500 new homes in Woolwich / Charlton: Detailed plans revealed for Faraday Works

Back in January this site covered the submission of plans for nearly 500 new homes at Westminster Industrial Estate which was formerly a major factory for Siemens. Fast forward a month and detailed plans have now appeared on Greenwich Council’s website.

Whereas before we had a couple of promotional images to go on, now we have full planning documents and hundreds of pages revealing much more about the project. Developers U&I and Galliard are behind the scheme.

Plans include the demolition of locally-listed 37 Bowater Road which was first constructed in 1911.

To be demolished if plans approved

One reason given is retaining the building would decrease viability of a new development, and roof heights at 4.5 metres are too high to include sufficient flats. The plan states: “This is based upon the simple principle that as a new build residential apartment would have a nominal 3m floor to floor height compared with an existing 4.5m floor to floor height, this means that additional floor space can be created within the same footprint and volume as an existing building.”

Building on right to go if plans approved

Other locally listed buildings will remain though altered with new additions. According to documents, “the proposed 7 buildings range in height between 2 and 13 storeys.” This is above maximum heights of 8 floors included in the Charlton Riverside Masterplan.

Grey additional storeys above existing buildings are seen in designs. At previous developments this really hasn’t looked good and more akin to a tin shed stuck on top. See the Timberyard in Deptford for a good example.

According to the Planning Statement, income to the council will be “£3.3 million of New Homes Bonus payments over a four-year period alongside £686,000 of council tax receipts per annum and £508,000 of business rates revenues at current rates
per annum.”

Site layout

There will also be millions more in Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy income. Homes will bring the authority £70 per square metre. An additional £25 per sq metre will go to the Mayor. The mayor reduced that from £35 per square metre this year for Greenwich borough – the only London borough that saw a reduction.

Section along Bowater Road looks good

Section 106 is not finalised but will be allocated towards these areas if permission granted.

  • Affordable housing
  • Employment and Training
  • Transport Measures
  • Children’s play space
  • Carbon offset contribution
  • Project management and monitoring fee

What happens in boroughs such as Southwark is agreements then come back before public Planning Committees for councillors to agree. This does not happen in Greenwich borough.

Affordable housing

The level of “affordable” housing is 35 per cent. Of those 149 labelled “affordable”, 57 are shared ownership meaning mortgage costs then rent and service charges on top. This is not affordable to many. As I covered recently, even a small 1-bed affordable shared-ownership flat opposite Belmarsh Prison in Thamesmead requires a mortgage then monthly rent and service charge costs of £638.

Overview of Charlton Masterplan

That leaves 92 out of 492 properties at “affordable” rent levels.

Car parking spaces are set at 99 with 82 for residents and the rest commercial units.

Nearby developments

The Planning Statement refers to nearby projects including at the Royal Arsenal site, yet when looking at “neighbouring sites” but not the “One Woolwich” project which resulted in Morris Walk estate’s current demolition for replacement with new towers up to 18-floors in height and around 500 homes. That’s despite it being closer to the site and ensuing impact upon demand for local services.

New towers planned in Woolwich Dockyard

The detailed tower plans above are for the Albion pub site which I covered last month.

To read and comment on the application click here.

“Redevelopment of the north western parts of Westminster Industrial Estate through a heritage- and residential-led mixed use scheme comprising 492 residential units and 10,439sq.m (GIA) of commercial floorspace, including up to 181sqm of retail (Use Classes A1-A5), 5,272sqm (GIA) of business space (Use Classes B1(a) to B1(c)) and 4,986sqm (GIA) of B1(c)-B8, the refurbishment and extension of both 18-32 Bowater Road (The Wire Workshops) and 25 Bowater Road (The Junction Box), the external and ground floor refurbishment of 17-21 Bowater Road (Unity House) and the demolition of 37 Bowater Road, all together with new public realm, hard and soft landscaping, parking, access and servicing arrangements, plant and associated works.”



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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.

    7 thoughts on “500 new homes in Woolwich / Charlton: Detailed plans revealed for Faraday Works

    • Although the new homes are very much welcome and I like the look of the development along Bowater Road. I am still concerned that the cost of buying or renting these homes is still way out of reach for many Greenwich residents.

      We have to remember also that Universal Credit does not meet the full cost for rent payments for many people especially those under the age of 35 years old.

    • Would far rather see an extra floor or two on top of the existing buildings than more floors in a similar height block….They made it work at the old Co-op building. The extra floor to ceiling height in those flats is a great thing

      • Agreed, it would result in flats with some genuine character rather than the generic new builds that will end up being built.

    • Totally agree with both Kit N Kaboodle and Michael Garrett.

      I would like to see the existing buildings retained and refurbushied in to high quality flats with character which a lot of people want.

    • I totally agree with Kit N Kaboodle and Michael Garrett. If some of the original buildings are retained and converted in to high quality flats.It will give people genuine character homes which a lot of people will like.

      It will also retain some of Woolwich industrial history which the area was known for.

    • I agree with Kit N Kaboodle and Michael Garrett. As with Royal Arsenal development original buildings should be converted as will retain historical buildings as long as they are safe and high quality. I work on the Westminster Industrial Estate and often walk alongside the river from Woolwich to Thamesmead and it is the mix of older buildings with some high quality design newer buildings that is visually attractive.

    • I visited this site for the first time by chance last weekend. It is such an interesting area and new build will not be appropriate here – although I can see why they are pushing for it. No VAT on new build plus they get more flats this way. I hope the planners insist on retaining the original buildings.


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