Murky Depths

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Woolwich

Woolwich’s Morris Walk estate in its final days

Earlier this year hoarding begun to be erected around Woolwich’s Morris Walk estate for demolition and future rebuilding. These photographs were taken by Jonathon Blower around the time the process begun.

The entire estate will be flattened as part of the “One Woolwich” scheme which sees three estates knocked down and first covered on this site back in  2013.

Approval to demolish was eventually given in July 2019.

Blocks and street names were given a title relating to Denmark, as the estate utilised innovative Danish design techniques during construction. Tivoli Gardens is one such example. For those unaware, it’s a theme park in central Copenhagen.

More history of Morris Walk estate, which was ahead of its time yet featured a number of design flaws can be found at Greenwich Industrial History.

Tallest blocks

Morris Walk has been in a state of limbo for many years as progress moved slowly. Residents were moved out, or decanted to use the lingo, and then property guardians or homeless people moved into empty flats.

Listed chimney seen behind

Despite first hearing about this scheme way back in 2007, we have no detailed images of what new buildings will emerge.

All we have to go on are outline plans and general massing.

New towers planned in Woolwich Dockyard

The other estates included in “One Woolwich” are the former Connaught, which is now partially complete, and Maryone Grove, which hasn’t started.

One Woolwich sites

Over the three sites 1,064 mainly council homes will be replaced by 1,500 homes with 35% designated as “affordable”,

 

8 Comments

  1. Ashley

    This really can’t be seen has “One Woolwich” when only 35% of allocation will be classed as affordable housing when the site previously owned by Greenwich Council. Shocking to see another council owned site being squandered for more Private development. Especially when you have a spiralling housing waiting list. I’m all for regeneration but more needs to be done for the existing tenants and the homeless in the borough.

    Another failure by this outdated administration don’t you think?

  2. SuperUnknown

    Just another robbery of the Public to benefit the Privateers!

  3. Graham

    Agreed. I would recommend that if you have go to Copenhagen I would recommend a visit to Tivoli Gardens i went on a trip to to Sweden/Copenhagen way back in 2002 and it was a beautiful place to spend the day.

  4. zetty

    Riiiight, it’s always “design flaws”, pure demagogy based on sham research as ordered.

    • Jonathan

      I’d be interested to hear the A.S.H. take on this estate.

      Structurally it appears to be in good shape, and the soft modernist in me almost appreciates the clash of prefab slabs with rustic flint facing, but the sheer desolation of the place must have preceded any intentional neglect by the local council, surely?

      Still no excuse for selling public land to private developers.

      PS Search ‘Woolwich’ in the BFI online archive for a short 1960s documentary on the system build employed here.

  5. Graham

    I thought some of the buildings on the Morris Walk Estate had what is called concrete cancer? Which i believe many other estates built around same time also suffered the same problems.

    Many estates were built quickly after the war in the 1950’s and 1960’s using these materials to replace the many homes lost during the war just the same as the prefabs (Bungalows) estates which have now all gone with new homes built on their sites.

    I agree another Greenwich Council owned site sold to private developers with only 35% affordable homes as part of the development. This would have been an ideal site to replace social housing homes with new social housing homes at affordable rents.

  6. That 35% affordability level is quite high. I am sure the developers are working on getting the quotient down or even nixed.

  7. Roy

    Thats another Council Estate being demolished…Thamesmead..Kidbroke..Blackheath….amd others…not fit for purpose…I live in a terraced house built 1911…be good for another 200 years….Council….50 years and they’re demolished…yet they keep building rubbish…amd no one can see the issue…

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