Residents First

Tower Hamlets People Network

Appeal Decisions

  • Inquiry held on 1 February 2011
  • Site visit made on 8 February 2011 by Christine Thorby MRTPI, IHBC an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Decision date: 17 May 2011

Appeal A: APP/E5900/A/10/2131760 – 307 Burdett Road, London E14 7DR

  • The appeal is made under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 against a refusal to grant planning permission.
  • The appeal is made by Trillium (Prime) Property Group Ltd against the decision of the Council of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
  • The application Ref PA/09/00214, dated 6 February 2009, was refused by notice dated 6 January 2010.
  • The development proposed is the erection of a 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 floor space (use Class A1/A3 and A4) at ground and lower ground floor level, cycle parking, amenity space and other associated works.

Appeal B: APP/E5900/E/10/2131773 – 307 Burdett Road, London E14 7DR

  • The appeal is made under sections 20 and 74 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 against a refusal to grant conservation area consent.
  • The appeal is made by Telereal Trillium against the decision of the Council of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
  • The application Ref PA/10/00510, dated 9 March 2010, was refused by notice dated 5 May 2010.
  • The demolition proposed is of the existing part 2 and part 3 storey vacant unemployment benefit office building plus basement and a single storey wing at the rear.

Decision

I allow appeal A, and grant planning permission for the erection of a 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 floor space (use Class A1/A3 and A4) at ground and lower ground floor level, cycle parking, amenity space and other associated works at 307 Burdett Road,
London E14 7DR in accordance with the terms of the application, Ref PA/09/00214, dated 6 February 2009, subject to the conditions set out in Annex A.

Read all here – Appeal Decisions

Costs Decisions

I refuse the applications for an award of costs for appeal A and appeal B.

Read all here – Cost Decisions

 

307 plan

Planned building for the site of 307

 

May 19th, 2011

Posted In: Conservation, East End Waterway Group

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Join Thames21 and help us makeover a section of Limehouse Cut and improve the green space at Kiln Court in East London. Help us beautify these sites with planting, weeding and removing rubbish and graffiti, so everybody can enjoy it.

No experience necessary, just enthusiasm and willingness to get stuck in!

All equipment provided, please wear old clothes.Under 16s need to be accompanied by an adult.

Meet on the Limehouse Cut by the entrance of the canal on Commercial Road E14
For more information, contact Vicky D’Souza – vicky.dsouza@thames21.org.uk – 07827 852 599

May 16th, 2011

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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.

PROPOSED NEW LIMEHOUSE CUT CONSERVATION AREA

As fully detailed in Newsletter No. 8, the Council is consulting on its proposed new Limehouse Cut Conservation Area. This supplement contains Tom Ridge’s email letter on the draft character appraisal and management guidelines. Please read the email letter (in conjunction with the draft document) and write or email by 29 May should you wish to support Tom Ridge’s formal requests to:

  • transfer the former Spratt’s Biscuit Works and Violet Road Bridge from the Langdon Park Conservation Area to the new Limehouse Cut Conservation Area
  • add the former Spratt’s Biscuit Works and six other buildings in the new Limehouse Cut Conservation Area to the Council’s local list and include them as locally listed buildings in the final document to be approved by Cabinet.

Also, please support or comment on the urgent need for a design code for sites adjacent to the waterspaces and the boundaries of the conservation area. And support or comment on some or all of Tom Ridge’s amendments to the draft character appraisal and management guidelines.

Download the Draft Character Appraisal and Management Guidelines here (PDF)
Download the Limehouse Cut Conservation Area Map here (PDF)
Limehouse Cut Conservation Area Designation Consultation on LBTH website

 


Vicki Lambert
Development Design and Conservation Officer
LBTH
Mulberry Place (AH)
PO Box 55739
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BY
vicki.lambert@towerhamlets.gov.uk
10 May 2011

Dear Vicki,

LIMEHOUSE CUT CONSERVATION AREA
CHARACTER APPRAISAL & MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES

I am writing in support of the proposed new conservation area and to welcome the improved and extended character appraisal. Also to formally request that the former Spratt’s Biscuit Works and Violet Road Bridge are transferred from the Langdon Park Conservation Area to the new Limehouse Cut Conservation Area. Although included in a recent extension to the Langdon Park Conservation Area, the works and the bridge are separated from the latter by a railway embankment. Furthermore, the works was supplied mainly by barge, and the canalside elevation still bears evidence of the loading doorways and three examples of the company name.

And to formally request that the former Spratt’s Biscuit Works and the following buildings are locally listed, and appear as such in the final document to be approved by Cabinet:

  • former mid-1930s bonded warehouse at 24 Gillender Street
  • former 1880-81 still house at 23 Gillender Street
  • former c.1865 furniture factories, Dod Street (Towpath House and Printer’s Gate)
  • former 1872 provision warehouse, Dod Street (The Sail Loft)
  • former c. 1892 provision warehouse, Dod Street (The Spice Store)

As you know, PPS5 sets out a presumption in favour of the conservation of designated heritage assets. In this respect, I note that locally listed buildings in the Elder Street Conservation Area are considered to be designated heritage assets and are to be retained and refurbished. It seems to me only right and proper that exceptionally rare and important surviving buildings in the proposed Limehouse Cut Conservation Area should also be locally listed and protected as designated heritage assets.

