News in London and beyond


Woolwich to see £1.8 million to renovate town centre

General Gordon Square, Woolwich

Woolwich is to see an injection of cash to improve the town centre after a funding award from the High Streets Heritage Action Zone.

Parts of the town centre were designated a conservation zone in January 2019 which I covered here which helped recognise the town’s rich heritage. It finally gained some protection for many wonderful buildings in the town.

Woolwich building awaiting renovation

This designation shows that existing powers which local authorities possess can make a difference. The Conservation Zone has since had an impact in a number of ways, including assisting with this funding bid, was referenced when the planning inspector blocked a tower on General Gordon Square and played a part in altering plans for Spray Street by retaining some Victorian buildings instead of initial plans to demolish.

Rejected with conservation zone quoted

Money is coming from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport’s Heritage High Street Fund alongside the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Future High Street Fund.

Woolwich New Road – some existing buildings to now be retained though exact details not yet known

Woolwich lost a great deal of fine buildings over previous decades, though some projects seek now to renovate what remains.

Island site in Woolwich seeks to renovate

Once such development is the Island Site though progress is slow.

Empty shops below handsome buildings

Another building now retained that was up for demolition just a few years ago is the Officers’ House:

This would’ve been flattened if original plans went ahead

It is now housing with commercial space at street level rather than the car park planned.

Future development site

Snippets of the past remain hidden around many corners, though much is still planned to be lost, including the area seen in the shot above.



  1. Roy

    You would have thought after all the needless destruction of many fine buildings over the last 70 years that someone would have learnt a lesson…but no…rather than repurpose its all about demolition and a brand spanking no character new building…

  2. Chris L

    Of course, this is the council that used large retail units as offices for many years and contributed to the decline in the number of people shopping in Woolwich.

    I wonder how they will waste the money.

  3. Roy

    General Gordon Square…I remember that area being…rearranged…a child of 3 with Lego blocks could have done better in creating a central space so I am less than optimistic for the spending of the £1.8 million

    • Plumstead Resident

      What would you have done differently?

      GGS is vast improvement on what was there before when it was effectively a tired roundabout for buses with polluted fountains.

  4. Roy

    I’m beginning to think that Greenwich Council…no matter what’s destroyed…take the view that it’s never their fault

    • Steven Norris

      Roy, having been born in Woolwich there has been a decline in the town center for the last 40 years, the market is non existent, you had so many stalls in both the open an covered markets, where you could buy almost anything you needed. Also when the the council revamped General Gordon Square they got rid of a variety of small family businesses. Anytime the council seem to do any planning it’s always turns out wrong .when will voters wake up an smell the coffee

      • Unfortunately, voters are short sighted and can’t imagine how things could be different. I have never voted Conservative and stopped voting Labour years’ ago.

        • Steven Norris

          Im the same the last time i voted labour was when my member of parliament was J. Cartwright and even he joined the gang of 4 which became part of the Libdems, mind you he was a good constituency MP who worked tirelessly for us. All we get now are career politicians who go from school through the education system then the party political system hence they dont know what real people have to put up with or need to get through life

          • Graham

            Steve Norris you are so right.

            John Cartwright was an excellent MP who really cared about people the same as John Austin Walker who was also an excellent MP and previously an excellent ward Councillor.

            Councillors were much better when they did it for the love of their communities and the people they respresent. Like former Mayor Jim Gillman and his wife Janet who presented Charlton for many many years. Once they started to reecive expenses of several thousands of pounds they are now only in it for themselves the same as MP’s.

  5. Jonathan

    Do you have any news on Furlongs and Mortgramit Square, Murky? Last I heard, some fine brick buildings ripe for conversions were threatened with demolition, and local listing was apparently impossible because the planning application was already under consideration.

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