Here’s some very good news. Greenwich Council submitted a bid to rejuvenate Plumstead High Street in recent months as well as create a business hub at Plumstead’s listed former power station, which is currently being used by Crossrail, and are looking at what resident would like to see.
The application is to the Greater London Authority’s Good Growth Fund.
£70 million is on offer London wide.
It all looks pretty positive though some of the claims are a bit much in the council’s document seen above. Better shop fronts will be welcome, as well as action on crumbling buildings, though they reference Abbey Wood’s improvements on Wilton Road as an example.
That scheme, though well intentioned, hasn’t been an entire success as a lack of attention to detail have held it back.
The paving, for example, became stained very quickly due to choosing a very light colour of stone. They also used gravel around the base of trees which was dislodged and scattered instead of a bonded surface. The infamous cheap looking wooden bollards they love so much appeared right at the end of work.
It’s still a vast improvement but getting some small things wrong needs to be ironed out for any work planned in Plumstead.
Planning problems in the past
The reference to planning expertise in the above screengrab will also raise some mirth given heavy criticism from the Planning Inspectorate last year when Greenwich Council failed to submit any evidence to William Hill’s appeal on opening a branch in Pumstead, which was labelled “clear, abject and repeated failure” as well as failing to spot occupied flats without planning permission for four years above shops on Plumstead High Street.
These errors, and others, resulted in external consultants being brought in at a cost up to £100,000.
Unfortunately, it comes on the heels of news that the cost of Plumstead’s rebuilt leisure centre and library has jumped 48% to £16.6 million.
That scheme has come in for some criticism due to funding coming entirely from selling local assets and buildings in the vicinity instead of securing at least some external funding sources as many authorities do on large schemes.
It will also see fewer facilities than existed in the old Warehouse leisure centre next door which is being sold.
And finally, it’s also a fair walk from the heart of the High Street and Lakedale Road so claims it will rejuvenate those areas are optimistic. The Growth fund money will have much more impact in that area hence it’s so welcome to see.
Greenwich Council also have £150,000 to spend on Plumstead High Street from an annual pot of money given to them from TfL. Despite claims there would be consultation, nothing has been seen or money yet spent. It’s too late now for consultation to have any meaningful impact on decisions made in council offices.
So what do people want to see money going towards? Bear in mind they cannot conjure up a good restaurant. They can though offer incentives and a far better street environment to entice business and visitors.
You can email Tiffany.Hepher@royalgreenwich.gov.uk and Plumstead-Regeneration@royalgreenwich.gov.uk to let them know what you would like improving.