Part of Woolwich town centre to be remodelled for second time in a decade

Developers behind a proposed development of 800 homes in Woolwich have released further computer renders as a new planning application is submitted.

I won’t cover the entire plan until the full number of documents are uploaded and I’ve looked through the no doubt hundreds of pages, but released renders reveal plans to change the street once again.

Parts of £10m project never really looked after since installation

One thing that stands out is that for the second time in just over a decade an area outside the old covered market could be dug up and remodelled.

Looking scruffy a few years after completion

Is this really needed? It was formerly a scruffy area with a raised section consisting trees and shrubs. Not much loved or much looked after by Greenwich Council.

Then it was remodelled for the current scheme in a scheme costing nearly £10 million. This too hasn’t been well maintained by the authority.

Parking issues

Pavement parking is an everyday occurrence. Street furniture is tatty. Recently a video came to light filmed here with a frustrated motorist who had received a ticket (fairly) wondering why no other vehicles in the area blocking pedestrian crossings, parked on paving and on double yellows received one. The video did appear to show a council warden ignoring them – and given it’s a daily occurrence in that area raised some questions.

As I’ve often said about this area when people say sweep it away as it’s ugly and messy, well, regardless other issues such as businesses being turfed out for now, what assurance is there that any new development and redevelopment won’t fall apart if Greenwich Council are in charge of maintaining it?

Central reservation shortly after installation.

In the middle of the adjacent dual carriageway landscaping lasted all of about two years. Litter was never cleaned, it became a mess then dug up and paved over.

Green central reservation lasted about two years – then thousands spent removing it

The plan now appears to be to dig it up areas here again, with raised planters and areas of trees and shrubs. Developers state Greenwich Council will be in charge of maintaining it despite the poor job with previous layouts.

Litter strewn, not cleaned and then removed

I’m dubious of whether it will be maintained, and also why install raised planters which act as obstacles in an area of major footfall and busy bus stops, let alone after 800 homes, a new market, cinema and shops complete.

The pavement here is very wide so it may be ok, but I like the fact pedestrians aren’t penned into areas and have room to breath. If the desire is for seating for people to sit and eat, the temporary arrangements when it was Street Feast is far cheaper and brought life to the area.

Temporary seating

I’m sure we could all think of areas that need real improvement around Woolwich that funding for this work could instead be spent on. Keep the area clean, stop putting up clutter and little more is needed.

Anyway, this is just one element of the revised scheme. Much more is to come, and I will be going through documents soon.


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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    9 thoughts on “Part of Woolwich town centre to be remodelled for second time in a decade

    • I don’t think there’e enough to explain whats wrong with Woolwich Town Centre…whats obvious is that no one gives a damn.
      As you exit Woolwich Arsenal Railway Ststion you are faced by toilets that wouldn’t look amiss in 1820….I complained about them several years ago to a Greenwich female Mayor but today they are still a Hell Hole and not fit for dogs…
      I think the photo of people sat outside the Covered Market having a drink and a chat says what it could be like….
      Anyone coming into Woolwich just comes…shops…then leaves….there is no atmosphere and none created…no entertainment and no reason to spend some leisure time there….
      General Gordon Square…one large tv and a few places to sit…a mental hospital has more in the way of entertainment….this reminds me of a hospice where people go to die…
      As far as Greenwich Council Entertainment Dept are day a year and thats your lot for another year…dogs are treated better…..
      Entertainment could be a juggler..a busker…£100 a day etc….twice a week…to provide live entertainment and fun for children…minimal cost…..
      I can’t see many places for teenagers to hang out rather than cafes….or Tesco cafe….and what is there in the evenings in Summer for family entertainment….zilch….

    • I cannot see the point of having raised planters on the pavement or planting down the middle of the dual carriage way. They will both be filled with rubbish in no time at all.

      This area of Woolwich is very busy with pedestrians the raised planters could be obstacles for people who are blind, partially sighted in a wheel chair or use a mobility scooter. As well as for parents with buggies and small children.

      This brings me to my next point with so many bus routes stopping on Plumstead Road by the Covered Market buses need to have enough space to be able to safely lower the ramp on to the pavement for wheelchair users

    • A frightened retard with a purple crayon could do a better job redesigning Woolwich than the clowns in the Clowncil!

    • I am looking forward to the re-development of Woolwich Town Centre along Plumstead Road and Spray Street.

      The cinema will be a welcome addition in the future and will hopefully help to boost the local economy along with the new leisure centre over looking General Gordon Square.

      The many construction jobs will be very much welcomed. In turn with so many developments planned will also help the construction industry supply chain who supply the core building materials and fittings like bathrooms, kitchens and electrical fixtures and fittings to secure jobs.

      However, I do believe more must be done to tackle the anti-social behaviour that blights Woolwich. Incidents like what happen on Beresford Square the other night with groups of youths throwing fireworks does nothing to enhance Woolwich’s reputation,

    • The best way long term to maintain areas is for local businesses to ‘protect’ the space with high local footfall, pride from the community and nice reasons to be in the area – the example of outdoor seating for the public market does more than just provide seating, it raises the whole area and provides a reason for it to be kept nice.
      Hopefully the new development will include some sort of private company to maintain the building and surrounding area to keep it nice.

    • How sad woolwich is now.We used to have lots of fashion and shoe shops,
      we lost three department stores and a variety of different shops ,instead
      now we have a load of tat . The shakespeare hotel is a gaming room with
      a trashy clothes shop next to it, I can,t imagine who allowed that. The
      market has shrunk to nothing with only one or two stalls worth visiting.
      The shopping is better in charlton. I get the feeling that the council is
      gradually nibbling at woolwich in order to make it residential. There is no
      point in going there.

    • Never understood why they didn’t just make general gordon square into a bus interchange, because that is what it is. Build proper covered areas for people to shelter so they don’t have to shiver in rain. Some social enterprises in shipping containers or similar selling things people need and might buy. Would have been quite cheap, compared to what was done. Would never happen of course – planning led by and informed with actual needs of citizens is NOT something Greenwich Council will ever do.

    • Marley;s Ghost many years ago some bus routes serving Woolwich did used to terminate at General Gordon Place outside the Old Equitable Building before the area was first paved over.

      A bus interchange in Woolwich would be a good idea for some buses terminating at or travelling through Woolwich now that more people change buses using the hopper fare to continue their journeys.

    • It is likely that the developers will live to regret the additional spend
      Especially if the developers decide not to include the maintenance of the area within their remit. Note the area wont be maintained to a good standard by RBG and is likely to become a real sh!thole.

      At present RBG has no intention and is incapable of caring for the open spaces they have a legal duty to maintain so how in God’s earth are they going to maintain an area that has been up graded by the private sector.

      Bad open space maintenance, poor shop variety , badly maintained buildings, anti social behaviour and a lack of strategic management are just some of the major issues facing woolwich. So to expect this to to be a success is being optimistic at best. At worst sheer stupidity and a waste of money comes to mind.

      I wish the developers good luck, they are going to need it. RBG have proven over the years that they have no intention of improving the woolwich shopping experience. Note a few summer attractions, political banners and themed days does not make an economically vibrant shopping destination.


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