Proposed - One Peninsula Square, AEG Group / by greenpenlondon

O2 owner AEG's proposal for a residential development - One Peninsula Square [AEG/Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands]

AEG estate (blue) and N0201 application area (red) on the Greenwich Peninsula [AEG/LDS]

Leading sports and entertainment presenter AEG is a significant landowner on the Greenwich Peninsula. Its 28-acre estate includes The O2, the new 452-bed InterContinental Hotel and the adjoining Arora Tower that provides 40 apart-hotel suites and 101 ‘serviced apartments’.

The latest proposals to come forward from AEG relate to a prominent site directly south of The O2, which has existing permission granted in 2010 for an eight-storey office building. The ‘gateway site’ is highly visible from North Greenwich underground station but lies vacant behind hoarding and a canopy that leads around to The O2. New proposals submitted to Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG) in November 2015 seek to change the use from commercial to residential-led, creating 395 homes in two tower blocks: one 36-stories with 315 private homes and another 10-stories with 80 affordable homes, including a shared podium containing retail units that front onto Peninsula Square.

Homes on the Peninsula – a summary of homes with planning permission:
  • Knight Dragon-owned schemes based on the 2004 Masterplan will deliver some 2,800 homes at the Lower and Upper Riverside developments by 2020.
  • A redrawn 2015 Masterplan provides outline planning permission for an additional 12,678 homes, bringing the total number of homes permitted across the project to 15,700.
  • AEG's new proposals for Plot N0201, which is excluded from the revised Masterplan area, would add 395 homes to this total.

Plot N0201 highlighted on area surrounding North Greenwich station - July 2016 [greenpen.london]

Plot N0201 located behind hoarding, immediately south of The O2 - August 2016 [greenpen.london]

Construction of temporary 'piazza building' for ATP World Tour 2016 on vacant plot N0201, viewed from Ravensbourne College - September 2016 [greenpen.london]

Planning permission granted in 2010 for an 8 storey office development on Plot N0201 [AEG/LDS]

2010 PLANS - OFFICE BLOCK

Earlier plans for the site received planning permission in March 2010 (ref. 10/0280/F). Plans drawn up by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands for an eight-storey mixed-use development, comprising 200,000 sq ft of office space and 26,000 sq ft of retail/food and drink floor space. Due to the lack of demand for office space, this permission was never implemented and has since lapsed.

VIDEO: AEG Europe's earlier plans for an office complex next to the O2 Arena [AEG/LDS]

2015 Proposals - Residential development

Proposed housing mix

Comparison of housing mix (percentages) in AEG proposals and Knight Dragon's revised Upper Riverside proposals

AEG submitted a new planning application (ref. 15/3552/F) to Royal Borough of Greenwich in November 2015 for the development of 395 homes and retail floor space on the ground floor on vacant land immediately south of The O2. The proposed development would deliver 20% affordable homes by unit or 25% by habitable room, similar to Knight Dragon’s Upper Riverside development. AEG’s proposals, however, would deliver higher densities from a greater proportion of studio and 1 and 2 bedroom flats. Just 8% of units would be family-sized (3+ beds). The affordable element comprises 59% social rent and 41% intermediate units. The developer considers this housing mix appropriate given the site’s proximity to The O2 and North Greenwich station.

Proposed housing mix (unit type) by tenure
Plot N0201 Studios 1 bed 2 bed 3+ bed
Units % Units % Units % Units %
Private tenure 54 17% 162 51.4% 84 26.6% 15 4.7%
Affordable tenure - - 34 42.5% 26 32.5% 20 25%
Overall (all tenures) 54 14% 196 49% 110 28% 35 9%

AEG's revised proposals for Plot N0201 - view SE from The O2 entrance [AEG/LDS]

Left: view NE from North Greenwich station, and right: view NE from Peninsula Square [AEG/LDS]

Concept visual of tower entrance, approach from North Greenwich station [AEG/LDS]

Landscaping strategy - N0201 and surrounding site [AEG/LDS]

2015 Outline Masterplan

How do AEG's proposals fit into the revised 2015 Masterplan? 

