Residents First

Tower Hamlets People Network

 

EEWG NEWSLETTER

DECEMBER 2013

The Lower Lea Valley was the largest waterside industrial area in London when London was the world’s largest industrial city and greatest port in the world.

 

Surviving in Fish Island and Hackney Wick is the valley’s largest group of port and port-related industrial buildings, dating from the late 19th and early 20th century.

 

The London Legacy Development Corporation is to be congratulated on its proposals to extend two existing small conservation areas so that all the historic industrial buildings in Fish Island and Hackney Wick are protected, together with their associated waterways.

 

Under the proposals, the Fish Island Conservation Area (designated by LB Tower Hamlets in 2008) is to be extended northwards along the Hackney Cut and the eastern part of the Hertford Union Canal to the southside of London Overground.

 

The Hackney Wick Conservation Area (designated by LB Hackney in 2009) is to be extended along the northside of the London Overground to the eastern side of the Hackney Cut.

 

An LLDC letter about the proposals and consultation includes a map showing the proposed conservation area extensions, and contact details (see letter here).

 

East End Waterway Group fully supports both proposals and asks all readers of this newsletter to study the planning guide on the Legacy Corporation’s website (see relevant section here) and respond in support of both proposed conservation area extensions, by 8 January 2014.

 

The Legacy Coporation Board has to approve the proposals (by the Planning Policy and Decisions Team) before it can designate the extended conservation areas, so your individual support is needed to ensure the “protection and beneficial use” of this vital part of the East End’s unique six-mile waterway ‘ring’.

 

You may also like to suggest that the Fish Island Conservation Area is also extended at its south-east corner to include the wooded (non-public) site of the Old Ford pumping station with its attractive 1902-03 boundary wall and adjacent section of the Northern Outfall Sewer (Greenway).  This would have the added benefit of fully protecting this section of the River Lea and both sides of the sewer bridge.

 

Tom Ridge

eewg logo East End Waterway Group
PATRON JIM FITZPATRICK MP POPLAR AND LIMEHOUSE
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.

December 15th, 2013

Posted In: Conservation, East End Waterway Group

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This Wednesday 17th July at 5.30 pm

The Bow Wharf Application returns to

the Development Committee

Officers will present reasons for refusal but their recommendation is still to approve this application.
IT REALLY DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHEN THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS CAN SEE THERE ARE NUMEROUS OBJECTORS IN THE PUBLIC GALLERY, SO PLEASE HAVE A SHEET OF A4 WITH “SAVE BOW WHARF” TO HOLD UP AT CRUCIAL MOMENTS.
(Download and print from here)

.

A Brief History of the Application So Far

This application for planning permission was reported to Development Committee on 11th April 2013 with an officers’ recommendation for approval. Members did not accept this officer’s recommendation.
It was then reported back to committee on 15th May 2013 with a reason for refusal based on Members concerns, relating to the impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area. The Committee resolved to defer the application for officers to consider and investigate the possibility of ensuring the s106 contributions are spent only in Bow West. The Committee changed its mind from refusal to approval subject to legal advice on “ring fencing” 106 money for Bow West. (* Note LBTH Legal advised against setting a “ring fence” precedent)
Rather than being reported as a deferred item, the application was subsequently re-presented afresh on the agenda at the Development Committee of the 19th of June 2013. The item was freshly presented, because it was a new municipal year, and thus a new Membership of the committee.
After consideration of this previous report and the update report, Members resolved not to accept the officers’ recommendation and were minded to refuse planning permission due to concerns over:
  • Impacts on the heritage aspects of the site, with emphasis on the height of the proposal;
  • Over development of the site, due to the proposed density;
  • Lack of s106 contributions, with particular regard given to the health contribution; and
  • Lack of affordable housing, in that the scheme failed to achieve 35% affordable housing.
Now at Development Committee this Wednesday, 17th July, 2013 5.30 pm Officers will present their reasons for refusal (read them here). If the application is refused the applicant could appeal the decisions and apply for an award of costs against the Council.

Planning Inspectorate guidance on appeals says:

“Planning authorities are not bound to accept the recommendations of their officers. However, if officers’ professional or technical advice is not followed, authorities will need to show reasonable planning grounds for taking a contrary decision and produce relevant evidence on appeal to support the decision in all respects. If they fail to do so, costs may be awarded against the Council’’.