The four buildings in Dod Street are described in the character appraisal and should more information be required for local listing, it may be found in my January 2009 report. The warehouse at 24 Gillender Street is fully described in the character appraisal; and there is plenty of information about Spratt’s at the Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives. However, the situation at 23 Gillender Street has been complicated by the 1994 English Heritage delisting of the “four-storey” building, in the mistaken belief that it was a boiler house.

As Malcolm Tucker states in his 12 April 2010 letter, only the two-storey parts are still listed. My research indicates that the “four-storey” building was built by a local builder as a new still house for the Four Mills Distillery, together with adjacent two-storey spirit store and two-storey bonded warehouse. Until its adaptation as a warehouse, the “four-storey” building was a windowless building providing a three-storey-high hall for distilling apparatus, heated by steam for the production of raw alcohol from fermented malt. The steam was raised in a single-storey boiler house with three boilers (demolished) served by a 140ft hexagonal chimney shaft (truncated). Although floors have been inserted in the three-storey-high hall and window openings inserted in the formerly blind tall recessed bays, this remarkable building is one of the few surviving representatives of the formerly important London distillery industry. Its national importance is enhanced by the complete survival of its adjacent two-storey spirit store and the partial survival of its two-storey bonded warehouse. As English Heritage is unlikely to be persuaded to reverse the 1994 delisting, I sincerely hope the Council will add the former still house to its local list, together with the other five named buildings.

As designated heritage assets, the former still house (with spirit store and bonded warehouse walls) and the former warehouse at 24 Gillender Street are more likely to be sensitively adapted for reuse. Especially now that such an excellent development is proposed for Sun Wharf (site currently occupied by three single-storey warehouses on the peninsula between the River Lea and Bow Creek).

I cannot end this section of my letter without reference to the totally disrespectful development right next to the listed former Bromley Public Library at 45 Gillender Street. Not only does it seriously harm the setting of the listed building but it harmed the setting of the original Limehouse Cut Conservation Area and will harm the setting of its proposed replacement. Clearly, your planning colleagues are going to need far more guidance than the fine words contained in the summary on page 19. In this respect, I am disappointed to see that the preparation of “a design code for sites adjacent to this waterspace” is still no more than a suggested priority for action (page 31). Given that the appraisal acknowledges past failures (pages 5 and 17), it is imperative that, in addition to the fine words in the summary, there is a clear statement on the necessity for all new developments in and adjoining the boundaries of the conservation area to fully respect the setting of the landsides as well as the watersides of the proposed Limehouse Cut Conservation Area. In this respect, I for one would ask that the preparation of a design code for sites adjacent to the waterspaces and the boundaries of the conservation area is made the number one priority for action, together with “identifying opportunity sites within and adjacent to the Conservation Area (page 26). On a more positive note, may I say how pleased I am that page 26 also includes reference to “a two-way passenger boat service” and the need to replace the “diagrammatic maps” provided by British Waterways.

I end my letter with the following amendments to the draft document.

  • page 6 line 1: change “Bow Locks to “Bromley Lock”
  • page 10 lines 23 and 24: to read “Containerspace Ltd (Nicholas Lacey and Partners)”
  • page 11 line 11: to read “John Currie and Co’s”
  • page 11 line 13: please insert after Bow Creek, “The tall building was the still house where pure alcohol or spirit was distilled. The adjacent two-storey building was the spirit store and the breached front wall is all that survives of the bonded warehouse.”

N.B. The twin-roofed former still house is mentioned on page 18

  • page 11 lines 17 and 18: move c.1930 to between “built” and “by”
  • page 12 Barchester Street change to 83 Barchester Street
  • page 12 line 7: delete “and was intended” and after joinery works, insert “but by 1931 was being used for the storage and packing of christmas crackers”.
  • page 12 line 10: delete “slightly later 1960’s building” and insert large c. 1956 extension”
  • page 12 line 13: delete “The style of this building is”
  • page 12 lines 14 and 15: move the rest of the sentence, preceded by “; and is” to page 13 line 5
  • page 13 line 7: insert after Violet Road Bridge “(original 1890 brick piers with 1971 box girders)”
  • page 13 lines 9-11: delete “whilst … Conservation Area” in line with transfer request at the start of my letter
  • page 13 line 16: after “c 1865” insert “by Charles Dunk of Burdett Road”
  • page 13 line 21: delete “are a rare survival of buildings built for that purpose” and insert “are the only surviving former large nineteenth century furniture factories in Tower Hamlets”.

