Greenwich planners have recommended that hundreds of homes be approved over the eastern side of Woolwich Elizabeth line station.
Berkeley Homes and Transport For London are behind the application named Armourers Court which includes 523 homes.
Four blocks will sit around a podium above the Crossrail site, with the tallest at 26 floors.
Greenwich Council and local residents are set to again miss out again on a large chunk of income from developers given low rates applied on developers under the Community Infrastructure Levy, which they failed to revise in 2018 despite a promise in 2015.
The site sits beside a wide dual carriageway that despite numerous developments along its length including Woolwich Exchange approved over the road, serves to help sever the two side of Woolwich with the authority failing to use income to improve.
No income from a variety of Woolwich developments has seen money allocated to improve this stretch of road.
Woolwich Exchange will see 801 homes, shops and a cinema.
A previous application at Armourers Court was approved on the 1st April 2015 for the construction of 394 residential units.
That never progressed.
The site sits above the eastern end of Woolwich station and an existing ventilation shaft.
Despite how busy Woolwich station already is, there’s no plan for a second station entrance to aid people here or at a large number of developments to the east, including those at a rebuilt college site (294 homes), West Thamesmead Gateway (1,750 homes) and a car home rebuild (333 homes).
There’s many other sites that could be coming to fruition in coming years to the east. Some are part of Peabody’s Housing Zone while others are included in Greenwich Council’s Land Allocation strategy.
Since opening Woolwich station has been near Canary Wharf levels of usage, and saw 694,650 passenger journeys in August alone.
Cycling to the station is not exactly enticing at the moment with limited cycle spaces around Woolwich station and a road that couldn’t be more offputting.
Within the report set to go before councillors, we again see Greenwich’s Highways team suggest vague ideas while TfL seem on the ball with specific queries.
TfL noted that a proposed pedestrian crossing did not align to desire lines for pedestrians.
Transport for London also state a “failure to consider eastbound cyclists, lane widths of 3.2m-3.9m should be avoided”.
When plans were submitted I highlighted how plans failed to include space for a dedicated cycle lane that could link to the existing lane to the east.
Other TfL objections include:
“Proposal fails to find a suitable balance between servicing requirements and policy requirement to provide good quality public realm and an attractive cycling and walking environment.”
“In addition, Arsenal Way proposed planting and level changes not considered to be in line with London Plan policy D8 or the Healthy Streets approach”
The report also states in comments from TfL:
“Due to deficiencies in the Active Travel Zone Assessment a contribution toward improvements to walking is also justified.”
TfL suggested a cycle route along Arsenal Way. It’s stated there is insufficient space.
The Woolwich town centre manager popped up with more useful suggestions.
Housing totals include 340 private units and 183, or 35%, as “affordable”.
That is divided with 128 units at London Affordable Rent (closest to social housing now possible in vast majority of cases) and 55 units at shared ownership.
Commercial space has been reduced from earlier plans with overall levels reduced from 1,760sqm to 1,536sqm.
This proposal follows a large number in Woolwich that have all failed to bring possible amounts of income to benefit local residents and services, including:
Woolwich Central Phase 3 and 4
Leisure Centre & Housing site
Woolwich Catholic Club
Building 11 on Royal Arsenal
Other large sites in Woolwich are not liable to pay Community Infrastructure Levy if approved before 2015. Changes to Masterplans since that result in net increase are liable.
And that’s not mentioning others beyond a few hundred metre radius.
Unusually in this report, Greenwich Planners have not included Section 106 allocations.
I will keep checking and update this post accordingly when they do. It’ll be interesting to see if any notice is taken of the recently adopted Transport Strategy following little notice taken of previous reports and strategies supposed to encourage active travel.
UPDATE: Plans were approved and Section 106 allocated thus: