Residents First

Tower Hamlets People Network


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

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February 4th, 2011

Posted In: East End Waterway Group, Uncategorized

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I doubt if any Mile End resident would argue with the need for more schools (especially if you have children growing up here!) but this…..

Proposed Central Foundation Girls School extension

As part of the redevelopment of the Central Foundation Girls School (c. 1897)* on Bow Road, it is currently being proposed by the council that a locally listed building, called by the council “St Anthony’s House” or No. 25 Bow Road, be demolished. The building was originally one of the grand houses of Bow Road and as such has merited local listing, designated ‘LST 125′. It makes a positive contribution to the Tredegar Square Conservation Area and especially to the houses next to it on Bow Road in Coborn Terrace, and also to the houses on Coborn Street as they share the same architectural features of yellow stock bricks, arch-head sash windows, slate roofs and chimneys, some of which also feature on the Listed School. There is no date given for the building in the council’s architects’ ‘Heritage Impact Asessment’ or any explanation as to why it is called St Anthony’s. It also mistakenly (I believe, in looking at old maps) declares that its heritage value is lessened by it being part of a now lost “pair”. It is apparently therefore a ‘”neutral element at best” in the Tredegar Square Conservation Area’ and its “architectural merit is questionable.”

An 1862 map actually has three houses there on Bow Road with the same front gardens as Coborn Terrace and it was actually called Coborn Place. A later post-war map does show a remaining pair of houses, as part of the school grounds of the ‘new’ school, built on Bow Road in 1897, so this perhaps explains why they say “pair” – however to leave out the true history and relevance and therefore contribution to the Conservation Area seems very unfair. It also seems negatively skewed in favour of demolition with such negative comments and lack of proper assessment of the buildings genuine heritage.

The houses of Coborn Terrace on Bow Road and the ones on Coborn Street are all Listed Buildings (nationally listed, Grade II) while “St Anthony’s”/25 Bow Road is Locally Listed, perhaps because it is no longer a residence and was altered for use as a school building currently “teacher training facilities and research centre.” The 1897 School on Bow Road is also a Listed Building and is a companion building to the famous (formerly boys’ ‘Coopers’) School on Morgan Street, which (it seems) will be sold off when the new development goes up and the campus will then be on Bow Road, Coborn Street and Harley Grove. We personally do not have any experience of the problems at the Central Foundation Girls School that have necessitated this redevelopment plan. We do however appreciate that schools in Tower Hamlets are over subscribed. Expansion would also follow if the school leaves the building on Morgan Street as it wants to have a single campus, however, this should not mean the demolition of a heritage building which is a surviving example of original Mile End Old Town; the “ribbon” development of historic Bow Road; probably dates back to
the 1820’s and is in the Tredegar Square Conservation Area.

Here are links to the application(s) which have various numbers for various consents; demolition in a conservation area and demolition of a Locally Listed building needing different consents. Most of the documents seem to have been filed with PA/10/2286, which is general application for the whole scheme but PA/10/2288 and PA/10/2289 are also relevant:

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January 20th, 2011

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Saturday 19 February at 09.00

Thursday 17th February - 12.00

307 plan

Planned building for the site of 307

307 Burdett Road

307 Burdett Road

January 20th, 2011

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Hands Off Our Public Services


Tuesday 18th January 7 pm

Cranbrook Estates Tenants Hall – Mace Street – (off Roman Road E2 – Map Here)

Speakers include :-

Morpeth pupils against fees & EMA cuts

Tower Hamlets Tenants & Residents Federation

Len Aldis (National Pensioners’ Convention)

Local service workers facing cuts

Cllr. Ohid Ahmed (Deputy Mayor)

January 13th, 2011

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Local people, campaign groups and trade unionists came together on Wednesday night (5.1.11) to plan a campaign of resistance against cuts in public services. The Con-Dem government has unleashed a savage assault against working class communities. Tower Hamlets Council has seen its share of central government funding slashed by 18%, while leafy shires and suburbs receive much more favourable treatment. In response, the Tower Hamlets Cabinet, under Mayor Lutfur Rahman, has published a draft budget that will mean cuts of £70 million over the next few years, hundreds of job losses, reduced levels of service and selling-off public buildings.

The well-attended meeting at the Labour Party rooms in Bethnal Green agreed a timetable of activities over the coming weeks that will draw attention to how the budget will affect the daily lives of East Enders. Included in the planned cuts are the loss of vital services like Housing Link, that works with families with mental health problems, out of school activities for young people, threats to two adventure playgrounds and reduced levels of care for the elderly and disabled.

The acting-convenor of HOOPS, Alex Kenny (East London Teachers Association) said:

‘It is outrageous that the poor, weak and vulnerable in our society are being expected to pay the price for the financial mess caused by greedy bankers. Students have already shown that they’re not prepared to be the sacrificial lambs and we need to follow their lead. We are determined to fight these cuts in Tower Hamlets”.

HOOPS will be organising a lobby of the next Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 12th January (5.30 pm at Mulberry Place) and will be holding a series of stalls and leafleting sessions at shopping centres around the borough on Saturday 15th January (from 2pm). On Tuesday 18th January there will be a public meeting in Bethnal Green (Cranbrook estate tenants hall, Mace Street) to which the deputy mayor, Cllr Ohid Ahmed has been invited. Further activities will be organised and announced in the lead-up to the Council’s budget setting meeting on 23rd February.

January 7th, 2011

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Click here for NHS press release - 9th December 2010

From the NHS press release 9th December 2010 (read it here)

“In the coming year, Housing Link aims to target more people who are experiencing difficulties and who may not have been in contact with mental health services.”

