University of Greenwich to spend £300 million on building projects

The University of Greenwich has issued a tender for £300 million in building projects across its three campuses in Greenwich, Avery Hill and Medway.

Work will run the gamut from new buildings to rebuilding and refurbishment.

Changes across the three sites are part of the University’s 2030 plans and in Greenwich covers the Old Naval College site.

Proposed changes in Greenwich

Images from the tender show projected changes across the campus. Greenwich could see a new research centre.

At Avery Hill the university will retain a presence despite some of the site being projected to see a new secondary school.

Avery Hill campus plans

Out in Kent at the Medway campus is also projected to see refurbishment and/or new builds across many buildings.

University of Greenwich Medway campus

Student housing growth

Thousands of students rooms are planned across Greenwich with some sites already gaining approval.

Proposals include a tower on Creek Road which has been given the green light.

Student tower approved in Greenwich

Plans for 700 further student rooms have been submitted nearby beside Deptford Creek. This is within the Greenwich borough enclave west of the creek.


Greenwich peninsula has also seen proposals including a 34-floor tower beside the o2 including 820 student rooms.

Student tower approved recently beside the o2.

In addition this month saw an application for another major project comprising 340 student rooms and 352 flats.


These developments will bring in substantially less income than similar developments in other London boroughs despite zone 2 locations beside excellent transport links. Here’s a range of rates developers pay per square metre for student housing in London:

  • Greenwich £89.09 per square metre
  • Newham £189 per square metre
  • Tower Hamlets £447.31 per square metre
  • Haringey £265 per square metre
  • Lambeth £400 per square metre
  • Bromley £150 per square metre

That equates to many millions difference in revenue levied upon developments of the sizes seen approved and proposed.

Proposed changes to CIL rates across the entirety of Greenwich borough including prime areas – which are happening eight years later than planned costing substantial revenue during that time – will not alter that low rate.

Firstly one reason given was a lack of precedent on student rates despite the planning examiner agreeing higher rates in other boroughs without precedence.

Then another was risking revised rates in other areas such as residential development – despite little evidence of similar seen elsewhere in other boroughs when one element was told to be reduced by the planning examiner. They did not ask for others to be reduced or thrown out.

The latest argument is that developers would argue against increased rates before a public hearing to be held soon.

Another is increased interest rates. Firstly, waiting so long to revise rates until rates increased maybe wasn’t the smartest decision by the authority. Secondly, residential developments are switching to student block precisely due to increased interest rates – with the student housing marking proving more appealing for developers in a time of higher interest rates. Some blocks in Greenwich are symptomatic of that.

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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.

2 thoughts on “University of Greenwich to spend £300 million on building projects

  • The Southwood site at Avery Hill shown on the plans is not where a secondary school was planned.
    The school was planned on the Mansion site, north of Avery Hill park. I believe the Mansion site is vacated now, certainly the businesses that occupied part of the school plan area were moved out a couple of years ago.
    They’ve gone awfully quiet. I’m not sure that school will ever happen.

  • I agree the plans for the new school has gone very quiet. I wonder if the proposal for the new school as been put on the back burner and may not happen.
    Greenwich Council often state falling pupil numbers, bur we know this is not true when you see the amounts of new developments around the Borough. The amount of families on the housing waiting list and people moving in to the Borough from elsewhere to be housed.
    A new secondary school is very much needed to cope with future demand, but like K feel the new school may nether be built.
    With regards to the building works at Greenwich University sites this is good news for both students and staff. Who require new buildings and older buildings to be refurbished to provide more space for students and improve conditions.
    Many students room blocks are now being built or planned in the near future to house students in the Borough.


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