First look at Woolwich town centre Macbean Street housing plans

These are the first pics emerging of plans for 650 homes in Woolwich town centre on the former site of Woolwich Polytechnic school facing Macbean Street and Beresford Street.

Premier Inn seen on left. This development is directly opposite

The plot has been vacant for nearby a decade since the Victorian school buildings were demolished.

Current appearance of site

The images do not reveal the height of the tallest tower, which planning documents covered on this site show will be 22 floors. Woolwich seems to have a cap imposed of 22-floors, with towers now rising on the former Waterfront car park being the same height.

April’s application was seeking feedback on: “a mixed use development within 5 blocks ranging in height from 2 to 22 storeys comprising up to 650 residential units”.

New link between Beresford Street and Powis Street

A small internal square is seen opposite Premier Inn, as is a link to Powis Street via Murray’s Yard.

There’s little space allocated to retail or commercial usage. Despite issues hampering the High Street this may seem surprising given the sheer number of people moving into the area.

Brick is the predominant material with a fair few examples of red brick in evidence. A pronounced grid is seen on taller elements.

Beresford Street frontage

As more plots are developed across Woolwich those area that aren’t protected look likely to alter in coming years. Despite a recent refurb, how long will the Lidl store remain as it currently is? It’s another site that looks a likely candidate for development with homes above a replacement store.

Plans have been approved for a block of flats on the site of the former Catholic Club over the road:

Developer Legal and General state they wish to see completion by 2022. However, similar plans in Lewisham on Loampit Vale have not progressed for a number of years on the site of Sports Direct and Matalan.

Legal and General plans in Lewisham

It appears most if not all of the only buildings on site would be demolished – with one seen below. It’s currently in poor condition but would it be an asset if refurbished and integrated with the scheme?

The site

A full application for the Woolwich site is expected soon when we can gain further information on affordable housing numbers, transport plans and how much income Greenwich Council will receive.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

8 thoughts on “First look at Woolwich town centre Macbean Street housing plans

  • God if they could factory-farm architecture this would be it. Enough to kill any feeling of life and neighbourhood.

  • It seems that there is no accommodation for below ground parking at all. It’s fine to have the utopian view that everyone should use public transportation but in reality cars and trucks are the lifeblood of successful retail. Many cities have sold their public Waterfront to the highest bidder. It is a public amenity and it shouldn’t have been given so cheaply to housing developers. In decades to come we will regret the single use nature of these developments. Much like the North Greenwich Waterfront, it will become a deserted wasteland of single use residential buildings. Opportunity missed….again.

  • The site of the old Woolwich Polytechnic School does need development has has been left unused for years and years now,

    I will wait on further information on amount of affordable homes and public transport infrastructure improvements, Provision of amenities like Heath Centres or GP Surgeries etc as the local population continues to grow,

    Naturally it will be interesting to learn how much Greenwich Council receives from the developers and where Greenwich Council choose to spend this money in the Borough.

    • I do totally agree CDT, the developers Section106 funds could be better spent especially when the proportions of this borough wastes sums on non starters wooden bollards etc when ideally it could be best suited on the the updating/modernisation of our public realm. New pavements, Roads, trees and parks and not forgetting the housing blocks left for disrepair.

  • Isn’t this development a build to rent development?

    From my understanding it will be part of Legal & Generals investment portfolio aiming at providing guaranteed incomes on pensions? If so will there being any affordable housing allocated?

    • Yep it’s due to be build to rent. It’s the usual – 35% “affordable” but no mention on how much is social and just what rate affordable is.

      Build to rent monthly rental costs are typically very expensive and this is the next generational controversy coming. Younger people charged very high rates of rent to pay for a pension fund for older people.

  • One of the key problems of Build to Rent tenure is its commercial viability. They are long-term investments and aren’t as commercial viable as Build to sell. As a result this has a significant impact on the built-form, often resulting in over-sized towers and lack of amenity, public or play space (as is evident in this development), in order to maximise the profit margins.

  • Pingback: Views sought on revised Woolwich town centre development | Murky Depths

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