Woolwich market block demolished to make way for pavilion and café

A block at Beresford Square in Woolwich has been demolished as rebuilding work continues as part of a £25 million project.

The toilet block is now no more.


Plans will see a pavilion structure built in its place.

Block on left demolished

A café and toilets are proposed on site alongside extensive landscaping.

Below we can see the pavilion design beside a bus stop. As ever with renders note the new Routemaster which has never been seen in Woolwich.

Woolwich market pavilion. Sufficient pedestrian space given high footfall location beside bus stops?

Wider changes

There wasn’t a great deal more to see across the rest of Beresford Square compared to a recent visit. A bit more paving has been lifted but that was about all that cold be seen.

Apologies for the photos being at night but in December options to go there in daylight to take photos are limited.

Beresford Square. Slightly more paving has been lifted

The lighting scheme installed just over a decade ago will be next to come down. In the view above fountains will be located a short distance ahead when work completes.

Beresford Square overview

As seen above market stalls will line the western edge with permanent canopies. The Royal Arsenal Gate House will also be opened.

Beresford Square

Design issues?

After taking photos of the site and having a little wander I took another look at images of forthcoming changes.

One thing that stood out was proposed landscaping behind the Gatehouse which will be an obvious conflict point if built as seen below.

Landscaping right up to road edge. Red arrow where people will walk to avoid longer detour

Pedestrians will walk where the red arrows are located on the below image to take the most direct route. In future there will be much more of a pedestrian flow walking east-west along this way.

Firstly, many homes are proposed to the right in the above image at the MacBean Street site.

Currently on hold but many homes will eventually be built at MacBean Street site. Market seen in bottom right

Second, to the left is the major Woolwich Exchange project with shops, many new homes and a cinema in the old covered market.

Woolwich Exchange project set to commence in 2024

We know many pedestrians will take the most direct route when heading east-west along here. Trying to stop that through landscaping up to the road edge and failing to provide a direct path in such a busy area will simply see a desire line soon appear, as well as some walking into the road to avoid obstacles.

Cycle lane

Which also brings us onto provision of a safe cycle lane past the site. TfL are currently planning such a scheme.

Landscaping beside the Gate House prevents it being on existing wide paving along Beresford Street. Extensive landscaping a few metres west beside the pavilion will do the same.

Potential cycle routes through Woolwich

TfL have previously highlighted plans for a dedicated cycle lane past the site (see the turquoise line in above image). Why hamper the chances of provision if the square is rebuilt as seen in renders?

Of course any cycle lane could go on the existing road but that would limit the chance of a dedicated bus lane, and in future that’d be handy for a revised Greenwich Waterfront Transit scheme to aid thousands of homes planned in Charlton to the west and Plumstead/Thamesmead to the east.

Narrow footways in area of high footfall – which will only get busier when major developments are built

So if the area is rebuilt as shown then it’s possible this area won’t work for pedestrians in the short term – nor cyclists and bus users in years to come.




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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.

    9 thoughts on “Woolwich market block demolished to make way for pavilion and café

    • I still have severe reservations Greenwich borough council have the ability or desire to maintain this space which looks like it will need constant TLC and funds. As I walked past the area last week I noticed how filthy surrounding areas are in the shadow of this work. They still don’t have any sufficient method to keep existing areas clean so what chance these areas that will require constant cleaning? It’ll be spend millions, have a flash photoshoot when opened then ignore it.

      Another issue here is the endless clutter and obstacle course seen between the DLR and Elizabeth line. All sorts of rubbish and things are allowed outside shops like adverts. That Greenwich council STILL allow certain shops to block most of the path to the detriment of people on foot trying to access stations (even after the new station and line opened) tells you all you need to know about them.

    • Are there any public toilets left in Woolwich town centre with both the ones on Vincent Road and Beresford Square now demolished?

      Where do shoppers, market traders and taxi drivers now go?

      The one on Beresford Square also conveniently served the Elizabeth Lane station which has no toilets.

      • You are correct as all the public toilets in Woolwich have been demolished. Our wonderful council has no idea of how to plan works. Wht couldn’t they provide temporary toilets?

        When I posted about this on X/Twitter the Tramshed said their toilets can be used.

        Southeastern have also closed the ladies and gents toilets on Woolwich Arsenal station. The locked disabled toilet remains but you have to ask station staff for the key. (These toilets were provided by TfL when the DLR was extended to Woolwich. The City Beam trains now running don’t have toilets.)

        • Agreed. I doubt many would think to use the Tramshed WCs. The trouble is that you’ll either get people urinating in public or annoying local businesses to use their facilities.

          I didn’t realise the Woolwich Arsenal station toilets had been shut – is that permanent?

          • That is why you are navigating puddles of urine by the lifts at Woolwich Arsenal station now.

          • It is a permanent closure but I have referred it to London Travelwatch who received promises that toilets would be maintained when trains without toilets were introduced.

            I noticed there is a sign on hoardings by the old toilets were showing alternatives. Unfortunately it suggests the Elizabeth line and Woolwich Arsenal stations in error. Tesco is shown.

    • The Council’s record on street cleaning and maintenance of the public realm is lamentable.
      There are schedules and budgets for such essential areas yet Council managers and Cllrs seem incapable of making sure they happen on a regular basis.
      Or are they just disinterested ?
      Very good at photo opportunities showing off new public areas but absent in terms of ensuring they are kept looking good.
      Don’t these people walk the same streets as the rest of us and see the litter and the dirt and the neglect ?
      Get your act together Greenwich Council.
      It isn’t rocket science.

    • Locating that much planting beside the busy westbound Beresford Street bus stops is bizarre. There’s about 8 bus routes that stop there and littering around bus stops is common even with bins. It’ll be strewn with mess in no time and we know Greenwich won’t keep it clean. Just look at it now.


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