Another “co-living” developer is eyeing up Woolwich, with a plans emerging for en-suite bedrooms and community space on the site of the old Catholic Club on Beresford Street.
Greenwich Council approved an 11-storey development on the land in 2017, but that planning permission has now lapsed.
Now Re:shape plans to take on the site to create what it calls “a more inclusive scheme, “a more inclusive scheme, which delivers a greater package of benefits for the local community, reflects the unique history and heritage of Woolwich, and responds to specific housing need within the borough”.
Co-living, which blends elements of living in a bedsit and staying in a hotel, has become increasingly popular with property investors in recent years. They are usually aimed at young professionals who are happy to share kitchens and other facilities in return for being able to use social facilities on the site.
Earlier this year, one developer submitted early plans to Greenwich Council to build 660 rooms on the former Greenwich University Island Site, which would make it one of the biggest schemes in the world. The site currently has permission for 310 flats. .
Re:shape says it will market the Catholic Club scheme to locals, key workers and essential workers who earn less than £35,000 a year and are under 35 before the properties go on the open market.
It also says it will offer free use of the building’s fitness studios, cinema space, games room, kitchen spaces and event space to local groups, and will ensure this is written into any planning agreement for the site. Fight for Peace, a youth centre across the Thames in North Woolwich, is helping to design the roof terrace, public art installations and community spaces.
The developer will pay Greenwich Council to provide “affordable” housing elsewhere, which it is compelled to do under the mayor’s London Plan.
Re:shape is holding an exhibition of its plans at the Dial Arch pub in the Royal Arsenal on Saturday between 10am and 2pm. It is also hosting online meetings on Wednesday 4 August and Wednesday 1 September at 6pm; it is asking people to sign up in advance for the online events.
Jermaine Browne, a director of Re:shape, said: “We are excited to be sharing our plans for this important site with the local community and we hope local residents, workers and young people will want to get involved in the process and help shape the proposals. Our aspiration is to bring people together through adopting an open door policy and to help diversify and enhance rental housing options in Woolwich for local people.
“Giving back to the local community is an important part of our ethos and our trademark community investment programme will ensure the project has a transformational and positive impact on the neighbourhood for many years to come.”
Earlier this year Greenwich councillors rejected 595 build-to-rent flats at nearby Macbean Street. The scheme would have featured five blocks of up to 22 storeys on the site of the old Woolwich Polytechnic school.
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