Travelodge plans new hotel for Woolwich Road wasteland

The proposed development viewed from Woolwich Road, with the Greenwich Shopping Park behind it

Hotel chain Travelodge is hoping to open a hotel on the vacant land between Woolwich Road and the Greenwich Shopping Park.

Greenwich Council has received a planning application proposing a 120-bed hotel on the site, opposite the junction with Victoria Way, along with a food store and cafe.

The land has been empty for a decade following the demolition of a retail and industrial estate on the site, which had been earmarked for use in the Greenwich Waterfront Transit scheme, scrapped by Boris Johnson in 2009.

Developers say the project will create up to 126 jobs, and will also help boost local pubs and restaurants.

The scheme is backed by the owners of the Greenwich Shopping Park, and completes their development, with the cafe aimed at its customers.

It also takes advantage of a reorganisation in planning permissions for some of Charlton’s big retail barns, some of which are now nearly 30 years old and approaching the end of their lives.

The food store will replace the Lidl on Bugsbys Way, and would be run by “a local convenience store operator”.

Lidl’s building, which dates back to the mid-1980s, will be replaced with a new Wickes DIY store, which will move from its present site on Gallions Road.

The proposed Travelodge – looking west along Woolwich Road, with Greenwich Shopping Park on the left

We’ve rummaged in the wasteland here before – last year Matt wrote about plans for the site next door, where outline planning permission was given last year for a retail, business and residential development on the site of the long-shut MFI store, one of the area’s first retail barns. With a hotel set for the site, those thoughts about cafe culture on the Woolwich Road might not seem so fanciful now…

But what do you think of the plans? Full details are on Greenwich Council’s planning website, and neighbours have already had notes through their doors.

I’ve already had a few people contact me about this – some delighted to see something happening, some horrified with the design. I’ve created a poll – and don’t forget the comments below.

20 thoughts on “Travelodge plans new hotel for Woolwich Road wasteland

  1. mary May 16, 2011 / 09:16

    – and remember – your local councillors want to know what you think about this and would love to be copied in to your letters/emails/whatever to the planners about it.

  2. Deptford Dame May 16, 2011 / 09:36

    I wanted to tick both. It’s a much-needed boost for the area but it’s a ghastly building! The ‘mosaic’-style cladding does nothing to improve its looks, and I suspect will not age well. Why are four different colours required? I’m not expecting top-flight architecture, after all this is a chain hotel, but sometimes I think the designers of these type of buildings feel they have to justify their fee by adding unnecessary and inappropriate flourishes to such structures.

  3. Tim Rutherford-Johnson May 16, 2011 / 11:48

    I’m with Deptford Dame – something needs to be done with that patch of wasteland, but this is only a marginal improvement.

  4. Chris May 16, 2011 / 12:32

    I take your point folks, but the above is okay to me.

    Let’s face it, anything is better than what we’ve got now.

    I think the boost to the local economy that it will almost certainly give outweighs aesthetics.

  5. Matt May 16, 2011 / 13:15

    Get it built, get it built NOW! This isn’t the heart of historial Greenwich – this is wedged between an Asda, a Plumbase and a Sports Direct – who cares what it looks like. Hopefully this will increase the chances of something being built on the other side of the derelict Kanty Food & Wine too. I’ll be out there with my spade the day after planning approval to help muck in.

    • Simon Hall May 31, 2011 / 10:19

      Actually if you live directly opposite the site, like I do, then YOU WOULD CARE!! I would like a better design, something in keeping with the row of new shops wouldn’t be that bad (minus blue light), or something in keeping with the history of the area – it was streets of houses there before World War 2.
      However, I am broadly supportive of the development as (almost) anything is better than the appalling rat infested mound of earth we currently have. I am sick of the vile path to the west of the site from Woolwich Road through to ASDA so the plan to landscape that is welcome too.
      The main issue for me is the junctions proposed, which on the present plans make no sense. The zebra crossing on Woolwich Road right now is a deathtrap. Why not make the junction for the car park entrance opposite Victoria Way and put in lights on a crossroads with the pedestrian crossing being part of the lights. Surely a win-win and would slow down traffic and stop more off the accidents due to speeding happening.

      • Matt May 31, 2011 / 12:25

        Hi Simon,
        Funny you should say that as I do actually live over the road…and look at that patch of land everyday out of my bedroom window. I went past the Holiday Inn down on the Peninsula the over day and came to the conclusion that the Travelodge wouldn’t be too different from that – still better than the wasteland I reckon.

        Great idea about the trafiic solution, I’ve responded formally to the council and have included a similar proposal. Make sure you send in a letter too Simon. I’m still very excited about this proposal.

  6. fromthemurkydepths May 16, 2011 / 13:24

    Wow another travelodge in SE London to go with forthcoming ones in Woolwich and Greenwich.

    It’s not great but I’ve seen a lot worse. Does anyone know if the council are planning a master plan for the area. in the new planning document Charlton riverside will have a lot more housing and with many knackered old retail barns coming down it’d be good to see a cohesive long term plan.

