Plans to relocate the Woolwich Leisure Centre to a site facing General Gordon Square continue to march forward, with civil engineering giants Morgan Sindall awarded a contract to assist with the design of the new facility.

Greenwich Council cabinet members approved the move at their July 22 meeting, the latest step forward in major plans to construct the leisure centre and new homes at the site currently occupied by Wilko.

Assistant director of regeneration at Greenwich Council, Jeremy Smalley, told councillors that Morgan Sindall would be brought on to assist the council’s design team with “‘buildability’ and cost management”.

He said it was “really good news” after cabinet in January “approved a series of actions to take forward Woolwich Leisure Centre process”.

He said the firm had been chosen due to the “quality of their submission and their experience of leisure centre development, particularly the stacked kind of leisure centre we’re proposing here”.

The latest development comes amid Greenwich Council suspending community consultation on the proposals due to the coronvirus pandemic.

It also comes less than a month after residents of Troy Court, a council housing block built specifically for people aged over 55 which would be demolished to make way for the new project, made a desperate appeal for their homes to be saved.

Cllr Anthony Okereke, the cabinet member for housing, responded at that meeting that moving the leisure centre and building new homes would maximise the use of the site.

He added the council had to do its best to replenish the amount of housing stock it operates  while the council would look to care for its vulnerable residents “in the best way possible”.

“Finding that balance and getting the best use of land, that’s our aim,” he said.

The move could see Troy Court, a pub and other businesses along Vincent Road knocked down to make way for the leisure centre and new housing.