That was 9th December…..

……on 22nd December the Housing Link Team were informed that The Council is proposing to close the Housing Link service on 12th January. There has been no consultation, and service users will have no opportunity to make their own views known before the decision is taken.

Housing Link is a Council service working with people with mental health problems. It is a crisis service for mentally ill tenants who are about to be evicted, helping them to maintain their homes. The service also works with homeless inpatients at Mile End Hospital, helping them find accommodation so they are not discharged to the street. They are a frontline team working with one of the most vulnerable groups in the borough.

Supporting People, who provide half the funding, reviewed Housing Link in May 2010, and found that the team has important strategic relevance, providing an essential service that is not met by other teams. Housing Link’s work is crucial not just in preventing homelessness, but also in recovering thousands of pounds of rent arrears through unclaimed housing benefit.

December 29th, 2010

Posted In: LBTH Cuts, Uncategorized

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The planning committee of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has refused planning approval for two high-rise schemes proposed in the Isle of Dogs.

The first of the schemes is the massive Skylines Village. The project, which would contain four towers ranging from 86 to 164 metres in height with 806 apartments and a 123-bedroom hotel was refused primarily on the basis of being too tall and too large as well as out of scale with the surrounding area, which includes several approved tall buildings of a similar size.

The other refused development is 225 Marsh Wall, better known as the redevelopment of Angel House. This “hammerhead” shaped 131.69 metre tower proposed 256 apartments plus 56 hotel rooms.

Tower Hamlets Refuses Tower Schemes

With many of these criticisms and regardless of the quality of the proposal, it seems unlikely that any developer will be able to successfully propose tall buildings in this part of the Isle of Dogs until the council themselves have been able to put forward their Marsh Wall East masterplan simply so they get to stamp their own identity on the area rather than a hotchpotch of individual developers.  Read more here

December 28th, 2010

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Please act now, we need your help to stop the destruction of our park!

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Essentially Thames Water are planning to build a ‘Super Sewer’ to tackle the problem of 39 million tonnes of untreated sewage entering the River Thames each year. To tackle the problem, they plan to build a tunnel 7.2 m in diamter and 75 m deep which will collect the untreated sewage and transfer it to their treatment plant in Beckton. One of their preferred routes is to build the tunnel under the King Edward VII Memorial Park where they will build a combined sewage overflow (CSO).

These plans to build a CSO in King Edward VII Memorial Park mean that it will have to be closed as well as the Thames pathway for upto 7 years. At the end of this, there will be a large unsightly building and a ventilation shaft which may release nasty smells occasionally. There will be constant 24 hour drilling, a lot of traffic on the The Highway as a result of the waste products, a lot of noise, compromised security of local residents etc.

What are we doing about it?

  • We have formed an Action Group whose goal is to send a clear message to Thames Water – BROWNFIELD NOT GREENFIELD
  • We are lobbying Tower Hamlets, our local MP, the London Authority and local MEP’s .
  • We are in contact with the King Stairs Gardens protest group.
  • We are writing to other interested parties such as the managers of the Thames Path, managers of the Green Flag Parks scheme and Cities for Trees.
  • We have started an on-line petition stating: We, the undersigned, call on Thames Water to find an alternative site to the greenfield sites in the park, children’s playground, riverside walkway and riverfront at King Edward Park.
  • We are planning to promote awareness to other park and Thames Path users via banners and other direct marketing plus leaflet drops and flyer handouts.
  • We are considering legal options.

Online Petition

We urge everyone to please sign our online petition right away. This will help us to show Thames Water we will not tolerate destruction of the park in order to build the ‘super sewer’.

Further Links

Click image to read article on "London Bangla"

December 16th, 2010

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Help save part of the Eastends local history. The Dod Street Employment Office at at 307 Burdett Road.

2 Planning applications for demolition of the old Poplar employment exchange at 307 Burdett Road have already been refused by Tower Hamlets Council, now the sites owners are taking our council to the High Court in an effort to overturn the decision.

“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.

Limehouse Cut Conservation Area

East End Waterway Group will be presenting a petition to Telereal Trillium (the developers) on Monday 25 October 2010 at 11.00 am – 140 London Wall (on Bastion Highwalk – East Side of Museum of London – Nearest Tube St Pauls) Click to see map

We, the undersigned local residents and others ask Trillium (Prime) Property Group Ltd 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



307 plan

Click image to read more on "Skyscraper News"

Just to remind those who would occupy the few planned affordable apartments they are members of the proletariat and that those who can afford it don’t want to literally live with them, the proposed development has two separate entrances.

October 14th, 2010

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JUDICIAL REVIEW 11 and 12 November 2010

Trillium (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 Administrative Court Office
The Royal Courts of Justice,

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. Please meet up outside by 9.45 am on Thursday 11 November 2010; and, if necessary, please also attend on Friday 12 November.

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.

We cannot say or do anything in the High Court but we can at least try to present our petition asking Trillium to allow the former POPLAR EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE to be retained and adapted as a training and social enterprise centre for unemployed people, called the Lansbury Centre.

Sitting on your terrace, enjoying breakfast and watching the boats pass by your balcony as the sunlight catches the water, it can be easy to forget that you're living in the heart of London......!!

Public Inquiry

Trillium also appealed to the Planning Inspectorate with respect to both refusals and it has just been announced that there will be a full public inquiry after the judicial review and possibly in February 2011. Of course, should the Council lose in the High Court, one of the main reasons for refusal would be removed. A third planning application would be likely, and the Council might prefer to grant planning permission for the demolition and replacement of the former POPLAR EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE, rather than risk having to bear all the costs of a full public inquiry.

October 9th, 2010

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