Woolwich market plans given green light

Plans to bring a new lease of life to the area around the covered market in Woolwich have taken a step forward after approval was given at last night's cabinet meeting.

In December 2014, the cabinet approved the appointment of one of London's leading affordable housing providers, Notting Hill Housing, and the UK's leading regeneration specialist St. Modwen Properties as the preferred bidders to deliver a new mixed-use redevelopment of the covered market and adjoining land - to be known as Spray Street Quarter.

The approval last night means that contracts will now be signed and plans to bring a new lease of life to the area can progress.

With a projected development value of over £200 million, the plans for the site include new shops, a cinema, cafes and restaurants and flexible office/business premises alongside the creation of a new public space. The proposals would also deliver around 600 new homes, 35 per cent of which will be designated affordable housing. The plans will be submitted for approval following further public consultation.

Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of Royal Greenwich, said: "Woolwich is undergoing a huge transformation and the area around Spray Street and the covered market has unfortunately declined in recent years. With more homes coming to the area and the arrival of Crossrail right across the road, the new plans will bring huge benefits to local residents.

"New and modern retail spaces, and the addition of a new local cinema, will help drive up our local night-time economy where all our local businesses can benefit. This is an exciting time for Woolwich and I very much look forward to seeing the new designs when they are submitted to the Council in due course."

With a complex pattern of land ownership by the council and private landowners, and the challenges of developing on a brown field site in a town centre, it was decided to encourage a comprehensive development of the area by a partner who specialises in town centre mixed use regeneration, hence the appointment of St. Modwen and Notting Hill Housing, which have extensive experience in delivering similar projects.

John Hughes, Group Development Director at Notting Hill Housing, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to work with Royal Greenwich to transform this part of Woolwich town centre into a new community and commercial hub with great access to public transport."

Tim Seddon, Regional Director for London and the South East at St. Modwen, said: "The Spray Street Quarter will be a vibrant addition to the town centre, providing new homes, leisure and job opportunities. Woolwich's excellent connections provide the opportunity around a key transport hub to meet local and London-wide demand with a broad mix of housing types, including affordable homes, private sale and also a private rented sector, build-to-rent offer.

"We look forward to working with our partners Notting Hill Housing to bring our extensive regeneration expertise to this next phase of revitalising Woolwich town centre."

The covered market and businesses will continue to operate as usual until work subsequently begins on the new site, once a planning application has been approved.