Saturday, 16 December 2017

MEOTRA Carols in Tredegar Square - Sunday 17th December at 5PM


Sunday night is MEOTRA's Carols in the Square at 5PM. There will be plenty of mince pies, mulled wine and father Christmas with presents for the children.

It's a free event brought to you by the Mile End Old Town Residents Association and there will be a collection for charity.

I hope to see you there - bring a torch if you have one



Thursday, 16 November 2017

Exhibition - Creative Patterns (6-8PM, Saturday 18th November, Bow Church )


PDSA Pet Hospital - Open Day Saturday 25th November


Did you know the PDSA was founded in the East End one hundred years ago today?

On the 17th November 1917 a sign was hung outside a dingy Whitechapel basement, inviting impoverished local people to bring their sick and injured animals for treatment. Inside, a single vet worked throughout the day, dressing wounds, fixing broken bones and dispensing medicine.

A century later, the PDSA is the UK’s leading pet wellbeing charity, with 48 pet hospitals, from Aberdeen to Plymouth, dedicated to helping the country’s most vulnerable pets. In that time it has provided an astonishing 100 million treatments to 20 million family pets – supporting hard-pressed households throughout the land.

Without a penny of Government funding, the charity’s hospitals now see more than 5,000 pets every day (that’s 13 every minute!). Its dedicated vet teams not only treat illness and injury but help prevent pets getting sick in the first place. They also educate owners – and the wider public – to ensure their beloved pets stay healthy and happy.

On Saturday 25th November (12-3PM) the PDSA Pet Hospital is having an Open Day to celebrate 100 years of caring for pets in the East End. It will provide a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes of this pet hospital, meet the team, learn how to care for your pets, as well as fun and games for all the family.

The PDSA Bow Pet Hospital is at 171 Malmesbury Road, E3 3DT

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Exhibition: Decorating Dissidence (Art Pavilion, Thur 3rd Nov to Sat 4th Nov)

This Thursday sees the start of a short exhibition at Mile End Park's Art Pavilion exploring dissident craft & decorative work.

Bringing together contemporary artists across the globe, ‘Decorating Dissidence’ takes craft, decorative arts & design as a starting point to explore how dissident action has been woven into artistic practices often associated with the home & in opposition to the ‘fine arts’.

Can the decorative be political? Is craft a civic duty? Is the archive activist? Can anyone craft?

Spanning the early twentieth century to today, this exhibition will place contemporary craftmakers and artists in conversation with archival pieces. Alongside a conference held at Queen Mary, University of London, we will be curating an exhibition that showcases artists whose work engages with the decorative and the political.

The exhibition will take ‘craft’ as a broad term: the body, stitches in time, fashion, DIY zines, graphics, protest objects, ceramics, space, identity and more.

Thurs: 5pm-10pm | Fri: 9am-11pm | Sat: 9am-6pm
The Art Pavilion, Mile End Park, E3 4AQ

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Air Pollution Meeting - next Saturday 9th September 12-2.30PM


It is great to see both the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and our own Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, starting to look at air pollution issues in our borough. The above meeting whilst not council run will undoubtedly feedback ideas to the two Mayors and might be worth popping along to if air pollution is something that particularly concerns you.

In our own micro-environment of MEOTRA we have seen significant changes in road use since the CS2 cycle route was upgraded. Unfortunately and ironically traffic has increased. The ban on two right turns at the Mile End Junction has led to an increase in traffic crossing the junction twice to effect a right turn. The EasyBus, National Express and others now use Grove Road rather than Whitechapel Road (I am told this is because it saves them time due to hold ups in Whitechapel). The terminating of approximately 50% of number 25 buses at Mile End has led to extra congestion in Grove Road especially. Vehicles travelling eastwards now seem to increasingly use Morgan street as a cut through if traffic on the main road is heavy. And then there is the issue of vehicles "resting" on our streets with drivers leaving their engines idling.

One issue with all this extra traffic is that whilst one assumes it leads to extra pollution, no one is actually measuring it. We only have three pollution monitoring sites in the borough - outside Queen Marys University, by the Blackwall tunnel and a "control" in Victoria Park. There is certainly a need for community-based volunteer monitoring and this is something MEOTRA are looking at. 