The new committee has the same chairman and more or less the same members as the one that changed its mind to approve the application on 15th May……

So it is not all over yet! Bow Wharf is a treasure to be protected for all Londoners.

 

July 16th, 2013

Posted In: Conservation, East End Waterway Group

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BOW WHARF APPLICATIONS REFUSED

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UPDATE 6 JULY

The Development Committee

Wednesday, 17th July, 2013 5.30 p.m

Bow Wharf applications PA/11/03371 – 3372 return to the Committee with reasons for refusal.

Full details here – summary of reasons here

At its meeting on 19 June 2013, the Tower Hamlets Development Committee refused the applications for residential development at and adjacent to Bow Wharf (PA/11/03371 – 03372).

The applications were made by H2O Urban on behalf of the Canal and River Trust.

The four members of the Committee were Cllrs. Judith Gardiner, Anwar Khan, Tim Archer and Gulam Robbani.  All voted to refuse the applications because of the proposed height and density, negative impact on heritage value, insufficient 106 money (especially for the Primary Care Trust) and insufficient social housing.

The reasons for refusal will be drawn up by the planners for approval at the July meeting of the Development Committee.

Tom Ridge spoke against the applications on behalf of the East End Waterway Group; and Malcolm Tucker, on behalf of the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society.

They were supported by about 20 people in the public gallery with printed A4 papers saying “SAVE BOW WHARF”.

Before the meeting, EEWG member Lucy Rogers sent the Councillors a set of photographs, which included nine pairs of existing and proposed images (click here to see). This is the first pair showing the entire application site.

Lucy also wrote on behalf of EEWG to Richard Perry, Chief Executive of the Canal and River Trust (read letter here), asking the Trust to withdraw the applications.  We hope that the Trust will now meet with EEWG and GLIAS to discuss Bow Wharf and how it may be better managed to achieve a higher return on commercial lettings; and in the process provide useful facilities and services for residents and visitors.  Especially as Bow Wharf would have been demolished for Mile End Park had it not been for a local campaign to retain and adapt the buildings as an art and community centre.

Not mentioned at Wednesday’s meeting was the fact that the 1901 warehouse is currently well used for functions, which are so well attended that both the Grove Road and Stop Lock Bridge car parks are fully used.  Had the latter been built on, the function business would probably have to move and the warehouse would again be vacant.

Lucy also wrote to Richard Perry, Chief Executive of the Canal and River Trust (click), asking the Trust to withdraw the applications.  We hope that the Trust will now meet with EEWG and GLIAS to discuss Bow Wharf and how it may be better managed to achieve a higher return on commercial lettings; and in the process provide useful facilities and services for residents and visitors.  Especially as Bow Wharf would have been demolished for Mile End Park had it not been for a local campaign to retain and adapt the buildings as an art and community centre.

Not mentioned at Wednesday’s meeting was the fact that the 1901 warehouse is currently well used for functions, which are so well attended that both the Grove Road and Stop Lock Bridge car parks are fully used.  Had the latter been built on, the function business would probably have to move and the warehouse would again be vacant.

Tom Ridge said:

I am speaking on behalf of the East End Waterway Group, and at least 234 petitioners, 82 letter-writers and 137 people who have completed the recent standard letter (most of whom are residents and are new objectors).

As you will see from the existing and proposed images we sent you, Bow Wharf is the jewel in the Borough’s six-mile waterway ring for residents and visitors.  No other London Borough has a six-mile waterway ring, because the East End was the largest industrial area in London when London was the largest industrial city in the world and the greatest port in the world.  Most of our canals are in conservation areas, and Bow Wharf is the most important part of the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area because it contains three unique heritage assets:

  • the Grade II listed Stop Lock Bridge; and – I quote from the Conservation Area character appraisal:
  • a 1901 three-storey canalside warehouse (not a British Waterways warehouse)
  • a two-storey paint factory of 1912 with a brick lean-to and a square chimney shaft surviving from an 1896 steam sawmill (not a glue factory).

They constitute two of only three locally-listed former industrial buildings in Tower Hamlets; and are among the Borough’s few examples of the successful adaptive re-use of such buildings.

