Aragon Tower and the Thames
From the shore of the River Thames in front of Convoys Wharf in Deptford, I took this photo of Aragon Tower, at the far end of the Convoys Wharf site, on July 16, 2012. The location of the Royal Dockyard established by King Henry VIII in 1513, Convoys Wharf is now the proposed site for 3,500 new homes for 9,000 people, in plans put together by Hutchison Whampoa, a Hong Kong-based company -- plans which are being resisted by numerous organisations, protest groups and concerned locals on the basis that they fail to take into account the historical significance of the site, that their three planned towers are monstrously out of proportion with the rest of Deptford and the southern shoreline of the River Thames, that they fail to include enough affordable housing, and that they will create traffic chaos. These are all, to my mind, extremely valid concerns, especially as London is currently awash with luxury housing plans, despite being in the grip of a savage recession.
Aragon Tower is one of three high-rise tower blocks on the Pepys Estate, which were built in 1962 on the larger remains of the Royal Dockyard. in 2002, Aragon Tower was sold to Berkeley Homes and redeveloped as a private residential apartment block. This attempt at gentrifying Deptford -- and the dubious role played by Lewisham Council in selling Aragon Tower -- were featured in an extraordinary eight-part BBC documentary, "The Tower: A Tale of Two Cities," which was broadcast in 2007.
See Richard Rogers' original design for the planned development of Convoy Wharf here: www.rsh-p.com/work/masterplans/convoys_wharf_london/design
See Deptford Is, a blog by "a group of local residents who want to ensure that the redeveloped Convoys Wharf offers the best for Deptford and its future": www.deptfordis.org.uk/
Also see: www.convoyswharf.com/
See here for the first episode of "the Tower": www.veoh.com/watch/v15428304ghq7yCmC?h1=The+Tower+[Part+1]
For more on Andy Worthington, see: www.andyworthington.co.uk/