Murky Depths

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Education, Housing, Plumstead

Greenwich College to be replaced with 320 flats & new college

Proximity to forthcoming Elizabeth line station a factor

Early plans are in to demolish Greenwich College buildings in Plumstead and construct 332 new homes housing nearly 1,000 new residents.



As this is an early submission asking the authority for feedback, it’s not a full application with detailed images, though does give some pointers and general ideas.

Projected massing and height

Firstly, a new college would be built on site though it will see sizable reductions in space. The campus, which is currently 10,000 sqm in size will reduce to 6,000 sqm.

Possible layout

Work is scheduled to last from 2020 to 2027. London South East Colleges have partnered with London and Quadrant (L&Q) to provide the residential element. However in September of this year L&Q announced they would pause building as prices started to fall so that may impact upon timescales.

Courtesy Google

Given price growth way above inflation and income growth was unsustainable, this appears to again show that relying on the market alone for housing will not provide much-needed homes.

Courtesy Google. Adjacent Polthorne estate

The college, located in Plumstead, was formerly known as Woolwich College before it became Greenwich Community College. The college was taken over by Bromley College in 2016 after being judged inadequate by OFSTED and facing possible closure.

An inspection this year found the merged Bromley, Orpington, Bexley, and Greenwich Colleges rated as good.



The college site along with neighboring estates were Victorian terraced housing until flattened in the early 1970s for comprehensive redevelopment.

Ordnance Survey map from the 1960s. People needed to know where the urinals were (click to enlarge)

As this is at an early stage of the planning process some revisions can be expected, but ultimately I’d expect the 320 home figure to remain about the same when full plans are submitted.

Click here to view planning documents.

Construction of a new building to provide up to 6500sqm of non-residential floorspace (Use Class D1), up to 350 sqm of flexible commercial floor space (A1/A2/B1/D1/D2) and up to 320 residential dwellings (Use Class C3) with associated landscaping, access including the construction of a new road, play space, refuse storage, parking and public realm. | 95 PLUMSTEAD ROAD, WOOLWICH, LONDON, SE18 7DQ

6 Comments

  1. CDT

    I was really surprised to read of these plans on the site of Greenwich College and the rebuilding of the College. As it is in partnership with London and Quadrant I hope the homes when completed on this development will be available for rent at local affordable rents which local people on local wages can afford.

  2. Charles Calthrop

    The death of higher education continues. When I attended in 1990 it had a state-of-the-art chemistry lab a fully-equipped motor shop and photographic darkroom among the classrooms for mathematics, history and a whole raft of recognisable A-Levels. Last time I looked at the website it boasted a nail technician’s ‘lab’ and the largest blackjack dealership school in South London. Less emphasis on education and more on simply learning to fill a function. That even this is being taken away makes me wonder how all these new developments will be paid for in future if there’s no worthwhile local education beyond the age of 16.

  3. AA

    I would seriously reconsider if its, being done by l&q more, than 90% of their builds, are faulty, they hardly do repairs need i say more just look at their trust pilot reviews from both private and social housing…

  4. CDT

    Totally agree with you Charles. We need our youngsters in further education to obtain a proper education and qualifications that will set them up for life and give them decent careers. So the make a future for themselves.

    Learning the basics like English and Mathematics are essential and need to be taught as part of every course for those that do not already have these qualifications on leaving school.

  5. Graham

    I would like to see more vocational training courses taking place at the College like Motor Mechanics, Construction skills i.e. Carpentry, Brick Laying, Plastering, Electrical Installation, Plumbing, Painting and Decorating, Roofing, Gas and Heating Engineers, Communications, Catering including Cooks and Chefs, Secretarial, Business Administration, Travel & Tourism, Customer Services, Nursing, Health Care Assistants, Fashion Designs, IT skills, Retail Management, Social Work etc Teaching and Teaching Assistants.

    So people can gain new skills for life and which they can use in an employed or self employed basis dependent on the qualifications they go for.

    With the new homes on the site I hope they are will marketed at local affordable rents.

  6. Dawn Green

    Blame the principle for this because emphasis was on Dance and Drama nothing wrong there but other subjects were removed to accommodate. No wonder losing money many of the staff agree .
    I live opposite the college(Invermore) and this is the first I have heard about it after talking to someone who lives in Polthorne.THE RESIDENTS WILL BE OPPOSING THIS
    The loss of natural light worries me Parking and the knock on effects with 320 more units with up to 1000 residents .

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