Plans to introduce stronger protection for parts of Woolwich from developers have been dubbed a “missed opportunity”.

Lobbyists praised Greenwich Council’s proposals to add to a conservation area in Woolwich following several high profile planning applications, but said the scheme could be stretched further.

Calls were made at a cabinet meeting on May 14 for the eastern part of Woolwich New Road, shops in Anglesea Road, and the area outside of Tesco to be included in the specially protected area, making it harder for developers to push through unwanted buildings.

Members of residents group Speak Out Woolwich said the areas could be added to better protect from future developments.

A spokeswoman said: “When we first heard about the conservation area happening we were really excited. But it just seems that we are missing an opportunity.

“If you don’t see it as an overarching area and just isolate buildings, then you are losing history.”

Shops in Anglesea Road are losing their listed status and the conservation area will exclude the eastern frontage of Woolwich New Road between Spray Street and the Tram Shed.

There is ongoing uncertainty over the future of the covered market, with plans for a proposed Spray Street Quarter being penned to bulldoze the area.

Deputy leader David Gardner backed residents’ calls, adding: “I have been looking at conservation areas around the borough and many of them have green spaces.


The John Roan academisation: Teachers and parents protest academy order

“With the area in front of Tesco,  isn’t it that we should have a holistic view at General Gordon Square so when new buildings are proposed and they will be for those sites they are seen to be part of conservation area.

“Isn’t it critical to take that view when proposing this area?”

The meeting was told that the council doesn’t believe the areas, especially on Plumstead Road, have any special architectural interest.

Council planner Victoria Geoghegan said: “I am mindful that we need a robust and strong conservation area and it needs to be proportionate to the quality of the buildings in there.

“The buildings are incoherent and inconsistent, and we think the setting is compromised. The Market is a statutory listed building which has its own controls. In terms of the green in front of Tesco, there is no building there so no architectural interest.

“We have listened to consultations and we have taken that into account when we have reassessed the quality of the conservation area.

Councillors unanimously supported the new conservation area, with cabinet member Denise Scott McDonald calling it an exciting time for Woolwich.

The councillor added: “Being in charge of culture in the last administration I had so many conversations about the history of Woolwich. I think this is a great start to a fantastic journey for Woolwich.”