Plans to demolish three Woolwich estates and replace them with new housing are starting to move forward. The scheme is now branded as ‘One Woolwich‘, and consultation is ongoing until 4th December.

Woolwich Estate Aerial View

The scheme has been rumbling along for quite a while now – I vaguely recall hearing about it around 2007. It went quiet for a couple of years but now things seem to be progressing. Architects PTEA are working with developers Lovell and ASRA housing association on a £269m project to redevelop the three council estates. The project will see ‘the demolition and redevelopment of the 1,064-home Connaught, Morris Walk and Maryon Grove estates and their replacement with 1,600 new mixed tenure homes’. The estates were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Architects Pollard Thomas Edwards, who designed the Deptford Lounge, are behind the new Woolwich estates.

The new areas will include around 35% affordable and shared ownership homes. So that’s 1100 homes on three estates being replaced by 1600, of which only 35% are affordable. Even accounting for some homes on the estates being purchased under right to buy it would seem likely that there will be a loss of social rented stock.

Woolwich estateArchitecturally I don’t think many will miss the three existing estates. They are pretty unpleasant places not aided by Greenwich Council’s characteristic complete lack of maintenance of public spaces and on building exteriors, as well as haphazard interventions over the years. Any street furniture installed was ugly and the cheapest possible. Little care or knowledge is shown in landscaping. Nothing done to mitigate against some unfortunate design features. Peeling paint, broken fences, and weeds were the name of the game and have been for many years. The photo above is from the ‘One Woolwich’ site so is designed to show it in it’s worse light, but it isn’t far off.

The Connaught estate is just past Woolwich Tesco on the left if heading up Woolwich New Road. It will feature 654 – 684 new houses and flats. Plans seem most advanced for this estate. This is not too surprising given that it’s closest to the town centre and crossrail station. Most residents have already left their homes.

Connaught plans

Morris Walk aerial

Morris Walk is the estate located either side of the railway line between Woolwich Dockyard and Charlton. It will see 696 – 766 new homes. The Morris Walk estate utilised Danish design advances in system building, and many of the blocks have names relating to Denmark. The exterior has a quite distinctive facade of stone chipped panels.

The rehousing process has begun on Phase 1 of Morris Walk, with interviews taking place over summer 2013. Offers of alternative accommodation were due to begin in October 2013 through the Greenwich Homes’ choice based lettings scheme.

This site could make an ideal replacement Woolwich Dockyard station, eliminating the problem of 12-car trains being unable to stop. It’s flat and soon to be surrounded by housing on all sides, including new residential as part of the Charlton masterplan. The only issue could be the slight curve of the line.

More history of Morris Walk estate, which was ahead of its time but featured a number of flaws, can be found at Greenwich industrial history. Renders are limited but the image above is the current thinking in terms of layout.

Maryon is a smaller development and has a larger amount of housing. 51% will be 3 or 4 bed housing. Between 150 – 165 new homes will be built in total.

If you wish to make a comment on the schemes you can here or at –

E-mail:
onewoolwich@peterbrett.com

Post:
One Woolwich,
FREEPOST Peter Brett Associates,
SCE 4241
Reading,
Berkshire, RG1 8BR

EDIT January 2015 : Connaught Estate was emptied by mid 2014 and demolition   commenced around August-September.

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