  7. Deptford Dame May 16, 2011 / 13:54

    I’m not suggesting it should not be built, but what’s wrong with trying to raise the bar a little by asking the designers to make some improvements? Allowing everything to be brought down to the lowest common denominator just sends a rather depressing message to developers, residents and potential business tenants alike and doesn’t do anything to encourage people to feel pride in their surroundings. After all, some people will be looking out of their windows at this/walking/driving past it every day and if as the murkydepths suggests (hopes!) there is a cohesive master plan, it may become a design reference for other developments in the area.

  8. Otter May 16, 2011 / 16:48

    Dame correct on all points, I think. This is lcd design. By the way, so is the blank-walled retail development in central Woolwich recently highlighted by murkydepths.

  9. valley_girl May 16, 2011 / 18:57

    One of my concerns would be the additional traffic entering and leaving Woolwich Road so close the Victoria Way junction. This can be busy at most times of the day and is close to the pedestrian crossing.

  10. Katy May 16, 2011 / 20:30

    It will be great if something finally gets done with the piece of wasteland. I’ve lived opposite it for 8 years now and its always been overgrown, full of litter and I’ve seen rats on a number of occasions there. A hotel will be great for the area. I really hope that they do get the planning permission, because if it doesn’t happen now, I’m not sure that it ever will.
    I agree with the comments about the building, it doesn’t look great. There must be a better design they can use? Surely a chain as big a Travelodge must be able to a good job on the architecture.

  11. BoneyBoy May 16, 2011 / 22:44

    Like others who have commented , I’ve got mixed feelings about this proposal.

    1) Development of an site which is an eyesore.
    2) Jobs created, though I wouyld want to be assured that the developers are doing something to help local people compete for thes jobs.
    3)Better link between Woolwich Road and the retail park behind the development site.


    1) The design and materials aren’t great **, though if you want to see just how poor a Travelodge can be, take a look at the one near London City Airport, whih reminds me of an upturned 1950s radio (perhaps thats just the look the architects were after).
    2) Two more junctions on Woolwich Road, both near the juction with Victoria Way.
    3) The proposal to “relocate” the bus stps and zebra crossing. I can only think this is to accomodate the impact of the development,not the needs of local residents.
    4) If I lived near the northern end of Victoria Way, I would be worried that customers for the retail unit would park on my street rathe rthan compete for space in the car park..

    **The design for the proposal set me thinking about what quality and standard it would be reasonable to expect. One of the documents submitted with the planning application points out the lack of ny great character in buildings along this part of Woolwich Road. What is proposed is better then a derelict site and better than the industrial units immeiately to the west. But is it good enough ? What can we reasonably expect ? At first sight the quality looks similar to the recent development to the east of Anchor and Hope Way, but its not exectly the wow factor ! I’m interested to hear what others think.

  12. Tony May 17, 2011 / 11:51

    I am in full support! But then I am just far enough away that I will probably never have to look at it.. so I might be biased.

    As well as tidying up the place it would be great if this added some pressure to improve the service of the, frustratingly variable, 161 to/from North Greenwich Station.

    • Simon Hall June 15, 2011 / 19:22

      I gave up my fight with the operators of the 161 who terminate their buses at Charlton station (stop by the Antigallican) too often if late. Without any of those indicator boards on the SE7 bit of Woolwich Road between Charlton station and the horrible flyover, then no-one at the stops even knows the 161 won’t arrive. In the morning one feels stuck between going to Sainsbury’s where you can get loads of buses or braving it out. I used to ring the depot, but they have changed their number now (probably sick of me complaining). The problem with the route is apparently bad traffic in Eltham – for me I could deal with that if we actually had the dot matrix information boards. London Buses have apparently run out of money for any more and won’t move the one (which they will have to move anyway for the Travelodge) on the north side to the south of Woolwich Road.

  13. Tony May 17, 2011 / 13:05

    On a related note, you may be interested in what is going on with the until-recently-vacant land just West of there on Ramac Way, behind the Fire Station.

    We live in Holmwood Villas so overlook the land directly. Morrison Utilities are now using it as storage yard for the water main replacement work they have been contracted to perform. They cleared and started using the land without getting planning permission. In general the area looks better with the land cleared and the fly tipping stopped but we objected to the planning application (when it finally came through) as they wanted permission to use the site 24hrs a day for the next 5 years, which would have been unbearable for us from a noise perspective.

    In the end the planning was approved with a number of conditions. Basically, site hours 08:00-18:00 and they only approved the use for two years so the impact could be reviewed at that point. Happy with the result but it remains to be seen what sort of neighbours they are over the long term.

    With any luck, the development opposite Victoria Way will encourage a better use of the land on Ramac Way as well. Fingers crossed anyway.

  14. charles December 12, 2011 / 21:00

    Yes I am totally in favour of the new development proposal


  15. Jennifer Thomas August 8, 2012 / 16:39

    To Whom It May Concern
    My name is Jennifer Thomas and I presently an employee of Travelodge as a Receptionist. I am interested in a transfer to Woolwich Travelodge because I am moving to Woolwich in a couple of months.

    I am willing too attend an interview as soon as po

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