Some of you may have read about the LBTH Mayor's "Neighbourhood Refresh Programme" across the borough (starting with Weaver's Area) and this is something MEOTRA are keen to have rolled out here. These improvements could include more trees and better green spaces, cycle parking, better lighting, street art, pleasant resting areas; safety and traffic calming measures and paving repairs.

Over the next few months MEOTRA will be getting in touch with residents to discuss ideas for the Neighbourhood Plan and as part of this, we will also be drawing together ideas to tackle air and noise pollution and in general make MEOTRA a more pleasant place to live.

Art Exhibition by local artist Alice Sielle



PLATANUS X ACERIFOLIA
THE LONDON PLANE TREE
an exhibition of mobiles, drawings and paintings by

ALICE SIELLE 

private view
Thursday 7th September 2017
6.00pm-8.00pm

8th-29th September 

 Monday –Thursday 10am- 9pm
  Friday 10am – 7pm  
Saturday 10.30am – 5.30pm.

The Brady Centre
192-196 Hanbury Street
London E1 5HU 
020 7364 7900

RSVP 


"Platanus x acerifolia, the majestic London plane, is a decorative life force that we see everyday in our parks, streets and squares. The most widely planted tree in London, its origins are still a mystery.

It is usually thought to be a hybrid between Platanus orientalis (the oriental plane) and Platanus occidentalis (the American sycamore). But although the hybrid is supposed to be fertile, I never see any seedlings.

It has been suggested that the initial hybridisation could have happened either in Spain or in Vauxhall Gardens, London. However, it was discovered in the mid-seventeenth century by John Tradescant the Younger in his famous garden at Lambeth, and as both the oriental plane and the American sycamore grew there, this could have been the site of their miscegenation.

With its habit of shedding bark in large flakes in summer (allowing it to rid itself of pollutants), and its tough, grime-repellant leaf surfaces, the London plane happily accommodated itself to the soot-blackened streets that followed the Industrial Revolution. However, it is not without its disadvantages. Its leaves take forever to rot and are useless for compost, and the hairs on the seeds are bad news for sufferers of asthma and hay fever.

The planes in Berkeley Square were planted in 1789 and are among the oldest in London. Our parks are full of avenues of magnificent planes – so decorative with their camouflage trunks and gracious foliage, decked in winter with fruit bobbles like magical Christmas trees".

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Benjy's Towers - Planning Permission REFUSED again

The application to build on the former Benjy's site has tonight been refused planning permission with six councillors voting to reject the proposals and with one abstention.

In February, and again in April, committee members were minded not to support officer recommendations for the following reasons:

1. Height, bulk and massing and impact on townscape
2. Density and overdevelopment of the site
3. The servicing provision
4. Loss of the community facility
5. Design of the proposal
6. Air Quality issues

Tonight the refusal was for much the same reasons (except for item 4 - see later) and it was apparent the new proposals in no way addressed these pre-existing concerns.

The new proposal's main difference is that it makes provision for relocating the Backstreet nightclub into the basement of the new development. Whilst this was largely welcomed (Backstreet has existed on the site for over 20 years without a problem), this new element of the scheme introduced new concerns relating to a nightclub and homes being literally on top of each other.

So what now?

As ever we will have to wait and see the exact wording of the decision, but I suspect the developers will launch an official appeal and I think it is likely the mix of accommodation will change to fewer family homes and more 1-bedroom and studio flats. I wouldn't be surprised if the next scheme to go to the planners is one for student accommodation.


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Bow Church Summer Fair: Saturday 19th August 2017, 12-4PM


This coming Saturday sees Bow Church's Summer Fair which is always worth popping along to. As well as providing an excuse to indulge in a cream tea [or two] it is also a wonderful opportunity to meet neighbours in a relaxing and friendly environment. 

At 2PM on the day there is the official book launch for two new books "The Bow Church Memorial Cross and the Battle of Loos, 1915" and "Remembering the Men of Mile End and Bow"


I hope to see some of you there.


Monday, 14 August 2017

Benjy's Tower - 562 Mile End Road & 1a, 1b, 1c Burdett Road

Comparison CGI View from Grove Road South - Original (left) and submitted (right)
The latest revised planning application for the Benjy's site goes before Tower Hamlets' Strategic Planning Committee this Thursday (17th August, 7PM, Town Hall). You can read the latest application here. The key revisions are a reduction in height of the main tower from 15-storeys to 12-storeys, and the 3-storey element now uses a red brick to match the 8-storey element to the southern half of the site to further break up massing.

