Future of Thamesmead & Abbey Wood plan manages to ignore Abbey Wood

An exhibition today at Sainsbury’s in Abbey Wood is giving the public a chance to see future plans and guidance for the area covering the next 20 years. However there’s one problem: this crucial document leading to many changes in coming years manages to almost entirely exclude and ignore the majority of Abbey Wood.

I covered this a few weeks ago and the consultation has now moved to a new stage – yet still mostly overlooks Abbey Wood excluding a small area around the station. So much for “getting involved in the future” as the website proclaims.

Area covered. Abbey Wood cut in two

When an online consultation occurred over summer 2019 many people asked about areas and the chance of improvements in Abbey Wood including the run-down estate – yet nothing substantial is in here. It manages to have photos of Thamesmead in a section on Abbey Wood:

The pictures aren’t of Abbey Wood

The boundary of this plan is flawed to begin with given it cuts Abbey Wood in two based on the railway line. North is included. South isn’t. Not a great start.

Clicking on Abbey Wood brings up little on the town

Even the vast majority of north Abbey Wood, which is ostensibly in the consultation area, is barely covered when it comes to various sections outlying plans.

The only areas of Abbey Wood featured in any detail are Harrow Manorway and areas leading to Thamesmead. If they only want to focus time and energy on Thamesmead at least be upfront about it.

Station frontage from Abbey Wood shops

This follows a pattern dating back a decade. The new station is predominantly  focused on those arriving on buses, which isn’t most people in Abbey Wood. Those in Abbey Wood walking to the station have large blank facades to greet them on either side.

Blank frontage for those approaching at lower level

Then some lovely public realm:

Courtesy Bexley is Bonkers

To cut Abbey Wood in two and then mostly ignore (again) a large, neglected estate of some 3,000 homes is odd to say the least. You may have hoped Greenwich Council would have pushed for more detailed plans for this area after a number of stages of consultation have progressed and one aimis to “Support communities by planning for good quality infrastructure and amenities that can be easily reached (for example green spaces, social, community and cultural uses)”

Garages in Abbey Wood. This whole area near shops is in poor shape

Ah, but Thamesmead is undergoing massive change you may think so needs most (all?) the focus. But so will Abbey Wood. And the 3,000 home estate has much scope for an improved centre and shops alongside in-fill development and improvements. It’s ignored year after year. Developments nearby bring millions and it sees little to nothing.

The only noise we’ve heard the past year is Greenwich Council looking to sell some land instead of using it as part of a holistic plan to rejuvenate the heart of the estate where shops are located.

If you want to have a look at plans and comment click here.


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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.

    3 thoughts on “Future of Thamesmead & Abbey Wood plan manages to ignore Abbey Wood

    • Changes to Thamesmead will inevitably affect Abbey Wood especially in terms of transport links.

    • It is a real shame that Greenwich Councl seem to have ignored Abbey Wood and the large Abbey Wood Housing Estate yet again in the plans for regenerating Abbey Wood and Thamesmead.

      I do agree however, changes to Thamesmead will affect Abbey Wood in terms of transport links as developments in Thamesmead are completed and the public transport infrastructure improved to meet growing demand.

    • Most of Thamesmead is under control of bexley council and the Peabody trust, where as abbey wood estate is under Greenwich borough an they seem to be cutting anything to do with cleaning up the borough or looking after park land including the grassed areas on the estate. I just wonder how Greenwich managed to receive royal borough status.


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