Plans for a 27 floor tower in front of Tesco in Woolwich look set to be rejected next week by Greenwich’s Planning Board.

However, have Greenwich Council’s own actions meant the developer is likely to win on appeal?

The council spent £124.054 drawing up a masterplan for the area yet scrapped it in 2016 before adoption. The St Thomas Street masterplan was to cap heights on this spot at 15 floors.




That would offer protection against a refusal, which now doesn’t exist. This image is from the second draft of the scrapped masterplan shortly before it disappeared and covered the entire site.

Area of tower in top right

Meyer Homes hope to build 804 homes across sites in front and to the rear of Tesco. They purchased the site from Spenhill – a Tesco subsiduary.

Space behind the store has also come in for criticism due to the density of buildings.

The homes would surround the Tesco superstore which came in for criticism upon completion. Greenwich’s leadership has claimed it brought jobs which overrides other issues, yet this short term thinking was common in the 60s and 70s across Woolwich.

Developments then decimated parts of the town and its character from which it was very difficult to recover. Design matters. It’s not either/or. People visit places that are attractive.

Affordable homes

There would be no “affordable” housing in the tower with a small amount (either 13% or 17% at social or London Affordable Rent and 6% or 19% at shared ownership levels).

Land to rear of tesco

A Planning Board meeting to decide on the tower was cancelled late in the day by developer Meyer Homes back in March. If this subsequent Planning Board meeting rejects the scheme Greenwich Council will have a weaker hand to now play at an appeal.

No satisfactory reason for scrapping the St Thomas Street masterplan has been given after much time and money was spent.

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