Major plans to regenerate a derelict part of Woolwich with hundreds of homes spread across six new towers have been submitted weeks.

The huge scheme for the for 642 homes in Beresford Street would see the former Macbean Street School site concreted over for new tower blocks.

A total of five new buildings have been proposed – the tallest of which would tower at 22 storeys above Woolwich with a public viewing gallery.

The plans, put forward by Legal and General, have been welcomed by ward councillor John Fahy.

He told the Local Democracy Service: “I welcome the proposals for MacBean Street, the importance of investing in Woolwich is self-evident. Clearly critical to maximise the amount of social housing within the area.

“Woolwich members are keen to see the Woolwich Town Centre grow in popularity and additional investment to continue. Plans in the pipeline will see significant development including Charlton Riverside and Spray Street while protecting the historical elements of the area.”

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The new flats will be the first in Woolwich to be entirely “built to-rent”, which the developers say will play a major role in helping housing numbers in Greenwich.

The developers said: “To optimise the site, ensure high quality public realm, deliver a range of affordable housing tenures and a range of public benefits, three tall buildings are proposed of 19, 20 and 22 storeys.

“These reflect the Council and Mayor of London’s support for tall buildings in Woolwich town centre and reflect the tall building character already established along Beresford Street. To signal the importance of the tallest building, a public viewing gallery is proposed.

“These buildings are supported by two buildings of 12 and 6 storeys which create the necessary transition between the site and Beresford Square in the east and Powis Street to the south.”

The developers will stump up £4.4m in community infrastructure levy for Greenwich Council and the Mayor, which will go towards transport, waste and community facilities.

Legal and General have proposed 35 per cent of the new flats be earmarked as “affordable” – split between 70 per cent social rent and 30 per cent intermediate housing – with priority for the new builds going to workers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The developers said the new homes and “flexible commercial” space will contribute towards the “vibrancy” of the town centre, adding: “Legal and General’s aim is to build a stable, mixed community which integrates with the local area, supporting local businesses and public services.

“Delivery of affordable housing is an important element of the scheme and efforts have therefore been made to maximise the number of affordable homes and align these to local needs.”

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Woolwich has been the setting of several controversial development plans in recent years, including the ongoing saga with Spray Street and the rejected proposals for a 27-storey tower made up entirely of private homes by General Gordon Square.

Lobby group Speak Out Woolwich, which has lead objections on major developments in the past, has so far welcomed Legal and General’s proposals.

In emails seen by the LDR service, the group praise the build-to-rent model but did set out concerns over the height of the towers and community facilities.