The planning inspector at the 2005 public inquiry called them “converted warehouses”, and indicated that the height of new additions should be restricted to provide a contrast to the converted warehouses.

As you will see from the images we sent you, the three proposed buildings are higher than the converted warehouses.  That they have been given pitched roofs to match the 1901 warehouse does not mitigate the fact that their design, height, bulk, scale and position

“would fail to preserve or enhance the open character and appearance of this part of the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area”.

I quote from the officer’s reason for refusal at 6.3 in the report presented at the Development Committee meeting on 15th of May (pages 97-101 in your agenda).

The reason for refusal goes on to list all the Council’s and national policies which would be contravened by this proposal; and explains their purpose, which includes

“that development takes account of local context”.

Two appeals have been refused by the planning inspectorate, and as the decision of 2005 was upheld by the decision of 2010, the applicant and owners have a responsibility to comply with the planning inspectorate principle that new additions are no higher than the converted warehouses.  Especially, as the owners (Canal and River Trust) have a statutory duty to maintain the waterway heritage, and should not be sacrificing part of the heritage to pay for repairs and improvements elsewhere.

Malcolm Tucker said:

Hello.  I am speaking for the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society.

At its April meeting, the Development Committee refused the application, because of the damage to the Conservation Area. I understand you are now a ‘new’ committee and you must consider the Application afresh.

The combination of the historic canal junction and its bridge, the significant canal warehouse and the comparative openness of the setting make this is a very special place within the Conservation Area. The impression from the Regent’s Canal is of leafy trees and brick walls, with the 3-storey warehouse as the one big building, set some way back. This is now the only place in this Conservation Area where one can still appreciate the old, low-density canalside character. So it needs protection.

The proposals introduce a 5½  storey block and a 4 storey block, crowded around a quite small yard and overhanging it, and a third block squeezed in to the west. The tallest block hides  the warehouse  from the main towpath and dominates it from the other direction.  How can such changes in scale and mass  be acceptable?

The buildings are so tight for space that they have obtrusive balconies jutting out all round.  It is argued that there is not room to recess these balconies, so they have to be accepted. That is putting the cart before the horse – the flats are small because there will be too many flats on the site.

The Officer’s report is thorough, but where it considers the effects on the conservation Area its judgements are biased, towards a developer’s viewpoint. And the Applicant’s supplementary appraisal, which may have swayed the May meeting, is very selective in its chosen view points and angles. The fact is the scheme fails to preserve the character of the Conservation Area or enhance it, as it is required to do, and I ASK YOU TO REJECT IT.

NOTIFICATION OF CHANGE TO MISSION STATEMENT

As British Waterways is now the Canal and River Trust, we need to amend the Mission Statement.  Assuming that all EEWG members and others are agreeable the next newsletter or newsflash will have reference to Canal and River Trust instead of British Waterways.

Tom Ridge
For and on behalf of East End Waterway Group

June 22nd, 2013

Posted In: Conservation, East End Waterway Group

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The Bow Wharf applications (PA/11/03371 – 33723373)

went to the Development Committee on Thursday, 11th Apri

Download the Public Report (item 7.3) here

Members for the refusal of the application – Two

Members for approval of the application – Zero

Three abstentions

We, the undersigned local residents, object to planning applications PA/11/03371 and 03372 for the proposed residential development at BOW WHARF, which fail to comply with three relevant planning inspectorate decisions; and would cause substantial harm to the significance of the most important part of the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area, and to the setting of the two locally-listed industrial buildings at Bow Wharf (as fully set out in East End Waterway Group letters of 29 November 2011 and 20 April 2012, and nearly seventy letters of objection from local residents). And would, in our opinion, be reliant on two unsatisfactory and potentially dangerous fire engine routes, only accessible by a 7.7m long wheelbase fire tender vehicle.

Petition - Petition - Bow Wharf - GoPetition

Photo

Trudy Wilton’s excellent photograph shows the main, mostly open part of the application site at the western end of Bow Wharf; and, to the left of Stock Lock Bridge (over the narrow entrance to the Hertford Union Canal), part of the derelict warehouse.  This is to be demolished for proposed block A and a short but tall terrace of three-storey houses.

