Deptford's time to shine with 3,500 new homes

Deptford - declared London’s “unpolished diamond” by an admiring New York Times - is about to turn shabby into chic with 3,500 new riverside homes
Deptford Creek's Convoys Wharf
The first pictures released this week show a "tweaked" version of the redevelopment of Deptford Creek's Convoys Wharf
The redevelopment of Deptford Creek’s Convoys Wharf was originally drawn up by “starchitect” Richard Rogers and approved by Lewisham council in 1995. But work stalled and the site was sold on to the über-cool Hong Kong-based developer Hutchison Whampoa two years ago for a reported £50 million.

The firm has now tweaked the plans - which also include shops, hotels, offices, and a skyscraper of up to 40 storeys - and resubmitted them to the council. A spokesman said that the firm was keen to start building “as soon as possible”.

Tamer Alcici, manager of Conran Estates, said Deptford Creek was already a focus for builders with two major new developments - Greenwich Creekside and Theatro Towers - proving popular with buy-to-let landlords. Prices for one-bedroom new-build apartments start at about £250,000, with penthouses selling for about £475,000.

Deptford Creek also has a rich stream of period property. One-bedroom conversions in early Georgian properties are selling from about £230,000, and four-bedroom houses for about £500,000 - among the cheapest Georgian stock to be found anywhere in the capital. “Deptford already has the history and as the standard of the area improves, prices will rise,” said Alcici. “Deptford is going to look amazing in five to 10 years.”

The area already has decent transport links - a Docklands Light Railway and mainline station, plus New Cross Tube nearby. The high street is rather rough and ready but its regeneration potential has already been noted by none other than the New York Times, which last year gave the “unpolished diamond” its seal of approval, urging tourists to head to Deptford High Street to enjoy authentic pie and mash at A J Goddard which has been serving the authentic East End delicacy since 1890. And according to Alcici, the area is very firmly a buyers’ market at present. “We have too much stock and not enough demand,“ he said.

However, the Convoys Wharf project has already met with opposition from some local residents. Bill Ellson, secretary of the Deptford Creekside Forum, said: “The 3,500 units are more than Deptford can cope with in terms of facilities. That is 10,000 people, and there is not the infrastructure to cope with it. The tall buildings are far too tall and too far from transport, which will mean more cars on already overcrowded roads.”

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