Crap development: Enderby Wharf neighbours disturbed by Greenwich’s ‘poo wagon’

Barratt Homes' poo wagon loading up on Wednesday afternoon

Barratt Homes’ poo wagon loading up on Wednesday afternoon

It’s another tall ships weekend, but for a real sniff of what life’s like by the river in Greenwich these days, head down to Christchurch Way. Here, Barratt Homes has recently unveiled the first homes at Enderby Wharf – adjacent to the planned cruise terminal site.

Unfortunately, these homes haven’t yet been properly linked up to utilities. There’s currently no sewerage service, for example.

So every other day, a truck parks up in Christchurch Way to take the new residents’ effluent away. Sometimes it comes at breakfast, sometimes it comes in the afternoon. It smells, and it’s noisy too…

It typically takes three hours to suck all the sewage away, I’m told.

Worse still, the new homes are currently being powered by diesel generators.

While I was filming the poo wagon, one shift-working resident came out to tell me he’s disturbed by the noise from the crap truck, and his asthma is being made worse by the generators.

These are clearly growing pains for what will be a big new development. But it’s another example of why people in this part of Greenwich are feeling a little under siege right now.

15 comments

  1. larrypoulton

    I can think of a place to take the sewage… Council planning dept? Its 21st century England – how can a development be allowed to be lived in when the sewage is not connected?!

  2. maryorelse

    I think some very very hard questions need to be asked to the developer about this – clearly the Alcatel factory is connected to the sewage system – so – did the developer not have an agreement with Thames Water, with deadlines planned to match dead line completion, and with penalty clauses on both sides?? Or is that not how it is done?
    I am aware there was some problem with electricity supply to some other sites and the construction of a sub station – but – again – why was there no agreement with the developer to get this all sorted out first,
    None of it makes sense. If both water and power are not working that must mean incompetence on the developer’s part – and someone needs to find out a bit more.

  3. maryorelse

    Still I suppose if Barratts intend selling them all direct to overseas investors who will never see them, let alone live in them, its probably cheaper not to get them connected.

  4. fromthemurkydepths

    Pretty shameful state of affairs.

    Some serious upgrading of sewerage infrastructure (along with much else) is needed in the area with future stages of this development, the cruise terminal next door, Alcatel’s part-conversion to resi over the road, the almost complete third ‘River Gardens’ block almost adjacent and then the fourth block to come. Oh, and Morden Wharf too. Probably missed some too.

  5. Chris

    It’s hard to believe that this is legal. I have a mate who lives in rural Sussex and his cesspit cleared out every so often, but in a block of flats in Greenwich? In 2015?

  6. maryorelse

    Mr. Murky Depths – perhaps you know and I don’t, although I’ve been on about this for some time. I sort of assume that once a project has got planning consent that the developer tells the utilities and that they have some sort of duty to provide them – or does the developer have to negotiate it with them?? I know that on the Lovell’s site the developer was in some way involved in funding an electricity sub station. So?? who has fallen down here – is it the developer or the utility?? Is someone finding that out??
    I also assume that in the old days the Council’s Building Control Section would go along and tell them they couldn’t do this or that until the utilities were connected up – but I also know that new rules for big developers mean they are allowed not to use the Council service but have set up one of their own. Inspections are now carried out by developers by the National Housebuilders Federation – and that is developer funded. And I don’t know if they have the same clout as the Council service, even if they wanted to.
    Or does everyone just do as they like now??

  7. Janet Sweet

    The new buildings, close to the pretty, Edwardian terraced houses, are so desperately UGLY.

  8. Thudd

    Don’t underestimate the sewer capacity needed to deal with black water and grey water discharge from the cruise ships; a vessel carrying 3,000 PAX and crew is estimated to produce between 15,000 and 30,000 (US) gallons a day of sewage alone, with the US EPA finding a daily average sewage generation rate of 21,000 gallons (79,000 litres) per day. Grey water is even greater, at 90,000 – 255,000 gallons a day. Sewage and grey water contain heavy metals, volatile and semi-volatile organics, pesticides, nutrients, pathogens, and faecal coliforms. What a charming present to leave us with! As ships can’t discharge this waste into the sea within 12 miles of coasts, the holding tanks will be pretty full, in addition to the ongoing port ‘output’.

    Now most folks know the reason why we can get away with a single 9″ sewer pipe serving a whole terrace of houses is because the chances of them all flushing their WCs at the same time is minimal – but how will the system deal with the output from a cruise ship’s massive mechanised pumps? Get the design wrong and the pressurised backflow could create s**t fountains from the WCs of those pretty Edwardian houses. Or make a chocolate cascade out of the new posh flats.

    Silly of me though to anticipate a change in planning consents already, to mitigate for ‘more complex and expensive berth service facilities than those originally envisaged’ …

  9. Maggy May

    If it isn’t sorted out by the time the cruise liners come perhaps it will truly be more like s**t to shore. Perhaps someone at the planning department made a spelling mistake . . . Only joking, but this is hardly a joke. Most cess pits are in rural areas and this sort of thing has no place in 21st century Greenwich; disease spreads rapidly in cities and this situation is playing fast and loose with public health. Perhaps someone needs to sue to concentrate a few civic minds about the consequences of poor decision making.

  10. The Hebridean

    Well done EGRA for getting this item on BBTV Local News last night! Developers ( who did not appear and just sent a “sorry” message) reckon the problem is down to a “temporary blockage” (Didn’t they check with Thames Water during construction? Isn’t liaison with TW an informative on any grant of planning permission?) and have installed a temporary pumping station which operates long hours driving residents barmy. They also tried the defence of having to move on quickly to build yet more homes. So Barratts : get it right in the homes you reckon to have completed before you bog off (pun intended) to rake in profits elsewhere.

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  12. lamf1958

    Another thing that at annoys us is why the crap truck and pump is sited outside our houses not in the developement itself. Every time Greenwich Council agree a lamebrained scheme it’s not thought through or delivered properly – look to the left of us and the development there was supposed to have landscaping, communal gardens and greenery, facilities to benefit the community for residents old and new and whats there? Nothing! They havent even finished the curbs. Those plastic barrier things have been there for years. The latest planning amendments for the developments towards the Alcatel end are cutting hundreds of parking spaces so they can cram in more buildings (and make more money) where are the cars gonna go for all the people moving in and visiting? Add to this the new Ikea and the massive development at the peninsula and it will be 24 hour gridlock and the air quality will be fatal.

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