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Greenwich Millennium Village
A Millennium legacy?
Matt Cooke, BBC London
Once dismissed as a waste of money, the dome has been successfully reborn as the O2. But how has the rest of the Greenwich peninsula fared?
A decade a go a corner of South-East London was promised a new beginning - a contaminated wasteland would be transformed in time for the Millennium. The Greenwich Peninsula became the site of the Dome and a new neighbourhood - the Millennium village.
But with the demise of the Dome - what happened to the community left behind and has planned regeneration worked?
A model for the rest of the country to follow, a thriving sustainable community built for the 21st Century - well maybe not thriving quite yet - as I found during a walk down the empty lunchtime streets of the Greenwich Millennium village.
Millennium Primary School
Developers admit the transformation of what was Europe's largest gasworks still has a long way to go.
Whilst still a new community, the village already has its success stories - the Millennium Primary school built six years ago has doubled in size - with more and more local children attending.
Building work continues with 10,000 new homes planned including a large proportion built especially for key workers. And like many modern developments pedestrians take priority over the car, with an emphasis on public transport.
The village still has a way to go - there aren't many local shops, aside from builders there doesn't seem to be many people around. But all agree - buildings alone don't make a strong community.
When you visit the marketing suite, you're inundated with how great it is to live here and how wonderful it is to be only 20 minutes for the City etc. What they don't tell you once you have signed the dotted line, is that the houses are put together so cheaply it is unbelievable. I have lived in GMV for nearly 6 years. Yes, the views are amazing and it's a great location - O2, Greenwich, Canary Wharf etc. The downside - very expensive heating and water bills, extortionate yearly maintenance charge - what they do with this money, I don't know, but, put it this way - the only thing they have spent money on is a sculpture! The list of problems is never ending... don't bother speaking to anyone, just fix it yourself.
- Lee, Greenwich
There is never any hot water when you need it...the village management is a joke, we have nice views though.
- James, Greenwich
I am personally very happy with both my flat and the village. It was a great community feel and unlike in other areas of London where I have lived, i have got to know several of my neighbours and have struck up a number of friendships. The village is green and environmentally friendly, with some great green spaces around us and a great historic local pub for residents (The Pilot Inn). The village has access to plenty of shops (in the 02, in nearby Charlton and a stop away in canary Wharf). There will also be a village square opening over the summer which will contain a number of shops, cafes and a restaurant. Of course, as with any new development, it takes time for the areas to feel lived in and buzzing but i think Greenwich has a lot of positive aspects which were overlooked in the BBC report. We essentially live in light, airy, environmentally friendly homes, with a great community spirit and plenty of fun stuff on offer on our doorstep. I hope that such positive aspects are reflected in any future reporting to ensure that an accurate representation of the areas is given.
- Maria, Greenwich
I live in Greenwich Millennium Village and have lived here since 2001, we moved into our second property here 3 years ago. We do love the Village but it is not without its problems - one being the ridiculous price of heating and the battles with the developer to get things put right when things go wrong.
- Ms Farrell, Greenwich
last updated: 30/10/2008 at 16:47