MEOTRA have written an objection letter to this latest revised application. Our objections relate to:

  1. The building is too tall
  2. Dwelling Sizes
  3. Flexible business use
  4. Space for loading
  5. Microclimate
A number of residents will be attending the meeting and at least one is due to speak. But as it is the holiday season some of those that have attended previously are unable to on this occasion. If you are able to attend then that would be great as councillors do take into account the level of local opposition.

Meeting details 

Strategic Development Committee, Thursday, 17th August, 2017 7.00 p.m
Venue: Council Chamber, 1st Floor, Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BG





Friday, 11 August 2017

B2 Area Parking Consultation

Idyllic view or double-parking hotspot with boaters leaving their high emission engines running?
Tower Hamlets Council are currently conducting an informal consultation on parking within our B2 area. Hopefully you will have received a consultation form in the post. If you haven't don't worry - they are being sent out in batches.

MEOTRA have had emails and feedback from several residents and I think everyone agrees the form is very poorly designed. Some of the questions make as much sense if you read them backwards as forwards!

We have noticed that the form only presents consultees with three options, ALL of which amount to increasing restrictions. There is no option to keep things as they are. If you want to keep the status quo then don't feel as though you have to tick one of the three options. Just scratch out the three choices and write in the Section 4 comments section that you don't want a change. Hopefully you have neater handwriting than me ;)



There has already been quite a bit of discussion on the Tredegar Square Next Door website about the letter. It transpires the consultation has been carried out largely as a result of increased parking issues in the Fairfield Road area (see the FCARA website for more info). Councillors understand that adjustments need to be made on some streets, but will not be implementing any blanket changes across the whole B2 area as the consultation suggests. Ultimately it is a political decision, not one made by council officers.

It really does stick out what a dog's dinner the consultation is. Take the opening paragraph:
"Tower Hamlets on-street team can help motorists save time and money, while also contributing to more attractive neighbourhoods. Unrestricted parking leads to congestion, obstructions and space being taken up often by non-local users".
 which roughly translates as:
"We, the on-street team, are the local motorist's friend and don't like those pesky inroaders who come and take your parking spots".
"Our" on-street team seem to have been living under a rock. The letter and consultation show no understanding of what it is like to live in our area in a car-free development such as Tutelage Court or be one of the many locals who don't own a car. We [yep I'm one of them], do once in a blue moon need to use a ZipVan or persuade a friend to help drop stuff off to the tip or pop to Ikea for another Billy Bookcase. These are weekend things. I don't want to have to go on NextDoor to beg for a scratchcard because mine expired last week, or the roofer used them up when he came after that July flash flood.

The council need to realise car-free developments aren't 100% car-free - it isn't that simple. The proposed 46-apartment development on Benjy's website (aka Benjy's Tower) has ONE car parking space (designated disabled) and relies on ALL service vehicles parking on the existing Burdett Road lay-by.

MEOTRA will be writing to the council regarding this consultation so please do feel free to let us know via info@meotra.org.uk any points you would like us to raise.



The closing date for the consultation is the 8th of September


Friday, 4 August 2017

No Laughing Matter

No Laughing Matter is the name of a campaign by Tower Hamlets Council, Tower Hamlets Police and Tower Hamlets Homes to help tackle some of the problems caused by nitrous oxide.
It follows complaints from residents that antisocial behaviour linked to the taking of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, has become a significant concern within the borough.

Residents say that it can be intimidating to see groups of people taking it, causes noise nuisance and it is also a litter problem because small metal canisters containing it are often left discarded. The police have also received reports of people taking it while behind the wheel of a car. Indeed the Love Wapping website has documented several car crashes where the use of nitrous oxide has been implicated.


The issues and actions are detailed in this leaflet.

What you can do to help:


Illegal Sale: The council’s Trading Standards Team are working with the police to tackle retail outlets that sell gas to people who misuse it. You can report an outlet to the Trading Standard team by emailing tradingstandards@towerhamlets.gov.uk

LitteringIf canisters are in streets or parks please use the Fix My Street app/website as this will help MEOTRA see hotspots and nudge the powers that be to target these. Alternatively you can report them to the council’s street cleaning team on 020 7364 5004. 