N.B. all the other representatives are small workshops

  • page 13 line 23: insert “built” between “(1872)” and “by”
  • page 14 line 12: change “plan” to “plant”
  • page 14 line 15: insert “and appearance” between “character” and “of the”
  • page 14 line 22: delete “horse ramps”
  • page 14 line 26: delete “known as Bow Locks” and insert “Bromley Lock and the western of the two Bow Locks”.
  • Page 15 line 2: after “Mills” please insert “There were old tide mills on the peninsula between the River Lea and Bow Creek” followed by the first sentence from paragraph 2.
  • page 15 line 5: change “isthmus” to “embankment”

N.B. The “southern end of the River Lea” was either the main channel of the River Lea or one of its many braided channels. In either case, it probably flowed more or less alongside and at the same slightly falling height above sea level as Bow Creek, joining it in the vicinity of the bay downstream from the peninsula between the River Lea and Bow Creek. It is more than likely that by the thirteenth century the narrow spit of land between the western and eastern channels had been artificially raised or embanked, and the mouth of the western channel had been dammed to form a mill pond or head for the tide mills on the dam.

  • page 15 line 6: change “store” to “stone”
  • page 15 line 8: insert “probably” between “was” and “built”
  • page 15 line 10: change “drain” to “dam”
  • page 15 line 15: add after “Limehouse Cut” “and is included in the St Anne’s Church Conservation Area. One of the youngest is Poplar Borough Council’s 1929 Bow Common Bridge, known locally as Stinkhouse Bridge”
  • page 17 lines 17 and 18: change “a narrow peninsula bridge by Bow Locks” to “the peninsula between the River Lea and Bow Creek”
  • page 17 line 18: change “this space” to “the open space on the peninsula”
  • page 17 line 22: change “2004” to “2003”
  • page 17 line 23: change “this peninsula of land” to “the peninsula”
  • page 17 line 24: delete “and a characterful Victorian gothic building” and insert “a disused 1908 single-storey engine house, two single-storey warehouses on the site of the Four Mills, and a third towards Gillender Street.”
  • page 23 Locally Listed Buildings: 21 Gillender Street as well as 22 Gillender Street, making up the pair of semi-detached cottages known as Emu Cottages
  • page 28 line 11: please insert “and locally listed buildings” between “buildings” and “make”; also insert “and appearance” between “character” and “of”
  • page 30 under following organisations: please add “& Archives” to “Tower Hamlets Local History Library”; the direct telephone number is 020 7364 1290, email address is localhistory@towerhamlets.gov.uk, and webaddress is www.ideastore.co.uk
  • page 31 Listed Buildings at Risk: as the “Aplins Spirit and Liqueur Warehouse” name runs across the front elevations of the two-storey and four-storey buildings and it appears that only the two-storey part is still listed, may I suggest that the Aplins name is deleted. Instead, insert “two-storey former spirit store and part front wall of two-storey former bonded warehouse”
  • page 31 Any other threats to the Conservation Area

As well as the threatened listed two-storey buildings at 23 Gillender Street, there is also the threatened unlisted “four-storey” building. Hopefully, this will be locally listed and included in the final documents list of Locally Listed Buildings.

  • page 31 under Priorities for Action: please move and amend no. 3 and move to no.1; delete “at the junction of the Limehouse Cut and the River Lea” from existing no. 1 and insert “on the peninsula between the River Lea and Bow Creek”

Finally, to end with reference to the section on opportunities and potential for enhancement. My view is that ‘landmarks’ are not appropriate nor needed anywhere in the proposed conservation area. The straight and hard-edged urban canal in its dramatic cutting, and the tidal Bow Creek (in and beyond the NE end of the conservation area) already have appropriate landmarks in the shape of their bridges, locks, historic buildings, and the one or two reasonably well-designed recent developments along the canal. However well-designed, ‘landmarks’ would in fact detract from the special character which the conservation area is intended to protect.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Ridge

EAST END WATERWAY GROUP
PATRON JIM FITZPATRICK MP POPLAR AND LIMEHOUSE

May 10th, 2011

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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

307 LOST AND GONE FOREVER

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.

PROPOSED NEW LIMEHOUSE CUT CONSERVATION AREA

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 conservation@towerhamlets.gov.uk
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

PUBLIC INQUIRY FEBRUARY 2011

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.

PLEASE SUPPORT THE COUNCIL’S NEW LIMEHOUSE CUT CONSERVATION AREA TO ENSURE THAT

  • ITS SURVIVING HISTORIC WATERSIDE BUILDINGS ARE KEPT AND ADAPTED FOR REUSE
  • NEW BUILDINGS OUTSIDE ITS BOUNDARIES PRESERVE THE SETTING OF THE NEW CONSERVATION AREA

1934 DATE BLOCK SAVED

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.

LIMEHOUSE MARINA

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

 

EAST END WATERWAY GROUP
PATRON JIM FITZPATRICK MP POPLAR AND LIMEHOUSE

east.end.waterway.group@gmail.com

May 4th, 2011

Posted In: East End Waterway Group, Uncategorized

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