The Story so far....

Read on to find answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the Butler's Wharf Riverside Trust. We are transparent about all we do in our aims to benefit the community, from Shad Thames to our visitors from the corners of the globe. The issues are complex and our plans are ambitious but we think it is the right time to come together and push for change.  If you still have inquiries, feel free to contact us for more information.

Who built the jetty and what is it?

The original plans provided by the Port of London Authority (PLA) show a walkway here built in 1920 by the Butler’s Wharf Estate. It is a a pier supported by piles set in to the river-bed and designed to provide access to the warehouses at the riverfront. The original jetty was improved in the 80s as part of the regeneration of the area.

Who is responsible for its upkeep?

We understand that the jetty, as a structure that sits in the riverbed, is a 'chattel'. There are 4 main sections and each requires a River Works Licence or licences from the Port of London Authority. The four main licences correspond to the areas in front of Tea Trade Wharf, the former Design Museum, Spice Quay Heights and Butler's Wharf.

All four licences are held by Petchey Holdings Ltd (or companies in their group) who also hold the freeholds to corresponding buildings at Tea Trade Wharf, the former Design Museum and Spice Quay Heights. The section in front of Butler's Wharf is under discussion.  

We understand that River Works Licensees are required to use their "best endeavours" to maintain the jetty, to ensure it complies with health and safety legislation and is appropriately insured.

Who pays?

Petchey Holdings recover costs for the River Works Licences and insurance costs from residents and businesses whose properties front the jetty.

No other bodies, including Southwark Council, make any contribution to its maintenance. 


What's changed?

In 1995, Southwark Council opened the St. Saviour's Dock footbridge, fundamentally changing the jetty’s use and opening it up as a footpath, with ever increasing use and consequent wear, tear, and costs.

Why have a new Trust?

Shad Thames is already very successfully served by stakeholder groups including STRA https://www.shadthames.org, and STAMP http://www.loveshadthames.org.  These organisation are hubs of activity and information, linking residents and businesses, and enhancing our sense of community. The Butler’s Wharf Riverside Trust has been established with a single cause in mind - to campaign and fundraise to protect, enhance and preserve the jetty. The Trust limits its efforts to campaigning to improve the above ground aesthetic, and is concerned with the area between St Saviour’s Dock footbridge and Butler's Wharf Chop House. The Trust aims to collaborate with Southwark Council and the freeholders to create a fair way to pay for the improvement and upkeep of an asset used by hundreds of thousands of people every year.

What's possible?

The current arrangements are unsatisfactory, as all users of the jetty can see. We have set up a Trust to work in partnership with residents, freeholders, businesses and Southwark Council, to explore better alternatives.

Butler's Wharf Riverside needs improving and properly maintaining. It should not be exclusively used for commercial gain, nor adopted by the Council as just another pavement. The Trust, a model successfully used across London,  will work in partnership with these stakeholders to balance the different needs of all the jetty users, to improve it and look for a fairer way to pay for it. To this end, we are engaged in a number of consultation exercises and hope to present designs and proposals at a public meeting later in 2019.

Who will pay for the re-design?

Butler’s Wharf Riverside Trust is a campaigning organisation, which aims to fundraise, approach grant-givers, lotteries and other public funds, with a view to covering the capital cost for the improvements we propose. We have been given strong indications of  support from local restaurants and businesses and early design ideas are being pulled together by Conran Architects and others on a pro-bono basis.


In 2022, Illuminated River will conclude their art installation which lights Central London bridges along the River Thames with the lighting of Tower Bridge. Our ambitious plans are to have concluded our consultation, fundraising, design, and implementation to coincide with this important event and in celebration of the Thames.

Who will pay for maintenance?

At present, the freeholder can make changes to the jetty and recover costs back from the businesses and residential blocks. When these arrangements were made, the jetty was largely used by just these two stakeholder groups, but since the opening of the St Saviour's Dock footbridge in 1995, the jetty has become used by hundreds of thousands more, including walkers, commuters, and tourists.  

We think it is unfair to expect the residents and restaurants alone to foot the bill, and seek a long-term partnership with Southwark Council, the freeholders and the Trust, to reflect the increasing public use of this space, while retaining high standards of design and residents input. Our proposals will include long-term maintenance plans and costings, and favour low-carbon alternative power sources.

What's your inspiration?

We love the New York High Line www.thehighline.org

We are excited by Illuminated River : https://illuminatedriver.london

We support The Thames Path Manifesto  https://abundancelondon.com/the-thames-path-manifesto/

We are encouraged by the Peckham Coal Line http://www.peckhamcoalline.org

We are inspired by proposals from Tideway for new riverbank parks : https://www.timeout.com/london/news/seven-new-micro-parks-are-coming-to-the-thames

We want to see your ideas - please send us your pictures from around the world info@butlerswharfriverside.com and tag us on Instagram #butlerswharfriverside