Further to my East End Waterway Group letter of 29 November 2011, objecting to the proposed residential development at Bow Wharf (PA/11/03371 and PA/11/03372).

The applications are going to the Development Committee on THURSDAY 8 MARCH with a recommendation to grant planning permission (item 7.3 PDF)


My 8-page letter of objection on behalf of EEWG has been reduced to a 6-line paragraph. And its points have either been passed over or inadequately addressed. For example, my concerns about the serious inadequacy of the existing fire route from Grove Road have
been ignored and the fire authority has not yet commented on the application.


I have asked to speak for 3 minutes, but there needs to be a good number of concerned residents in the public gallery for the committee members to defer or refuse the application. A leaflet is going out to residents on or near the canals this weekend.


Could you and others please come along. The meeting is at the Town Hall, Mulberry Place, and starts at 7 pm. But we need to be in the foyer at 6.30 pm to sign in and go up to Council chamber as a group.


It would also help if you could convey your concerns to your local councillors.

For more information please ring Tom Ridge (020 8981 7361).

Tom Ridge


Limehouse Cut Conservation Area goes to Cabinet

The re-designation of the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area goes to the LBTH Cabinet this evening at 17.30.

It is the second item on the agenda so should be heard early in the proceedings. It would be good if people could spare the time to come to the meeting to show support in the Committee Room, 1st Floor, Town Hall, Mulberry Place at 17.30.

You can read the recommendations from officers below. Not totally ideal as 83 Barchester Street is missing from the List of Locally Listed Buildings. Quite possibly after comments from the owner found in the summary of comments here.

Leaside Regeneration and Harca made a lot of comments to protect their interests in regeneration. Poplar Harca subsequently withdrew their objections to the designation of the Conservation Area Following revision of the Conservation Area Character Appraisal (PDF) and Management Guidelines by officers.

Click image to enlarge

Full report details here (PDF) Full meeting details on LBTH website here

Cabinet is recommended to:-

2.1  Note the decision of the Judicial Review in the High Court, which whilst quashing  the original designation accepted that designation of the area as a Conservation  Area might be appropriate.

2.2 Note the responses to the public consultation considering the proposed  designation and the supporting Limehouse Cut Conservation Area Character  Appraisal and Management Guidelines.

2.3 Agree the Designation Statement at appendix C which sets out the special  character of the area. 2.4 Agree the designation of the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area, with boundaries  as indicated in the map at appendix A, including the transfer of land to include  Violet Road Bridge and a section of canal and landscaping to the front of Caspian  Wharf from the Langdon Park Conservation Area to the new Limehouse Cut  Conservation Area. [This land already has conservation area status, thus the status of this land remains unchanged, and the alterations are a prudent  rationalisation of boundaries because the canal and this small area of land are  more logically located within the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area].

2.5 Agree the amended boundaries to the Langdon Park Conservation Area to reflect  the suggested rationalization in paragraph

2.4. The revised boundaries of the  Langdon Park Conservation Area are shown in appendix B.

2.6 Agree the addition of the following buildings identified during the public  consultation to the List of Locally Listed Buildings within the Limehouse Cut  Conservation Area, Dowgate Wharf (22-23) Gillender Street, 24 Gillender Street,  Towpath House on Dod Street; Printers Gate on Dod Street; The Sail Loft on Dod  Street; and The Spice Store on Dod Street .

2.7 Adopt the attached draft Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management  Plan at Appendix D which supports the proposed designation, setting out the  character of the Limehouse Cut, identifying those buildings which are to be Locally  Listed and putting forward proposals for the preservation and enhancement of the  Conservation Area.

East End Waterway Group – Newsflash


NEWS FLASH 12 July 2011


As part of the Borough’s consultation on its LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK, there is a Fish Island Area Action Plan, which has to be commented on by 15 July 2011. This newsflash therefore includes Tom Ridge’s latest submssion on behalf of the group. Please read. It would also help if you would please add weight by sending in your supporting comments to


Fish Island is the only place in the Borough’s LDF where the buildings which contribute to its particular sense of place have been identified. It is all the more tragic therefore that four of those buildings have been demolished.


