Demolition of Woolwich’s Waterfront leisure centre and move to General Gordon Square pushes ahead
Greenwich Council have published further details on plans to move Waterfront leisure centre in Woolwich to the site of Wilko’s in the Town Centre.
The current site will be sold for housing. The planned future development will be a mixed-use development on sites including:
- Viscount House – this is the site of Wilko’s, Ladbrookes, a budget store and formally Barclays, who have recently moved to the Arsenal site.
- 14-20 Vincent Road. This is a small parade of Victorian buildings on Vincent Road that appear to be earmarked for demolition under these plans, including the Bull Tavern pub.
- Vincent Road Garages. This blot on the landscape can’t go soon enough.
- Troy Court. The block of flats beside the garages. Residents would move into new housing above the planned leisure centre.
According to Greenwich Council, the new development will comprise:
- A like for like leisure offer
- Private and affordable housing
- Flexible Grade A office space
- Retail space
- A rooftop bar/multifunction space
- New public realm, including pedestrian and cycle access routes
- Public parking provision
This all looks pretty positive. A leisure centre that is detached from the town centre moves to its heart. This allows re-modelling of the poor road layout by the existing leisure centre and the Waterfront building goes which severes the town from the river and obscures the foot tunnel.
The new development brings town centre housing where none exists and removes a large wasteful single level car park with presumably a multi-storey replacement. A like-for-like offering should ensure decent provision. Hopefully slides are incorporated. The downside is no view of the Thames from the pool.
They envisage a three-stage program:
Negotiations are underway with tenants of Viscount House regarding short term extensions. This includes the vacated Barclays site, so demolition isn’t imminent.
Wilko’s have a lease until 2024 and are looking at alternative sites in the town centre. The council states if they do not move then a compulsory purchase order is likely to be instigated.
Near the current Waterfront site, Berkeley Homes have just commenced building on a third Thames-side tower:
Once this is completed they intend to move onto constructing five towers at the site of the current Waterfront car park. But this will not happen immediately. Here’s what will be built:
I covered the plans last August, and was critical of the lack of commercial space facing the Thames.
Greenwich Council hope to start building work of the new leisure centre in January 2020 for completion in January 2022.
Almost all sides of the square are seeing construction underway or future plans. A 27-storey tower is on the drawing board for the grassed area in front of Tesco. A recent post on this scheme can be seen here.
Just along from there is a plan for 310 homes at the “island site”. Information on that here.
Work is also currently underway on converting upper floors of the Equitable house into flats.
And there’s also long stalled plans for the DLR site: