Weston Homes , in joint venture with Cathedral Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Development Securities PLC, are transforming the historic 1.2 acre Telegraph Works site in Greenwich, into a new £120 million residential address providing 272 new homes, including apartments and houses, set within landscaped grounds.
Located off Blackwall Lane, the Telegraph Works site has a fascinating history. The site dates back to the Tudor period when it served as Queen Elizabeth I’s gunpowder store, supplying the English ships that in 1588 fought the Spanish Armanda. In 1829 it was turned into a factory for making sails, rope and other items used by the Samuel Enderby & Sons whaling fleet. The firm’s whaling vessels roamed the Atlantic and Pacific helping to inspire stories like the 1851 Moby-Dick novel by Herman Melville, who worked on a whale hunting ship.
In 1857 submarine cable manufacturers took over the factory and it became known as the Telegraph Construction & Maintenance Company Works. The factory built the first transatlantic telegraph cable, made from seven copper wires, which when laid under the Atlantic Ocean enabled Queen Victoria to communicate with US President James Buchanan on the 16th August 1858. This first formal message took 17 hours to transmit.
In 1866 the transatlantic cable was upgraded, enabling it to transmit 80 times faster, and by 1900 the transatlantic cable could deliver 120 words per minute. By WWII cable technology at the factory had so advanced that there was a private undersea line connecting PM Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt, used to transmit top-secret messages between the two leaders.
Between 1942-1944 the Telegraph Works developed the Pluto oil pipeline which on 12th August 1944 was laid under the Channel, supplying Allied Forces with over 172 million gallons of gasoline. “Operation Pluto” is one of history’s greatest feats of military engineering.
Transatlantic submarine cables were made at the factory until 1975, it then switched to fibre-optic production and finally in May 2013 was sold by owner Alcatel-Lucent, with planning achieved in October 2014 for converting the site to residential use.
Now Weston Homes and Cathedral Group are working together to add a new chapter to the history of the site. Cable shops and warehouses are being replaced by a landmark development providing some 198,347 sqft of residential accommodation.
The centerpiece of the new development is four striking apartment buildings, a landmark 18 storey tower and three eight storey buildings, which will provide 256 stylish one, two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses ranging from 550 sqft up to 1,200 sqft in size.
The 18 storey residential tower will have floor to ceiling windows and recessed balconies. The architecture features a striking brise soleil made from coloured and rendered panels, giving the facade a mosaic-style theme. The other apartment buildings have similar mosaic-style facades and floor to ceiling windows opening onto outside balconies.
In the centre of the apartment buildings will be a spacious tree lined grove and green square, bordered by an allotment garden, butterfly garden, picnic area and rope garden, connected by pedestrian pathways. To one side of this apartment complex is an avenue of 16 elegant three bedroom courtyard houses with tall windows and contemporary brick facades.
Each of the new apartments will have an entrance hall and spacious reception room with a choice of Oak/walnut wood strip flooring. The reception rooms will have floor to ceiling windows, with most apartments opening onto spacious outside balconies or recessed terraces. The open plan designer kitchens by Oakwood kitchens will have quartz stone worktops, integrated Zanussi appliances and luxury hotel style Fascino designer curved feature taps, filtered boiling water system and integrated stainless steel soap dispenser.
The luxurious bedrooms will come with a choice of woven carpets and fitted wardrobes with a choice of styles. The larger apartments and penthouses will have master bedroom suites with ensuite bathrooms. The luxurious bathrooms and ensuites will have contemporary wall hung suites with fitted mirrors, bespoke cabinets, heated towel rails and high quality wall and floor tiling.
Bob Weston, Chairman & Managing Director of Weston Homes said: “Weston Homes and Cathedral Group are transforming this first class Greenwich peninsula site into a landmark residential address which will deliver desperately needed homes to the local community and Londoners from further afield. This project is a flagship London development for the joint venture partners and has a luxurious specification with a range of option choices for the designer fixtures and fittings.”
Martin Wood, Managing Director of Cathedral Group said: “The Telegraph Works is a historic site, dating back to Tudor England, which was subsequently used to manufacture the first transatlantic telecommunications cables and later a cross-channel petrol pipeline to support the D-Day invasion. This joint venture with Weston Homes will allow us to build on Cathedral Group’s reputation for delivering excellent residential-led schemes in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. We are delighted to have also been able to support Alcatel Lucent bring forward the refurbishment of their factory on the site as part of the development which will help safeguard their future and ensure their continued presence in the borough.”
The Telegraph Works scheme is located just North of the centre of Greenwich and is close to The O2 and the leisure outlets, restaurants and shops surrounding it. It is also close to the Blackwall Tunnel allowing easy access to East London and the City of London. North Greenwich Underground Station by The O2 provides access to the Jubilee Line with just one stop to Canary Wharf and a journey of just over 20 minutes to Green Park. In the local region is City International Airport, whilst for shopping there is nearby Canary Wharf and Westfield Shopping Centre at Stratford.
Prices are anticipated to start from £300,000 for a one bedroom apartment. The development will be released for sale in October 2015. For further information on Telegraph Works contact Weston Homes on Tel: 01279 873 300 or visit: www.weston-homes.com.