Plantation Wharf development in London could be renamed amid slave trade row

6 November 2021, 15:02

Plantation Wharf is a luxury development in Wandsworth, overlooking the Thames
Plantation Wharf is a luxury development in Wandsworth, overlooking the Thames. Picture: Twitter

By Elizabeth Haigh

A new housing development in London called "Plantation Wharf" could be renamed after an MP condemned it for a "sickening mockery" of the slave trade.

Battersea MP Ms Marsha de Cordova has been vocal on social media about the planned name for the development overlooking the Thames.

"This is sickening and it makes a mockery of the history of the brutal transatlantic slave trade," she wrote.

The Complex also has street and building names that include Trade Tower, Cotton Row and Molasses House.

The development has streets called "Cotton Row" and "Molasses Row"
The development has streets called "Cotton Row" and "Molasses Row". Picture: Twitter

Following backlash to the name, the board behind the development said they have launched a consultation to consider changing the name theme of the complex.

In a separate tweet, Ms Cordova said it is essential the Plantation Wharf board "engage with the Black and Minority Ethnic community to ensure our anti-racist values are at the heart of the review.

"We must learn from but never celebrate England’s colonial past."

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Ms Cordova wrote to Wandsworth Council last year asking them to review street and building names in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter movement, but says she did not receive a reply.

Plantation Wharf is a luxury development in Wandsworth, on the site of a former sugar refinery.

Dr Vanessa Brady, a member of the Plantation Wharf board, said the board had agreed to "review the history of the name and propose a change through consultation with all residents".

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"It is our view that this area has positively embraced a cosmopolitan culture and many families who reside here in Battersea and Wandsworth will have generations of family connected to the Wharf,” she added.

"It is important that we don’t forget or ignore their past whilst it is also important in the world we live in to ensure we provide opportunities to address any changes we make or we stand the potential risk of offending many other Black people if we eradicate the past as if it did not exist."

The board will consult historians and researchers in their review of the names.