Woolwich Crossrail towers: Increase in homes under new plan

TfL are looking to build 515 homes above the eastern end of Woolwich Crossrail station in a joint partnership. This is an increase from previously agreed plans for 400 homes at Armourers Court.

TfL announced a partnership in April 2019 to build on the site after planning permission was first granted way back in 2014.

2014 Armourers Court plan above eastern end of station

This is early days for a revised plan, with this latest submission a scoping opinion seeking feedback on early ideas, which include a 26-storey tower.

2014 plan

One very odd thing about this part of Woolwich is that a bunch of tall towers are either built or in planning in the area – Royal Arsenal and Spray Street to name but two – though heights won’t taper down to the east as is good practice, but immediately drop towards single storey industrial units located next door.


Armorers Court site in red. Spray Street in blue. Warehouses in orange

Placing single floor units here may have made sense when London’s housing crunch wasn’t so acute and the population rising by 1 million every decade. Oh, and a major £18 billion piece of rail infrastructure wasn’t on the doorstep.

Courtesy Google. Industrial units to left. Towers will be on the right

Yet even now, in a recent consultation, Greenwich Council wanted to retain these single storey sheds in close proximity to Woolwich’s Elizabeth Line station. It’s a perfect site for new housing within mixed-use developments including light industry. Heavy industry could be located a mile west at Thamesmead industrial parks that still contain unused land around 15 years after the White Hart Triangle scheme was completed with private access road.

Woolwich units in yellow. Vacant Thamesmead sites in red (there’s more off screen)

Some of the Woolwich units contain storage facilities. Put housing on top. Last time I wrote about this someone had a go and said there was a kids play area there. Yet there was no call for those facilities to be banished but incorporated into mixed-use schemes around new homes – which would help business.

Armourers Court site

A policy to block housing from sites so close to the town centre and a major new transport hub is pretty odd given what’s happening in London. It goes against guidelines of transport-oriented development to reduce car dependency. This isn’t to say industry should be eradicated but located in holistic developments where possible – and moved to unused sites down the road in Thamesmead where it isn’t.

If well planned it should mean no job losses and minimal disruption if business is compensated – and many extra homes built. And you never know, a couple of thousand homes may help fund an eastern station entrance benefiting Plumstead.



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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.

14 thoughts on “Woolwich Crossrail towers: Increase in homes under new plan

  • “Someone had a go”, really? They sound like they’re ON Greenwich Council!
    I’ve said it before, Greenwich Council is dangerous! They have no clue as to how a modern city should be laid out!

    • Exactly Paul, Greenwich Council have no clue whatsoever!
      In the article is says that the popluation is exepcted to inclrease by 1mil every decade! This is NOT sustainable, our population can not increase to infinity.
      In my opinion drastic meassure must be put in place – a combination of much much stricter immigration controls and a review of benefits and the idea that you are entitled to a house (sounds extreme I know) as a right!, and caps/tax on foreign money purchasing properties in the UK, all of which effect the demand (every one talks about the supply side and to build more)!

      You can build more more high rise shoe boxes, but where are the gardens/open spaces? What about transport, GP’s, hospitals, road, sewage, waste/rubbish etc etc???

      • Again with the stale, old arguments about immigration, benefits and housing. If you stopped immigration completely, there would still not be enough housing for those in need. As for benefits, the poor and sick should have some means of support. They are not living in luxury and claiming what is due is a demeaning process.

        Everybody has a right to housing and there is no reason why those born and bred in a borough should not be able to live in it, whether in the private or subsidised sectors. Housing is in the hands of the few, aided and abetted by government and the planning system. When this changes, more people will get a chance of finding a home.

        • anonymous201481 What is stale about people who oppose illegal immigration? It is a proven contributor towards the housing crisis. You cannot simply claim it is a stale and old argument just because you are too scared to admit that it is a serious problem.

          • I’m not scared to admit anything, but I find those who are fixated on immigration always lay the problems of an unequal society at their door. So much easier to employ the same old tropes than look at the broader picture.

        • Anonymous201481 – I’m not against imiigrants per say (my parents are 1st generation immigrants from India), but i’m highly critical of the country’s immigration policies.
          There is a supply and demand aspect on services and wages and yes, even as a British (proud/greatful) asian I have to admit there are the cultural and social cohesion aspects on communities when we are talking about the vast numbers (I beleive 3/4 of the population growth is due to immigration if I remember correctly).
          The population cannot continue to increase to infinitum!
          You have said that everyone has a right to housing – I’m simply saying that there shouldn’t a right! Otherwise why work for a house if the state must give you one if as you say it’s a right?!
          What stops someone having for eg. 10 kids – eveyone of those 10 kids will one day grow up and must be given a house if it’s a right?!
          Sure there needs to be more and better provision for social housing but we shouldn’t compound the housing problem with 300k+ increase of the population!

          All these high rises in the borough are the consequences of an increased population (especially in london)! And as i’ve said before, where are the gardens and safe open spaces for families/children?
          The quality of life must be effected negatively!

          • Sorry I also forgot to add, I didn’t mention anything about those who are poor, sick and on benefits.
            Immigration should be blamed 100% on our problems, but that isn’t to say our immigration policies are 100% not the problem either! It is a contributing factor along with ultra low interest rates hich cause inflating asset prices and many other policies!

          • Apologies! I did mention benefits in my original reply which I overlooked!

          • A right to housing doesn’t mean FREE housing and many working people are still too poor to afford decent housing. It means that everyone should have the ability to afford a place to live, whether in the rental sector or through purchasing. Most of the highrise blocks in the borough are for sale or private rental. Property developers aren’t in interested in social housing and there will be very few, if any, in many of those rabbit hutches in the sky. Greenwich council whose job it is to provide housing at an affordable rent, is sitting on a bulging chest and refusing point blank to address the housing crisis in the borough.

            I am also the child of immigrants, but I don’t want the drawbridge to be pulled up after me. I am 61 and benefited from full employment for most of my working life, the stratospheric rise in property values, a final salary pension scheme which ultimately allowed me to retire early. All of this without having had a university education.

            Today’s university educated people, many working in the professions, have given up on the hope of ever owning a home. Instead they are paying off student loans and renting sometimes poor accommodation which is paying off someone else’s mortgage. If the educated cannot get a stake in the property market, something is truly broken.

  • I agree with you HK. You make some good and very valid points which the Council and Politicians do need to listen too.

    I am also concerned where will all the extra jobs will be created to employ all these extra people as we see more and more jobs lost to automation Including self service checkouts etc.

    We are also see more services going digital on line so you no longer have a face to face presence.

    If something is done not soon to increase amenities including GP Surgeries, Hospitals, transport roads etc along with sewage, waste rubbish etc etc as HK mentuioned our services will collasp. We also need more open spaces. parks and gardens to give people more space.

  • HK “mentioned”. Sorry my typing is not getting any better,

  • We do need more social housing built and rented at local affordable rents. I agree with anonymous201481 people born and bred in the Borough should have the right to live in it and should be a priority when it comes to allocating social housing.

    As I mentioned before we also need more sheltered accommodation homes built for the most vulnerable elderly and disabled residents where they can have an on call warden and domestic staff on site to help and support them with daily task like cleaning. Or all the homes would need to be linked to the 24/7 emergecy call system where they can summon help when required.

    We do need major investment in the local infrastructure and amenities GP Surgeries, Hospitals, Primary and Secondary Schools,Transport, Roads and Sewage etc as mentioned. by HK.

    Along with creating new jobs for people as the local population continues to grow year on year. As so many jobs have been lost of late.


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