Search

Turning wharves into homes kills Thames as working river, warns London Assembly

19:25 18 April 2013

Bow Creek... wharves unsuitable for larg barges

Bow Creek... wharves unsuitable for larg barges

Peter Marshall

Historic riverside wharves in east London are in danger of losing their protection as commercial trading centres.

Plans to turn many wharves into luxury homes could damage the Thames as a working river and seriously effect economic growth, the London Assembly warns.

It follows proposals by the Mayor to allow nine wharves, from Canning Town to Rainham, to be removed from a list of 50 protected waterfront sites.

Two wharves at Canning Town on the Bow Creek are described on the list as “less favourable” for the river trade.

Priory Wharf is said to be disadvantaged by its location on the winding Lea estuary, while the nearby Mayer Parry Wharf is hindered by barge sizes needed for heavy bulk cargo.

Silvertown’s Sunshine Wharf also has “navigation restrictions” to keep cargo-handling operations on a large scale.

The London Assembly’s planning chief has now written to the Secretary of State urging him to scrap plans to let wharves be turned to residential use without planning permission.

“It could jeopardise London’s future economic growth,” said planning chair Nicky Gavron.

“The low land value of wharves puts them under pressure to be redeveloped as riverside flats.

“But if they’re snapped up by developers, it rules out the future option of transporting waste by river and would reduce the potential to tap into the emerging green economy.”

The Assembly warns this would lead to a future shortage of cheap commercial premises.

“London may have spare office space,” Gavron added. “But turning business premises into homes is not the answer.

“Once the wharves are gone, they’re gone forever—the Thames will slowly cease being a working river.”

Other east London wharves under threat are the Welbeck in Barking, due to inland navigation restrictions at Barking Creek, and DePass Wharf at Dagenham with the poor condition of its jetty and potential impact of the proposed DLR extension to Dagenham Dock. Another three at Bexley are also at risk.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00
Brenda Lawley selling poppies  in Morrisons Stratford (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Step into a station, supermarket or shopping centre in the two weeks leading up to Remembrance Day and chances are you’ll come across a poppy seller.

Yesterday, 11:57
A computer-generated image of the phase two development from Barking Road

Months before its completion, the second phase of a major housing development has sold all of its homes.

Yesterday, 11:30
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Yesterday, 09:57
Firefighters on strike at East Ham Fire Station last year

Firefighters are now on strike as part of a long-running dispute with the government over pension reforms.

Most read news

“Space is hard and today was a tough day.”

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition