Murky Depths

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Woolwich

Callis Yard Woolwich tower completes

New Woolwich towers

A new housing development including a tower on Callis Yard in Woolwich is now all but complete and occupation is imminent.

This site first covered plans for 152 new homes in 2014. After changes in ownership it’s finally complete.

Seen from Macbean Street

The land was formerly a council yard and car park. The 2014 plans promised “streetscape improvements along Bunton Street and Woolwich High Street”.

However the pedestrian-unfriendly dual carriageway is still there and any changes are minor. No road changes were visible. Some small raised planters were seen away from the street.

No Section 106 agreement stating what income the council have received from developers and where it will be spent has been uploaded to the council’s website on the planning portal. It is often standard procedure at many authorities to later add S106 agreements to the planning submission page once approved but this is often absent in Greenwich borough.

New flats (good view of period Primark sign)

As well as selling this site Greenwich have also agreed to dispose of Riverside House directly alongside.

In terms of affordable homes information is very limited. The only mention I could find is 14 shared-ownership units. If that’s it, then that’s less than 10%. Very poor if correct for a former council site.

Riverside House on right

This development was approved years after Meridian Home Start was created in January 2011. Could the council have developed this site using their developer offshoot Meridian and utilised the 20% profit margin a private developer retains to either lower the cost of some homes or cross-subsidise social homes on site or elsewhere? In the event, they sold and a private developer makes the 20% profit.

It could be another chance to provide much needed homes that’s gone begging. Meridian could have done so much more since 2011 as central Government restricted direct council building. Other councils have plans in the thousands from their equivalents.

Anyway, the development is a decent bit of filler apart from some iffy cladding here and there and is pretty much shielded by other developments.

It’s a shame there’s no imminent transport improvements planned and no substantial public realm improvements to encourage walking and cycling.

It’s to be expected really. This is the borough that allocated 0.3% of developer income to parks and open spaces and saw a 35% increase in swimming charges for children this year.

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8 Comments

  1. Chris L

    The dual carriageway may be unfriendly the Council consultants want buses to run both ways along it.

  2. fromthemurkydepths

    Yet it’s blocked by vehicles parking all day long. I think about 5 when I took these pics. It doesn’t even function as a dual carriageway given that issue. Even if it stayed dual though some work could be undertaken. To be honest it doesn’t make sense to do much now with work going on over the road but RBG very rarely talk publicly of plans (as often none exist) so little expectation anything will change when new towers complete over the road.

  3. Graham

    Riverside House is looking quiet drab against the new Woolwich Tower. Is the plan for Riverside House to be demolished and new apartments built? I always thought the Riverside House site could be used for social housing at affordable rents. As the site is a Local Authority site owned by Royal Borough of Greenwich.

    • fromthemurkydepths

      They’ve sold it it appears rather than develop site for affordable housing.

  4. Great, even more morning commuters to cram onto the DLR

  5. CDT

    Yes Michael there will be probably more commuters on the DLR.The population is rapidly expanding around Woolwich with the amount of new housing developments recently built or under construction with many more sites earmarked for construction.

    But nothing really is being done to improve the local transport infrastructure for the growing local population. Crossrail opening delayed indefinitely.Cuts to bus services with route 53 being cut back from Whitehall (Horseguards) to County Hall with a reduction in frequency from the 15th June.

  6. Olaf

    Although the building is “complete” its not complete, there is a boundary dispute with Greenwich council who have been sitting on finishing the dispute since January. 7 months of delays while the developers just sit on their hands doing nothing, where the lawyers holding the deposits just keep earning interest, the keep moving the long stop date as well so buys can’t even pull out of the purchase. Lies and empty promises are the foundation of this building.

    • af

      That is absolutely true Olaf. Although complete the building is sitting empty and the developers are doing absolutely nothing. Months and months of delays with zero updates, and the buyers frustrated and helpless that there seems no end to this council dispute resolution.

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