New future for Spray Street gets the green-light

Published Friday, 20 May 2016

The Royal Borough's plans to bring a new lease of life to the area around the covered market in Woolwich have taken a step forward after approval was given at last night's cabinet meeting.

In December 2014, the cabinet approved the appointment of one of London's leading affordable housing providers, Notting Hill Housing, and the UK's leading regeneration specialist St. Modwen Properties as the preferred bidders to deliver a new mixed-use redevelopment of the covered market and adjoining land - to be known as Spray Street Quarter.

The approval last night means that contracts will now be signed and plans to bring a new lease of life to the area can progress.

With a projected development value of over £200 million, the plans for the site include new shops, a cinema, cafes and restaurants and flexible office/business premises alongside the creation of a new public space. The proposals would also deliver around 600 new homes, 35 per cent of which will be designated affordable housing. The plans will be submitted for approval following further public consultation.

Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of Royal Greenwich, said: "Woolwich is undergoing a huge transformation and the area around Spray Street and the covered market has unfortunately declined in recent years. With more homes coming to the area and the arrival of Crossrail right across the road, the new plans will bring huge benefits to local residents.

"New and modern retail spaces, and the addition of a new local cinema, will help drive up our local night-time economy where all our local businesses can benefit. This is an exciting time for Woolwich and I very much look forward to seeing the new designs when they are submitted to the Council in due course."

With a complex pattern of land ownership by the council and private landowners, and the challenges of developing on a brown field site in a town centre, it was decided to encourage a comprehensive development of the area by a partner who specialises in town centre mixed use regeneration, hence the appointment of St. Modwen and Notting Hill Housing, which have extensive experience in delivering similar projects.

John Hughes, Group Development Director at Notting Hill Housing, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to work with Royal Greenwich to transform this part of Woolwich town centre into a new community and commercial hub with great access to public transport."

Tim Seddon, Regional Director for London and the South East at St. Modwen, said: "The Spray Street Quarter will be a vibrant addition to the town centre, providing new homes, leisure and job opportunities. Woolwich's excellent connections provide the opportunity around a key transport hub to meet local and London-wide demand with a broad mix of housing types, including affordable homes, private sale and also a private rented sector, build-to-rent offer.

"We look forward to working with our partners Notting Hill Housing to bring our extensive regeneration expertise to this next phase of revitalising Woolwich town centre."

The covered market and businesses will continue to operate as usual until work subsequently begins on the new site, once a planning application has been approved.


Notes to editors

Woolwich Town Centre is designated as an 'opportunity area' in the London Plan (2105) and Royal Borough of Greenwich Core Strategy (2014).

Cabinet adopted a Masterplan for Woolwich (April 2012) which identified a number of potential sites that should be regenerated as a contribution to the overall delivery of this policy. One such identified site was the Spray Street Quarter and this is covered by a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which Cabinet adopted in January 2015.

Taken together this suite of planning documents will be used to determine planning applications within the area and it sets out the vision for the Spray Street Quarter as a mixed use area to include a cinema, retail units, public realm, cafes and restaurants, flexible office/business space and residential accommodation. The planning application/s for Spray Street will need to effectively demonstrate to the Local Planning Authority that they have addressed the SPD and Woolwich Masterplan and that the proposals for Spray Street contribute to the wider regeneration of Woolwich.

The Spray Street Quarter is 1.9 hectares (4.6 acres) of town centre land between the DLR/National Rail Stations and the new Crossrail Station that will be completed in 2018. It is an important site in linking the Royal Arsenal development with the town centre of Woolwich.

The ownership of the site currently comprises approximately 53 freehold titles and there is a mix of shops, flats, places of worship, former education and workshop spaces.

St. Modwen Properties PLC

St. Modwen is the UK's leading regeneration specialist. The company operates across the full spectrum of the property industry from a network of regional offices, a residential business and through joint ventures with public sector and industry leading partners.

The Company is focused wholly upon regeneration with an outstanding 30 year track record of adding value by managing schemes through the planning process, remediating brownfield land and active asset management and development.

With extensive experience in dealing with complex and challenging sites, St. Modwen has a land bank of over 6,000 acres and is focused on the long-term development of commercial property and residential land. St. Modwen's £1.7bn national portfolio of over 100 projects includes

  • the regeneration of New Covent Garden Market, London
  • the transformation of Longbridge, Birmingham
  • the on-going regeneration of over 2,500 acres of former industrial land in South Wales which includes the delivery of the new £450m Bay Campus for Swansea University.

About Notting Hill Housing (NHH)

NHH is one of London's largest housing associations with more than 31,000 homes across the capital. It is a social enterprise with the purpose of providing housing for those who could not otherwise afford them.

Founded in 1963, today NHH has a turnover of £380m and assets of almost £2 billion. It has offices across London in King's Cross, Hammersmith and Vauxhall. It offers a range of tenancies to suit the needs of London's diverse population.

Notting Hill Housing offers a variety of services to help a wide range of people who need housing in and around the capital, including:

  • Permanent Rented Housing at social, affordable and intermediate market rents
  • providing Londoners the chance to own a home through Shared Ownership, open market sales, commercial property sales and leasehold management
  • offering personal care for people who need additional support through extra care, supported living and rehabilitation services
  • temporary housing for those in short-term need, working in partnership with local authorities
  • properties available for private rent through Folio London.

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