Click image to download full PDF

Download Action Plan here



Four of the buildings shown but not labelled on Fig 6.1 Heritage assets (also shown and labelled in the Fish Island CA character appraisal and management guidelines document November 2009) have been demolished:

  • three buildings between CA and Hackney Cut by Formans for their proposed Olympic Hospitality Venue.
  • Lea Tavern White Post Lane for six-storey building with ground-floor restaurant (PA/10/01728) permission granted 26 January 2011

Of the three buildings demolished by Formans, the single-storey, twin-roofed building is seen on the left of the photograph of the front cover of the action plan. It could have been retained and incorporated in the proposed venue. It is clear from the file that the planning officer dealing with the case simply accepted the fact that the buildings had been demolished and showed no awareness of the fact that they were of “townscape merit” (CA doc Nov 2009).

The demolition of the Lea Tavern is particularly tragic as it had a long history of being identified as worthy of retention. Its inclusion in the CA doc. November 2009 was simply the most recent, but in many ways the most important as it was a key building in the proposed WHITE POST LANE CA:

This proposed CA must be designated as soon as possible and in the meantime PLANNING OFFICERS MUST BE MADE AWARE OF THE PROPOSAL AND THE FEW SURVIVING BUILDINGS OF TOWNSCAPE MERIT. Most of which are now covered in grafitti.




In this connection, it is to be hoped that the public realm improvements at G respect the surviving walls of the distillery where petrol was first produced in this country. And at F, they respect the surviving remnants of historic walls in the boundary walls of the Hamlet Industrial Centre on the NW corner of Hertford Union Canal and the Hackney Cut.

F includes the ROACH ROAD BRIDGE which is a superb example of a poorly designed fort bridge with ugly gabions. It is particularly tragic that British Waterways have taken a steer from this bridge and also employed gabions in its new ramp from White Post Lane to the Hertford Union Canal towpath.

Clearly, we need to know more about these “public realm improvements”, especially the ones listed on page 64 and along Dace Road/Old Ford Lock (C). The “artistic gateway” to the locks actually detracts from the character and charm of this special space. It is to be hoped that there is no more public art, nor indeed any more bridges. There is already a perfectly good, plain honest footbridge over the locks and another over the River Lea to the River Lea towpath.



Fig 2.2 Click image for larger version


On Fig 2.2 the latter place is one of five places with “scope for new crossings” over waterways. Most are not needed and the considerable expenditure involved would not be justified:


OPTIONS 3, 4a and 4b completely ignore the fact that LB Tower Hamlets built the WANSBECK ROAD BRIDGE in the 1970s, following the severance of this north-east corner of the borough by the East Cross Route. It is a very good connection over the Hertford Union Canal and has not even been shown on the various figures in the action plan – possibly as a consequence of having the western boundary drawn along its route.


Option 5 “new all-modes bridge on Rothbury Road” is in fact the excellent WHITE POST LANE BRIDGE of 1904-05 linking White Post Lane with Carpenter’s Road. It appears to be currently undergoing renovation.


OPTION 7a Contractors are already on site. It is going to be far too close on the eastern side to the middle of the three crane ramps (which have been sympathetically retained within the British Waterways’ towpath enhancement). And looks as if it will be far too close to the retained circular red-brick chimney shaft.


OPTION /B and vehicular part of OPTION 19 A second and wider bridge at this location would be the ruination of this part of Fish Island. Fully support FISH ISLAND EAST as a residential area with a new school but it will have a more than adequate vehicular link with the borough via the refurbished White Post Lane Bridge and the existing WANSBECK ROAD BRIDGE.


OPTION 8 Not needed especially given its proximity to the bridge about to be built at 7a


OPTION 9 “Lea crossing at Bow Locks” is in fact Hackney Cut crossing at Old Ford Locks and is not needed for the reasons already given. The foot bridge is narrow and cyclists must be barred from using it. They can and must be made to use the bridge about to be built at 7a.