As part of the campaign, the partners will also be educating people about what the substance is and the risks to health; and talking to school children about the dangers of nitrous oxide

Friday, 21 July 2017

Stitches in Time Exhibition at the Art Pavilion 21st-26th July, 11-7PM



This week the Art Pavilion in Mile End Park hosts an exhibition celebrating the life and work of Diana England, whose work in the East End of London has made an immeasurable impact on so many.

Starting in 1993, artist Diana England united over 3,000 people in the creation of The Millennium Tapestries. This project brought together Tower Hamlets residents to make 50 large textile art pieces, each hanging richly illustrating East London's social history. Over seven years, a mixture of ages, cultures and religions met at community locations to embroider, silk paint, screen print, dye and embellish. With titles like River Traffic Today, Rocque Map & Jewish Wedding, these pieces combine local history, textiles and community arts at its highest quality.

As part of the exhibition, there will be a series of free, creative workshops which are open to all. 


Friday 21 July, 10am – 12.30pm - Sewing Social 
English for Sewing has been part of Stitches in Time’s core community outreach programme for over 15 years. Join us to learn English in a friendly and inspiring environment, and take part in sewing activities. 

Saturday 22 July, 11am – 2pm – Mapping Stepney 
Families are invited to take part in the current project by adding to Stitches in Time’s newest tapestry, The Mercers’ Map of Stepney. This is supported by ‘The Mercers Company’ and involves superimposing contemporary Stepney onto a historical map of the area. 

Sunday 23 July, 11am – 2pm – Animate and Create 
This stop-frame animation workshop for kids will help them bring the Mercers’ Map to life in a hands-on activity session using various materials. Booking required, ages 8+ 

Tuesday 25 July, 11am – 1pm – Mapping Stepney 
Something old, something new! Adults are welcome to drop in and add to the historically layered Mercers’ Map of Stepney. 

Tuesday 25 July, 5 – 7pm – Mercers for Workers 
Ease those work-day blues! Come along and de-stress with some therapeutic embroidery. 

Wednesday 26 July, 11am – 1pm – Mapping Stepney 
Something old, something new! Adults are welcome to drop in and add to the historically layered Mercers’ Map of Stepney. 

Wednesday 26 July, 5 – 7pm – Mercers for Workers 
Ease those work-day blues! Come along and de-stress with some therapeutic embroidery. 

Contact for booking: paul@stitchesintime.org.uk or tel: 0207 987 6164 

Twitter- @Stitchesintime_ 
Facebook- StitchesinTimeLondon 





Monday, 5 June 2017

Concert at Bow Church: (Friday 9th June, 7.30PM)



Come to a concert at church at Bow Church,9 June, 7.30pm – an evening of summer music in a serene setting as Queen Mary University’s Chamber Ensemble and QMUL All Stars are joined by soloists to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 23 as well as big band jazz. Tickets £7 (full price) or £3 (students QMUL Alumni, concessions). Buy tickets in advance or on the door. 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Planning News: Benjy's Towers (Again!)


I have had a few neighbours ask about how the proposals for redevelopment of the 562 Mile End Road site  (aka Benjy's Towers) are going. Apologies for not posting the news earlier that, in late April, Tower Hamlets Strategic Development Committee voted 6-1 AGAINST the revised 12-storey proposals.

So that's 43-, 25-, 15- and now 13-storey plans that Galliard Homes have proposed for the site over the years.

The strategic committee still have the following concerns: height compared to neighbouring buildings, density, air pollution, single parking space and lack of service provision.
Nigel Whitfield, one of the speakers who objected to the proposals, has put together a blow-by blow (well tweet-by-tweet) account of how the night unfolded.

It will be interesting to see what Galliard Homes come up with next.


Planning News - Appeal to develop land at rear of 48-52 Grove Road DISMISSED



In November 2015 St Johns Development Ltd submitted an application "Proposed one x bedroom dwelling". This was refused by LBTH and the decision upheld by the planning inspectorate (see here).

Then in November 2016 St Johns submitted a new application " Erection of single storey B1 (office) building and extension to cycle storage". This too was refused (see here). 

And now, thanks in part at least, to the 27-odd residents who wrote objection letters and of course to MEOTRA's David Berridge, an appeal to the Secretary of State via the Planning Inspectorate has also been dismissed.

