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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com – you never know what you might discover.