View

The west end of proposed block A and the roofs of the terraced houses are seen on the left of the applicant’s AERIAL VIEW Of PROPOSALS (design and access statement), with the bridge leading to the proposed piazza. This is overwhelmed by proposed block B which would replace the adjacent three-storey warehouse as the most dominant building at Bow Wharf. Next to proposed block B is proposed Block C, which is not only right next to the Regent’s Canal towpath but also cuts the ‘green chain’ between Wennington Green (Mile End Park) and Victoria Park. Also note the loss of the tall sycamore trees alongside the narrow Stop Lock Passage. These trees are part of the ‘green chain’ of trees and historic open spaces linking the Borough’s two largest parks. The disused car park is the surviving western part of what was an open stone wharf, served by the surviving single-storey cottages on the right, which are to be demolished for proposed block C

 

The west ends of all three oversized blocks look like Swiss chalets, and with projecting balconies and crude dormers clash with the two locally-listed industrial buildings, in this the most attractive part of the Borough’s six-mile waterway ‘ring’.

EEWG’s first letter of objection 29 November 2011

EEWG’s second letter of objection also dated 29 November 2011 but sent 20 April 2012

EEWG’s letter re fire safety and access 18 November 2012

Tom Ridge

Click on box to see comments from the on-line petition

Petition - Petition - Bow Wharf - GoPetition

View on-line here


February 1st, 2013

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Following on from the recent Newsflash about the petition, I now attach a copy of EEWG’s letter commenting on the proposed fire safety and access arrangements. As you will see, the letter sets out the concerns summarised in the last part of the petition.

Unless you particularly want to, there is no need to write to Mary O’Shaughnessy in support. However, I think that having read the letter you will want to redouble your efforts to collect signatures for sending to me by 23 November and/or encourage more friends and neighbours to sign the online petition.

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority has put a lot of effort into this particular case. The photograph taken by Trudy Wilton from Velletri House shows firefighters attempting to get a hose across the Regent’s Canal. They failed, so the applicant had to improve the existing fire engine route from Grove Road, and provide a second route from Old Ford Road.

Trudy’s excellent photograph also shows the main, mostly open part of the application site at the western end of Bow Wharf; and, to the left of Stock Lock Bridge (over the narrow entrance to the Hertford Union Canal), part of the derelict warehouse. This is to be demolished for proposed block A and a short but tall terrace of three-storey houses.

The west end of proposed block A and the roofs of the terraced houses are seen on the left of the applicant’s AERIAL VIEW Of PROPOSALS (design and access statement), with the bridge leading to the proposed piazza. This is overwhelmed by proposed block B which would replace the adjacent three-storey warehouse as the most dominant building at Bow Wharf. Next to proposed block B is proposed Block C, which is not only right next to the Regent’s Canal towpath but also cuts the ‘green chain’ between Wennington Green (Mile End Park) and Victoria Park. Also note the loss of the tall sycamore trees alongside the narrow Stop Lock Passage. These trees are part of the ‘green chain’ of trees and historic open spaces linking the Borough’s two largest parks. The disused car park is the surviving western part of what was an open stone wharf, served by the surviving single-storey cottages on the right, which are to be demolished for proposed block C.

The west ends of all three oversized blocks look like Swiss chalets, and with projecting balconies and crude dormers clash with the two locally-listed industrial buildings, in this the most attractive part of the Borough’s six-mile waterway ‘ring’.

November 19th, 2012

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EAST END WATERWAY GROUP NEWSLETTER

Last Autumn we sent out a news flash with the Inspector’s 26th October decision to dismiss an appeal against the Councils refusal to grant planning permission for two three story houses at Bridge Wharf, Old Ford Road.

Despite this, or as a direct result, there is now another application for development on this protected open space. My own view is that in light of the Inspectors decision should not have been validated by the planners. (See application here)

 

The attached letter of objection has been written on behalf of the EEWG. As always, their has to bee at least 20 objections for the application to be determined by a committee of Councilors rather than planners acting under delegated powers.

 

We really need more than 20 to make sure that the application is refused with sufficiently robust reasons to guard against another appeal.

 

Please send your individual objections, with reference to the character and appearance of the two conservation areas to Mumtaz Shaikh ([email protected]) as soon as possible and ideally before 28th August 2012.

