The Scheme

We are consulting on proposals for an amended scheme to the application 19/2498/F on the same site, ‘Land Bound by Beresford Street and Macbean Street’ in Woolwich. The amended scheme does not represent a new planning application and is instead a submission of new material that shall replace or be in addition to the current planning application. We have now submitted our amended plans to the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Land Bound by Beresford Street and Macbean Street is the site’s formal name, but it is also known locally as the ‘Electricity Works’, ‘Former Woolwich Polytechnic’, ‘Woolwich Market Pound’ and ‘Murray’s Yard’. It’s a brownfield site of 1.175 hectares. For the purposes of the planning application, we have referred to the scheme as ‘Macbean Street’.

The Site

The Macbean Street site is not industrial land, generates no employment and remains an impermeable barrier between Woolwich Town Centre and the Royal Arsenal, it comprises: • The Former Woolwich Polytechnic: relocated in 1999 with all buildings demolished. • Woolwich Market Pound: car parking and market storage space. • The Macbean Centre: a collection of existing buildings on site that are abandoned and derelict. The site does not contain any statutory listed or locally listed buildings. In the 1930s the Macbean Centre was used as council office buildings. It was then occupied for non-industrial purposes associated with the electricity works, which ceased 39 years ago. During the 1980s the building was used for community and voluntary sector organisations. Today all uses of the buildings have ceased and they have remained redundant for a period of time. The structural report of the buildings indicates that the Macbean Centre the has suffered from neglect and is generally in poor condition. It would not be viable to refurbish the existing buildings and incorporate them into any scheme. The western edge of the site lying in the newly formed Woolwich Town Centre Conservation Area, adopted in 2019. This requires the designs to be of a high standard and provides an extra layer of scrutiny for the proposal, which shall respect and respond to the protected character of the Conservation Area.

Policy Context

Macbean Street is allocated for development in the adopted Greenwich Core Strategy (2014), the allocation (MU9) is for a ‘mixed development of town centre uses including retail’. The adopted London Plan (2016) identifies Woolwich as a London Plan Opportunity Area identified for at least 5,000 homes and 2,500 jobs. The new London Plan (2019) identifies Woolwich as a Strategic Area for Regeneration that is to deliver “high residential growth”. Attempts to turn the site into a car park and a car wash in 2013 and 2015 were rejected by Greenwich Council as they were considered to “fail to meet the aspirations for the comprehensive redevelopment of the site for a mix of town centre uses”.

Project Team Legal & General Established in 1836, L&G first invested in the UK property market in the early 1840s. In more recent years it has been building and managing rental properties to generate long-term sustainable income for their insurance and pension customers. In 2015 L&G invested in build to rent schemes in Bristol, Salford and Walthamstow, providing low cost rental properties managed by L&G. In 2018, L&G acquired an interest in the site of the abandoned former Woolwich Polytechnic College, L&G established their investment arm to help secure the pensions and life assurances they hold. Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), the investment arm of L&G, currently manage £984.4 bn worth of assets with £16.9bn invested in the UK in long term projects.

Patel Taylor Founded by Pankaj Patel and Andrew Taylor in 1989, our office in Angel is home to almost 50 staff from across the world. As exceptional design is a product of collaboration, our culture is underpinned by openness, communication and service to colleagues, consultants and clients alike. Placemaking defines our work. Our integrated approach to architecture, landscape and urban design proposes a framework that helps repair and reinforce a sense of place. From the careful analysis of site, brief and cost, we create bespoke architectural responses that add value for the client and heightened delight for the communities that we serve. In essence, we believe that architecture should be clear and logical; spaces should be suited to their purpose, enhanced by material and craft, light and shade.

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