Berkeley render
Berkeley Homes’ visualisation of what the area will look like

More shops will be coming to the historic Royal Arsenal site in Woolwich, Greenwich councillors decided on Tuesday.

Developer Berkeley Homes was given permission in 2017 for shops and more than 110 flats in the historic Building 10 at the Arsenal site, but came back asking for more commercial space.

The developer will now have 3,215 square metres of shops – up from the previously agreed 1,747 square metres. The plans include homes, shops and a courtyard across Building 10 and 11.

Councillors were meant to make a decision in December, but pushed it back over fears a crane girder would be lost in the development. The crane thought to be the late 1960s, and replaced an older structure.

Despite some concern that the historic building could be damaged, council officers said there were more benefits of bringing the empty site back into use.

Royal Arsenal development
Plumstead Road is in the top left-hand corner of this Berkeley image

“It is recognised that retention of the crane girder acts as an additional symbol of the former life of the building, providing local distinctiveness meaning and quality to the interior space of Building 10 and giving context to the retained gantry,” officers said.

The scheme was approved unanimously with a condition imposed retaining the crane.

Building 10
More shops will be built in the Royal Arsenal than originally planned

It comes as the council continues developing the £31m Woolwich Creative District elsewhere in the Arsenal, which will see listed buildings transformed venues, studios and rehearsal space.

From the Murky Depths has more on the planning history of the site.

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Tom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Scheme is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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