Greenwich Council have begun a consultation on long-delayed plans to build a new leisure centre and 500 homes at General Gordon Square.
Waterfront and its famous slide will close and a new centre constructed.
A new council page offers a number of images of the planned site – which will see just five per cent of 500 homes being new social homes.
Here’s the current view:
The council are going big on “affordable” homes in marketing, yet in reality 24 existing council homes at Troy Court are being demolished. A total of 50 new social homes is just 10 per cent of the total, but only 26 of those are actually a net gain from what already exists.
That 26 net gain wont go far when last week the council’s planning board approved a council project to replace around 500 council homes at a Woolwich estate with just 167 social homes. That’s part of a three-estate Woolwich estate project that sees 1,000 social homes reduced to 378.
In July 2021 Greenwich’s household total in emergency and temporary housing grew to 1,528 from 1,340 the year before. An increase of 188 households. Just three years ago it was 700.
The council has to find another £3 million to fund emergency housing costs beyond budgeted levels – which is a regular occurrence owing to a lack of social housing.
Here’s the current view:
In that context, a net gain of 26 looks abysmal.
Towers planned also look pretty basic and blocky – though it is early days and we’ll need to wait if buildings with more merit are in the formal application.
A total of 26 council homes also appears a low number given the council sold plots at the former Waterfront car park for Berkeley Homes’ towers now rising and look set to sell the existing riverside site of Waterfront.
The council have partnered with a private developer Hill to build 450 other homes. It’ll be interesting to see what their profit total and margins will be. The council have not opted to use their Meridian Homes company for any of the substantial plot.
Other sources of funding for additional social homes could derive from grants announced by Mayor Sadiq Khan’s new fund (Greenwich saw a relatively low award for funding last month) and other rounds are due to follow.
Then there’s the millions being spent on buying existing homes at high cost instead of building new homes at a lower cost per unit – either directly or alongside a Housing Association.
Greenwich Council also recently sold buildings in the town such as Riverside House.
The Tramshed and Bull Tavern are set to remain with Viscount house demolished. Despite the project being years behind schedule, shops are still trading in Viscount House.
Demolition has been ongoing as seen in these pics taken on a recent walk:
A neighbouring estate is not in great nick. Plans see integration with the estate.
It’s hardly seen much benefit from all the previous new builds in the Woolwich area.
A car park will also be incorporated into the site. Parking was rather chaotic when visiting:
The leisure centre will include a 25 metre pool and a leisure pool alongside a café.
Good news! There’s a slide in renders.
Greenwich have a track record of running way overbudget on recent capital projects so costs will be one to keep an eye on. Let’s see if the authority tries to keep it secret even from their own councillors this time.