Plans filed for £770m Greenwich Peninsula tower cluster

Property developer and investor U+I (LON: UAI) has filed a planning application for a “major mixed-use” £770 million cluster of towers as part of its ongoing Morden Wharf scheme on the Greenwich Peninsula. The company’s share price has dropped, however, amidst widespread market uncertainty and the news that the Bank of England is expecting to wind down its quantitative easing measures in the months ahead, leaving the economy to fend for itself towards the end of the year.

The Morden Wharf development plans include around 1,500 new homes on a six acre site, featuring “high-quality public realm” and a landscaped park running alongside the River Thames. A total of 12 residential tower blocks make up the base of the project – with additional room for commercial, retail and community spaces – as well as a new boathouse for Queen Elizabeth II’s royal barge, the Gloriana.

Designed by private Dutch architecture firm OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), the proposal features a riverfront park which will “offer fantastic views of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and Canary Wharf across the River Thames”. U+I has emphasised that the project’s design is “inspired by the site’s history as a marshland and will add a significant new ecological resource to the area” and is intended to “address the existing deficit of open space in the area”.

The scheme offers a mix of private and commercial sales – of which 35% are described by the development firm as “affordable” – with a focus on family homes with “play and recreation” space for all ages. The project is predicted to generate some 1,100 permanent new jobs and an additional 2,400 during the construction process.

Capitalising on the site’s rich history, the Morden Wharf is renovating “an existing warehouse on the site of an old pub, The Sea Witch, that was destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War” into a new bar, adding to the long list of amenities that make the proposed scheme so attractive to potential buyers. Overlooking the River Thames and only a short tube journey away from Canary Wharf and the o2 arena, the project is sure to drum up considerable interest.

U+I Chief Development Officer Richard Upton welcomed the proposal with a statement on the company’s official website:

“Morden Wharf will bring together new homes, retail, leisure, employment and an extensive riverfront park, to create a diverse community rooted in the site’s heritage. Centred on a beautiful park and world-class public realm this scheme is set to transform the area into a distinctive, green, mixed-use development, while driving growth and employment and delivering 1,500 much-needed new homes”.

The plans are currently sitting with the Royal Borough of Greenwich waiting for approval, following “extensive consultation with the local community and key stakeholders”.

Investor insight

U+I’s share price has failed to jump following the firm’s announcement, down a disappointing 4.76% or GBX -4.00 at GBX 80.00 BST 15:37 22/06/20. A positive leap, however, from a nadir of GBX 76.30 during March. The company’s dividend yield currently stands at 0.099%.

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Junior Journalist at the UK Investor Magazine. Focuses primarily on finance and business content. Has personal interests in Middle Eastern politics, human rights issues, and sustainability initiatives.