Murky Depths

News in London and beyond


Plumstead power station plans revealed – new market, studio space, nursery and more

Power station plans

Did you know that Plumstead has a former power station? Not many do. Probably because the building is tucked away out of sight and unloved for many years. Yet it’s a listed building and will now see the most investment in decades.

The plan sees artist studios, a nursery, some food stalls (whether open to the public or not is unknown) and space for a market. It’ll be named the Plumstead Business Hub.

To reach the site you have to leave Plumstead High Street and walk down White Hart Road, pass numerous cars outside scrapyards and breakers yards then cross under the rail line. It’s pretty bleak.

Plumstead High Street will see improvements but White Hart Road needs them too. Very modest plans have been drawn up using the Community Infrastructure Fund, and as good as they are, are unlikely to be wide enough in scale to improve the link sufficiently.

The funding for the scheme comes from the recently announced Good Growth Fund. £2.5 million comes from the Mayor of London and GLA with Greenwich Council match-funding.

The £5 million pot also covers work on the High Street. There has been some concern since the announcement that the power station plan will see most cash whilst the long neglected High Street is again relegated to second place. It doesn’t seem to be the case.

Greenwich originally bid for £3 million from the GLA and Mayor and were awarded £2.5 million. They are NOT keeping their share at £3 million and have reduced it accordingly. It’s unfortunate they didn’t retain the same total or even increase by £500,000 to keep overall budgets the same.

Totals for the Business Hub and High Street

Out of initial plans for £6 million funding, £250,000 was to be spent drawing up plans for the power station site with work then beginning in 2019/20. £1.6 million was then to be spent on project construction.

£1.5 million in total was allocated to improving the High Street’s public realm (new paving, lighting, trees etc) with an equal amount from the GLA and Greenwich Council.

£645,000 was to be spent from the GLA on improving shopfronts with Greenwich Council adding in £64.5k.

Other costs took the total to £6 million.

That was the plan. Now £1 million has been reduced from the total budget what will be cut?

£5 million is still a great investment but something somewhere will be trimmed back.

On the subject of Plumstead High Street, £150,000 given by TfL last year to improve the area has not been spent this financial year as it was supposed to be. No one I’ve contacted has heard a thing about consultations. Did you hear or take part?

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  1. Mary

    I did an article about this site for the Weekender – not sure if they have used it or not. Strictly speaking it wasn’t a power station – it was more interesting than that. It was a rubbish destructor and one of the earliest – that is it generated electricity from rubbish. and it included other features using the rubbish. And it was planned by Plumstead Board before it became part of Woolwich. We – er -drew it to the attention of English Heritage, as was, in the 1990s

  2. Jon

    Given the points you raise about White Hart Road, I can’t help think that they’re doing this the wrong way round. Sure, landmark destinations can improve surrounding areas, but is this ‘landmark enough’ to do this?

    I can’t help feel that nobody will want to venture anywhere near the power station until White Hart Road is brought up to a basic level of amenity, and nobody would have cause to be on White Hart Road until Plumstead High Street itself is improved.

    RB Greenwich is trying to run before it can walk. As much of the £5m as possible should be spent on the High Street / Lakedale Road / White Hart Road.

  3. Martin

    Sound hopeful. Certainly worth keeping an eye on. I wish there was more investment in Abbey Wood where I love. It always seems so unloved and forgotten.

  4. John R

    The Council told myself and others about this being part of the bid at a recent Plumstead Stakeholders Forum and, while the idea might be laudable, the estimated costing of the total project given is complete pie in the sky and it would cost many tens of millions of pounds being spend to give it a chance of succeeding. It is my view that this Grade II listed building that is owned by the Council needs several millions spent on it alone in order to address the structural problems it has. As owners, the Council has a duty to keep this building in good order, and my fear is that it has been included in the bid to siphon off money to do some of this work, after telling the people of Plumstead the money will be spent on the High Street.

  5. Claire

    Hello, has anyone heard any more news on this since the win was announced? Gone suspiciously quiet…

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