Developer wants to create student block where Woolwich Poly school once stood

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

The former site of a lower school in Greenwich has been earmarked for more than 1,200 beds in a new co-living development.

Developer Re:shape Living has purchased a site in Macbean Street in Woolwich, with plans to create a new development for co-living and student accommodation.

The site could also include a new two-storey community space, according to the developer.

Jermaine Browne, co-founder of Re:shape Living, said the Woolwich site held the opportunity to deliver more than 1,200 beds and more than 100 affordable homes in the area.

Mr Browne said: “We are excited to start to engage with local community groups, charities, small and medium-sized enterprises and social enterprises over the coming months.

“[They will] not only have a genuine opportunity to co-design the proposed uses of the buildings and the wider offering at the Macbean development site, but also become actual stakeholders and direct beneficiaries of the development proposals.”

He added: “The Macbean site is a strategically important development site for Woolwich, and it is important that we deliver a neighbourhood where local people feel welcome, and the proposed uses complement and enrich the vibrancy of the town centre.”

Plans from developer L&Q to build five blocks of flats up to 22 storeys tall on the site were refused by Greenwich council in 2021 because of its size and lack of social housing.

The scheme would have seen 595 new flats being built on the site of the former Woolwich Polytechnic School, which has remained empty for more than 20 years.

Re:shape Living is known for its co-living building in Brent, ARK Wembley. (Picture: Google Street View)

Re:shape Living had previously developed proposals for the former Catholic Club in Beresford Street, Woolwich, with work due to be completed by the end of the year. The developer is also known for its 300-bed co-living building in Brent, called ARK Wembley.

The developer announced the new project as part of its plans to build a series of co-living and purpose-built student accommodation developments across the south east, including Watford and two sites in London – in Bethnal Green and Woolwich.

Re:shape Living said the company is currently asking local community groups and charities to outline which retail, cultural and community spaces are most needed in Woolwich.

Feedback will be incorporated into future proposals for the site, with the developer also hoping to form partnerships with local groups. A programme of public consultation is set to begin soon.

Pictured top: The site in Macbean Street in Woolwich, which Re:shape Living has recently acquired (Picture: Google Street View)



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