Residents First

Tower Hamlets People Network


St. Modwen Properties have thrown in the towel with their proposed redevelopment of Queens Market, East London.

Friends of Queens Market Chair, Sasha Laurel, said “It’s a great day for Friends of Queens Market and thousands of ordinary people, including shoppers, residents, shopkeepers, stall holders and the wider BME communities. We fought these property developers for 7 long years to keep our supply of fresh, affordable food, and now our market is saved”.

Queens market

Click image to visit the Friends website

St. Modwens was Newham Council’s preferred developer for a regeneration scheme on the site of the 110 year old traditional London street market. Following a high profile campaign which included the collection of 12,000 signatures to stop the demolition, the anchor supermarket for the development, Asda-Walmart, pulled out in June 2006. This was the Friends of Queens Markets’ first victory.

In May 2009 a multi-million pound planning application was submitted by St. Modwen which included a 31 storey high-rise tower block on the market site with a token amount of social housing. The market was scheduled for demolition and local opinion was deeply suspicious of Newham Council’s claim that St. Modwens would rebuild the market and run it as before. This resulted in sustained grass root opposition to the plans from the local community and 2,600 individual letters of objection. Despite this unprecedented response, Newham Council approved the scheme at planning stage. Friends of Queens Market then turned to the final authority, the Greater London Assembly, where London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson deemed the development ‘inappropriate’ and threw it out – Friends of Queens Markets’ second success.

A year later, St. Modwen and Newham Council have parted company, claiming that they could not agree about a way forward. Pauline Rowe, Secretary of Friends of Queens Market commented “We will be asking a ‘Freedom of Information’ question to find out how much taxpayers money was wasted on this unwanted scheme, which always had the backing of our Mayor Sir Robin Wales.

Saif…….. well done!


July 28th, 2010

Posted In: Queens Market, Uncategorized


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British Waterways is currently seeking a commercial operator to run a boat service from a new moorings at Limehouse Basin, along the Limehouse Cut and up the River Lea to a floating pontoon at Three Mills and on to a terminus below Old Ford Locks for the Olympic Park. BW and its partners London Thames Gateway Development Corporation and the Olympic Delivery Authority would like the service to start before the 2012 Olympics. The route may be seen below and a large version here. The LTGDC-funded pontoon at Three Mills is at our proposed waterbus stop no. 11 and the BW-funded terminus is at our proposed waterbus stop no. 9.

East London Waterway map

Click image to view larger version

This is very good news as it could be the start of EAST END WATERWAYS. However, we hope that the operator’s boats will have hybrid engines (diesel and electric) to minimise pollution of the Borough’s ‘green’ waterways; and that their boats will stop at our intermediate waterbus stops on the Limehouse Cut and River Lea (nos. 15, 14, 13, 12 and 10) for the benefit of local residents and others. If not during the Olympics, then before and after. We also hope that the commercial operator will employ local residents, especially as the service develops into our proposed two-way waterbus service and there is a need for more waterbus staff, lock keepers and maintenance staff. In particular, for the overnight recharging of batteries.

Obviously, a large overnight mooring basin will be needed for the waterbus fleet and the good news is that such a facility could be incorporated at the ODA’s proposed marina on the Hackney Cut in Fish Island East (in LBTH between waterbus stops nos. 8 and 9) and/or at the proposed basin on the Limehouse Cut in Cotall Street / Bartlett Park (just east of waterbus stop no. 14). Also staff training facilities at the overnight mooring basin and at the proposed Lansbury Centre 307 Burdett Road (other side of A1205 from waterbus stop no. 15).

July 14th, 2010

Posted In: East End Waterway Group


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