South London locals have criticised plans to add a 27-storey tower block to their area, calling it an “eyesore”.

Greenwich Creekside sits on the border of Lewisham borough, with Deptford and attractions such as Greenwich Park and the Cutty Sark on either side.

Greenwich Council approved plans from developers YourTRIBE last week for a 27-storey student tower block to be built in Ravensbourne Wharf.

The project will include 414 student rooms, 35 per cent of which will be “affordable”, and will see the current three-storey workspace on the site being knocked down.

News Shopper: The current building on the siteThe current building on the site

The planning board for Greenwich Council said at a meeting on November 21 that they were worried about the impact the building’s height would have on the nearby Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

Jason Martin, 32, has lived in Greenwich Creekside since 2014.

The local said he thinks the new building will be an “eyesore” and look ridiculous next to the Conservation Area.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “I’m not surprised. In London, there’s always a new build popping up every two minutes… I think it’s going to kick up a fuss. If there are students then there’s going to be a lot of parties.”

News Shopper: A CGI of the planned tower block as seen from Norman Road (credit: PRP/ Tribe)A CGI of the planned tower block as seen from Norman Road (credit: PRP/ Tribe)

Phoebe Juggins, speaking on behalf of YourTRIBE at the November 21 meeting, said that local universities such as University of Greenwich, Ravensbourne University and Trinity Laban had all expressed their support towards the plans.

She added that approximately four students were competing for every purpose-built student room in London at present.

An anonymous resident told the LDRS they were more concerned about the lack of council tax being contributed by the students rather than the height of the building.

They said getting a doctor’s appointment in the area is already “horrendous”, with bookings taking up to three weeks and even months for the dentist.

The new project comes after plans for a 28-storey tower block were previously approved for the same site by Greenwich Council in December 2020.

Planning documents from PRP and YourTRIBE said complexities arising from the previous scheme’s construction had prevented the plans from moving forward. Sanja, 43, who lives in Deptford, said the current project sounds “horrible” and was not happy with the level of affordable housing provided in the scheme.

The resident told the LDRS: “My first thought is it sounds huge. I don’t think there’s anything of comparable height in the area.”

News Shopper: A CGI of the planned tower block as seen from Creek RoadA CGI of the planned tower block as seen from Creek Road

She added: “It sounds very commercial, it sounds wrong. I think there are too many endeavours like this in this country.”

Emily Bates, 20, moved to the area to study at the University of Greenwich and also raised concerns about the price of the new rooms. She said she is worried that tall buildings being added to the borough will cause the nearby tourist attractions to lose their appeal.

Ms Bates told the LDRS: “There’s no point putting more rooms in when people still can’t afford them.”

She added: “People are now rather commuting because it’s too expensive to live here so I don’t think you need that many rooms. It’s a nice area to live. When you look out your window, you don’t want to be looking out of your student accommodation just into another building. There’s no privacy to it or anything.”

Elizabeth Bowles, 36, lives in Greenwich Town. She said that while the height of the building is a shame, the additional student accommodation makes sense due to the universities in the area. She also said the project could look interesting when contrasted with the nearby tourist attractions.

Ms Bowles told the LDRS: “You see it in the city, you’ve got the old and the new. I quite like that sort of juxtaposition where you’ve got the Tower of London and the city behind it. I think it’s quite interesting and it shows the scale of something that used to look so massive back in the day that now looks so tiny in comparison.”

A YourTRIBE spokesperson told the LDRS that the developers had engaged extensively with local residents and stakeholders for feedback on the plans for Ravensbourne Wharf. They added that the comments received were used to adapt the plans to minimise local concerns.

The spokesperson said: “YourTRIBE has endeavoured to ensure that the development delivers substantial community benefit. The proposed development is in keeping with character of the area and is a well optimised use of land in a sustainable location, assisting with the delivery of much needed student accommodation in line with Royal Borough of Greenwich and Greater London Authority planning policy.”

They added: “YourTRIBE has a long history of delivering high quality, student accommodation led mixed use schemes across the capital. As a responsible developer and the manager of the building in continuity, Tribe will endeavour to ensure that students conduct themselves in a manner that is respectful toward residents of neighbouring buildings and will be responsive to any concerns raised by local residents once the building is in operation.”

The spokesperson said further announcements on the project would be made as the plans progress. Greenwich Council was approached for comment but had not responded at the time of publication.