Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is the Leisure Centre being relocated to Viscount House (the ‘Wilko site’)?
The current Waterfront Leisure Centre is over 30 years old and is becoming increasingly expensive to repair and maintain. Therefore, as part of our wider investment in Woolwich Town Centre, we are building a state-of-the-art leisure centre and community space in the heart of Woolwich to create jobs, attract visitors and boost the local economy. The new leisure centre will be easily accessible by public transport.
2. What is happening to the Waterfront site?
It will remain as the Woolwich Leisure Centre until such time as the new centre is opened.
3. What facilities will be included in the new leisure centre?
The new leisure centre will provide a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities to encourage families, young people and adults to be more active. This will be an updated facility compared to the Waterfront and will include a flexible and accessible community spaces.
We consulted with the public from Monday 28 January to Friday 22 February 2019 when we gathered the views of as many people as possible on what facilities the new leisure centre should have. More than 2,300 people shared their views on what they would like to see at the new leisure centre through our online survey, focus groups, public workshops and with our community researchers.
This feedback, together with the results of a feasibility assessment, helped to shape the design options that will be presented to Cabinet in January 2020.
4. What’s happening now?
The design options for the new leisure centre will be presented to Cabinet in January 2020. Once agreed, we will undertake more detailed design work and cost planning before submitting a planning application sometime in early 2021.
5. When will the new leisure centre open?
The project programme is now running, but there are details to address before the opening date can be determined. The start of construction is dependent on receiving full planning permission. This is a major development and we will not have an expected timescale for opening the new leisure centre until a construction team has been appointed and the building works can be planned in detail; however, we expect the new leisure centre to be up and running in about five years.
6. When will the Waterfront Leisure Centre close down?
The Waterfront Leisure Centre will remain open until the new Woolwich Leisure Centre opens, which we expect will be about five years. We are continuing to invest and maintain the Waterfront Leisure Centre in the interim and have a budget of £1.4 million agreed by Cabinet to fund the necessary maintenance works required during this time.
7. Will the Tramshed be demolished as part of the project?
The Tramshed is a much-loved local landmark and will not be demolished. However, while essential maintenance works are undertaken, the Tramshed theatre company has moved temporarily to the building opposite the Woolwich train station.
It is also planned to include a refurbishment of the Tramshed as part of this project which will be delivered as an early phase of the project.
8. Will the Gurdwara Sahib be developed as part of the project?
The Gurdwara Sahib will not be developed as part of the project.
9. Will Troy Court be demolished and developed as part of the project?
The project site boundaries will be agreed at the Cabinet meeting in January 2020, which is when we will know whether Troy Court will be redeveloped. We have spoken to Troy Court residents about the proposals and will update them on the decision either way following the Cabinet meeting.
10. What consultation has been done Troy Court residents?
On 8 January 2019, ahead of the Cabinet meeting on 19 January 2019, we carried out a door knock and letter drop to Troy Court residents outlining the proposal going to Cabinet. Following the January 2019 Cabinet, we carried out another door knock and letter drop to Troy Court residents informing them of the decision that had been made. Further engagement was carried-out in September 2019.
Ahead of the January 2020 Cabinet, we once again carried out a door knock and letter drop to Troy Court residents giving details of what is being asked at Cabinet, allowing time for residents to contact us with any concerns or queries before the Cabinet meeting.
The timeline for future engagement is as follows:
- 29 January 2020: Following the Cabinet meeting, we will door knock and letter drop to Troy Court residents to update them on the outcome of the meeting, outlining the results of the residential development appraisal and the proposal to build on the full site including Troy Court.
- 5 February: Cabinet decision stands (subject to Call In).
- 28 Feb (latest): Statutory consultation pursuant to paragraph 2 of Part V of Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985 (minimum of 28 days from service of notice within which the tenants are able to respond with representations).
- March /April 2020: taking account of representations and application made to Secretary of State no earlier than the expiry of the 28 days for tenants’ representations.
- April 2020: Housing Assessment visits start (expected to take two months)
11. What will happen to Troy Court residents if it is included in the project?
If it is decided that Troy Court will be redeveloped as part of the project, we will begin the process of rehousing residents. This process will be done considerately, taking into account residents’ individual needs and circumstances.
The rehousing of Troy Court residents will take place within our housing stock and is expected to take up to two years.
12. Will Armstrong Estate be demolished and developed as part of the project?
There are no plans to redevelop the Armstrong Estate.
13. What is happening to the Point which is currently located at Viscount House?
We are currently looking into options for relocating the services offered by the Point. The Point will not move until autumn 2020.