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Woolwich

Woolwich cinema plan announced by Picturehouse

Developers behind the Spray Street scheme in Woolwich have this morning announced an agreement with Cineworld-owned Picturhouse cinemas for a five-screen cinema.

New public square in previous plan

One problem though – the Spray Street plan has been put back due to the Covered Market being listed meaning any movement on the development is quite some time off.

Listed in late 2018

St Modwen and Notting Hill Genesis plan to consult on revised plans in early 2020. If a planning application is made during summer 2020 a decision could be made by late 2020 though that’s an ambitious timescale.



Given all that, any cinema is likely to be three to four years away at best.

Spray Street Area

Now halted plans would have seen the covered market and all buildings demolished across a large part of Woolwich.

The scheme evolved from one that retained the best of what’s already there (granted, that wasn’t much but some buildings have merit) into one that wanted to sweep away everything. It appeared a very lazy approach – and doing so ultimately delayed the entire scheme moving forwards.

Bland towers right up against street

Tower were located up against the street which also presented a canyon effect. No set-back appeared which normally works far better at street level when it comes to towers. The corner treatment on approach from Plumstead was dreary and dull.



Business owners also complained about being forced out and offered unsuitable alternatives. One newsagent owner complained about being forced to leave a busy town centre site and being offered a quiet spot with far less footfall in Abbey Wood.

This building will be renovated as part of the scheme

Another cinema is planned in Woolwich at the “island site”. Plans were approved by Greenwich Council before being called in by the mayor due to very little affordable housing. After some small revisions, it went back to Greenwich Council who again approved last year.

5 Comments

  1. NDOG

    Can remember attending an open event held by St. Mowden a few years back and the feedback was entirely positive from fellow residents.
    And by all accounts this was the case with the 2nd event they held thereafter.

    It is beyond parody to see the see just how much damage the counter argument has caused.
    ‘ local businesses not being able to be relocated fairly’ – what a load of old tosh.
    There is plenty of space, if Greenwich council are unable to provide a decent relocation then that is down to the council and busniess owners to negotiate.
    This has been going on for literally, YEARS, and they are still unable to find solutions?
    As if !
    What other part of London would allow such a resolvable issue to stand in the way of such a great and needed development?

    Then to see the likes of ‘speak out woolwich’ getting’ historical England’ involved with the listing of the public market, to merely halt progress as per their own agenda, let me tell you, I’ve lived in Woolwich all my life, and they do not speak for me or the vast majority of people who want this dangerous, decaying, uneconomic wasteland in Woolwich known as spray street to be redeveloped.

    • Jo

      Well I’ve lived here and while a mess, that’s no excuse for greed. If they’d stuck with early plans they’d be building already. It’s only when the started to push for demolishing absolutely everything it hit hurdles.

      The late changes were just greed.

      It is very run down at the moment but most problems could stop tomorrow if the council wanted them to. They choose to ignore prolific antisocial behavour around Spray Street. There’s nothing to say a new development won’t rapidly decline if Greenwich Council continue to ignore problems.

      Thinking changing buildings solves problems without changing the attitude of authorities in charge is a foold game. Woolwich has seen parts destroyed again and again – and where has that got much of the town? Nowhere with a lazy, poorly managed council.

  2. Charles Calthrop

    The affected businesses and landowners have a valid point and these should be listened to. No council or developer would enter into fair negotiation when their objectives are to make a profit for the enterprise. The figures or proposals made to affected businesses and landowners in such cases will be the lowest that that they can get away with and are banked on the fact that legal assistance is costly and many businesses do not generate the profits required to mount an effective defence.

    What is the long overdue development of an unsightly area to some is the multiple livelihoods of families to others. The meetings you referred to are often I’ll-publicised and affected businesses are often notified only at the last minute. As for relocation to the same premises you must account for the cost of the business closing for the duration and/or relocation. There’s no guarantee they’d be allowed back at the rent they already pay, and in any case would be deemed ‘not in keeping with the character’ of the new area. The council are trying to to homogenise to an ideal, and this ideal sees premium retailers and eateries rather than the hodgepodge that is currently there.

    Other parts of London are similarly bullied into accepting low offers under threat of CPO. Ask the residents of Wolverton Estate near Elephant and Castle, Hathersage Development in Islington or look at how far Lewisham went to avoid scrutiny when the area around Millwall FC was in dispute.

    Remember that these businesses (not the little ones that divide up into subunits selling sim cards) pay business rates, separate council collections and taxes too. It’s all too easy to believe that they will be treated fairly when reality for many small businesses is anything but.

  3. Woolwicher

    I’d like speak out Woolwich to pipe down. The area needs to change and think there’s a small minority kicking up a massive fuss about a few shops selling minging old vegetables and smelly fish. Lots of us have had to accept change!

  4. CDT

    I could not have put it better myself Woolwicher and totally agree with you.. Woolwich is screaming out for change sooner rather than later.

    The area around Spray Street and the Old Covered Market is in urgent need of re-development and upgrading. I think the new cinemas can breath new life in to Woolwich and also help to improve the local economy and in particular the evening and weekend economy.

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