Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Woolwich

New Woolwich leisure centre plan: Contractor to be appointed

Future leisure centre site

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.

Towers beside Waterfront

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:

Some years behind schedule. Work was due to begin in early 2020.

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.

Tall building on opposite side of square

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.

Current building tops out at five floors

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.

Woolwich Equitable building

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?

 

1 Comment

  1. Graham

    I think the newLeisure Centre on the site of the old Woolwich Wilkinson Store would be better as a mixed development of Leisure Centre and Housing.

    I am going to be totally honest and up front and say with regard to the housing list which is growing day by day in Greenwich that priority should go to people born and bred in the Borough.

    We do need to be working more closely with the homeless to find out why they are homeless? Do they need extra support for addiction etc? Then we should be working with other organisations and Local Authorities to see if their is any possibility they could re-united with family or be re-housed in the area they came from to be nearer to family and friends and have a support network

    Housing Services in Greenwich are doing a brilliant job however, they do place many people in temporary housing but they end up back on the streets again through no fault of the Council.

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