Greenwich Town Hall’s conversion to housing set to be approved

Greenwich Council’s Planning Board look set to give the green light to conversion of Greenwich’s former Town Hall into housing.

The building will extended under plans which were submitted in June 2022 and covered here. That application was a treasure trove of interior views off limit to the public including the observation deck.

It’s a gorgeous building referencing inter-war modernism especially Hilversum Town Hall in the Netherlands.

Wonderful simplicity. Circular windows against angular tower

Located near Greenwich railway station, it stands visible for miles with with its distinctive clock tower.

At the top sits an observation deck which could now be made accessible if plans approved next week.

Images from planning application

If it isn’t clear, I adore the building. A real shot of civic pride. The like of which NIMBYs would whinge about today.

Tall tall, Too different. Moan, moan, moan.


It was the Town Hall of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich from 1938 until 1965 when the borough merged with Woolwich in a major reorganisation of local government, after which Woolwich Town Hall (another wonderful building where my child was registered and parents were married) became the new Town Hall for the merged Woolwich and Greenwich boroughs.

I have many pictures of the building yet every time I pass and have a few minutes to space I’m drawn to it in order to take more photos of the wonderful detailing that abounds.

Tiling beneath canopy


Proposals would see 73 flats on site. However it has come in for criticism from Historic England and the 20th Century Society.

By the way, the 20th Century Society had nothing to say when some of the more striking elements of Thamesmead were brought down by Peabody. That lands remains vacant years on.

Proposed extension

They seem rather selective in what they object to and what they ignore, regardless of how innovative or distinctive a structure is.

Those objections relate to the roof extension.

Greenwich Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing Pat Slattery has also objection due to low levels of “affordable” housing. It’s only 20 per cent and even then is only at 80 per cent of “market” rates.


It’s stated that a Viability Assessment claims that is all that is possible.

A decision should be made next week at the forthcoming Greenwich borough Planning Board meeting – held at this building’s successor in Woolwich.




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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.

4 thoughts on “Greenwich Town Hall’s conversion to housing set to be approved

  • Great building that. Lets hope they don’t butcher it. Would have been nice if they made the tower accessible to public.

  • Agree Levi, but I believe it should be a community facility building and also not extended above to spoil its character. There are too few such public buildings here of historical importance. More luxury apartments don’t help the local community. There are so many things it could be. Maybe even in a public/private partnership with several different entities not just one, to attract the investment required for restoration. In fields of art and culture, exercise/health, sport/health, academia, social services, a community hub with profit making food/drink outlets run and staffed by locals not big corporates. This will happen to the Arches too (Trafalgar Road for those who do not remember our old public baths) if we are not strong enough to resist and to show our support for facilities- not top end apartments, of which there are more than sufficient already. The Arches for example would make a great Ice skating/roller skating facility and maybe with a health spa, with emphasis on the less fortunate and less able, not just those who can afford David LLoyds etc.

  • Parking will be an absolute nightmare and the additional 2 stories will block out much daylight to the immediate area, not to mention obstruct the beautiful views that many of those who live in the roads behind the building love. The beautiful building we all love will never be the same. Just another block of luxury flats to house the rich.

  • ‘Parking will be an absolute nightmare …’ Shouldn’t be if the surrounding roads are residents’ only, which I believe to be the case.


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