A walk around Woolwich

Woolwich station towers

Woolwich is almost always in a state of flux. There’s a slew of things to cover in this post; riverside towers rising quickly, the long-stalled Phase 3 of Berkeley’s Arsenal scheme is finally underway, early plans for another tower with upto 300 homes, and an expansion plan at a listed church.

I’ll start with Berkeley Homes’ riverside towers; two of which are now underway. This stage is called Waterfront I and II.

London Aug 2016 (16)

London Aug 2016 (11)

Here’s how they should appear when complete:

First two under construction are those on left
First two under construction are those on left

The third tower of this phase should soon begin. Another three were planned (those on the right above) but this has been revised to five. I’m working on a post about that.

A water feature has been installed by the new towers:

London Aug 2016 (13)

Woolwich towerThe final tower built above the forthcoming Woolwich Crossrail station has also been revealed as protective sheets are removed. One issue with some new builds along here are the tacked-on balconies. It looks so cheap. Balconies that are contained within the main form of a building are far more elegant. If they are to be tacked on then randomised placing certainly doesn’t help.

Phase 3 of Berkeley Home’s Arsenal Masterplan is also finally underway. It has been usurped by Phase 4 and 5 in the building stage, but the first concrete core is now finally visible:

Phase 3
Phase 3 in foreground with towers behind

And here’s how Phase 3, or ‘Pavilion Square’ will look when buildings complete from 2017:

phase 3 laboratory square

Royal Arsenal next stage

The Premier Inn hotel – opening spring 2017 – has seen some of the first room modules installed. The previous plan saw many modules installed. The developers then fell into difficulty and they were all removed. Now a different bunch of modules are being installed.

Another tower proposal

Elsewhere in Woolwich another pre-application submission looking at sites for towers has been submitted. The latest is a 24-storey tower on the car wash site opposite Waterfront Leisure Centre. Apartology has covered it here. Planning Ref is 16/2567/EIA.

Developers United Living are seeking opinions on 250-300 homes in an area which also comprises Mortgramit Square. I’ve long thought that a more competent and ambitious local authority than Greenwich Council would’ve embraced the idea of using the characterful narrow cobbled lanes and backstreets here to encourage and create an interesting destination.

Mortgramit screening

A great example would be to encourage an artist presence from the nearby Thames-side art studios (the recently re-named Second Floor studios and the biggest in London with 450 artists) with members from a variety of disciplines. And also work to bring food stalls such as at Lewisham’s Model Market.

It’s worth scrolling around to see the lanes. There’s some real character in these narrow backstreets which is like a glimpse back 50 years. Such potential. Google streetview also shows the redevelopment of the co-op on Powis Street. Residents should start to move in within a month or two.


This parade of shops will likely go:

Powis Street west

Church expansion

The church next door to that site are also looking to expand in a separate application, with a commercial unit facing onto the roundabout and windows inserted into the facade along with an extension. This was formally the site of a Granada Cinema:

ebenezer church plans

Planning Ref is 16/1624/F and 16/1625/L. Not sure why there’s two. Here’s the other side of the building facing onto Powis Street, shown in a promotional drawing from the opening in 1937:

granada cinema

Whilst building on the scruffy patch of land that now exists is welcome, based upon this rendering the planned addition seems sub-par for a Grade II listed building:

ebenezer church plans 2

The proposed materials are listed as mostly grey windows and doors, grey brick and grey metal cladding. Is that good enough for a listed building on a very visible site across from the ferry and roundabout?

The rest of the proposals seem decent enough.

More photos of Woolwich and other developments can be seen on my Flickr account here.

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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.

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