Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Woolwich

Revised Woolwich tower plan: TfL partner with Berkeley Homes

Empty land beside eastern Crossrail entrance

A new consultation on 500 homes at Armourers Court located above the eastern end of Woolwich Crossrail station has been launched.

Much like Crossrail, plans to build on this plot have been delayed despite TfL’s cash crunch. Planning permission was granted back in 2015 and due to commence in 2018. The station delay does not appear linked to the tower delay.

2014 plan

In 2018 TfL planned an entire build-to-rent development to create ongoing revenue helping to fund London’s transport – along the lines of models seen in other nations.

2020 plan

Then in  2019 TfL announced a partnership with Grainger, though it now appears to be ditched with Berkeley Homes taking their place.

2014 plans

This means a change from long-term, ongoing revenue to assist transport funding to a short term income boost.

2020 plan – street level

Berkeley Homes taking on another plot in the area is not much of an incentive to get moving quickly at various plots. They are now part of a series stretching from near Waterfront leisure centre in the west to Thamesmead in the east, where they are in a joint venture with Peabody. That was announced three years ago. No planning application has yet been submitted let alone any building on the long-cleared site.

1,500+ homes near Plumstead bus garage in Peabody / Berkeley joint venture. Slow progress

TfL have also proven to be extremely slow to build in Woolwich. Plots above and around Woolwich DLR station are still empty 12 years after a joint venture was announced with Oakmayne.

Still no building above and around DLR station

Between glacial movement by Peabody, TfL and Berkeley Homes in the area we begin to get a glimpse as to why the housing problems are so acute in London.

Long stalled Oakmayne plan above Woolwich DLR station

The Thamesmead plot has gone nowhere for 10 years and parts of the Arsenal site are the same.

Park area due to be built upon

For now its a temporary park so not all bad. At least it isn’t a fenced off wasteland as seen to the east.

By the time the Arsenal site does eventually complete, it could be 30-40 years after the MOD left.

Plans for green spine in Arsenal site and homes alongside are many years away

Back to this latest consultation, and the total number of homes has increased at Armourers Court from 400 to over 500, as I covered in February this year.

Considering this is already public land, a target of 40 per cent “affordable” housing subject to grant funding is low.

Towers would extend east – then stop

One odd thing about this area is how tall buildings will be located along a wide stretch of Plumstead Road ranging from 20 to 25 floors, yet then suddenly stop with single storey industrial land and low-rise sheds directly next door. No stepped effect down from towers. Tower, tower, tower, shed. Single story structures look to remain despite their location directly beside a major new transport line.

Red box = this plot. Purple = Crossrail box. Low rise sheds near station to east

This is due to Greenwich Council seeking to retain current industrial land usage (with no mixed use) in planning strategies dictating policy for the coming 20 years, despite ample space at the underused White Hart Triangle site to act as replacement. Doing so would free up a large tract of land for much needed housing a stone’s throw from Woolwich Elizabeth Line station.

Approved but plan dropped

If public transport orientated development is the aim – and less car ownership – a far better way to achieve that would be utilising land near a major new station for mid to high density housing.

Vacant plots in West Thamesmead

Most companies could either locate to Thamesmead – such as a storage site for a car dealership – or become tenants in new mixed-use developments such as a childs play centre. Limiting the area to single storey shed is the same mistake made in 2012 in Charlton with retail sheds. It also means greater building on green spaces elsewhere – for example – to meet steep house building targets across the borough.

Mid-rise buildings over the road would enhance this busy stretch alongside greater greenery and removed street clutter

Buildings stepping down to mid-rise blocks lining Plumstead Road would open up the street, which is currently akin to a rural A-road dumped in inner London despite millions recently spent. The potential is there for many thousands of new homes.

We know plans are underway to remove the one-way system around the bus garage.

At Armourers Court the target is 2024 for first homes to complete. Click here to view plans and comment.

 

 

 

13 Comments

  1. Roy

    One element completely missing from every Green Council Plan is extensive car parking facilities…its as though cars no longer exist….we have cycle lanes popping up yet not one modern…fit for purpose Car Park…in Tokyo where space is limited I remember cars being stacked like pallets to save space. No such issue in Greenwich……. 20 million cars and no sign of any decrease in the future as there is no replacement. Greenwich Council have their own Agenda and completely ignore the local population and what they need and want…like being on Mars….all we see in Greenwich is a destruction of shopping….few facilities for young people….of a wide variety…and convenient

    • fromthemurkydepths

      Cars in cities are dead except for those who need them. Not happening in a growing city with limited space

    • fromthemurkydepths

      Also, the majority of people in the borough do not drive. It’s not an electoral winner to cater for drivers

      • Steven Norris

        How come if you live on the abbey wood estate it roads are full of parked cars, an woolwich will have all tese tower blocks, which will bring a lot more residents, you will get more cars, unless the socialist republic of Danny Thorpe wants to ban residents from buying cars if they want to live in Greenwich

  2. Chris L

    Scaffolding and a temporary roof are being erected above both DLR entrances. Development work?

  3. @Roy: Greenwich is not the only borough clamping down on car use. It is happening up and down the country. I am a driver and car owner, but confine it usuage to the weekends and will stop driving to some places altogether if the traffic gets any worse.

    • Tony g

      You’ll “stop driving to some places altogether” yay! that’s the intention lol

  4. Matt w

    Just want to point out that in 10 years glaciers have decreased massively.

    Progress here is much slower than glacial.

  5. Simon A

    19/4398/O

  6. Graham

    People not driving cars you want to live on street with a Primary School on it. !!! The school street closure schemes make no difference the parents just clog up neighbouring roads, They park across drive ways stopping residents getting their own cars out.

    Car usage will continue to increase as will the amount of bad driivng and parking we are seeing on our roads as no actions being taken aginst these dangerous drivers.

    We need major improvements in public transport in the Borough urgently as not everyone is able to walk or cycle.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Theme by Anders Norén