Woolwich Tesco and flats have flammable cladding

The controversial Tesco superstore and flats in Woolwich has been found to have flammable cladding with removal now sought.

This would be an ideal time to remove some of the ugly and nasty cladding seen in places. Not only is the building unsafe but a blight on the town.

Woolwich Tesco car park
Grim side of building

The frontage facing general Gordon Square isn’t as bad, though in time will be barely visible as a new block is built. The question isn’t if when something is built facing General Gordon Square. Meyer Homes want a tower which was refused on appeal, though they’re back again. The site has always had buildings on plans dating back over a decade, though Meyer were trying to go for a tower.

Woolwich Tesco – the better view

While it would be good to see something – anything – different clad on some of the hideous, cheap, dreary and drab façade to the side facing Woolwich new Road it’s almost certainly the case that the same plastic-like appearance and colours will remain.

The good side

Whoever it was that thought a lumpen, flabby hulk of a building that lacks anything in the way of grace on the frontage facing Woolwich New Road needed grey bands needs sacking.


The building won the carbuncle cup when it completed in 2014. Judges labelled the building “oppressive in terms of shape, size and colour and a negative contribution to the overall environment of the area”.

Greenwich Council appeared keen to ignore concerns over the appearance in a rush for jobs. This short-term thinking has allowed many a bad building to be built in the borough which comes round to hinder areas down the line when an eyesore appears and a town’s reputation suffers. See also Greenwich Ikea. A car-inducing out-of-town retail shed in inner London was extremely dated as an idea when proposed. Mixed-use was the obvious solution to the site. Now mixed-use is coming as the neighbouring B&Q is knocked down, and a bloody great car park needs to be accommodated into 1,400+ homes and traffic congestion somehow dealt with. But it brought some retail jobs, so who cares what happens five years later? Short term thinking again and again. At the time many did highlight exactly what was likely to happen.

A well thought out strategy for the entire area would ironically have brought more jobs, more housing and a better environment all round. But the authority didn’t have that strategy in place (another regular problem) so jumped at the first thing that came along.

Cladding problems

Back to cladding, and tonight in the Commons a vote on an amendment to assist those living in some flammable blocks was lost by 340 votes to 225. Leaseholders in many blocks will continue to face bills in the tens of thousands to remove cladding. Greenwich borough is in the top five across the country for blocks with flammable cladding.

Running a site alone takes time and a fair bit of money. Adverts are far from enough to cover it and my living costs as a private renter.

You can support me including via Paypal here

Another option is via Patreon by clicking here

You can also buy me a beer/coffee at Ko-fi here

There's also a Facebook page for the site here

Many thanks

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.

    7 thoughts on “Woolwich Tesco and flats have flammable cladding

    • Out of interest – who pays for the recladding on this large development? Is this covered by the gov scheme or will leaseholders be on the hook?

    • The colour of the cladding is dull grey and depressing and does nothing to enhance the area.

      The fact the cladding as now been found to have flammable means this cladding needs to be removed with the upmost urgency and replaced with something safe and in more keeping with the area.

      I appreciate originally cladding was first put on buildings to help make them more energy effiecient for residents and to keep homes warmer to reduce fuel bills,

      However, I prefer a nice brick finish like the Wellington Quarter development on Wellington Street.

    • With EPC C likely to be mandatory by 2028 to sell or rent domestic property then people are going to be forced into buying dodgy newbuilds with dangerous or otherwise low-quality materials and onerous leasehold clauses regarding ground rent and service charges. The whole property market is turning into one large scam.

    • I live in this building and quite like the way it looks. It may not have been my first choice, but given the housing shortage it was an opportunity that I don’t regret taking.

      I do hope that the new cladding will enhance the building and appease some of the people hating on it.

      After I moved in I was told that the top layer of cladding was zinc and was actually quite an expensive material & a nice type of cladding. I always thought the black and silver parts looked nice anyway – not so much the green and yellow stripes which even I admit are a bit of an eyesore.

    • Scam, more like licensed theft.😡 However, don’t look to governments of any stripe to do anything about the wild west landscape where property is concerned.

    • Given the way construction is handled by RBG and central gov this will be ongoing for a decade and replacement cladding eventually even more of an eyesore. Let’s give it a few months to see if RBG stipulate a plan after which we can decide if they remain inept or have learnt lessons from 5 years of the same thing across the borough

    • The word is that RBG are not to blame here. The cladding was sold as fire-rated, but wasn’t


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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