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news, views and issues around Greenwich, Charlton, Blackheath and Woolwich, south-east London – what you won't read in Greenwich Time

Greenwich ecology park threatened by 20-storey tower

with 13 comments

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park
It’s a bit of a hidden treasure, but it’s the most rewarding place to visit on the Greenwich peninsula. The Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, tucked away behind the Millennium Village, is a birdwatcher’s heaven and a place to escape city living, even just for a couple of minutes.

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park

Created at the same time GMV went up, it’s capitalised on how the old industrial structures of the peninsula attract birds and other wildlife, and its lakes provide views from the development that can’t be matched. Just imagine being able to sit out on a balcony to look over the lakes. Before you even think of the satisfaction it must give the neighbours, it must certainly add a bit to the prices of the homes here.

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park

Incredibly, though, all this is under threat from GMV’s own developers. The plot next door to the park is earmarked for a 20-storey tower block, which was actually given outline plannning permission by Greenwich Council in February 2012. A tower this tall will block sunlight from entering the park – and threaten its viablity.

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park

Essentially, the developer is supposed to be agreeing changes with the ecology park before it goes back to the council for final approval. With work now under way on adjacent developments nearby, the ecology park’s staff and volunteers are getting worried, and have started a “keep our park sunny” campaign.

With Greenwich Council’s recent record in backing towers in Woolwich and allowing a developer to add two storeys to Greenwich’s New Capital Quay to pay for a bridge to Deptford it was supposed to build anyway, it’s easy to see why they’re concerned. For the ecology park to survive and thrive, it needs Greenwich Council, Countryside Properties and Taylor Wimpey to stick to their words – and to talk to the park about their plans.

So, if you’re passing along the river this summer – or taking a look at the cable car now it’s a bit quieter – it’s worth popping into the ecology park and finding out more about what’s happening. With these new, denser, developments getting under way, life on the peninsula will change. It’ll be a miserable place if the ecology park gets killed off, so it deserves your support.

PS. If you’re got a question to ask Greenwich councillors about anything featured on this website, or anything at all, this week is your last chance for three months. You can submit a question to next week’s full council meeting by noon on Wednesday – email committees@royalgreenwich.gov.uk – you never know what you might discover.

13 Responses

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  1. Looking on the positive side of this, the Greenwich Square Development should be built by the time the ecology park goes into semi darkness. As I will be living just 4.3 metres away from the Hadley Mace Greenwich Square new builds which will overshadow my house in Calvert Rd I should imagine my eyes will become quite nicely adjusted to such low levels of natural light that I shall need some darkened spaces to hang out in. A sunless ecology park sounds just perfect. Well done again those wizards in Greenwich Planning. Welcome the evolution of the East Greenwich Morlocks.

    Paula

    23 July, 2013 at 1:46 pm

  2. Hi Darryl,

    Thanks for covering this issue, it’s received little attention elsewhere so far.

    The staff, volunteers, people who visit, and those who live nearby are all really worried about this tower that’s being threatened. It will basically destroy the Park by shading it for most of the day. That doesn’t sound serious, but it will effectively sterilise it and Greenwich will lose a peaceful corner and some amazing and beautiful wildlife (Terns, orchids, an array of Dragonflies, for example) found nowhere else in the Royal Borough. This gem of a site will be irreparably damaged just so some developer can make a fast buck, and you’re right that the Peninsula will be a miserable place without it. All those years of inspired planning when the Park was created, very hard work by dedicated staff and legions of volunteers, the links made between the Park and schools, local residents and community groups, and the rich biodiversity this tiny urban site has built up over the years will all be lost for some corporation’s profit!

    It should also be remembered that the original plans for the development did not include this tower and would have been acceptable… Anyway, I hope this will not get the go-ahead, but unfortunately I think it’s necessary to be prepared for a fight.

    P.S. If anyone wants to have a look at some of the wildlife and habitats to be found there, I have blogged about the Ecology Park a few times, for example:

    http://greenwichwildlife.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/bee-orchids-in-late-june-first-common.html

    Joe

    23 July, 2013 at 9:44 pm

  3. Was here last Saturday with my 2 year old. She loved it !! Mind you so did I. An amazing amount of wild life in such a small area. Even saw some Cinnabar moths, which I havent seen since I was a child.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnabar_moth.

    Its free to go to the park, and afterwards, you can stroll to the O2 for some food,
    I do hope the council tries to protect this lovely spot of Green-Greenwich.

    John Norman

    24 July, 2013 at 8:52 pm

  4. If this tower gets the all clear to be constructed it is going to need a display of people power and an awful lot of publicity to show just how people have had it up to their teeth with developers and councils making a fast buck at the expense of communities. This is, according to them, apparently excusable in the name of providing much needed low cost housing-but just how much of it is for local people in need of low cost housing, and do they need to be by the river? The constant barrage of ill thought out developments and higher and higher blocks of flats is reminiscent of the 1960’s grave errors in urban planning.
    When it comes to developing our riverside we cannot leave it to the council to protect areas by only allowing sympathetic development. It seems they are so desperate for ANY development that ‘anything goes’, and for a developer, that’s like a bowl of cream to a cat. Spread the word people if you have had enough,and lets show the council that we really care about our environment- say NO to this unsightly over-development of our open space.

    derek small

    25 July, 2013 at 4:43 pm

  5. I came here on Wednesday with a group of childminders and children. Joanne and her team organised some fantastic activities, including pond-dipping and bug-hunting, which the children really enjoyed. We should do all we can to preserve this unique place and ensure that the construction of this tower block does not go ahead.

    Sarah

    26 July, 2013 at 6:23 pm

  6. […] threat to the park from a 20-storey tower was mentioned in public questions – but Denise Hyland, who despite […]

  7. I love the park and have enjoyed its development and growth over the last 13 years. I just cant see how this can be allowed to happen but feel powerless to do do anything about it. It seems that whatever the developers want on the GP the developers seem to get. I for one will do whatever I can to oppose this… I just don’t know where to begin

    mark

    2 August, 2013 at 5:36 pm

  8. […] the Eco is under threat: a proposed new development includes a 20 storey tower that would put the park in the shade, thus […]

    Heron | NeilClasper

    9 August, 2013 at 8:57 pm

  9. I 2 agree with not allowing another high rise block to shadow this beautifull place it’s a lovely peacefull place to visit and there are some things in life worth saving and the egology park is 1off them it will dampen the whole area we certainly don’t need this especially where the staff strive so hard to keep this park so natural and beautifull

    Caroline weller

    10 August, 2013 at 11:09 am

  10. we have signed a petition via the Ecology Park and are writing to Nick Raynsford MP.

    Andrew Dixon

    31 August, 2013 at 8:54 am

  11. […] point in the wrong direction – including the one for Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, itself under threat from Greenwich Millennium Village’s long-term plans for a 20-storey tower which would overshadow it, blocking out vital sunlight. Visitors are sent heading off towards […]

  12. I was so disturbed about this that I went to see our local councilor Miranda Williams at the open surgery on the 9th of August – i wanted to know what the process was for this building getting the go ahead and what could be done to prevent it. I also raised other issues with her about the Peninsular there was no one else at the surgery. She took all my details and promised to get back to me… guess what? I havent heard anything back from her. i don”t think she gives a toss. Wont waste my time with that again.

    mark

    26 September, 2013 at 1:13 pm

  13. No surprise there. She moves to Charlton Ward at next election. And as she will be a shoo in what incentive has she to do much?

    Andy

    27 September, 2013 at 11:27 am


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