Listed Woolwich building threatened with demolition restored with new public space
A listed building beside the new Woolwich Crossrail station has been renovated after a successful campaign saw Berkeley Homes change tack on demolition plans.
Back in 2014 the developer revealed plans to knock down the Officers’ House facing onto Dial Arch Square for a vehicle drop off point and turning circle.
Back then I covered the story extensively and those posts got huge views.
The building dates from 1739 and nicely rounds off both squares. The plans were somewhat baffling. A walkway between the new station and building was said to be too narrow for pedestrians. Now it’s restored we can clearly see that was a bit of a nonsense.
The other side of the building also has a wide passage to cater for pedestrian flow:
The 2014 plan threatened to have vehicles idling when waiting to pick up directly next to Dial Arch Square which acts as a respite from the rest of busy Woolwich.
Renders showed just a few vehicles. The reality would have been somewhat different.
Instead of vehicles idling by public spaces there’s now a handsome restored frontage enclosing the square.
The Officers’ House is now converted into flats with commercial units facing onto a new square to the rear. An attractive area it is too.
This was to be little more than a car park. What a change.
When occupied this square should be a bustling little area. It already has a pub and supermarket on site. Building 10 (where the Farmer’s Market was held) is also to see shops installed:
Still, this didn’t all come without repercussions. Berkeley Homes argued that renovating the Officers’ House would only be cost effective if they could build a tower above another listed building.
Greenwich Council gave the go-ahead despite concerns of reduced lighting to those in adjacent homes. Affected people would not have had this block included in the masterplan when they moved in.
Still, it’s very good news that this part of Woolwich’s history – dating back almost 300 years – has been retained and restored and now serves a new purpose in providing homes with shop and restaurant space.