Woolwich care home demolished for new flats

Work on building 48 new homes at Sunbury Street in Woolwich is progressing with a former care home recently demolished.

New flats coming soon on site

The development is located near Woolwich Dockyard station and the former Woolwich Fire Station which saw conversion to housing after closure five years ago.

Demolition work

To show how slowly these things progress, Housing Association ASRA applied for permission four years ago at Sunbury Street having moved residents out. With building work yet to begin, it could be six years from application to occupation in the midst of a housing shortage.

Aerial view of site

Mast Quay is near this site and work is underway there on another tower. That’s been 12 years since early plans were revealed. Another tower is planned and covered here.

Mast Quay tower when complete

Woolwich Dockyard station is near these developments and the quieter brother to Woolwich Arsenal. Thameslink trains sail through without stopping (yet are timetabled slower than Southeastern trains which do call) with one reason given that station platforms couldn’t take 12-car trains, yet Thameslink only run 8-car trains.

Woolwich Dockyard station

These schemes could see a bump in rail passengers at Woolwich Dockyard. Though what will really result in sizable increases is when Morris Walk estate is finally demolished and rebuilt.

That scheme has been delayed.

Other care home sites

Another care home built around the same time in Woolwich was recently demolished near Woolwich Arsenal station. Plumcroft school has seen an expansion on part of the site.

That site is directly beside Woolwich station and would have been ideal for a mixed-use scheme with homes above a school. Similar projects are commonly seen across Europe and would have bee ideal with London’s housing squeeze. Having schools as low-rise islands won’t fly with London’s population rising by 1 million every decade.

Another new low rise school in inner London

European cities could teach London and the UK much. Berlin, Barcelona and many other cities show how schools can tie into neighbourhoods to a far better degree.

Hackney Council, for example, are now looking to do similar on school sites. Given the need for transport-orientated development and the site being public land, such a development would have been ideal. But changes in thinking hasn’t caught up with the reality of population growth in much of London’s Town Halls.

The subsequent reality is people having to move many miles outside of London with a heavy use of poor quality private lettings at huge cost to the taxpayers – not to mention broken communities and poor living conditions for many.

As a private renter with a young family, the cost of living is extremely high.

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Murky Depths

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.

One thought on “Woolwich care home demolished for new flats

  • October 26, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Selling off care homes to developers at a time we have a crisis in providing care to our most vulnerable people including the elderly and disabled does not sound right to me. I could understand it if new sheltered accommodation was built on the sites where they would have wardens on site 24 hours a day 7 days a week. or a new care home was built.

    I know this is not going to happen so I hope the sites of the care homes being redeveloped will be for social housing and tenanted by an Housing Association or Greenwich Council taking tenants from the waiting list.

    So many sites have been left empty and undeveloped for many years which is not acceptable at the height of an housing crisis. If a developer cannot afford to develop a site after purchase then perhaps the site should be sold to another developer who can afford to go ahead with the development or offered to Housing Associations and or Local Authorities to develop the sites,

    I do think mixed use developments can work well and have been very successful in other areas.

    The success of any development also relies on improvements to the public transport infrastructure and local amenities including shops, Health Centres and public spaces to give the residents some pace.


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