 

This is the deadline for for comments but as a rule they are accepted after that date. Even so, please do your best

Tom Ridge

 

Attachments:-

Letter of objection

Inspector’s 26th October decision

New planning application PA/12/02010


WW LogoEast End Waterway Group

PATRON JIM FITZPATRICK MP POPLAR AND LIMEHOUSE

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.

August 27th, 2012

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EAST END WATERWAY GUIDE

Since sending your copy with the 3 June 2012 Newsflash, I have been making various amendments.  My apologies for this, but I was over-keen to have the guide available before the Olympics; and I also had to send a copy to the Planning Inspectorate as part of my “additional comments”.  These had to be in by 7 June 2012 in connection with British Rail’s appeal against Tower Hamlets Council refusal to grant planning permission for the demolition of the COAL-DROP VIADUCT at Mile End (see the section on Regent’s Canal in the waterway guide, and my letter on behalf of EEWG, both attached to the 3 June 2012 Newsflash), and its replacement by a speculative student hostel.

Tower Hamlets Council has kindly offered to print the guide, with a map of the six-mile ring and illustrations.  It will be a joint publication by Tower Hamlets Council and the East End Waterway Group.

 

FISH ISLAND AREA ACTION PLAN (FIAAP)

From 1 October 2012, Fish Island and adjoining parts of Bow and Bromley-by-Bow will come under the LONDON
LEGACY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
, as the local planning authority. Tower Hamlets Council is aiming to have its FIAAP approved by the Planning Inspectorate in September.  To achieve this, a public examination by an Inspector started on 18 July and will end on 25 July 2012, with the Inspector’s report due in September.  The January 2012 Newsflash included a copy of my FIAAP submission on behalf of the East End Waterway Group.  The submission stated that the action plan is unsound on the grounds of ineffective heritage planning and will remain so until:

  • the proposed White Post Lane Conservation Area has beendesignated by the LBTH.
  • all the buildings and structures identified as buildings oftownscape merit in the Fish Island CA document  (November 2009 – last page) have been added to the Local List.

The May 2012 FIAAP document (download from LBTH here) included a heritage assets map (page 70) which included a boundary for the proposed Conservation Area.  Earlier this month, LBTH produced a draft appraisal for the proposed White Post Lane CA (download from LBTH here).

 

As comments have to be made by 5 pm on 30 July 2012, I have commented on behalf of EEWG.  A copy is attached (see links below). Although I have responded on behalf of the Group it would be a great help should others also email their comments and support for the Group’s qualified welcome for the over-due designated of a White Post Lane CA ([email protected]).

 

During the first session of the public examination on 18 July 2012 I had to assure the Inspector that my EEWG comments would be made by the 30 July deadline.

 

I am also in the programme for the afternoon session on 24 July.

 

In addition to my written EEWG comments I will be meeting the author of the draft appraisal on 23 July 2012.

Tom Ridge

EEWG

Attatchments


Comments on behalf of EEWG for the proposed White Post Lane Conservation Area (pdf)

Comments on behalf of EEWG for the proposed White Post Lane Conservation Area (Google docs)

White Post Lane Conservation Area Consultation – Have your say on the proposed designation of the Whitepost Lane Conservation Area (on LBTH website)

Fish Island Area Action Plan (FI AAP) and Managing Development – Development Plan Document (MD DPD) Submission and Examination (full documents on LBTH website)


WW LogoEast End Waterway Group
PATRON JIM FITZPATRICK MP POPLAR AND LIMEHOUSE

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.

July 23rd, 2012

Posted In: East End Waterway Group

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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

 

March 6th, 2012

Posted In: East End Waterway Group, Uncategorized

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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.

August 3rd, 2011

Posted In: East End Waterway Group, Uncategorized

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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 [email protected].

 

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

FISH ISLAND AREA ACTION PLAN – SUBMISSION ON BEHALF OF EAST END WATERWAY GROUP

DEMOLITION OF BUILDINGS OF TOWNSCAPE MERIT


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.

 

PUBLIC REALM IMPROVEMENTS

 

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.

 

CONNECTING FISH ISLAND

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.

 

WATERWAYS


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

 

WASTE TO ENERGY FACILITY


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

 

July 13th, 2011

Posted In: East End Waterway Group, Uncategorized

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