Few local issues have been as controversial as IKEA’s plans for a new Greenwich store on the Bugsby’s Way site currently occupied by Sainsbury’s “eco-friendly” low energy supermarket and the former Comet building. I recall vividly the large number of local residents that took the time last year to attend the meeting of the Council’s Planning Board at which IKEA’s outline planning application was considered. They did so not only to express their sorrow at the loss of Sainsbury’s Stirling-prize nominated landmark store (sadly hamstrung by a highly restrictive covenant) but also to raise concerns about what a new IKEA store on the site would mean for an already congested local road network and the noxious air pollution that is its corollary. [Read more…]
After four years involved in local goings-on in Greenwich, I have learned that we live in a borough with a particularly frustrating political culture. With three Labour MPs, 43 Labour councillors and only eight Conservatives on the council, as a member of the opposition, it can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle to get things done. All eight of us on the Conservative benches have a solid track record of local achievements in our wards – but when it comes to the council chamber, I don’t mind admitting that the Labour Party’s huge majority can make the going tough. [Read more…]
Enveloped on three sides by the lower Thames, the Greenwich Peninsula is probably most familiar to Londoners as the home of the O2 arena. Many will be unaware that the 190-acres of land that surrounds the world’s busiest music venue is also the site of one of the capital’s largest regeneration schemes with up to 10,010 new homes and 325,000 square metres of commercial floorspace earmarked for construction over a 25-year period. [Read more…]
A LONG awaited new foot bridge across the mouth of Deptford Creek was officially opened today.
The new swing bridge connects the Thames Path from Millennium Quay to newly opened parts of New Capital Quay.
The bridge, with its striking design, was officially opened by the leader of Greenwich Council Denise Hyland at about 9.30 this morning. People took the opportunity to cross the bridge throughout the day, with many stopping to chat and admire the exciting new crossing. [Read more…]
This is the story of how the grave of John Flamsteed – the first scientist appointed as the Royal Astronomer – went unmarked after his death for the best part of two centuries.
The name of John Flamsteed is a familiar one around Greenwich. He was the first Astronomer Royal and he himself laid the foundation stone for the new Royal Observatory which was built by Royal Warrant as a base for astronomical studies.
Flamsteed House (pictured below), as it’s now known, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and is the original Observatory building which also housed the astronomers’ apartments. [Read more…]
The consultation on the Mayor of London’s plan to improve our city’s air quality by making central London an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) ends today (if you haven’t submitted a response please do so here, it only takes a few minutes).
The Mayor’s proposals would require all motor vehicles driven within the ULEZ, which would cover the same area as the congestion charge zone, to meet new exhaust emissions standards with the aim of limiting nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions. The ULEZ would take effect from 7 September 2020 and would apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. [Read more…]
Transport for London (TfL) is once again consulting on proposals for a new tunnel under the Thames that would link Greenwich Peninsula and Silvertown. Having been designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) by the Government, the Mayor of London’s scheme is in the process of being “fast-tracked” through the planning system with this latest non-statutory exercise a precursor to a statutory consultation expected in the middle of next year prior to formal submission of an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO). [Read more…]
Like other long-suffering Southeastern passengers I know the frustration that delayed and overcrowded services cause. It’s one of the reasons why I take issue with the Coalition Government’s decision to extend Southeastern’s franchise until 2018 (a decision that stands in stark contrast to their evident rush to sell off the East Coast line, run by a not-for-profit public operator, that will have returned over £1bn to the taxpayer by April 2015). [Read more…]
THE Royal Navy’s HMS Severn will pass Greenwich this coming Wednesday en route to the Upper Pool for a six day visit.
The river-class patrol vessel is due at Tower Bridge for 12.45 so should pass the Thames Barrier about an hour before that and the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich at approximately 12.15 – MarineTraffic.com is a recommended website for tracking vessels on the river. [Read more…]
The centenary of World War One has been on many people’s mind for some time and across the Royal Borough of Greenwich residents felt that restoring our war memorials was the absolute minimum required to commemorate the sacrifice of so many people one hundred years ago. I thought the Council agreed with me on this, but as the centenary came and went, the memorials across the borough were not restored, so I launched a petition to help remind Councillors how important this issue is to residents from communities across our Borough – you can sign at http://spencerdrury.com/warmemorials/. [Read more…]