FromTheMurkyDepths

Housing and Development in London

Woolwich

Further consultation on 750 homes, shops and cinema at Spray Street in Woolwich

There’s consultation today at the Tramshed in Woolwich until 4pm on plans for a large-scale redevelopment in Woolwich town centre. They’ll be staff on hand to answer questions, or alternatively you can view the information boards online here.

Further details of building heights and massing are shown. One difference from the last consultation is that the attractive buildings on Woolwich New Road now appear be in line for demolition. I believe early plans called for them to go, then they were in line for retention and now demolition again.

new road

These are good buildings behind the cluttered signage and weeds which are growing out the front.

new road 2

There doesn’t seem to be much rationale behind this – existing buildings are of a good height and mostly attractive except for the newer 1980s block on the corner which juts out. The replacement block in these plans does not appear much taller. Retaining facades whilst altering internal layouts should be possible.

The existing buildings are in poor shape externally with cheap signs stuck on the outside and stained surfaces, but that’s due to owners that don’t maintain and Greenwich Council not enforcing powers they have to ensure buildings are of a good standard. Sound familiar? What’s the point in attracting millions of pounds of investment if routine measures aren’t taken.

Poor condition of existing buildings.

Another possible issue is light levels for lower rise blocks from Berkeley Homes above the Crossrail station box. With a new block being built to the north above Building 11, taller towers on each side and then tall blocks over the road residents could be hemmed in.

Apart from these issues much else looks good. It bridges the divide between “new” and “old” Woolwich. Redeveloping the DLR sites is the next crucial issue.

Consultation is underway until 13th May and you can contribute by clicking here.

6 Comments

  1. Why are the buildings in this proposal just a level shorter than the Riverside development?? Just to make sure there is no river view and secure the class divide of Riverside and Old Woolwich!?? I struggle to see any other rational behind it…

  2. Adam

    Honestly all those buildings need is some maintenance of course it would be a heavy revamp but in my opinion it would be worth it, I am pretty sure once the redevelopment happens the African/Caribbean community in that area will be replaced by luxury shops and restaurants, I think it will be a shame if this redevelopment went ahead.

  3. Kleon3

    The plans represent an old-fashioned and lazy approach: just pretend the place has no history, raze it to the ground and build whatever you like on the land. Woolwich has a long history of that approach: of the old town near the river not a single building remains; most of the town’s 19th-century quarters (Glyndon, St Mary’s) were replaced in the 1960s by housing estates with little reference to what was there before; the same happened with the Dockyard, Cambridge Barracks, Red Barracks, the grand officers’ houses along Woolwich Common. The regeneartion of the Royal Arsenal seemed to welcome a new approach: many of the historic buildings were integrated in the new developments. The excellent plans for the Island Site also show respect for what’s already there. Alas, the Spray Street plans are a return to the 1960s approach. I went to the presentation and talked to 2 of the architects. They were clueless about the history of the site. Couldn’t even tell me how many historic pub buildings there are. One can’t really blame them. They’re slaves to the developers’ wishes: maximum return for minimum investment. They’ll get that with this plan. It’ll be a place that has no relation to Woolwich though.

    • A

      What historic building in that specific area ( Spray Street ) that we should keep? Run down caribbean food store? As im moving to the area soon i would prefer this redevelopment than the existing shithole anyday.

      • Kleon3

        There are 2 or 3 former pubs from the Victorian era in Spray Street Quarter. The one on Woolwich New Road is actually a rather grand building. Also several buildings that might be 18th c. Not many of those left in Woolwich. Pity most of the area is not described in the excellent volume 48 of the Survey of London. It only covers the former parish of Woolwich and this used to be mostly Plumstead. I’m not saying keep the buildings as they are. Restore the valuable ones, incorporate them in the new development and give them new uses. That way the area will look like part of a town, not like some anonymous development on the Peninsula or in the Docklands.

  4. Generally speaking, I am in favour of the are being redeveloped – its an unmitigated eyesore at present. That being said, I would love the indoor market to be retained and actually put into proper use a la Greenwich market. Also, as Murky states, there are some interesting old facades in New Rd worthy of integrating with the new development. My main grumble when looking at the artists impression is the canyon like arrangement of tall buildings on the main road. I would much rather the taller buildings were in the centre of the development so as not to be so overbearing. Generally speaking, I dont think the councils planners do enough to challenge the developers desires and forget who their clients really are: the residents of the borough.

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