Greenwich Council have announced welcome news that money is to be spent improving shop fronts along Plumstead High Street.
In a much needed boost for the long neglected High Street, money will come from the £5.2 million Good Growth Fund with £2.5 million from the Greater London Authority and £2.7 million from Greenwich Council.
Alongside money to improve buildings, shopkeepers will be asked for input on other projects to improve the High Street.
According to Greenwich Council: “architects Adams & Sutherland alongside its engagement team, make:good and Retail Revival, has been appointed by the Council to work with the local community to deliver improvements to Plumstead High Street. The practice is part of the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Architecture Design and Urbanism Panel.”
This is the culmination of some very hard work by many local people. It was heavy pressure from residents that saw a Section 215 notice issued against a building that was crumbling and infested.
After a decade of planning application and no work, the owner of the building quickly got moving after the notice which permits hefty fines to be issued if buildings are allowed to fall apart.
Other plans for Good Growth Fund money include converting the listed former power station off White Hart Road into a “new market, studio space and nursery“.
Plans look good though access is poor and passing footfall will be non-existent. It will need to be a destination in its own right.
It’s not the only challenge. The High Street is a constrained site that is often bumper to bumper. Paths are narrow. Street furniture abounds limiting paving space further.
Originally funding aspirations for these projects in Plumstead was £6 million funding – of which £250,000 was to be spent drawing up plans for the power station site with work beginning in 2019/20. That doesn’t appear to have happened yet. £1.6 million was due to be spent on project construction.
Other projects seem to be slipping far behind schedule including £2.5 million to upgrade the area around the station announced around 2016. It’s related to new homes nearby. Peabody consulted on sites over four years ago but as is sadly all too common with the Housing Association, are moving at an extremely slow speed.
Patience is a virtue.