With respect to some of the non-waterway options:


OPTION 11 Completely pointless – it is but a short walk or ride to the start of the Greenway on the east side of Wick Lane or to option 12


OPTION 12 Fully support this and have done so for some years. Must include more wildflower meadow as on Greenway and seating for contemplation of site of the old ford across the River Lea


OPTION 14 This is also a dangerous road for vehicle users.


OPTION 15 There is no towpath on the west side of the Lea Navigation (Hackney Cut to Old Ford Locks and River Lea from near Old Ford Locks to boundary at mainline railway embankment. Nor should there be.


OPTION 16 Being carried out by British Waterways


OPTION 17 Towpath along east side of Lea Navigation (Hackney Cut) has just been upgraded by British Waterways. There is no towpath along the west side of River Lea. Nor should there be.



We are very disappointed that despite representations re scoping report (8.9.10) there is nothing in the action plan about passenger movement on the waterways. Nor about a marina/water activity centre in Fish Island East



We are completely opposed to the proposed WASTE TO ENERGY FACILITY anywhere in FISH ISLAND or TOWER HAMLETS. Especially as there is no information whatsoever about the proposed facility.


Tom Ridge on behalf of East End Waterway Group

12 July 2011


East End Waterway Group Newsletter No. 8

May 2011

Local residents, schools, community groups, amenity societies and businesses working with British Waterways, Tower Hamlets Council and others for the protection and beneficial use of the six mile waterway ‘ring’, its historic buildings, structures and habitats.

307 Burdett Road

307 Burdett Road


April 1st 2011

The Council’s October 2009 designation of the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area was quashed by Mr. Justice Ouseley in the High Court on Wednesday, 9 February 2011. His judicial review of the designation took place over three days in November 2010, but his 46-page judgment was not issued until 4 February 2011. The review was initiated by Telereal Trillium and its ending of the conservation area effectively allowed them to demolish the former Poplar Employment Exchange at 307 Burdett Road. Demolition contractors started work on 17 February 2011, using a valid demolition notice from 2010.

Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law, together with Alex Goodman QC, worked pro bono to stop the demolition and allow the Council to appeal against the quashing order. Unfortunately, Mr. Justice Ouseley had also ordered that, should there be an appeal, the Council would have to pay Telereal Trillium’s alleged security costs of £5,000 per week (during the several months it would take before the appeal was heard in the Court of Appeal). For this and other reasons, the Council eventually decided not to appeal.

Accepting the tragic loss of the former Poplar Employment Exchange, the Council was going to redesignate the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area, without 307 Burdett Road. However, on Monday, 9 March 2011, Telereal Trillium obtained a legal injunction preventing the Council from taking such a decision. Consequently, the Council is now having to carry out another public consultation. And officers have to submit a new report to Cabinet. Hopefully, it will not have the sort of minor defects which allowed Mr Justice Ouseley to quash the otherwise lawful 2009 designation.


307 plan

Planned building for the site of 307

Although the new conservation area will not include the one building associated with George Lansbury MP for Bow and Bromley (the northern part of the former Metropolitan Borough of Poplar) and First Commissioner of Works and Public Buildings (1929-1931), there are still several buildings along London’s oldest canal (and the adjoining part of the River Lea) to remind us and future generations that Poplar was part of the largest waterside industrial area in London, when London was the largest industrial city in the world and the greatest port in the world.

The Limehouse Cut must also be protected as part of the Borough’s unique six-mile waterway ring. Fortunately, most of the Hertford Union Canal is in the Victoria Park Conservation Area; the Regent’s Canal (from the Hackney boundary to Limehouse Basin) is in the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area; and Limehouse Basin is in the Narrow Street Conservation Area.

