Convoys Wharf moves forward

Deptford Dame alerted us to the latest planning application submission to Lewisham Council by the developers of Convoys Wharf in Deptford - arguably the borough's most important regeneration project.

The submission is dated October 27th and while the plans haven’t changed much since we last covered this story earlier in the year the process seems to be advancing steadily.

A spokesperson for Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong-based developers who bought the site from News International, confirmed that the original Richard Rogers masterplan had been revised in order to make the construction schedule more practical and the development more commercially viable. As we reported in July, the key changes included the introduction of a hotel and a rebalancing of the mix in favour of residential, with less office space. The wharf area will be smaller too.

In terms of the developers commitment, they confirmed that they are fully committed to developing the scheme themselves, rather than selling the site on again. They claimed that the economics of the 10 year development meant that only a long-term investor of their scale (and they are huge) could afford to finance it - but that their finances are strong enough that they could start building tomorrow if planning permission was secured.

The statutory consultation period is due to finish in December, which means that the site could potentially have outline planning permission by January, although a date of early-to-mid-2011 was more likely.

Detailed design work won’t begin until outline planning permission is received, and the spokesperson confirmed that the design is still very much “up for grabs”, with feedback welcome about the how the development should look and feel.