Nearly 300 homes coming to Plumstead college site

UPDATE: Further documents have been uploaded and I’ve included new images in the post.

ORIGINAL: Plans have been submitted to demolish a college building in Plumstead and build a new facility and 294 homes.

London South East Colleges (LSEC) and London and Quadrant (L&Q) are behind the project which will see six blocks ranging from 5 to 13 storeys. The college has been known as Woolwich and then Greenwich College over the years.

View from west

Out of 294 homes, 50 per cent are “affordable”. This is split 70 per cent London Affordable Rent with 30 per cent shared ownership – which is rarely affordable given the need to pay a mortgage, rent on top then a service charge liable for vast annual increases.

The plan states: “The modernised £24m College will be built on 0.45 acres of the existing campus, with the remainder c. 1.6 acres sold to L&Q for residential development. This capital receipt will provide the £14m matchfunding required to fund the project in part, with the remainder £10m being funded by the GLA. The project is set to be completed in 2023.” The current site has 10,046sqm of space, though the college is only using less than a quarter. The new development will include 5,486sqm of space for the college. The college dates from the 1960s and architecturally wont be missed. An odd frame was added in the 1990s which always looked half finished.

Courtesy Google

The site is mainly car free. A dedicated cycle lane runs outside the site (though eastbound lane is across a busy dual carriageway with design not suited to a busy urban area) with many bus routes, and Woolwich Arsenal DLR and rail station a short distance away, as is Crossrail.

Believe it or not, this is post-road upgrade. Not befitting urban area with barriers and clutter – and ignores TfL street guidance to humanise major streets

The application states: “A meeting with the Council Leader was held on 13 June 2019. Council Leader Cllr Danny Thorpe was in attendance with Cllr Sizwe James and RBG Planning Officers. The Design Team presented the proposals. The principle of development, and provision of a modernised College campus and residential development was supported. The presented building heights of part 5 / 9 / 10 / 11 storeys were well received by Councillors and RBG Officers in attendance at the Leader’s presentation.”

Rear of site

Heights here will be in excess of surrounding buildings by some way – though it doesn’t appear too incongruous.

Crossrail station in purple. Site outlined in red not in line for mixed-use

I’d have thought land over the road would also be ideal for mixed-use development incorporating current usage within future plots given proximity to Crossrail, but Greenwich’s Site Allocation Strategy rules out any mixed-use. This will thus see tall buildings then low rise in a bizarre mix rather than natural tapering across the wider area. It’ll look odd, lack flow and fail to provide needed homes beside excellent public transport links. Business use could still be provided while retaining local employment given the nature of many business which is hardly heavy industry. Salons, cosmetic wholesalers, kids play parks etc. What we will have is a tall tower above the eastern Crossrail station then a sudden drop to low rise and car parks.

It continues the theme of confused and odd massing as also seen at Spray Street to the west.

Spray Street plan wedges all tall blocks together in one corner

Click here to view and read through plans. Some key documents are still missing so when – or if – they’re uploaded I will further add to this post.

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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.

    2 thoughts on “Nearly 300 homes coming to Plumstead college site

    • As the land has been sold to L&Q (London & Quadrant) Housing Association I would like to see all the 294 homes let at affordable rents for local people on the Housing waiting list. But know this is very unlikely to happen. Shared ownership is far too expensive and out of reach for many local people.

      It will also allow the College to be rebuilt to provide students the latest up to date equipment for the courses the attend at the college.

    • I hope this development gets the go ahead. It will allow Plumstead College to provide new facilities for their students.

      The new 294 new homes will also be welcomed. This development is also close to another planned regeneration area by Plumstead Bus Garage which will see further new homes built.

      However, I would like to see more homes let at affordable rents. Shared ownership is very expensive way to buy a home having to pay rent and a mortgage. Also many flats have a monthly service charge.

      This is just not possible for many local people to afford on low and medium incomes so prices them out of the housing market. Meaning they have no choice but to rent.


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