Jo Cowen and Pilbrow win planning for neighbouring Greenwich towers

Plot 1.02 (Jo Cowen Architects) and Plot 1.03 (Pilbrow & Partners) at Greenwich Meridian Quays will form the next part of a major Allies and Morrison masterplan for Greenwich Peninsula, designed for developer Knight Dragon.

They will sit on adjacent sites south of the O2 arena, between Pensinsula Square and the Waterfront West Park.

Jo Cowen Architects’s Plot 1.02 will be a 20-storey linear block with which steps down to 17 storeys at the rear. Pilbrow & Partners’ Plot 1.03 is proposed as two L-shaped buildings, stepping from 20 to 29 storeys and from 30 to 36 storeys respectively, with an interlinking ground floor.

Between them, the buildings will provide 866 homes, consisting of 152 studios, 395 one-bedroom flats, 289 two-bedroom flats, and 30 three-bedroom flats, as well as 239m² retail space. 

The residential towers will sit side-by-side, joined by a single-storey link with two main entrances at ground level, designed to ‘blur the interior and exterior lines’ and ‘break down the visual boundary between public and private’.

The buildings will incorporate ground-floor public-facing retail space, street-oriented terraces, shared landscaping, and a ground-floor residents’ gym and swimming pool. They will use similar material palettes, ‘optimising the use of glass’.

Source:Pilbrow & Partners (taken from April 2023 planning documents)

Aerial view of the proposed developments on Plots 1.02 and 1.03 within the Meridian Quays 2015 illustrative masterplan context

The joint proposals, submitted for planning in April and considered as one application, were granted planning permission by Greenwich Council’s planning committee on 7 November.

Recommending the scheme for approval, a planning officer’s report said that ‘overall, the proposals are considered to be in accordance with the objectives and policies’ set out in the Royal Greenwich Local Plan, London Plan, and National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

The development will create the next part of a major 79ha Allies and Morrison masterplan for the area, granted outline planning permission in December 2015, to create ‘a new urban quarter’ to the north-west of the Greenwich Peninsula.

The masterplan is set to deliver up to 17,500 new homes, and 19ha of public open space, within ‘a coherent framework of urban blocks with a rich repertoire of parks, boulevards and more intimate streets and laneways’, including a number of ‘integrated tall buildings’, according to a Pilbrow & Partners’ design development report.

Plots 1.02 and 1.03 are two adjacent sites in a group of six which sit at the north-east end of the Meridian Quays neighbourhood boundary, set to be developed in the scheme’s Phase 1.

Source:Taken from planning committee report (7 November)

Plot 1.02 and Plot 1.03 within the overview of the proposed Greenwich Masterplans (2015 Outline)

According to a design development report, the buildings are ‘strategically located at the gateway to the new quarter’ to ‘frame the northern edge of Western Boulevard, its principal access route’.

In its design development report, Pilbrow & Partners said the distribution of building heights in the new development would ‘create a frame along the southern edge of the O2’ and a ‘carefully landscaped urban enclosure that is well used and naturally surveilled’ to improve the site’s northern boundary.

A Knight Dragon spokesperson said it was ‘delighted’ by the planning approval, which ‘will allow us to continue momentum in delivering the homes and facilities that our community want to see.’

The developer, which has already invested over £1 billion into the Greenwich Peninsula masterplan, added: ‘We look forward to additional applications over the next twelve months.’

The planning decision marks Pilbrow & Partners’ third major consent in a matter of weeks, following permission being granted for the practice’s controversial King’s Road M&S scheme on 5 October, and One Portal Way, its massive west London scheme for Imperial College, on 12 October.

Project data

Client Knight Dragon
Project manager RPM
Access consultant David Bonnett Associates
Acoustic consultant Buro Happold
Architects (Plot 1.02) Jo Cowen Architects
Architects (Plot 1.03) Pilbrow & Partners
Air quality Buro Happold
Building and services engineer Buro Happold
Cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald
Construction adviser MACE
Daylight and sunlight AKTII
Ecologist WSP
EIA coordination Quod
Energy and sustainability Buro Happold
Environmental consultant Buro Happold
Fire safety engineer Jensen Hughes
Highways WSP
Infrastructure and utilities Arup
Landscape architect Mandaworks
Planning consultant Quod
Planning Legal Town Legal
Principal designer Stace
Structural engineer AKTII
Wind consultant AKTII