Last year plans were revealed by developers HUB to build a tower beside Abbey Wood station. In recent weeks I noticed they had altered the height down from 29 stories to 22, and now we have images of how the design has altered.
They’ll be 245 flats. Three commercial units will be located at street level.
The shorter block was to be a hotel but plans for that have now been scrapped. The design here looks to be an improvement. I like the clearly defined external frame which gives a depth to the facade. A rooftop terrace is planned with play areas for younger children and green spaces offering views across London.
The taller block has seen seven floors chopped off after a substantial revision. Unfortunately the best element of the previous design has gone, and the cross-bracing is no longer apparent. Nor is a marked stepped effect with massing. It’s more like a slab now.
The benefits are losing the quite dull upper part of the former taller section. The very grey and dull colour palette has been toned down.
A small public square will be created with extensive greenery and trees. This leads to the commercial spaces which hopefully will expand the offerings in Abbey Wood which are currently lacking.
The design revision is mainly a success. It seems Greenwich Council and the Greater London Authority have done a good job in discussions with the developer since the first application a year ago.
The buildings are mainly designed mainly for younger workers who will use the new Crossrail link to reach centres of employment such as Canary Wharf in 10 minutes or the City in 20. Either those without children or just one younger child. No doubt some will say tower isn’t good for families but expanding housing choice through various types of tenure does have knock on effects.
Greater numbers of younger people in their 20s or 30s living in buildings like this for 5-10 years means less in home-shares which should free-up those for larger families. Clearly this is needed on a huge scale to make any appreciable impact. And cost is a huge factor. We need to see how many units will actually be affordable. Even if aiming for Canary Wharf workers, there’s plenty there who aren’t on big money as the myth often states.
One other crucial point is how Greenwich Council will use the substantial Community Infrastructure Levy money this will bring in?
The Abbey Wood estate is very close by. It’s main shopping areas could do with a big improvement, as could smartening up Abbey Wood park and various public spaces across the 3000 home estate. This proposal directly references them as assets to be used by incoming residents.
The planning reference is 16/2878/F