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Woolwich Grand Theatre demolition decision postponed

The Collaborative Orchestra playing at Woolwich Grand Theatre as part of the We Love Woolwich Festival
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Proposals to demolish south-east London’s Woolwich Grand Theatre and replace it with flats have been put on hold after the local council requested that the developer modify its designs.

Greenwich Council planning officers have postponed their decision on whether the six-storey building should be built because they want to see the ground floor plans redesigned to include additional community space.

Whiteroom Architecture, which created the designs for the new flats, told The Stage before Christmas that the community space within the new development would be available for the Woolwich venue tenants, Woolwich Grand Theatre Ltd, to use.

However, at the time it said the space would only be suitable for cinema screenings and events rather than performances.

Woolwich Grand Theatre director Adrian Green said he and his team were still fighting for a space as part of the new development. However, he said he had not been told whether the ground floor would be redesigned to accommodate performances.

“It is not us that makes the decision but Greenwich Council at the end of the day. In the light of Greenwich Theatre’s plight, we need to stand on our own two feet. Sadly this borough is lacking in theatres and cultural activities must be improved,” said Green.

He said that Woolwich Grand Theatre was still “battling on” by holding talks and performances and was looking to stage pre-Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows over the coming months in its 60-seat studio space and larger concert hall.

Nigel Ostime, founder of Whiteroom Architecture, said: “We are preparing drawings to show the reconfigured space and will be discussing this with the planning officers. We remain keen to see the Woolwich Grand Theatre team using the space we are providing.”

A final decision from Greenwich Council is expected by the summer.

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