Berkeley Group has withdrawn plans to knock down a grade II-listed building in Woolwich to make way for a taxi rank and cycle parking for a new Crossrail station
The developer has pulled the scheme by Gillespies to demolish an 18thCentury former officers’ block originally part of Woolwich Arsenal following a wave of protests.
The proposals had been described as an ‘act of vandalism’ by councillor John Fahy, deputy leader of local planning authority Greenwich Council.
In a statement Berkeley Group: ‘We genuinely felt that the needs of future Crossrail passengers and residents of the Royal Arsenal would be best served by creating a new public square, even though that meant removal of a listed building.
‘However following extensive consultation we have listened to all the feedback and decided to withdraw the current proposals. Berkeley, the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Crossrail, TFL, GLA and English Heritage now need to continue working together and deliver an alternative solution that meets the demands of future passengers whilst protecting the local community.’
Berkeley had previously argued in documents submitted to the council that the proposals were necessary for the ‘efficient functioning’ of the new station and ‘represented excellent urban and landscape design, providing new flexible public realm which will benefit the appearance and character of the conservation area and retained listed buildings’.
Nevertheless, the developer conceded that demolition was not essential for the construction and operation of Crossrail and a heritage report submitted with its application said that refurbishment and fascia retention of the structure were valid options for the future of the building.
However the document concluded that demolition was ‘the most economical option’.