Woolwich Island Site plot with 300 homes & cinema approved now up for sale

A site in Woolwich with permission for 300 homes and a cinema amid a mix of new and revamped buildings has been placed on the market. The landowner is seeking £28.5 million exclusive of VAT.

The project has been around for some time, and was covered on this site back in October 2016. A sale could mean major changes, which is a real shame as the approved plan got so much right and was probably the best proposal in Woolwich in terms of design.

Overview of site

The approved project between Wellington Street, Calderwood Street, Polytechnic Street and Thomas Street sought to refurbish neglected yet appealing buildings, removed dull blocks formerly used by Thames Polytechnic then the University of Greenwich and opened up interior space to create a new public courtyard. Bars, pubs and a cinema around the new space were on the cards, and a dance school was proposed.

Affordable home levels were the main problem at just 20 per cent, though I wouldn’t expect much more at any future application.

Buildings would have been renovated under plan. Opposite Whetherspoons

Ominously perhaps, a promotional document for the site proclaims: “The Government has published a series of initiatives which together, could represent one of the most significant modernisation of the planning system in a generation.

Island site plan in Woolwich

The proposals enable changes of use to existing premises without the need for full planning permission. The reforms further indicate that increased massing may be subject to less restrictive policies than currently apply. The Island Site provides a purchaser with an excellent opportunity to capitalise on these proposed reforms.”

Previous approval

Plans were approved by Greenwich Council in 2017 which would see the Island Business Centre demolished.

Blank frontage at Island Business Centre

Approval gained criticism for low levels of “affordable” housing (at 13.5 per cent) and the plan was called in. The Mayor and City Hall’s intervention saw levels increase  – but only to 20 per cent.

While low, if a new owner converts existing buildings through permitted rights even that level may not be attained.

Thanks to Adam Thos for the heads up.

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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.

    3 thoughts on “Woolwich Island Site plot with 300 homes & cinema approved now up for sale

    • I hope a new buyer can be found for this site. I also hope the new owner would go a long with plans already approved by Greenwich Council so as to avoid years of waiting while a new planning application is submitted and then approved.

      The only change I would like to see is more affordable homes on the site.

      I do genuimely believe this is a good development for Woolwich and i look forward to seeing this site redeveloped. Hopefully in the not too distant future.

    • I think that any buyer will try and push down the affordable homes quotient as well as taking advantage of permitted development to squeeze a lot more ‘units’, but still charge a premium. I am not sanguine.

    • Your a probably right but then we know Greenwich Council do not really care about affordable housing on new developments.

      They are also happy to sell many of their own sites that have become surplus to requirements to private developers rather than build more much needed council housing on the sites.


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