Greenwich Ecology Park and the proposed 20-storey tower

Developers Greenwich Millennium Village Ltd (GMVL) are holding a public exhibition this week to set out what I hope will be significant revisions to their plans for a 20-storey tower (Plot 201) overlooking the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park.

The exhibition will take place at the Greenwich Yacht Club on Tuesday 6 February and Thursday 8 February between 4pm and 8pm.

Local residents who have been following this particular planning application closely will know that I objected to the previous proposal for a 20-storey tower in this location and sought to persuade GMVL to think again and come back with a revised proposal that lowers the height of the tower to make it more consistent with surrounding building heights and to reduce its impact on the Ecology Park.

As anyone who has visited the Ecology Park will know, it is an urban oasis and its four acres of freshwater habitat is home to a fascinating array of wildlife. The view of one GMV resident about this treasure has always stuck in my mind: the Park, they said, is a “wonderful resource” that must be “treasured, valued and appreciated for posterity”. They are absolutely right.

It is no therefore surprise that local residents, along with those who live further afield but who use and value the Park, also raised serious concerns about the proposals put forward last year by GMVL.

With outline planning consent having already been granted we must accept that a tall building of some kind will be built on the proposed site. However, a 20-storey tower (Plot 201) overlooking the Park is unjustifiable.

In my view the height of any building constructed on plot 201 should be approximately equal to, and certainly not significantly higher, than the existing surrounding GMV buildings.

Nor can any reduction in the height of the proposed building be used to increase the massing of the building. If anything, GMVL should consider reducing it to mitigate further the impact of a building on the ecology park.

Any proposed tall building on the site must also foster a mixed community i.e. some affordable/intermediate housing must be incorporated into the proposals and I would oppose any building that was 100% private.

I hope that at the exhibition taking place this week we will see significantly revised plans that secure the support of the local community and I encourage all constituents that are interested to pop along.