Five-block North Woolwich proposals were drawn up for Newham Council’s housing company

Assael Architecture has secured councillors’ backing for its proposals to deliver 350 new homes on a 1ha site at North Woolwich, opposite the entrance to Woolwich Foot Tunnel.

The scheme, which was drawn up for Newham Council’s Populo Living housing delivery company, will deliver 85 homes for social rent, 42 homes for London Living Rent and 223 homes for private sale.

A report to Monday’s meeting of Newham’s Strategic Development Committee said the five-block development, which ranges in height from eight to 13 storeys, would also feature 815sq m of work and café space.

Recommending Assael’s proposals for approval, planning officers acknowledged that the scheme’s 36% affordable housing provision fell short of the 50% target set out in the London Plan for development on publicly-owned land.

However, they accepted a viability assessment that stated the proposed level was the maximum that could be delivered on the site. Officers also noted that the scheme’s provision of 74 family-sized homes – with three bedrooms – fell short of Newham’s own targets. They said that was also a product of financial viability issues.

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Source: Assael Architecture

Assael Architecture’s North Woolwich proposals

Officers said the overall scale and massing of Assael’s Pier Road designs was “appropriate” for the area and would deliver “significant enhancements” to the public realm and nearby heritage assets, which include the former North Woolwich Station and Foot Tunnel entrance, both of which are grade II-listed.

“The quality of the units is considered to be high and the inclusion of makerspace and café use would help provide activation to the street frontage,” they said.

“On balance, the positive elements of the proposal are considered to outweigh the negatives and the proposal is accordingly recommended for approval.”

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Source: Assael Architecture

Assael Architecture’s North Woolwich proposals, seen from the south

The same meeting also approved a 215-home development for Populo Living that was designed by 3DReid and is earmarked for a vacant site at Beckton, around one mile from North Woolwich.

Strategic Development Committee members’ decisions on both applications are subject to final approval from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

In addition to Assael, Populo Living’s team for North Woolwich includes: project manager Avison Young; building services consultant chapmanbdsp; cost consultant Bristow; flood risk consultant and structural and civil engineer Robert Bird Group; principal designer Orsa Projects; and landscape architect Gillespies.

Populo Living was known as Red Door Ventures until 2020. Completed projects include schemes by RSHP, dRMM and Karakusevic Carson.

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Source: Google Maps

The northern entrance to Woolwich Foot Tunnel and the site earmarked for the Assael development