Morden Wharf: London’s Latest Riverside Development Revealed

London’s riverside developments continue apace with plans revealed for a leafy new mixed-use neighbourhood on Greenwich Peninsula

Lead image © Pixelflakes

With Greenwich Millennium Village celebrating its 20th birthday, the recent completion of Enderby Wharf and Knight Dragon’s continued development of land near the O2 Arena, thousands of new residents are now calling this patch of London home.

All eyes are now on Morden Wharf, located on the west side of Greenwich Peninsula opposite Canary Wharf, where plans for a new mixed-use development featuring 1,500 new homes have been unveiled.

Currently home to a jumble of warehouses and heavy industry just off the southern approach to Blackwall Tunnel, it might not sound like an idyllic place to call home, but planners aim to transform the area with six acres of ‘high-quality public realm’, a landscaped Thames-side park and buildings with vertical green façades.

As well as the 1,500 new homes, the development will feature commercial, retail and community spaces with the intention of creating hundreds of new jobs. It could also provide a new permanent mooring for Gloriana, the Royal Rowbarge created to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

The proposals, designed by acclaimed Dutch architecture firm OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) and submitted by regeneration specialist U+I, include over three acres of riverfront park, known as Morden Park, which will offer views of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and Canary Wharf across the river.

‘In creating the park and public realms we are seeking to return the post-industrial landscape to a more natural and ecologically diverse condition’

‘We have drawn design inspiration from Greenwich Peninsula’s industrial heritage – from the warehouses and silos that once sat on the site, to the iron lattice structure of the gasholders,’ said Reinier de Graaf, Partner in charge of the project, OMA.

‘We have also looked back further, to the original marshland landscape of the peninsula, and in creating the park and public realms we are seeking to return the post-industrial landscape to a more natural and ecologically diverse condition.’

Morden Park, running along 275-metres of the river, will lead directly off the Thames Path. It will be open to workers, visitors and residents alike, and there will also be provision for play and recreation space amounting to three-and-a-half football pitches.

The Thames Path will also be significantly upgraded and increased in width to six metres, allowing three metres for pedestrians and three metres for cyclists.

Of the 1,500 homes, 35% have been allocated as affordable, including a mix of private sale, shared ownership and London Affordable Rent all spread across 12 ‘tenure-blind’ buildings.

And rather than eradicating the area’s industrial heritage, part of the site has been designated as Strategic Industrial Land, which will accommodate a series of maker spaces and light industrial units and help to create around 1,100 new permanent jobs (a mix of commercial, retail and smaller flexible spaces for SMEs and creative businesses).

Plus, one of the existing warehouses, located on the site of an old pub, The Sea Witch, that was destroyed by a WWII bomb, will be retained to accommodate a new pub.

North Greenwich Station for the Jubilee Line is about 15-minutes walk away and, upon completion of the controversial Silvertown Tunnel, Tunnel Avenue will be reconfigured to allow for a new bus service running between Morden Wharf and North Greenwich Station.

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