We must all, therefore, support the Council’s proposed new Limehouse Cut Conservation Area. The six-week consultation period has already started and ends on 29 May 2011. The new Character Appraisal and Management Guidelines document is an extended version of the previous document. See the document (and boundary plan) on the Council’s website here. Paper copies are also available in the Planning Reception at the Town Hall and in local libraries and Idea Stores).

Email your comments to
or write to

LBTH Development Design and Conservation, Mulberry Place (AH), PO Box 55739, 5 Clove Crescent, E14 2BY
Also, please do your best to attend the:

Limehouse Cut Conservation Area

PUBLIC MEETING 7 pm – 8.30 pm
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Room M73 Town Hall Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent E14 2BG


As well as seeking a judicial review of the Council’s October 2009 designation of the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area, Telereal Trillium appealed to the Planning Inspectorate against the Council’s refusal to grant planning permission for the demolition and replacement of the former Poplar Employment Exchange at 307 Burdett Road. The five-day inquiry was held at the Town Hall on 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8 February 2011 (see EEWG newsflash 5 February 2011).

As one of the Council’s main reasons for refusal was the fact that 307 made a positive contribution to the conservation area, we thought the inquiry should have been held after Mr. Justice Ouseley’s judgment on the legality of the Council’s October 2009 designation of the conservation area. In the event, his 46-page judgment was released on the fourth day of the five-day inquiry.

All parties await the Inspector’s decision, but the preemptive demolition of 307 leaves the Inspector with only one choice: to permit the erection of the proposed replacement building or leave the site vacant. Furthermore, as part of the proceedings at such inquiries, the Council and Telereal Trillium have agreed on the conditions to be attached to a planning permission should this be granted by the Inspector.




At our request, and with the support of Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Telereal Trillium instructed the demolition contractors to save the building’s 1934 date block. The block was carefully salvaged, and together with the contemporary Dod Street sign, was collected by senior planning officers and delivered on Wednesday, 27 April 2011, to the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives on Bancroft Road.

As a public building designed and erected by His Majesty’s Office of Works, the Dod Street wall of the former Poplar Employment Exchange contained a moulded terracotta date block, bearing the opening date of 1934, and the King George V monogram with crown.


In February 2011, British Waterways Marinas Ltd applied to the Council for a CERTIFICATE OF LAWFUL DEVELOPMENT on the grounds that:

  • proposed water taxi moorings are permitted development (see Newsletter No 7)
  • proposed additional leisure moorings accord with the layout attached to a 1994 section 106 agreement between the former London Docklands Development Corporation and British Waterways Board.

The Council has still to decide to grant or refuse the certificate. One of the many issues is whether or not BWML should have to carry out an environmental impact assessment. We believe that at the very least there should be an assessment of noise and pollution impacts on the whole of Limehouse Basin and the Limehouse Cut and the River Lea (the water taxis are to run between the Basin and the Olympic Park). All we know is that there are to be six water taxis moored in front of the four blocks of flats known as Marina Heights; and that BWML’s consultants say that there is no requirement for an environmental impact assessment.

As stated in previous newsletters, we are in favour of an Olympic boat service in 2012, provided that the boats or taxis are fitted with hybrid engines to minimise noise and pollution. And that instead of trip boats or party boats disturbing residents and destroying the relative peace and quiet of the Borough’s waterways, there should be a two-way (daytime) public passenger boat service for local residents and tourists around the six-mile waterway ‘ring’ in Tower Hamlets.

Unfortunately, the planners can only operate within the constraints of the planning system, and it is up to the Mayor and Councillors of Tower Hamlets to tell BWML (and others) that they do not want noise and pollution on the Borough’s waterways. But do want a daytime public passenger boat service as part of the Olympic legacy.


Tom Ridge



Limehouse Cut Conservation Area – Still no information from our Council


April 1st

Saturday 26th February 11.00

Friday 25th February 11.30

Friday 25th February 11.30

Saturday 19 February at 09.00


Thursday 17th February - 12.00

Read the Judgment here on line

Download Judgment  PDF here

Update at 21.30 on 13th February

Still no news from Tower Hamlets Council about what they intend to do.

Tom Ridge from the East End Waterway Group has been going through the 46 page Justice Ouseleys’ judgment of 4th February 2011.

On Wednesday 9 February, it seems that the judge refused to suspend his quashing of the designation to give the Council time to re-designate the Conservation Area.

The Developer, Trilium, submitted a demolition notice on 3rd February 2011

Update at 21.30 on 10th February

We still do not know quite what is going on as the LBTH Press Office who promised to look into the Councils position or get the relevant department to respond after our inquiry at 09.10 this morning has not yet got back with any information.

More news to follow but it seems the “concrete canyon” may be on hold again.

See East London Advertiser here.

Still unconfirmed by the Council but it seems that at the High Court yesterday (9th February) Mr Justice Ouseley said Tower Hamlets Council has until 16th February to redesignate the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area or appeal against the judgment, on condition that it pays Trillian £5000 per week to cover alleged security costs.

Also late last night demolition contractor’s boards were seen on 307 Burbett Road (presumably Trillian has submitted demolition notice)

Bad news from the High Court – Limehouse Conservation Area quashed


Finally news from the judicial review held on 11th, 12th and 15th November at the Administrative Court Office – Mr Justice Ouseley has delivered his verdict and overturned London Borough of Tower Hamlets designation of the Limehouse Cut as a Conservation Area. This news comes as the Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State aproaches the end of the appeal by Indigo Planning on behalf of Telereal Trilium and Telereal (Prime) Property Group Ltd against the Council’s refusal of planning applications ref. PA/09/214 & PA/10/510 .
Consequently, the former POPLAR EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE will almost certainly be demolished and several other buildings in the construction area would be under threat and possibly demolished for tall blocks of flats. Most of the historic canalscape on London’s oldest canal would be lost and the canal would become a sunless concrete canyon.

Limehouse Cut Conservation Area

“There is no doubt that the Poplar Employment Exchange has strong local value and is an important East London landmark. If this were a Conservation Area, the dignified neo-Georgian elevations and historic interest of Poplar Employment Exchange would make a positive contribution to its character.”

Hannah Parham – English Heritages Adviser’s Report 1/6/2009.

307 Burdett Road

Click image to see full size

307 Former Job Centre – Public Enquiry

307 plan

Click image to read more on "Skyscraper News"


The appeal continues on into its 4th day today in the Council Chambers on the 1st floor of Mullberry Place – it is possible that a draft judgment will be given today.

Click here to read story from The Advertiser




Council Chambers, Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BG

Commencing on Tuesday 1st February 2011 at 10:00am


Appeal by Indigo Planning on behalf of Telereal Trilium and Telereal (Prime) Property Group Ltd against the Council’s refusal of planning applications ref. PA/09/214 & PA/10/510

Location:  Former Job Centre Plus, 307 Burdett Road, E14 7DR


  1. Full Planning Application for redevelopment of the site involving the erection ofa part 6 and part 11 storey building and lower ground floor level adjacent to Limehouse cut to provide 56 residential units, 658 square metres of commercial floorspace (Use Classes A1/A3 and A4) at ground and lower ground floor level, cycle parking, amenity space and other associated works.
  2. Application for Conservation Area Consent for demolition of existing part 2 and part 3 storey vacant unemployment benefit office building plus basement and a single storey wing at the rear.

An Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State under paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 6 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 will attend at the place, date and time shown above to decide the appeal.

Members of the public may attend the inquiry and, at the Inspector’s discretion, express their views.  If you or anyone you know has a disability and is concerned about the facilities at the inquiry venue, you should contact the Council in advance to ensure suitable provisions are in place.

Copies of the appellant’s, proofs of evidence, summaries and statement of common ground can be viewed at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, 5th Floor, Anchorage House, 2 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BE.  Contact: Jane Jin Tel: 020-7364-6573.

Planning Inspectorate Reference: 

  • APP/E5900/E/10/2131773 (PA/10/510)
  • APP/E5900/E/10/2131760 (PA/09/214)

Contact Point at the Planning Inspectorate: Nicholas Kessler, 3/19 Eagle Wing, Temple
Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN Tel: 01173728000

Owen Whalley


Head of Planning & Building Control

Limehouse Cut Conservation Area – JUDICIAL REVIEW


Walk from Temple tube station

barriserTrillium (Developers) made two planning applications for the demolition of the former POPLAR EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE at 307 Burdett Road, and both were refused by Tower Hamlets Council. One of the reasons for refusing the 2009 application for demolition and replacement by an 11-storey block of flats was that the building makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area. Trillium responded by starting judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the Council’s designation of the conservation area, with a view to having it quashed.

The judicial review will be held on 11 and 12 November at the Administrative Court Office – COURT 2 – by MR JUSTICE OUSELEY

The Queen on the application of Trillium (prime) Property Gp Limited   v London Borough Of Tower Hamlets
Court 2 -The Royal Courts of Justice,

Another map here

It is absolutely essential for local residents and others to attend so that the judges can see the extent of support for the conservation area. The case has now run on into Monday – so please meet up outside by 9.45 am on Monday 15th November 2010 or make your way up to court 2 – 1st floor.

Walk from Holborn to the The Royal Courts of Justice

Should Trillium win in the High Court, the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area would be revoked. Consequently, the former POPLAR EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE, and several other buildings in the construction area, would almost certainly be demolished for tall blocks of flats. Most of the historic canalscape on London’s oldest canal would be lost and the canal would become a sunless concrete canyon.

Tower Hamlets residents deliver petition to Telereal Trillium

307 Burdett Road

Click image to see full size

On Monday, 25 October 2010 the East End Waterway Group patron Jim Fitzpatrick MP, local historian Tom Ridge and concerned residents delivered a petition with over 900 signatures to Telereal Trillium, the present owners of the POPLAR EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE at 307 Burdett Road to ask them to:-.

allow the retention and adaptation of the former Poplar Employment Exchange at 307 Burdett Road as a training and social enterprise centre for unemployed local people, called the LANSBURY CENTRE

Trillium have made two planning applications for the demolition of the local landmark, and both were refused by Tower Hamlets Council. They have plans to build an 11 storey 56 flat complex on the site.

They are now seeking a judicial review of Tower Hamlets Council’s designation of the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area which will be held on 11th and 12th November at the Administrative Court, The Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2.

Local residents concerns.

  • Residents are extremely concerned by the high density of the development which is far above the London Plan and that the character of the building would not be in line with existing buildings in the area. Existing buildings would be overlooked by windows and balconies, including the communal garden and children’s play area proposed for the top of the six storey block and sunlight/daylight in these existing buildings would be affected.
  • Residents are also concerned by the potential level of noise nuisance from the restaurant/bar and shops on the ground floor, as they would exacerbate the existing levels of noise, parking, traffic congestion and pollution already in Burdett Road. Also noise from mechanical plant to be used in the buildings would add to this.
  • The development provides too few affordable flats and this did not justify the loss of such an historic local building. The building should be retained and locally protected and remain a memorial to George Lansbury and his campaign against poverty and unemployment.

The councils reasons to refuse the previous application.

  • The proposed development, by virtue of its inappropriate scale, massing, density and design would result in a built form out of keeping with the existing street scene which would fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area.
  • The proposed development would result in unacceptable loss of daylight and sunlight to nearby residential properties.
  • The contribution towards education is insufficient to mitigate against the impact of the development.
  • The introduction of a new A3 or A4 use (i.e. retail) at this location on Burdett Road would have an unacceptable impact on neighbouring properties in terms of an unacceptable increase in late-night noise, disturbance and general activity in the locality.
  • The child play space and amenity area in the development is inadequate and inappropriately located to meet the needs of future residents

More news to follow and please see previous posts.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP and local residents in the Trillium reception