In the latest of a string of civic buildings changing use to residential in Woolwich, proposals are in for the former Job Centre beside the town hall on Wellington Street to be converted to 60 flats. Planning ref. is 15/3405/PN2
Under current planning law, permitted rights rules for office to residential conversion means planning approval is a formality, and no affordable housing need be provided. It’s these rules that mean there’s a strong chance that the former council block at Riverside House will also see residential conversion, when all remaining occupants leave.
The Job Centre’s change follows conversions of the town’s Magistrates’ Court, which is now almost complete, and the Police Station, which is passing through planning. Though those were not approved under the same office-to-residential planning law.
Over the road are the Ogilby housing blocks, as seen above. These are all now boarded up with demolition imminent. Demotion is also underway just down the road on the other side of the Town Hall, where the Woolwich Grand is to become more flats. A real loss of a venue that should have been at the forefront of regeneration, providing cultural attractions so badly lacking. Here’s the replacement:
Over by the station, and in a seemingly bizarre move, some mid-density three and four storey housing on Vincent and Burrage Roads are to come down, and a low-rise branch of Plumcroft Primary School built in its place. There’s clearly a need for schools, but demolishing housing there seems strange. It’s hard not to think the replacement school is in the wrong place, or at least under-utilising town centre land to a great extent, which is practically beside the DLR and Southeastern station.
Just next to this site on Vincent Road are lower rise housing and garages on council land which are not only seriously ugly, but a real waste of land:
In the shot above, garages are on the left. Low rise housing seen on right with a nice prison like entrance gate. The other side of the garages facing Vincent Road can be seen below, with the condemned housing block behind:
It could be that this area wasn’t chosen as it will be incorporated into the large new leisure centre site, which will surely include housing above and behind. Directly adjacent is Wilkinson’s car park, which forms a decent chunk of the site.
That’s it for this brief round up. There’s many other sites across Woolwich that continue on. Though there’s still a huge number vacant or stalled, and the housing crises means all need building, and soon.