Plans to close the Waterfront leisure centre in Woolwich and move services to a new site facing General Gordon Square are to move forward with the appointment of contractor Morgan Sindall if approved next week.
Plans to close the Waterfront and move to the current site of Wilkos – who are leaving Woolwich and moving to Charlton – are some years behind schedule as this planned timeline from a 2017 report shows:
If agreed, Morgan Sindall will be selected “for the role of Main Contractor for the leisure centre building, and to carry-out preconstruction services for a fee of £426,381”. That excludes VAT.
So far consultation on the future centre has been limited with no architectural plans in the public domain. However, some concerning issues arise in this report. It notes:
“The appointment which is the subject of this report is in respect of works for the leisure centre building only and not for the Tramshed building nor the residential element.”
This suggests the possibility of a low-rise leisure centre with no homes above the site in a mixed-use building. While a tower along the lines of that rejected in front of Tesco is not desirable, a mid-density building around the same height as the current building or the Woolwich Equitable would frame the square well.
It would also provide housing units to cross-subsidise a new leisure centre and other services. Essential in a time of cuts. If they’re not doing that, it’s crucial income lost. And no help to alleviate the ever growing housing waiting list.
Only building housing to the rear of the site limits potential numbers.
As I continually state, London’s population is rising by 1 million people every 10 years. In the past couple of weeks government have announced the possibility of up to 3 million Hong Kong citizens being given UK citizenship. Where will people live if not utilising all land available? Will we see endless sprawl or smart town centre building near major transport centres?