Building work continues across the Arsenal estate in Woolwich. A visit in the week showed progress at a couple of phases, as well as some other recent changes, including the opening of a new restaurant named Con Gusto by the Thames Clipper riverboat pier. A campaign is also kicking off on the site against development plans.
Firstly, Phase 3 is finally rising a few years after planning permission. This is now known as “Pavilion Square” having previously gone by the name “Laboratory Square”. Here’s how it will look when finished:
This is one of the lower-rise elements to the estate. Here’s how progress is shaping up, with completion expected by late 2017-early 2018:
The schedule of work was altered so that Phase 4, the towers above the Crossrail station, was built first.
This development surrounds two listed buildings. One can be made out below:
Another part of the Arsenal site making its presence known are the first two Waterfront towers:
Tower one will be complete by summer 2017. The following tower in 2018 and construction should begin soon on tower 3.
And how it will appear when finished:
New restaurant Con Gusto is based in this area, in a cosy listed former Guardhouse building:
This area again reminded me of how little commercial space there still is across the estate. This building, facing the river with great views, would be ideal for a number of pubs, bars and restaurants:
The Crossrail station is coming along too. It’s still a concrete box on the surface, though a slightly more complete one:
Last week I covered plans for 146 additional homes, a new square and a taxi waiting area by the forthcoming Crossrail station. The plans, covered here, were approved by Greenwich Council last Monday.
It includes an 11-storey block located close to an existing block. Many Arsenal residents seem pretty angry at the plan due to the impact on light levels in existing buildings. A Facebook group has sprung up to oppose the plan. It’s interesting to see how social media is now galvanising people and offering a focal point to co-ordinate and plan action. This is another example of how things are changing which will take some Greenwich Councillors by surprise.
This isn’t just people venting and complaining without any action plan. They have come together to form groups, have real knowledge and experience and are willing to fight. Many have come from other places where apathy isn’t as rife as it sadly became in many parts of Greenwich borough as Greenwich Council neglected areas for many years, and so won’t put up with what became commonplace in “Royal” Greenwich.
This will increasingly become evident in a strip along the north of the borough with Crossrail bringing people into existing areas, alongside new developments, which’ll have a big impact all along from Abbey Wood in the east, to Woolwich, then Charlton with its riverside plan and then Greenwich Peninsula.
With many Labour councillors still ignoring communication, emails, requests for information and being reluctant in pushing Departments and colleagues for better in their areas they could well come a cropper come the next election. To compound this change they have national difficulties as well as controversial issues such as the Silvertown Tunnel.
Labour MPs in the area are generally great in my experience. Some Councillors are but too many are not. The changes could well overtake them unless they wake up and fight for better. Social media is aligning with demographic change and external events in a possible storm for the ruling Labour group in Greenwich.
Finally, away from the Arsenal and the Callis Yard site development is now rising. It includes a tower opposite the Waterfront Leisure Centre: