Controversial London Housing Plan Approved

Tue, 30 Jan 2018

Controversial London Housing Plan Approved
A new housing scheme in East London has been approved, despite objections by Tower Hamlets Council. The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) has permitted a 407-home scheme led by Pitman Tozer Architects and BPTW partnership.

The Imperial Street scheme will consist of five buildings between three and fourteen storeys. They will be built by the canal in Bromley by Bow backed by developer Lindhill properties. The building plans also include retail and employment space. Tower Hamlets have been against the building scheme. They had previously written to the LLDC, warning that the affordable housing element of the scheme was "ambiguous" and "unacceptable". Additionally, the local authority emphasised that the lack of a continued riverside walkway through the scheme "would compromise placemaking and connectivity to adjoining sites".

In contrast, a report by the LLDC principal planning development manager Richard McFerran, to the corporation's planning decisions committee endorsed approval. According to the report, 20% of habitable rooms across the scheme would be affordable housing, and there would also be a contribution to works needed on the A12 road.

McFerran stressed that "officers reiterate that the affordable housing offer significantly exceeds the maximum technically viable position". He also gave reassurances that the scheme will operate in accordance with national, regional and local development plan policy. Director of Lindhill Properties Lee Fitzpatrick added that the scheme would be beneficial for the wider area by kickstarting regeneration opportunities.

The housing scheme began in the summer of 2015. After initial planning, the process became more extensive in 2016. Fitzpatrick highlighted "what we have achieved in a relatively short amount of time, considering the size of the scheme and the collaboration with the other land owners, is pretty outstanding".

Despite objections from Tower Hamlets, the Imperial Street housing scheme will go ahead. The architectural director of the project Chris Bath at BPTW praised the approval; outlining that the plans "share a strong focus on materiality and detailing, complementing the urban realm where distinct character zones give each public space a sense of place".

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