GASHOLDER SPECIAL DECEMBER 2016
EAST END WATERWAY GROUP
LAST CHANCE TO SAVE THREE HISTORIC GASHOLDERS ON THE WATERWAYS IN TOWER HAMLETS
Regular readers will know that EEGW has tried and failed to save the No.1 gasholder in Poplar, on the River Lea, and the No.2 gasholders at Bethnal Green, on the Regent’s Canal.
Like all nationally-unlisted gasholders in London they are to be demolished by National Grid; and Tower Hamlets Council (in its emerging Local Plan to 2031) still plans to have open spaces on the cleared sites at Bethnal Green (site allocation 22) and possibly at Poplar (site allocation 20).
As a first step, we have written to the Borough Conservation Officer asking him and his colleagues to save the three gasholders. We hope that the little No.1 at Poplar will be retained in its entirety in the proposed open space, but at Bethnal Green we envisage the retention of the two gasholder guide frames (on their brick or concrete foundation) only, with the smaller No. 2 guide frame enclosing a playground for young children, and the larger No. 5 guide frame enclosing a multi-pitch.
Attached to our letters are a report about the gasholder at Poplar and a report about the gasholders at Bethnal Green.
The first report explains that the lattice guide frame at Poplar is of particularly strong local interest and that it is the oldest surviving example of its type in England; and that its lower tier of tapering box-lattice girders are the first and only surviving examples of their type in England.
However, the first report failed to mention that the box-lattice principle established at Poplar was subsequently used in box-lattice girders and standards in later lattice guide frames, such as the No.5 at Bethnal Green.
The second report explains that although the column guide frame at Bethnal Green has lost its classical details, it is the most beautiful of all the nationally-listed columnar types in London; also that the columnar guide frame and the lattice guide frame are the only surviving adjacent gasholder guide frames in London which represent the two main types of 19th century gasholder guide frame in London.
However, the second report failed to mention that the lattice guide frame is also a particularly beautiful example of its type; and that the beauty of both complementary gasholder guide frames is enhanced by their reflections in the waters of the Regent’s Canal (both points made in letter to Borough Conservation Officer).
To help the Borough Conservation Officer and his colleagues save the three historic gasholders, please sign the online petition by 1st January 2017 (for submission on the 2nd January consultation deadline for the emerging Local Plan).
WE THE UNDERSIGNED ASK TOWER HAMLETS COUNCIL TO ADD THREE HISTORIC GASHOLDERS TO THE LOCAL LIST (NO 1 AT POPLAR, NO 2 AND NO 5 AT BETHNAL GREEN); AND ALTER SITE ALLOCATIONS 20 AND 22 IN THE EMERGING LOCAL PLAN TO ENSURE THEIR RETENTION AND INCORPORATION WITHIN PROPOSED OPEN SPACES