Shop demolition plans on Woolwich High Street and Powis Street are back

Plans to demolish a number of shops in Woolwich town centre appear to be back after the submission of a new screening opinion.

According to a document the applicant (Mortgramit Square Ltd) seeks to build 310 homes at 154-172 Powis Street and 125-129 Woolwich High Street.

This is the site to the west of the town centre where some pretty terrible plans were previously submitted.

Mortgramit Square proposal saw shops closed and empty ever since

That lumpen block was a lazy effort dumped down paying no mind to nearby buildings nor what is one of Woolwich’s most characterful areas at Mortgramit Square.

What could in time be a huge asset for the town if renovated was to be completely flattened.

Plans before saw complete demolition


The site has cobbled streets linking Powis Street to Hare Street and surrounded by 1930s structures that have seen better days, but with sensitive redevelopment including commercial units and housing could thrive.

It’s a piece of living history barely changed in around a century.

Sensitive conversion with new builds could hugely enhance the area

These photographs were taken in recent months showing the site not well maintained.

One door had been knocked down near Powis Street with open access to buildings which saw shops evicted some years ago.

Long derelict

Those previous plans have left a blight in parts of the town centre for years.

Around six shops were closed along Powis Streets alongside homes.

Shut for years

Since 2018 when the tower plan was revealed this area has been designated as a conservation area.

Meanwhile landowners eventually withdrew their plans after five years. Other buildings to go sit along Woolwich High Street including Furlong’s garage.

Will new plans see demolition here?

While realistically some buildings will be replaced – some on site do have little merit – let’s hope when further details emerge it’s not blanket demolition of every single structure as seen before.

Good design would enhance the best of what’s there alongside new builds. And while we’re at it, let’s hope it’s not another five years of sitting on land as buildings rot.

2018 plan

That doesn’t appear likely though as proposed homes are up to 310

With this submission plans are afoot and we’ll possibly find out what they are soon.



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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.

    5 thoughts on “Shop demolition plans on Woolwich High Street and Powis Street are back

    • Local councillors take note: Furlongs is one of the most interesting buildings in Woolwich. Don’t let them knock it down.

      • Can you come up with a workable alternative use for a purpose built showroom?

        It’s been vacant for years which suggests nobody has so far.

        • Here’s some options, Chris L:
          a) don’t fatally reduce footfall at the neglected end of town by relocating leisure centre to the (already) busy town centre in order to gift prime riverside land to greedy developers
          b) don’t blow £45M (and counting) of taxpayers’ money on a flawed-concept cultural centre in a suburban town that’s about to get a new highspeed line direct to The West End
          c) convert said purpose-built showroom into a showroom for affordable art – i.e. a gallery
          d) convert rare, characterful, anglo-modernist 1930s relic of the automobile age into i) a garage and charging station for e-vehicles (obviously), ii) affordable artists’ studios or iii) unaffordable luxury flats (a proportion of which could be back-handed to loyal party centrists) or
          e) simply preserve the really good built heritage of the town until such time as it gets a council with more taste and imagination than the incumbents

          • Sorry but the leisure centre is no longer fit for purpose with structural problems. An alternative site is under construction with the developer including it amongst housing. I agree about the waste of money on Woolwich Works which is still being mismanaged. . A gallery or artisy studios would not provide enough income to support it. In case you have noticed petrol stations are closing almost as fast as pubs. The charging station acorss the road is already working. The council ain’t going to change anytime soon. This part of Woolwich has been neglected ever since the council took over retial premises as office space. It needs to be revived in a manner that pays its way.

    • That section of the site on Woolwich High Street which was a petrol station and now a car wash could be built on. I see that as scruffy and not the most characterful bit by far having lost period detailing.

      The section behind though with its cobbled alley and wonderful modernist brick block and bridge between structures could be a major asset if renovated with commercial spaces and residential above. It’s such an evocative and characterful space. As for the rest, new structures facing Powis Street would be fine by integrating with the retained section and work like a charm, resulting in a site with new homes, shops/bars/commercial space/work spaces with the best of what’s there retained and improved. I was looking at an aerial image earlier of the site and around a third comprises the best parts. Keep that. Even build above parts of the warehouse-like structure if need be alongside the two-thirds that could go without too many tears but please let’s not just lose it all. Good design would integrate the best parts and sensitively renovate. Let’s see what turns up. I’m not hopeful given previous efforts.


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