A historic South London square could be revamped in the hopes more shoppers will visit the area and less crime will take place. Plans for a new building in Beresford Square, Woolwich, have been sent to Greenwich Council and if approved will provide space for new food and drinks stalls and a new toilet hut.
The proposals, sent by Studio Weave on behalf of Greenwich Council, include a new building with a water feature, and informal play spaces for children. The new pavilion is hoped to reduce antisocial behaviour, such as crime and day drinking, by increasing the number of people in the area. Ambient lighting and low-level planting have also been included to “reduce the opportunity for people to hide weapons”.
The plans said: “The key overarching strategy for minimising anti-social behaviour is to increase natural surveillance by increasing footfall on the site.” The document also said additional lighting in the area may reduce “anxiety and fear” of crime, making the square more “inviting”.
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(Image: Studio Weave / Greenwich Council)
Councillor Aidan Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration for Greenwich Council, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that feedback from residents and traders emphasised the need for public toilets in the area. He said: “The Council’s investment will ensure the town centre has modern and accessible facilities for all, including disabled toilets and a Changing Places toilet.”
He added: “[If approved] the new café will boost the food and drink offer in Beresford Square, and will provide an opportunity for an entrepreneurial resident to grow their business, benefitting from the thousands of shoppers that visit the town centre each day. Relandscaping the square will enable us to create a more welcoming place for residents and shoppers to relax and unwind, including a new garden to encourage biodiversity.”
The application documents said Beresford Square currently lacks “any particular identity or function” besides the existing market, and that there was a major opportunity of “unifying the surrounding spaces”. The 400-year-old Woolwich market has been officially hosted in Beresford Square since 1888.
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The plans said: “Currently, broken pavers, messy layout and no clear paths create a confusing environment for pedestrians, obstructing desired lines. Structuring the …….