I was just told about this application and felt like I have to write a quick post on it. Normally I wouldn’t focus on such a small plan but this is something else. Plans have gone in to Greenwich Council to demolish an attractive Victorian pub building. It’s the highlight on a pretty grim stretch of road that should see some decent changes in coming years.

White Horse pub

Here is the proposed replacement –

Pub replacement

Ignoring aesthetics (as hard as that is) this proposal would only have 9 flats and 8 car parking spaces. The existing three storey pub building is a fair size and looks as though it could accommodate a sizable number of units. The top two floors could be converted to residential with the pub remaining open. If the pub is not viable, and that is quite possible in that area, then an alternative use could be sought. If that is not possible then the ground floor could be converted.

The current pub is on a stretch of road that has mainly industrial units, car parks and some poor examples of post-war housing. The current pub looks in good condition externally. It’s well maintained and the owners havn’t wrecked it. I can’t see any justification for its demolition, let alone what it is to be replaced with.

The plan is still being decided. It went in on 7th April so a decision will be soon. You can comment on this here or emailing janet.stewart@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

Next to the pub is a temporary car wash. I initially thought this proposal was part of some bigger plan including that site which would have kinda made more sense, though it still wouldn’t justify its demolition. But no, it is demolishing just the pub, a good building in an area sorely lacking them, and replacing with a small number of units on the same small site. There seems to be a separate proposal for the car wash site.

Having a scoot around on the aerial views on google maps shows what seem to be a lot of wasted land around there, which matches the impression you get when passing through. Some of the unused or under-utilised land could be used to build housing to help with the housing crises. Future housing that could use the pub or another community facility within it.

There’s a derelict site a minute walk away by a roundabout. It’s overgrown with weeds and pretty sizable. Mcdonald’s recently applied to build a drive through which was rejected. It seems a decent spot for new homes.

Woolwich Overhead image

When looking around that area on google I also saw the usual mess of street signage and ugly street furniture Greenwich Council excel at. Here is a barrier put in by the traffic light that seems to serve no purpose.

Morris Walk Guardrail

There’s loads of the usual neglect and wasted money on unnecessary street clutter around there.

Other sites nearby for possible redevelopment are sites  like the single-storey storage place over the road from the pub, and various big car parks. The Charlton area masterplan came out recently and that can act as a trigger for changes. There is an intention to make the area where Woolwich meets Charlton near the river residential. The council could utilise the power it has to develop projects and also encourage private developers to take an interest in this area. The Morris Walk estate nearby is to be demolished and rebuilt which is good news. Alongside that the other wasted land can be developed but local assets like the White Horse pub need to be integrated within that.