Locals are dismayed after construction cabins were “plonked” on green space by Pepys Estate in Deptford.  

The cabins, which are from Lewisham Homes, arrived at the start of July and will be there until March 2021 at the earliest, and “realistically” longer because of Covid-19.  

They will be used as a base for construction workers doing “fire safety improvements” on Eddystone Tower, a spokesperson for Lewisham Homes said.  

A resident and trustee of the estate’s community centre, Moira Kerrane , said it was “totally depressing” to see green space taken away during the pandemic and said they should be moved elsewhere.

“One of them (contractors) has hired out commercial space in Marine Wharf, so why couldn’t the other three do that? There are empty spaces all through Marine Wharf,” she said. 

The Surrey Canal Linear Park, which opened last year and was built with S106 funds, links new developments in Marine Wharf with the Pepys Estate.

But Ms Kerrane said: “The one that really tipped me over the edge was situated next to the Linear Park, which is supposedly our community benefit from section 106 to join Marine Wharf to Pepys Estate … given we’d already been complaining about the sparsity of play equipment down our end.

“We want our old developments and new developments to link and bring people together, but now [they’ve] just plonked something like an articulated lorry carpark there. 

“It’s unnecessary when they could have just put them in commercial space in Marine Wharf and we could have still had that green space to be able to do outdoor activities with kids during Covid.” 

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Cabins at the Pepys Estate end of Surrey Canal Linear Park

Local group DeptfordFolk also said that it was a “terrible use” of green space in a ward with high child poverty, and suggested moving them to a nearby carpark.  

A spokesperson for Lewisham Homes said:  “The safety of our residents is paramount, and we have a strict obligation to protect the council’s tenants, both those living in our properties now and in the future. 

“The works taking place on Pepys Estate are necessary fire safety improvements to the existing buildings.  

“This includes the installation of upgraded fire doors in communal areas and other measures designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke. 

“We have written to all the residents and councillors to inform them of the works and the need to have a compound for the contractors to base themselves.  

“The cabins have been placed in an area that doesn’t prevent emergency vehicle access. 

“The compound will be removed once the works are completed.” 

Lewisham Homes said they sent out a letter on June 23 warning people the cabins would be arriving, but a spokesperson said it would only have been sent to “residents of the immediately affected Eddystone tower”.