

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