Transport for London recently announced an intention to build a number of build-to-rent housing schemes including Woolwich as part of a program to construct 3000 such homes.

Details on where in Woolwich were less forthcoming. There are two potential sites that could accommodate hundreds of homes.

DLR sites in blue

One is above and around Woolwich DLR station, which has lay empty for almost a decade since an agreement between Oakmayne and TfL was signed for new housing.

Approved but never built

Despite approval for part of the site nothing has ever happened.

Another site is above the eastern end of the forthcoming Woolwich Elizabeth Line station where plans for a towers Armourers Court and 400 homes were approved back in 2014, when a 2018 start date was announced.

Armourers Court

That site is ready to go once the station is complete, so should be easier to get off the ground and help with TfL’s strained finances once rental income flows in.

Box at eastern end of station. Homes coming above and around

It has hired property agent Savills to find partner for the project. As part of any deal, the transport body would take a 49% stake and the other party 51%.

Other sites are:

  • Nine Elms
  • Southall
  • Canning Town
  • Arnos Grove
  • Cockfosters
  • Hounslow West
  • Kennington
  • Newbury Park
  • Wembley Park

Build to rent schemes have been seen by some as a major solution to London’s housing shortage , yet the first tranche of schemes have offered very expensive flats at higher rents than already expensive average local levels.

Unless that changes, it’s not a widespread solution and taxpayers will continue to pay ever higher housing benefit costs.

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