Thought one concert arena was enough for the Greenwich Peninsula? Plans released by Greenwich Council reveal it’s giving serious consideration to a second, open-air, arena on the west side of the peninsula.

The idea is floated in a new masterplan for Greenwich Peninsula West, designed to set out how the area could look in 15 years or so.

On the site of the former Tunnel Refineries/Syral plant, it suggests a “multi-purpose complex”. “Designed specifically to hold large outdoor concert events the form of the complex could be configured to offer picturesque views westward to Canary Wharf and beyond,” it says.

“The complex could be developed in phases, as demand & uses change. Configured to primarily to hold concerts and other similar events, the complex should ideally be flexible enough to also host sports fixtures.”

It adds that a university or sports training centre could be located at the venue, with photos of a Rolling Stones gig and baseball stadia in St Louis, Missouri and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

As well as being just half a mile from the 20,000-capacity O2 arena, the proposed site is just a couple of miles from The Valley, which holds 27,000 people. Any new sporting venue is likely to need a tenant, but Charlton Athletic have twice rejected plans to move to the peninsula since the 1980s, most recently passing on a proposal which would have seen them take over the Millennium Dome.

Any proposal for an open-air concert venue is likely to cause uproar on the Isle of Dogs, with noise likely to cross the river towards Cubitt Town. A leading Tower Hamlets councillor joined residents last year petitioning against the Peninsula Festival, which has since been given the go-ahead.

The report also acknowledges that transport links will need to be improved, and proposes a new bus station on the west side of the peninsula as well as a Docklands Light Railway extension “from Canning Town or Royal Victoria” (about which there’ll be more on this site in the coming weeks).

The masterplan is part of a package of proposals for various areas of the borough put forward by Greenwich Council. Plans for the Charlton riverside envisage a “Charlton Garden City” with space for creative industries close to the Thames Barrier. They’ve already stirred up debate at the Charlton Champion.

Another masterplan, for Woolwich town centre, suggests demolishing the Waterfront Leisure Centre, replacing it with a new facility in the town centre and extending Hare Street towards the riverside.

All the proposals can be inspected online, with the Greenwich Peninsula proposals to be exhibited at the Forum on Trafalgar Road on Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 February. The Charlton and Woolwich schemes can be seen at The Valley on Monday 20 February, and Woolwich Library on Saturday 3 and Monday 5 March.

(Friday update: There’s also a plan for Eltham town centre, which is discussed at London Masala and Chips.)

20 replies on “Council eyes 40,000-capacity arena for Greenwich Peninsula”

  1. The design and the desire to have the towers of Canary Wharf in the background reminds me slightly of an open-air Ricky Martin concern I – erm – happened to catch on telly once. He was doing that one song he has, Livin’ La Vida Loca, and when he sang “Woke up in New York City”, he paused, and the banner behind him fell to reveal… the Manhattan skyline! Everyone went crazy. It was a clever moment, but you’d have thought the crowd would already have been aware they were in New York.

    Of course, for this to work, someone would have to write a hugely successful song about Canary Wharf.

  2. Reading this in conjunction with the post at Charlton Champion you link to is interesting: the idea at Charlton Riverside is that the area will be prettied up and then housing contracts handed to developers to create ‘high-value’ housing. Of course, just across the road from the proposed site is an inconvenient 27,000 seater stadium that can’t be sold for development in the newly-regenerated area quite so easily unless Charlton Athletic have somewhere else to go… I hope I’m being unduly paranoid: I love the Valley and living near to it, and I think the club and the area would lose out if they were to move.

    The reason I don’t think either of the schemes have much going for them, though, is the same: there is not nearly enough mass transit to this part of the world, and a DLR extension from the wrong end of town is not going to do it. The only time the eastbound Jubilee line from Canary Wharf is absolutely packed at the moment is at about 6pm when there’s a big draw on at the dome. I can’t see that it could service existing commuters & Westfield shoppers + dome customers + people going to whatever ends up happening at the Olympic Park + another large number of people at the mystery stadium?

  3. all very positive for woolwich. good to see a “Masterplan” in place. the bathway quarter needs to be used again.

    The new library and town square are great additions. Would be good to see the pool etc move into the town area.

    Heaven knows why they are allowing a 17 storey tower to be built on the south side of the square as part of the Tesco development, which I’d imagine will block out a lot of the sunlight on the square, thoroughly benefitting the title “imposing” for all future estate agent ads.

    I guess its part of the “intensification” aimed at a shed load of new apartments i.e those occupied by first time buyers / couples who no doubt will be commuting and get to see woolwich in the eve sans sun light.

    Is the plan to cover all of Greenwich Borough in Royal Apartment blocks?

  4. Presumably they are planning on moving the dual carriageway in front of the Waterfront, then, if Hare Street is to be extended?

    I think this is silliness. Most of the shops on Hare Street aren’t occupied and the Tesco will shift the focus of the town completely. I hear Boots is to move to a new store by Tesco. Few people will want to walk down Hare Street without the leisure centre being at the other end of it.

    A far better Masterplan for Woolwich would have been to not rip up some of the interesting things that were left from the Victorian heyday of the town such as the PO, the Director General and the Crown and Cushion, and to redevelop Hare Street and the end of Powis Street as our stylish Art Deco Quarter with a refurbished Co-Op building as the anchor store. That would have kept General Gordon square as one end of the main shopping drag and Hare Street as the other.

    I have still not forgiven Tesco or Greenwich council for their LIES about preserving the D-G or knocking the Crown down. We should be recycling and refurbishing, not demolishing to replace with modern toot with a much shorter lifespan.

    It seems like very little about town centre planning has been learned from the mistakes of other nearby towns such as Erith.

  5. Rev D. I hear you about the ripping down of the old sites. The post office had a nice facade but it has been well and truly kicked into touch. I don’t know what the D-G or the Crown are though?

    a main driver behind the masterplan is almost certainly money orientated – i.e rates be it shop rates or council taxes. get more money in the coffers. it has to be done.

    why again points to getting more bods in, no matter what.

    I am not a town planner but looking at what happened to woolwich in the 60s to solve the post war baby boomer housing crisis, all of which has been omitted from the masterplan aside from a “loose collar” of social housing, solved the problem therein but created more issues and disconnect later.

    the heartbeat of any new town is the social aspect,
    apartment blocks don’t do it – have a walk around the arsenal and it seems unearthly quiet. where is everyone? in their apartments.
    shopping is boring.
    what is the draw to come into the town?
    the primary school is great for familiies but what else is there?

    I was at the variety night in the woolwich grand theatre last night, the first night i’d spent in woolwich in yonks – it was very enjoyable. looking forward to more.

    Until woolwich has more of a social, safe and secure aspect (i say that from my personal views, I’ve only lived here for 2 years), it will remain of little connection.

  6. There is a mention of social housing – the ‘masterplan’ says further on that the council estates west of Woolwich will eventually be redeveloped, like this is an afterthought. There is also one notable lie – the ‘old’ Waterfront leisure centre is said to have been built in 1958, and one huge ommission – no mention at all of the next door Riverside park being destroyed. Am I allowed to swear on this forum? They want to close the Woolwich Ferry.

  7. i saw that! the ferries are a major part of woolwich ‘s history.

    they say alot of traffic is brought into Woolwich because of it.

    me ar*e. the a206 is busy all the time.

    another premise is that is splits the town centre and the arsenal – what about the massive wall surrounding the arsenal hmmm?

    why only one month consultation – whats the rush?

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