Work has commenced to demolish Viscount House in Woolwich for a new leisure centre and housing development.
After a number of delays, Wilko finally left the site leaving the path clear to bring in the wrecking ball. In recent weeks an old Gateway supermarket sign was visible; a remnant from the 1980s before it became Somerfield and finally Wilko (am I missing an occupant in between?)
In its place will be a new leisure centre to replace the Waterfront.
Last month a video on the plan showed quite a lot of information on the replacement building and layout. There is still no confirmation of internal facilities.
One thing we do know is that despite this very large plot in public hands – and with up to 500 homes being planned – there will be a net addition of just 23 new social homes. 50 are planned in total – but 27 will be reserved for residents of Troy Court who are being evicted and can return once complete.
Viscount House hasn’t been around for too long – and followed another planning battle from the 1960s that lasted nearly two decades.
The building didn’t just have the main, larger unit latterly occupied by Wilko, but also a pretty sizable shop space facing onto General Gordon Square. I recall buying some PlayStation 1 and 2 games cheaply from the Blockbuster that occupied it. It was a good place to pick up niche Japanese titles like Gitaroo Man and Vib Ribbon.
The building wasn’t around for long. It’s short 30 year life comes to an end for a new centre that Greenwich Council hope will bring more footfall, while the old leisure centre beside the Thames is demolished.
The Tram Shed beside the building will now remain, and is to see renovations and an extension as covered on this site last November.
Main image courtesy @mr_alberto_gm