Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Woolwich

Will a long-stalled Woolwich tower finally commence?

Beside the Woolwich ferry terminal lies a patch of scruffy land that has lay empty for decades.



This is the planned site of Mast Quay 2 – a development of 218 flats and the follow up to its neighbour Mast Quay built around a decade ago.

Looking towards Mast Quay 1

Since an application was made a decade ago little has happened despite approval in 2012.

Tower on left is Mast Quay 2

Now though a trickle of detailed planning applications are being brought to Greenwich Council’s planning department. The latest related to cranes needed to construct the tower.

The site

A Section 106 agreement was also agreed in 2018. This shows the applicant is now the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation created after the financial crises. The previous developer was Comer Homes.

Affordable housing levels are very low at less than 15% of total flats. Greenwich Council will receive over £4 million to provide off-site units – which doesn’t seem a large amount. If they buy existing homes instead of building new either directly or via Meridian, that will provide around 10 homes at prices previously paid with an average cost of £395k verses £223k building outright:

Click to enlarge

Unlike many other developments in the borough, Section 106 income is spread across a number of areas. GLLaB will receive £168k with £143k for education alongside £122k for local community facilities and £296k for open space. Emergency services will receive £71k and public realm just £7k, though at least on this occasion a wide range of other key areas see investment.



Those total sums are after Woolwich Crossrail station box costs take 50% of income.

Heavy traffic at ferry approach

The site is somewhat detached from the town centre and Crossrail by dual carriageways and the Ferry approach so it’ll be interesting to see how that disconnect is rectified – particularly with just £7k.




That’s assuming it even starts soon. The original application is now almost a decade old. It took almost three years to be approved and has remained empty ever since. Whether these applications are genuinely an attempt to get the ball rolling or simply to keep the application “live” whilst an attempt to sell land on is made, we’ll have to see.

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