One of the new blocks as seen from the town centre. New blocks are also due to come on the other side of the road

Berkeley Homes plans to build Woolwich’s tallest building on top of its new Crossrail station, reaching up to 26 storeys above the Royal Arsenal.

The developer wants to demolish an electricity substation and build 523 homes around a ventilation shaft for the Elizabeth Line, with shops and offices at ground-floor level.

Seven years ago, Transport for London got planning permission to build 394 homes in five blocks at Armourer’s Court, but Berkeley says the planned buildings would be “too close together” and would not complement the listed Royal Carriage Factory – itself being turned into homes and shops.

Now Berkeley plans to reduce the development to four buildings, but go one storey higher than TfL’s original plans. The 26-storey block – just below a 90-metre height limit set because of London City Airport – would be the tallest in Woolwich, topping the 22-storey blocks it has built on Plumstead Road and its 21-storey towers on the river.

The other blocks would be 15, 21 and 25 storeys high.

The new development would include commercial space on the ground floor
The scheme would provide 523 new homes

The scheme would include 128 homes at London Affordable Rent – about half market rents and available to those on housing waiting lists – and 55 for shared ownership, hitting the Greenwich Council’s target for 35 per cent “affordable” homes. Another 14 shared ownership homes could be built if the development qualifies for a City Hall grant.

This is an improvement on the original TfL scheme, which was submitted under Boris Johnson’s mayoralty. That only offered 37 affordable-rent homes and 21 for shared ownership – providing just 15 per cent “affordable”.

The development would be car-free apart from 12 spaces for disabled people, with over 900 cycle parking spaces provided. However, with no firm plans to improve cycle routes through Woolwich, Berkeley and Greenwich Council appear to be expecting riders to use the Thames Path – despite the busy A206 dual carriageway appearing as a “recommended route”.

“This is an opportunity to deliver high-quality, beautifully designed housing on a highly sustainable, underutilised site in Woolwich, including affordable homes and family-sized dwellings, providing choice, and creating an integrated, mixed community which will support local businesses and public service,” a planning statement submitted alongside the application says.

A view of the new development from Plumstead Road. The building on the left is also being redeveloped for housing

The development is also expected to bring in about £2.5m in community infrastructure levy for Greenwich Council – half of this would go to fund the new Crossrail station, although with the council struggling to raise funds for its £15m contribution, it is likely that all of the cash will go towards the new station.

Full details can be seen on the Greenwich Council planning website. 853 has pieced together the key design and access statement, together with the planning statement, into one document for ease of reading and to promote transparency – it has needlessly been split into 14 tiny chunks on the council website.

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