Woolwich Tesco tower: Revised plans submitted

New plans have been submitted by Meyer Homes for over 700 homes in front and behind Woolwich Tesco after a previous tower plan was rejected.

The new block in front of Tesco tops out at 15 floors and 67 metres.

Plans from 2006

Tesco sold land to Meyer Homes in 2015 after leaving much of the site unbuilt for a decade.

They also sold plots in Dartford and Lewisham.

Revised plans at bottom

Hundreds of homes are now well underway in Dartford and Lewisham’s 35-floor tower has now reached the second floor.

In Woolwich plans stalled as Meyer sought to build a 27-floor tower. Greenwich Council rejected the proposal and an appeal in 2020 came to the same conclusion.

Rejected

The new application isn’t not very complimentary about the existing Tesco:

“The northern and southern frontages of the Tesco development are generally poor.

The southern side along Grand Depot Road comprises little active frontage, with the vehicular access to the car park at the eastern end and elevated entrances to three residential units in the centre plus a number of servicing doors along its length.”

Early revisions after the 2020 rejection kept the same basic design – though that’s now ditched:

Discussions with Historic England “concluded with a judgement that the development represented the lower scale of less than substantial harm to heritage assets in the vicinity”.

Then again Historic England often seemed mostly concerned with height, and a low or mid rise design of poor quality can often appear suitable with them.

Discussion with planning officers saw design evolution:

Final design on right
Shops and offices

The new block to the front of Tesco facing General Gordon Square would have three commercial units at ground floor levels and “both flexible office and community functions” above.

Three colours are featured on the block:

  • Red London Stock, which makes reference to the Old Town Hall building on Wellington Street
  • Yellow London Stock which will match the brick of St Peter’s Church on Woolwich New Road
  • Buff Grey brick on the element fronting onto General Gordon Square, which gives a nod to the Portland Stone on Equitable House on the opposite side of the square
Render shows design on a sunny day

That grey could appear pretty drab overlooking the square. Despite the size reduction it will still dominate the area.

Formation architects are behind the design.

 

“Affordable” housing is just 23 per cent across the site. Meyer claims that is the maximum that is viable. It wouldn’t be they overpaid for land would it?

Most homes are located to the rear of the site, with 590 proposed:

View from south circular

Blocks are tightly together here – much as it was in the prior application.

A path links the homes beside the south circular with Love Lane and General Gordon Square.

Small public space

In total the sites would see 724 residential dwellings if approved and 1,756 square metres of  commercial floorspace (flexible Use Class E).

It’s not the only major change planned for General Gordon Square.

Greenwich Council plan a new leisure centre where Wilko stood:

Tesco to rear from this angle

500 homes are planned as part of that development. I covered it recently here.

Click here to view and comment on plans for blocks to the front and rear of Tesco.

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John 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.

10 thoughts on “Woolwich Tesco tower: Revised plans submitted

  • October 21, 2021 at 3:21 pm
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    I’m all for a building in front of Tesco, but wow what an eyesore. I can’t believe this latest design is considering preferable over the original that was rejected. Any building on this site is going to have a big impact, so I’d rather see a beautiful building that’s perhaps a bit too tall, than a poor quality building that fails on a number of levels. The new proposal might be acceptable as part of a cluster of towers, but is nowhere near good enough as a stand-alone.

    Reply
  • October 21, 2021 at 6:26 pm
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    Totally agree with you Michael. Better to have a bit of a statement building than this boring design.
    We are in the heart of Woolwich and any bad design will have a major impact for decades to come…
    I really hope this won’t be accepted

    And what about the island site development just 50m away from this project? The original plan was very interesting but the latest go-living proposal is such a downgrade. Really disappointed… Hopefully the original plan will go forward.

    Reply
  • October 21, 2021 at 8:39 pm
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    I agree I would rather have a tower built in front of Tesco’s rather than the piece of land with large groups of people hanging around and anti social behaviour that blights Woolwich.

    However,t I do prefer the design of the original tower to the latest proposed tower. I do agree however, that the tower should be at the reduce height of 15 floors compared to 27 floors as originally proposed.

    Reply
  • October 21, 2021 at 10:56 pm
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    That new leisure centre design looks grim and oppressive to me. The columns remind me of prison bars. Perhaps in tribute to the nearby HMP Belmarsh!

    Reply
  • October 24, 2021 at 3:34 pm
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    I support the application of the tower located on the land to the front of Tesco’s and the new development to the back of Tesco overloolking Grand Deport Road and John Wilson Street does gain planning permission so development work can finally start.

    I hope the commercial space located at ground level of the new Woolwich Tower will be occupied by businesses that will compliment existing local businesses along with new Leisure Centre and Tramshed Theatre. on Woolwich New Road.

    I also look forward to final palnning permission being granted for the Island Business Centre site. So work can start on this developement in the near very future. This site has now been empty for sometime and looks neglected.

    Reply
  • October 25, 2021 at 6:33 am
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    I welcome this new development and the tower to the front of Tesco’s. I like the small public area which will have to be well lit along with any pathways on the development.

    I agree with the comments about anti social behavouir blighting Woolwich which includes on the land where the tower is to be built.

    I hope work will also start on the Spray Street development, Business Island development and the new Leisure Centre Developement in the in the very near future so we can complete the regneration of this area of the Town Centre.

    Reply
  • October 25, 2021 at 12:33 pm
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    So, another green space that is going to be built on, not like we don’t need the green spaces to combat air pollution. Also where is the air ambulance going to land, the only place at the moment is outside Tesco

    Reply
  • October 26, 2021 at 6:22 am
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    If we can root out the anti social behaviour that blights Woolwich and where large groups of people gather. Then hopefully fingers crossed we should not need the air ambulance that often

    General Gordon Square is directly opposite the proposed tower. I agree however, some more trees could be planted in the area possibly as part of new landscaping around new developments.

    Sadiq Khan Mayor of London as now introuced the extension London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been expanded this week to cover all of inner London. Which means older polluting vehicles will have to pay a daily charge to drive with in the zone.

    Woolwich is crying out for change. We do not want Woolwich to remain the no go area it has been allowed to become.

    Reply
  • October 26, 2021 at 7:05 am
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    @ Kevin. I totally agree.

    Woolwich does need change. Also we need to make our Town Centres and our streets safer for all.

    I support the Woolwich Tower development and I support mixed use developments of commercial space and new homes.

    Reply

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