Cross Quarter in Abbey Wood Approved

Cross Quarter abbey wood 2

The application to build a new Sainsbury’s superstore, hotel, and housing in Abbey Wood was approved by Greenwich Council’s Planning Committee last Thursday. Detailed permission was granted for the Sainsbury’s, a hotel, and 31 flats, whilst outline permission was granted for the rest of the scheme, which is mostly the main housing element comprising a couple of hundreds homes adjacent to the supermarket.

Sainsburys Abbey Wood

The scheme looks to be decent, though I would prefer to see flats above the large supermarket. I’m dubious of how the hotel will turn out with randomised brightly coloured cladding and small windows. Also I’m not sure who will take on the hotel site initially. If it is built alongside Sainsbury’s during the initial stage then it will be a few years before Crossrail arrives, and Travelodge (the most likely candidates) are going through a period of rationalisation and selling some hotels after ownership changes. It has recently opened hotels by Deptford Bridge DLR station, Sidcup, Woolwich, and is supposed to be opening one at the site of the ‘movement’ development next to Greenwich station, along with one in Charlton near to the new Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer site on Woolwich Road.

Another intriguing element of the scheme is Greenwich council’s desire for a library to be included. This has now appeared on the website. This would in all likelihood mean the existing Abbey Wood library closing, and it moving a fair walk away to a site close to Bexley Library’s new Thamesmead library, which is replacing the existing Newacres library which is being demolished and replaced on almost the same site.

The design and access statement in the planning documents for Cross Quarter also show images of the planned Crossrail station.

Abbey Wood crossrail renders

I have not seen these images before and presumably they are the most recent designs. There has been years of back room negotiation on the station plans. Both Bexley and Greenwich council’s have been reportedly unhappy with the plans that have previously been drawn up. Dates for planning applications have come and gone. It is crucial that a good design is implemented, as it will connect the major bus interchange on the dual carriageway alongside, as well as integrating with the existing parade of shops one side and Sainsbury’s the other, and facilitate crossing the railway. The existing station is a good design dating from the 1980s, with a heavily slanted roof and much glazing. The web of walkways crossing the railway and dual carriageway alongside however are a mess. They are a result of previous station costcutting and are a blot on the environment.

The image above is not too clear but it could show the current road on the flyover, with two lanes in each direction, reduced to one. Hopefully not, as with the number of buses stopping there, what is currently a free flowing road will become grid locked. In future there will be more buses serving the station as Crossrail arrives, along with new developments and infrastructure. There is already a bus lane so it would be unnecessary.

Ideally, the two lane section of Harrow Manorway from the flyover next to the station, to the roundabout by the redeveloped Tavy Bridge (where the new Bexley Council library and more homes will be) would be widened to two lanes in each direction, with a new lane each way exclusively for buses with segregated cycle paths alongside. This could be achieved with minimal demolition as the road is mostly lined with grassland which will in all probability disappear as redevelopment of Thamesmead moves south. It is the only single lane section in the miles of road from Thamesmead to Abbey Wood station and could become a real bottle neck.

Map - Abbey Wood roads

Without it traffic problems will surely increase, with greater bus numbers in future, and hopefully some cross river routes serving Crossrail heading to Thamesmead. Long term a tram could be a possibility. The large Sainsburys’ car park and hundreds of homes will be accessed via the single lane section as things stand. Widening roads is difficult politically, but this would benefit public transport by providing a dedicated lane on an increasingly busy stretch.

Demolition of the former Siemens factory starts on site soon, and the buildings are scheduled for completion in 2014-15.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

12 thoughts on “Cross Quarter in Abbey Wood Approved

  • Very interesting, thanks for your hard work

    Pete Fergusson

  • I’d better buy some earplugs now! Be good when it is done, but not sure about noise impact issue for our road – Overton – as being in Bexley they may feel less reponsibillty. I did write – twice – to CrossQuarter about parking impact in our road – but no reply…

    Well done for such informative, concise, article.

    • Hi, just looking at information about Abbey Wood and saw your name and some of your comments. Am sure you lived about 3 doors away from us and that our families were quite close. Would love to speak/hear from you again but cannot access your blog. I hope you see this and reply! -x-

  • That’s going to chuck even more pressure on that little corner if any river crossing at Gallions Reach is ever built.

  • Currently, it is almost impossible to turn right coming out of our road – with the existing traffic – we nearly always have to go left and turn round at the roundabout at the foot of Knee Hill.

  • ‘PLUMSTEAD SIDINGS’ Crossrail are applying to have the train stabling and maintenance site just off Church Manor Way. This takes away land from the Church Manor way allotments and sports ground. The potential environmental impact of this on the local area is alarming. Trains coming back and forth from 4.30 am until midnight, potentially major noise, light,pollution run off from the site. They are currently consulting on this and hoping they don’t have to go to a have a Parliamentary Inquiry. Greenwich Council closed the consultation on the planning application for the access road to build this BEFORe they held a meeting with the allotment holders.
    You can see the application here.
    This is a new proposal as originally the sidings were going to be at Old Oak Common in west London. I was at consultation the meeting last night. There will be 8 trains ‘Stables’ and a maintenance and cleaning facilities.
    CAN WE GET A POST ON THIS? there is hardly any public awareness about it . The consultation ends in the summer. I am waiting for Crossrail to remedy the broken link (

  • Hi, I used to live in Abbey Wood years ago – Overton Road! and am sure I was a neighbour of Andrina! I would love to get in touch with her again, but cannot gain access to her blog……………….please help?!!! Thank u!

    • Hi, I’ve just tried to check the blog and it said invite only. I remember that happened before a while ago but then it came back. not sure what is happening. I will check to see if i can find a contact email for Andrina tomorrow.

      • Yes, that’s what I found – invite only. That would be great – thank you!!

  • Hi There,

    There is a big steel frame going up toward the Western side of the site, I through that area was going to be residential but this looks a lot like a retail barn.

    I wonder if you know of any changes to the plans, i think work was delayed earlier this year due to some planning technicalities?


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