Knight Dragon's revised Masterplan, designed by architects Allies & Morrison, was approved December 2015 and grants outline planning permission for ambitious plans to be developed over a 20-year timeframe. Plot N0201 lies within the Peninsula Central neighbourhood, which is proposed as a leisure-led district centre, with a redeveloped transport interchange and a new AEG car park integrated within a mixed-use block. The provision of affordable homes in AEG's proposals is line with the approved 2015 Masterplan, in which the surrounding Peninsula Central neighbourhood is earmarked to provide an additional 1,679 homes, of which a minimum of 335 (20%) are to comprise minimum affordable homes. 

Block model of 2015 Masterplan, showing earlier massing for N0201 [Knight Dragon/Allies and Morrison]

Plot numbers of 2015 Masterplan with maximum building height, largely determined by London City Airport’s (LCA) Obstacle Limitation Surfaces. Note that Plot N0201 originates from the earlier 2004 Masterplan and is excluded from the new masterplan. [Knight Dragon/Allies and Morrison]

Illustration of number of stories (up to 40 stories), 2015 Masterplan [Knight Dragon/Allies and Morrison]

Illustration of proposed ground floor use, 2015 Masterplan [Knight Dragon/Allies and Morrison]

In terms of construction timescales, Knight Dragon submitted proposals in April 2016 (ref. 6/1346/SD) that suggest work could start on Peninsula Central in Phase 2 of the project:

  • Phase 1: development of five plots to commence in 2016 (more likely 2017) which will see the development of the All Through School on Plot 18.01 and four predominantly residential plots.
  • Phase 2: development of Plots 6 and 7, which will see the delivery of the new bus station and mixed use developments, together with the pedestrian bridge link over Millennium Way and the Blackwall Tunnel approach road. This phase will also see the widening of Central Park and realignment of West Parkside.

Consultation - AEG, PLot N0201

AEG's new proposals proved contentious during consultation, as concerns were raised about the proposed building heights and its impact of the view north from Central Park towards The O2. Concerns were also raised about site’s suitability for residential development, its high density (960 units/ha), low provision of family units (9%) and limited amenity space - a shared communal garden (586 sqm) between the two towers - for so many homes.

2015 Masterplan - neighbourhoods [Knight Dragon/Allies and Morrison]

AEG's plans will be considered in the context of Knight Dragon’s revised 2015 Masterplan, which permits increased building heights of up to 34 stories (113.5m) at Peninsula Central. AEG's proposed 36 storey tower (120m) would stand taller than the approved massing for its neighbouring plots and The O2's 100m steel masts. Further east at Meridian Quays, the masterplan permits massing of up to 40 stories (133.5m). Building heights at the proposed Design District are limited to five storeys to "retain views of the O2 from Central Park", yet AEG's proposed tower lies directly in this line of sight. AEG's smaller 10 storey block containing affordable homes is comparable to the 6-storey Ravensbourne College and 8 and 13 storey office blocks on Mitre Passage and Pier Walk east of Peninsula Square. 

Proposed view north from Peninsula Square

AEG provided a number of 'accurate visual representations' of the proposed development. The selected views, which were agreed with RBG and align with views assessed by Knight Dragon for the 2015 Masterplan.

Current view (and best vantage point) - northeast towards The O2 from Central Park on the Greenwich Peninsula [greenpen.london]

Accurate visual representation - view northeast from the Pilot Inn. Blue outline indicates 2015 Masterplan massing and green the 2004 Masterplan, including the 8-storey office block on N0201 [Miller Hare Limited]

Proposed view - revised massing for Plot N0201 [Montagu Evans LLP]

Proposed view - AEG proposals for N0201 alongside massing elements of the 2015 Masterplan. [Montagu Evans LLP]