FromTheMurkyDepths

Housing and Development in London

Abbey Wood

The rest of Abbey Wood town centre improvements revealed

Last week consultation was held about Crossrail-related improvements around Abbey Wood station. Around £6 million is to be spent but it does not cover 90% of the shopping parade beside the station. However today plans have been revealed:

north base

Here’s how it currently looks:

Abbey Wood village

south base

AW village (2)

Clearly a big need for improvement. I covered last weeks consultation here but noted that the scheme to improve most of Wilton Road (the 90% of the street not touched by Crossrail work) was absent, despite work starting soon. The boundary between Bexley and Greenwich borough’s runs right along the middle.

aerial-view-of-station

Area covered in last weeks consulation

Fortunately plans for the rest of Wilton Road look very good. High quality paving and street furniture are to be used. Here’s the link to Greenwich Council’s press release where it states these improvements will be made:

  • New high-specification York stone footway paving
  • Rationalised street furniture and de-cluttering
  • Improved energy efficient street lighting
  • New tree planting
  • New carriageway surface
  • New seating areas and cycle parking
  • Creation of more space for pedestrians than the current through-road provides.

Greenwich Council are taking the lead and have done a very good job. Credit where credit’s due – I often criticise the design of pedestrian infrastructure, public space and streets across the borough but this looks to be of a good standard. It appears there are none of those rubbish wooden bollards, for example, that are seen all over that can’t withstand a slight knock, discolour quickly and look a bit cheap even though they are more expensive than a lot of sturdier and more attractive types.

The council press release states plans are on display at:

  • The Abbey Arms Public House, Wilton Road SE2 9RH
  • The Abbey Wood Community Centre, 4 Knee Hill, Abbey Wood SE2 0YS.

However no times are mentioned. Work will begin in early 2017 and be complete by March 2017.

The area has long needed a big improvement. £300,000 has been spent (£150k from the GLA with £75k from both boroughs) on improving some shop exteriors but the impact has been pretty limited. It’s dominated by chains with garish and poor quality shop fronts and so far no work has happened there.

One other spot that needs work is the alley leading off the street. It’s a popular access route to the shops and station for many but is dingy and off-putting.

Hopefully BT, whose exchange pens in the pedestrian route, will allow widening or even vacate in years to come to enable large scale development to open up the space. It’s directly beside the station, and developers would pay a healthy sum for it. There’s not many spots left in London directly beside stations that are 10 minutes to Canary Wharf.

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. Mary Forbes

    The biggest let down in wilton road is the two bookies don’t see the need for two in such a small area. We need better shops, nice restaurant or wine bar otherwise you are just putting seating area for all the gamblers and guys with their cans of beer

    • I know what you mean, not the most pleasant sight to hit you when you come out the station. I’ll be glad when the new station entrance on the flyover is open. The bookies have been there for years and I don’t think either council has the power to do anything about them. At best, tackling the street drinking with community patrols? Like they have around the square in Woolwich. Hopefully some variety will come across the tracks next to the Sainsbury, along with the fenced off area by the roundabout. I’d prefer something else in place of the car wash too. The post office building is a complete state and could do with being rebuilt. You could even retain the post office (albeit in a smaller space) and still have room for more shops, etc.

  2. There was a plan to exactly that with the Post Office site. It was about 4 storeys and included a replacement Post Office and commercial unit at street level. Greenwich blocked it about 2 years ago as being too tall if I recall right. Pretty absurd.

    I wondered if they had plans for a more comprehensive plan (including land to the rear) which was the underlying reason. Maybe something for peabody to get their hands on (and then do little about for years like their other sites)

  3. From what I’ve heard the entire Post Office area will be due for a complete overhaul including the Community Centre. No idea what the sticking points may have been, but there will presumably have been some. These things do eventually get resolved with time.

  4. Craig Jenkins

    I honestly think that Post Office building has huge potential – if you look at the top floor it has massive windows all the way around.

    I am originally from Australia, where everything is new, and I really believe that gentrifying buildings adds way more character, keeps the history and stops the area looking like a shiny westfield shopping mall.

    each to their own i guess.

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