Greenwich Town Hall to become housing: Plan submitted

Plans to convert the Grade II-listed former Town Hall in Greenwich into flats and extend the building have been submitted.

This site covered consultation plans into the proposal last November.

Rooftop extension

One option mentioned was converting the viewing gallery into public use. The application states this could happen once a year. Open House weekend anyone?

The observation deck has been off limits to be public and long attracted interest. The application features photographs of the current condition:

The proposal also seeks to add a rooftop extension onto what is one of the jewels of the borough.

Upon completion

Plans have been revised since consultation with greater use of dark bronze cladding on the rooftop extension.

2021 consultation image

Here’s the revised view:

Revised design

The building served as Greenwich Town Hall until the merging of Woolwich and Greenwich boroughs, when functions converged at Woolwich Town Hall.

Woolwich Town Hall took over Greenwich Town Hall’s functions upon merging

As the application states: “Meridian House is designed in a Dutch style inspired by the architecture of Willem Marinus (WM) Dudok and of his Hilversum Town Hall.

“Its architectural style is modern, with clean streamlined lines. However, it used traditional brick facings, and as was common for such civic buildings, additional embellishments including carved reliefs, bronze fittings and marbled interiors”.

Tower

“The architect, Clifford Culpin, was chosen to design Meridian House. This is an an important historical connection because of his socialist connections.

“The building’s long civic role also associates it with a multitude of local dignitaries, and it was the setting for many locally important decisions.”

No truly affordable housing is proposed for the new proposal, which won’t help the homeless person sleeping rough on one part of the building on a recent visit.

Rough sleeper on site
Housing tenure

Developer Riverlow claim 11 flats out of 73 will be “affordable”, but at discounts of 20-40 per cent to high market prices they will fail to be truly affordable to many, and far from social rent levels.

The number of homeless families housing in temporary accommodation by Greenwich Council has more than doubled since 2018 to over 1,600.

The developer will also avoid paying sizable sums to Greenwich Council via the Community Infrastructure Levy considering this is a prized Zone 2 location near excellent transport links and in a world heritage zone, as the council adopted an extremely low levy of £70 per square metre for residential development in 2015 – and never revised as promised in 2018.

It failed to set higher rates in the west to offset lower rates in east the Planning Inspector sought. Most boroughs have multiple rates to capture revenue in expensive areas, though Greenwich stated this would “confuse” developers.

Those 2015s decisions in the west of the borough in particular – which they could have altered as the 2015 CIL report from the Planning Inspector clearly states – ensured every single development in the area since 2015 has lost local people funding for services and seen Greenwich trail almost every other London Labour council annually for income from newbuilds.

Another building which has seen developers pay far less than possible for improved local services is a block now completing opposite the Borough Halls:

That block sits on former public land and housed Greenwich police station until sold by the Metropolitan Police in 2016.

There’s a number of other blocks in Greenwich which has seen potential revenue for services squandered to offset cuts.

Another development now completing in Greenwich

The planning application for Meridian House can be viewed here.

As a private renter with a young family, the cost of living is extremely high.

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Thank you

Murky Depths

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.

6 thoughts on “Greenwich Town Hall to become housing: Plan submitted

  • June 13, 2022 at 6:49 pm
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    I wouldn’t put it past Woolwich Town Hall closing one day. Move the Mayor and everyone into a corner of Tesco’s across the street and convert into more private flats.

    Reply
    • June 14, 2022 at 4:11 pm
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      There’s much demand for housing and little for offices here it appears. The planning app shows that much of the space is currently offices with most/all period features removed.

      Reply
  • June 14, 2022 at 5:42 am
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    I like this building and hope any conversion will be sympathic. The revised plans for the extension are better than the original plans. I am expecting the affordable rents to be quiet high and above the local housing allowance being in Greenwich close to the town centre.

    Reply
  • June 14, 2022 at 4:07 pm
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    From what I can see the Borough Hall part of the site (on the corner of Royal Hill and Peyton Place) is unaffected by these plans. What is happening to that?

    Reply
    • June 14, 2022 at 4:10 pm
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      It’s due to be sold and indeed is not part of the old Town Hall plan

      Reply

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