Murky Depths

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Woolwich

A look at car parking in new Woolwich tower development

A new planning application for car parking at Woolwich towers has been submitted and appears to confirm that much prime riverside space will not be used for commercial units.

Shops will face Woolwich High Street and Beresford Street

Thames side unit in the towers would be tailor-made for pubs, bars, restaurants or anything that would suit a riverside location – which is most things.

Site plan. Commercial units in pink face away from the river. Drop off bays will impact upon cycle lane provision

Instead, much space at street level facing the Thames path is given over to a bin store with a blank facade facing the river. Flood defence zones do not cover all the site.

Bin store beside Thames

The base of towers buildings will see 160 car parking spaces.

Blank facades at street level

There will be over 1,000 cycle spaces. Previously announced plans for Cycle Highway 4 from Tower Bridge originally saw a cycle lane end in Woolwich. It was cut back to Greenwich, then a subsequent scheme announced between Greenwich and Woolwich, though it would end at the ferry roundabout and not link to this site nor a £1.2 million segregated lanes recently built between Woolwich and Plumstead – with around a 500 metre gap.

Woolwich High Street

That could well now be linked as part of Covid-19 measures with a lane passing these towers – but Greenwich Council are giving absolutely no details.

New street design in Woolwich submitted for approval last November. No new cycle lanes and much excessive clutter remained. It has since largely been built

A lane on Woolwich High Street wouldn’t benefit new residents too much as they could head to the riverside then join the planned lane at the ferry roundabout – though it would be awkward and mean cajoling with roundabout traffic entering and exiting the ferry.

Woolwich ferry roundabout traffic

New measures would certainly appeal to resident especially with much cycle parking facing Woolwich High Road, and residents in, say, Plumstead, could use a linked lane directly from the town to Woolwich, Charlton and Greenwich (or beyond) without having to divert off to the river, which as pleasant as it often is, is not direct or convenient for all.

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8 Comments

  1. Walter

    It’s a shame to see that there is no active frontage along the river to accommodate bars, restaurants and other services. That said, Berkeley are no mugs and very rarely miss a trick, so I’m guessing either they scoped out that there would likely be no demand, or the value of the car-parking spaces exceeds the value of any potential commercial units.

  2. Charles Calthrop

    A single storey blank facade at ground level that will plunge into shadow at night and be visible to all by day? Better get the old spray can out

  3. Matthew Woolgar

    Such a wasted opportunity – create a nice space and the people will come!

    • CDT

      Absolutely Matthew.

      The developer should create some nice public realm and provide space for pubs restaurants and shops at ground level so people come to the area while also providing some social places for residents of the towers to have some outside space.

      This will also help with the Councils aim to Improve Woolwich Town Centre.

      • Charles Calthrop

        Last week Tower Hamlets sent out a consultation to the residents of Bow, outlining a comprehensive programme of improvements to the square mile area. A full colour brochure with a beautifully colour coded map, detailed the additions and removals proposed for safer, better streets. A second booklet for comments. I compare it to the stark black and white surveyors type maps Greenwich sent over the years and wonder why the council has such disdain for its inhabitants.

        Woolwich used to be a fabulous place and could be again, if Greenwich Council took some evident pride in it rather than signing off on the first draft of every development they gather.

  4. Matthew Woolgar

    It seems crazy. The Arsenal development is without question fantastic in numerous ways. But not making a riverside destination a part of it makes very little sense to me. Is it possible Greenwich councillors don’t support the idea of new F&B offering on the river for fear of taking away from the town centre location? Even a youngs with an outside terrace on the river would be the bare minimum. I am very familiar myself with the numerous competing demands on GF space but sticking bins on a riverside location seems like a missed opportunity.

  5. Paul SuperUnknown

    We have to have the dumbest, most incompetent planning committee in the Capitalist World! At least we haven’t another Carbuncle Winner, yet.

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