Cinema coming to Woolwich as market sale agreed?

Early renders
Early renders

Greenwich Council’s plan to sell off the indoor market as part of a large mixed-use development has taken a step forwards. Council documents reveal plans for a cinema, up to 650 homes and a new public square.

St Modwen and Notting Hill Housing Association were selected as preferred bidders for the wider Spray Street Masterplan site development in December 2014. Greenwich Council’s cabinet are now looking to ratify that decision, and note that:

“The ‘partnership’ of Notting Hill Commercial Properties Ltd and St Modwen Developments Ltd have decided to form a ‘special purpose vehicle’ specifically for the purpose of developing the Spray Street Quarter.”

The planning conditions reveal what will replace the decrepit market and crumbling buildings on the wider masterplan site:

“The Planning Application should include a minimum development criteria of not less than 3000 sq. metres of ‘A’ Class Uses (retail), a cinema of not less than 600 sq. metres, 1000 sq. metres of other commercial uses, 800 sq. metre of public realm and between 550-650 of residential units of which 35% should be affordable and high quality public realm including a new square of not less than 800 sq. metres.”

If a planning application is not made before December 2017 the council can terminate the agreement.

In theory this plan should be a big boost to Woolwich. It finally regains a cinema and more badly needed evening entertainment options. A re-orientated market should better connect with the existing outdoor market and provide a boost to both.

This site also links the newer Arsenal developments and Crossrail station with the DLR and Southeastern station, which is likely to be operated by London Overground by 2018.

The extensive Spray Street Quarter site
The extensive Spray Street Quarter site

It does again raise questions of why the DLR over-station development just to the south has stalled for so long. TfL are once again trumpeting their new found enthusiasm for partnerships with developers on land around and above stations. They have been making a big deal of this in regards to new Mayor Sadiq Khans housing aspirations.

woolwich oakmayne

Woolwich DLR was supposed to be a trailblazer, but 8 years on nothing has appeared on a large expanse of land both above and around the station box. Here’s what was said back in 2008:

“The sites – the airspace above the two DLR station entrances and a former works site – form part of the new DLR extension to Woolwich centre due to open during the early part of 2009.

Oakmayne were selected over Berkeley Homes, Cathedral Group and First Base as TfL’s partner for the sites as a result of their ‘design-led approach’ and ‘comprehensive residential regeneration experience in the South London market,’ it said.”

Let’s hope the crucial development at Spray Street does not become bogged down in development hell. The council have stipulated a number of terms to ensure it should proceed quickly. Why TfL did not ensure timely progress is a mystery.

EDIT: Just after posting I found this page which shows that Oakmayne (Woolwich) Ltd was incorporated on 18th May 2006. Exactly 10 years ago today and nothing to show for it.



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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.

0 thoughts on “Cinema coming to Woolwich as market sale agreed?

    • I’ve been to write about the airport and Royal Docks many times. I keep starting and half finishing. Must get it done. So much happening and much will impact on SE London (all the developments along the Woolwich DLR line for one and crowding levels).

  • What will happen to all the current shops?

    • Hopefully the decent ones are supported. There’s a fair few dodgy shops and owners though (not maintaining buildings for one – some are in terrible shape) and some of the food places received zero stars on hygiene inspections. Issues with violence too, plus parking and ignoring planning decisions and the like. It raises the question again though; if Greenwich Council hasn’t enforced various issues here for many years will they with a new development? And if not will it all fall apart quickly.

      • What about the remaining small independent shops?

        Greeenwich Cuncil are threatening to use their powers under Compulsory Purchase Orders if the 60 odd independent freeholders try to hold out for a fair and just price from the developers.

        For those old enough Greenwich Council have done this before at Greenwich Cutty Sark DLR station. Until they were taken to the High Court by a freeholder who refused to budge and a judge told the Council legal team the council was trying to force freeholders to sell their titles on the cheap and outside the provisions of the act.

        Greenwich Council were rudely reminded the act was framed for public good rather than for private profit.

      • Just like Beresford Square which is already in a state of disrepair from poor maintenance and cleaning!

  • I wonder if these new ( affordable housing ) will be built for social housing , as we in the social sector , are being shipped out of woolwich altogether

  • close down the foreign churches and open up the grand old ladys……
    also the new developments are way way over crowded skyscrapers they need to stop the maximum density and bring down the hights

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  • That whole block is in complete disrepair and needs a investment. As above, I hope the housing is affordable.

    I assume this would open in time for Crossrail at the end of 2018? The amount of pedestrians walking between the DLR and Crossrail station will provide a lot of footfall.

  • I agree I think the covered market and neighbouring shops on Beresford Street between Burrage Road and Woolwich New Road need comlete redevlopment. The whole block is in complete state of disrepair and is crying out for redevelopment, A new cinema for Woolwich will be a great idea. Hope this development goes ahead sooner rather than later.

  • There is a public exhibition on this on Saturday (25th) and Monday (27th) June. Affordable housing will be 35%.

    See details at site below:

  • Pingback: Woolwich market and Spray Street consultation soon – as new public realm neglected | fromthemurkydepths

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