Plumstead and/or Woolwich areas?

(7 Posts)
fourwalls Mon 03-Sep-12 07:02:45

Have seen some good value houses (lots in the up to £180K) range and hope someone can give me a sense of what the areas are like. Woolwich Arsenal seems good with the DLR intersection but I know it can seem threatening at night.
Plumstead, I don't really know much about at all. I know it's got an old High St and a couple of good parks.
Schools aren't an issue for us, so it's really opinions on housing, travel, and the general atmosphere that I'd really appreciate.

DivineInspiration Mon 03-Sep-12 11:17:42

Woolwich and Plumstead are not pretty places to live. They're scruffy in many areas, down at heel and Woolwich particularly can be a bit untidy and unsightly due to large areas of social housing maintained only adequately rather than brilliantly by the council. Shopping facilities in Woolwich are generally good and getting better, but there are no posh delis, 'naice' cafes, trendy bars in the town centre, and only a couple of bars down on the Royal Arsenal development (which is very nice architecturally but also very pricey to live on.) Your friends will probably raise eyeborws when you tell them where you live; people will feel compelled to tell you stories about their cousin's boyfriend's brother-in-law who lives in the area being caught in gun crossfire on a weekly basis.

But I can honestly say that in 15 years of living in London, the 4 years I spent in Woolwich/Plumstead (Glyndon Estate) in a mid-level ex-LA tower-block flat were some of the best. I never felt unsafe, threatened or at risk anywhere - and I was a single woman living alone and used to get home either late or after dark much of the time, trundling my way through the back lanes of the estate and across the grassy area out front to my block. Generally speaking, the horror stories come from people who've never visited SE18 and who quake in their mataphorical boots at the idea of living anywhere but Fulham or Muswell Hill. That might sound scathing, but so much of the time their views were just plain ol' prejudice towards (shock, horror!) people with Saarf London accents, council housing, socially mixed neighbourhoods and anywhere without a Waitrose.

My estate was no noisier than anywhere else I've lived in London (apart from traffic noise and noise from City Airport - if you like pin-drop quiet, the airport will really put you off the area!) I generally found the atmosphere throughout SE18 quite pleasant: vastly mixed demographic of families, young professionals drawn in by lower rents than surrounding areas and older people who'd lived in the area for decades. I had a big grassy area in front of my block which used to attract neighbourhood kids for football, cricket and generally playing out. I never experienced any bother or antisocial behaviour in my time there.

For what it's worth, though you say schools aren't a factor for you, all the local primary schools are rated 'Good' by Ofsted. Pretty impressive considering some political wards in SE18 are among the 5% most deprived in the UK.

Property wise, the parts of Plumstead around the Common and up towards Shooters Hill are considered the most desirable in the area, particularly for young families. Property generally is excellent value - you can get a three-bed Victorian terrace needing cosmetic work for around the £120,000 mark and flat in some of the newer off-Arsenal developments from £100,000 upwards. And if you ever wanted to move on and let your flat/house out, the yields are enormous: I'm currently letting my one-bed flat, with a sale value of about £90,000, for £750 per month to a professional working tenant.

Transport links are great - the DLR from Woolwich Arsenal can get you to Bank in 25 minutes and Canary Wharf in 15, plus links you in to the Jubilee line at Canning Town. You can get from London Bridge to Plumstead by rail in 15 minutes on a fast train and in 30 minutes on a regular train. DP worked at Tower Bridge at the time and used to love going out in the area after work and then getting the riverboat back to my place in Woolwich at the end of the night!

I think whether or not SE18 is a go-er for you will depend on whether you can align all of the above.

fourwalls Tue 04-Sep-12 07:25:31

Thanks Divine. That's a realy helpful overview of the area and the issues that might arise living there. The reputation isn't great, is it? But then, where in London can you buy an abundance of real two bed house for well less than £200K? Nowhere with a great reputation that's for sure. Everything's a compromise and we're still weighing up that trade off between a proper two bed house in a less desirable area against a pokey 1 or 2 bed flat in a nicer area. It's genuinely a very tough call to make.
But it's very reassuring to have you come out and say, Plumstead is not the outer limits, and you can still live a normal life there.
Some of the houses are lovely.
We're going to go and see some in the area between Plumstead Common and Winn's Common. Essentially, the cheapest houses we can find on Chestnut Rise, Royden Road and a few other small roads in that area.
They look like well-cared for houses in a nice area so it'll be good to gat a feel for the area.
The only downside of these particular ones is they all seem to be at least a mile from the station and the nearest shops are across the parks/green areas/commons.
It's also good to know that property is rentable too, just in case plans change and we need to move but can't sell.
Food for thought! Cheers.

JennyM31 Mon 10-Mar-14 16:29:36

Hi all. I just joined this online portal for fab information.
Could anyone tell me how it will be to live near by plumstead/woolwich (greater london)?? I live in EC since i moved to UK and don't have any idea of any other area in greater London. I know it was horrible to live since 2012. but anything change now???????
Please help me with information in terms of safety, schools, community and commute.
thank you

Amethyst24 Mon 10-Mar-14 17:26:08

Hi. We've been looking at those areas recently too - currently live in Greenwich. I think over the next 5 years or so they are going to improve a lot. Woolwich is already significantly nicer than it was in 2012, Plumstead has yet to get there!

Upsides:
Lots of lovely parks and green space
Okay for transport now, will be great come 2018 or whenever it is Crossrail opens
Um... vibrant and cosmopolitan

Downsides:
Pretty awful for shops and restaurants
Still very shabby in parts
Transport links now, while adequate, aren't fantastic and you're quite far from anywhere if things do go wrong
Relatively high crime rate afaik - more burglaries/car break-ins than anything violent though

I can't help re schools, sorry.

JennyM31 Mon 10-Mar-14 18:03:51

Hey Amethyst24
That was great.

Even i found same downsides when I went there to check areas. (3-4 times)
I will be alone at all the time so it would be dang.. for me.

thank you again for your reply.
regards
good luck

Alexh1978 Thu 03-Mar-16 18:25:21

It is amazing how things change; Plumstead Common is now pretty gentrified and I see lots of suit wearing young professionals, cafes and gastro pubs are opening... Really exciting place to be right now

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