"We, the undersigned, are gravely alarmed at the proposed scale and impact of the current plans by Hong Kong developer Hutchison Whampoa, that will irrevocably destroy the site of Britain’s historic Royal Dockyard and Sayes Court Garden at Deptford by the River Thames in London.
"We welcome the recognition of this fact by the inclusion of Deptford Dockyard (now known as Convoys Wharf) and Sayes Court Garden on the World Monuments Fund Watch List for 2014 and the serious concern expressed by English Heritage and many other heritage bodies, Lewisham Council and local community groups represented by Deptford Is.. (www.deptfordis.org.uk) We note that this year is the 500th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Docks by Henry VIII in 1513.
"We also applaud the extensive work carried out by the Sayes Court Garden www.sayescourtgarden.org.uk and Build The Lenox projects www.buildthelenox.org to create two visionary regeneration schemes. These will reinterpret and celebrate the heritage of the area while at the same time creating major new tourist attractions, safeguarding Deptford's maritime and horticultural links, and creating skilled jobs for local people around the birthplace of the National Trust and Deptford Royal Dockard.
"We regret the lack of meaningful engagement with the community by Hutchison Whampoa so far; note that at the developer’s request, the Mayor of London has used his powers to take over as the planning authority and further note that Sir Terry Farrell, who is the Mayor's Design Adviser, is also the architect employed by Hutchison Whampoa.
"We reject any claims that this scheme will address London's housing needs. With a maximum of 15% affordable housing, just 4% of this for social rent, we believe it will make no significant difference to the capital's housing crisis.
"We therefore call on the Mayor of London as the planning authority, Sir Li Ka-shing, chairman of Hutchison Whampoa as the ultimate applicant and the Secretary of State to revise the proposals with greater sensitivity for their location. We ask them to respect 500 years of British maritime history and 360 years of horticultural history on this internationally-significant site; one which is inextricably associated with Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn, Octavia Hill, Christopher Marlowe, Tsar Peter the Great, and Captain James Cook."