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Deptford Dockyard on world threatened heritage list with Venice and Incan ruins
DEPTFORD Dockyard has been placed on a global watch list of threatened heritage sites alongside Italy’s Venice and Incan ruins in the cloud forests of Peru.
The site – where developers for Convoys Wharf plan to build 3,500 luxury units – is one of 67 world-wide landmarks deemed at risk by the World Monuments Fund (WMF).
This year’s World Monuments Watch flags up awareness of the “rich heritage” of the 16th Century dockyard and nearby Sayes Court Garden and called for “sensitive” inclusion of its history in redevelopment plans.
The director of a project which hopes to build a replica 17th Century warship as part of the Convoys Wharf development has applauded the move.
Director of Build the Lenox Julian Kingston told News Shopper: “It is fantastic news.
“At last it shows that somebody is valuing the place.”
The 61-year-old boat builder, who lives in a boat in Deptford Creek, has been campaigning for developers of Convoys Wharf Hutchinson Whimpoa to celebrate the old Royal Dockyard’s history in its plans and not just bulldoze over the legacy.
Mr Kingston said: “I think for a long time the attitude towards the dockyard and also, as a consequence, Deptford itself has been shameful in how it is treated historically and culturally.
“It isn’t just a boat- it is about Deptford, the dockyard, our history, bringing employment into the area.
“Deptford is the missing link that makes sense of Greenwich.”
His team aim to rebuild Charles II’s 1,000 tonne naval Lenox ship – which was overseen by Samuel Pepys – in the Great Double Dry Dock at the King’s Yard where it was first made as a tribute to the area.
He added: “We are not Luddites. We totally accept you can’t have a 40 acre site sitting unused in London – it is absurd, but equally we feel 3,500 luxury units planted on a site of such historical importance and adjacent to one of the most challenged areas of London is completely wrong.”
Developers say they have offered a site for the Lenox but Mr Kingston insists it is not suitable, the timescale is not financially viable and they are expected to move once it is built.
The World Monuments Fund (WMF) announced the 67 sites over five continents – which also includes south London’s Battersea Power Station – on October 8.
WMF President Bonnie Burnham said: “The 2014 Watch presents a selection of monuments from around the world in need of both new economic resources and innovative ideas about how to preserve them for future generations.
“These sites—and countless others like them—recount our human history and highlight our achievements.
“It takes vigilance to keep them active in the world; yet it is often the case that the very places that provide rich character and texture to our lives need more assistance and attention than they are given.”
Responding to the WMF’s findings, a Hutchinson Whampoa spokeswoman said: “HW and their team, Farrells as Masterplanner and Alan Baxter as Heritage consultants, have fully evaluated the site's rich history and the 2013 masterplan has allowed the history and heritage of the site to inform the layouts of spaces and buildings.
“Right at the heart of the development, the grade II listed Olympia Building is being restored and brought back to life for cultural, community and commercial uses.
“HW have been in discussion with the Lenox Project and have been able to offer a site within the development for this exciting project once their funding is in place.”
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