Residents First

Tower Hamlets People Network

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

Posted In: East End Waterway Group, Uncategorized


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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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