A local charity has criticised the sale of a disused Deptford coal jetty to a property developer. The group had hoped to use the jetty to provide water sports for disabled and disadvantaged children.
The jetty, which is more than a 100 yards long, has been in the Thames for almost 90 years. It was sold for a single £1, although an annual £52,000 license fee will have to be paid to the Port of London Authority and the jetty will have to be maintained.
The Ahoy Centre, a charity that helps disabled and disadvantaged people become involved in sailing and other water based activities, were in talks with Fairview Homes, who own the jetty site, and were not told of the auction last week in time to bid. It will now go to an anonymous developer who will also have to apply for a license.
Clive Ongley, Chairman of the Centre’s trustees said they hoped that they could raise £7m towards a training centre and academy. He said the charity was ‘devastated’ because Fairview had appeared to be happy to let it take over the jetty and had helped draw up detailed plans for the development in which new residential moorings would be used to cover the cost of the PLA license.
He said: ”To say we are devastated is an understatement. We were in regular talks with them until earlier this month. One meeting was postponed because of the weather and we have heard nothing since. The first I heard of the sale was when I was contacted by the media.”
The company has refused to comment on the charity’s allegations.
The future use of the jetty is still undecided however it is likely that it could be a valuable asset when the Olympics come to London in 2012, either as a floating restaurant or as a mooring for a temporary hotel.
The jetty, made from concrete and wood, was built in the 1920’s to unload coal for the former Deptford Power Station. The station was demolished when Fairview bought the site – which included the jetty – in the 1990’s – for residential housing.