School planned in Woolwich new build beside Town Hall

Plans have been submitted to convert part of a new-build block beside Woolwich Town Hall into a school operated by “Sumus Education”.

The Woolwich Grand Theatre was demolished to make way for the new build after a contentious period with arguments over Woolwich losing a cultural space.

History of the site

Since completion of the building, ground floor retail units have remained empty. The developers claim they could find no takers for the units – despite being in an area of high footfall and opposite the council’s HQ.

Courtesy @Kleon

Now plans have been submitted to convert the ground floor into D1 educational use. A new entrance will be built onto Polytechnic Street if approved.

New entrance to be constructed here

The Design and Access statement is extremely out of date in places. It still includes photos of old low-rise housing and claims buildings top out at eight floors. Not correct as these have replaced Ogilby housing:

The plan also states it will provide:

“The installation of a partial mezzanine floor, the addition of 2 new
entrances, introduction of bollards on Wellington Street and Polytechnic Street and
removal of brick panels to provide additional windows.”

Sumus Education

Sumus are listed on plans as the group who will operate the school. Their website is one page with almost no information – though it is presenting information as though permission has already been granted. The company is registered in Stockton on Tees with some of those behind the company having a long list of company directorships including Paradigm land.

Greenwich Council approved demolition of former cinema and cultural venue

Paradigm land were developers behind the new-build. The Paradigm land website states in regards to one of it’s developments in Bromley:

“We purchased this site as a conversion opportunity. Within six months we’d sold it on with planning permission without even donning our steel-toe-caps.”

The Paradigm website also lists the Woolwich school project.

The application states it will provide a pre-school service from 7am and after school until 8pm alongside schooling throughout the day.

Click here to view planning documents.



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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.

6 thoughts on “School planned in Woolwich new build beside Town Hall

  • There are too many flats in Woolwich. The whole area is turning into a concrete and brick flat jungle. Build somewhere else. Within 10 years they will building on the only green space left which is the commons.

    • There aren’t too many. You must be lucky enough in a secure home. Many are not. If Woolwich is to become a thriving town again it needs new life in the town centre. Have a look around central London or one of a huge number of European cities and town centres with higher densities than Woolwich or much of London. What is needed alongside new homes is services to match and good design.

      • European cities do things differently. Here we have forests of high rise developments simply plonked down on former industrial or waste land. No thought goes into shops or transport. I agree with Sally Bell. There are too many flats aimed at people with money to buy or rent. If you are low waged or with precarious finances, you are locked out anyway.

  • I miss the old theatre. It was a bit of a hodgepodge at times but they often had some great speakers come in for an evening. My favourite was Vic Armstrong who was the stunt double for Ford and Connery in the Raiders and some of the Bond movies (and he’s still working in his 70s). Fascinating evening – if it had been held up in town the room would have been packed.

  • Work as been under way on the inside of the retail units at ground level for a few weeks with the wood removed from the outside of the windows. I did wonder what was proposed for the site. It was not clear on the sign they put up when they first started the work.

  • Pingback: New application for school beside Woolwich Town Hall | Murky Depths

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