One has to wonder what St Johns will try next? Will they look after the space as a for the residents of 48-52 Grove Road as they agreed to do in their original (granted) planning application?


Friday, 2 June 2017

Urban Makers East Market - this Sat/Sun 12-5PM, Ecology Pavilion



This weekend sees the return of the Urban Makers East Market to the Ecology Pavilion in Mile End Park (that's the venue in the park between the Brittania Fish Bar and Roman Road).

The market contains a carefully curated selection of contemporary designer makers with stalls selling original art works, homeware, jewellery, textiles, stationary, knitwear, hip children's clothes and much more. There are plenty of activities for children too (see below).

There are also four workshops running over the weekend:

Saturday: 11.30–1.30pm Make your own beaded hanging planter with Caron Goldman
2–4pm Create a collage with The Artistic Side of Life.

Sunday: 11.30–1.30pm Bespoke Face Mask Workshop with Suzie from Soothe-Me
2–4pm Bathbomb making with Philly Aime

Laurence King Publishing will be providing a range of activities. They will be supplying colouring and comic making books to the ever popular Minimakers’ Craft Room, hosting two temporary tattoo booths for kids and adults, plus children will be invited to dress as their favourite superhero for an action-packed treasure hunt. Laurence King will also be selling discounted books and games from their creative range of titles.

The event runs both Saturday and Sunday from 11-5PM


Thursday, 30 March 2017

MEOTRA AGM - Thursday 6th April. 7 for 7.30 start


Next Thursday is Meotra's Annual General Meeting at the Epiphanius Church, Lichfield Rd. The AGM will begin at 7.30 sharp, with doors open from 7. 

There will be free soft drinks, wine and nibbles. It is a good opportunity to meet up and socialise with neighbours and also to hear what MEOTRA has been up to over the last year and to look ahead to the future.

GUEST SPEAKER: A volunteer from the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum will be giving a short 7 minute presentation on the neighbourhood plan that is being developed for Bow and how MEOTRA members can get involved to help both protect and shape our blessed plot. There will be 5-10 minutes for questions after.

Copies of Changing Places (a history of the MEOTRA area) will be available for sale too.

Please make an effort to come. 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Neighbourhood Forum Meeting: Saturday 25th March 4-6PM, Chisenhale Gallery



This coming Saturday, 25th March, is a public meeting of the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum at the Chisenhale Art Place from 4PM to 6PM

The Forum's Steering Committee will be giving an update on the progress so far. There will be the opportunity to meet other local residents, businesses, groups and resident associations. Everyone will have the chance to ask questions; to contribute to themed 'idea stations', and to find out about the next stage of the Forum and how you can get involved.

There will be refreshments too so please do pop in for a cookie and a natter about your concerns and hopes for the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood.

I do hope a fair number of MEOTRA residents can make it. It is important that we contribute to the plan.

Further details are available here:

Sunday, 5 March 2017

New Free Exhibition at the Art Pavilion: Force of Nature (5-March to 9th April)


A wonderfully accessible art exhibition has opened at the Art Pavilion in Mile End Park. It runs from 5th March to 9th April, 12-6PM daily. Works on display are inspired by nature and include pieces from David Nash and Andy Goldsworthy, and has been curated by James Putnam with Alteria Art.

Yours truly was lucky enough to pop along to the opening night and without a doubt, it is the most enjoyable exhibition the Art Pavilion has hosted in a while - I wanted to take just about all the exhibits home with me. There are works by 28 established and emerging artists and the Pavilion is the ideal setting with some of the works overflowing into the outdoor arena of the lake and the Art Pavilion Island. The pieces are very varied, as is nature itself of course, and the curator James Putnam has done an amazing job of bringing together such a stimulating collection of exhibits of varying form, colour and texture that make full use of the Pavilion's panoramic setting.


There will be a late night opening (as part of First Thursdays) on Thursday 6th April

Thursday, 16 February 2017

"Benjy's Towers" Refused Planning Permission.


Tonight at Tower Hamlets Council's Strategic Planning Committee, the application to build a 15-storey tower block on the site of the former Benjy's nightclub was REFUSED unanimously (6-0) going against the recommendation of the council officers to grant permission.

The committee had many concerns including: the height being inappropriate for the area; the loss of the Backstreet Club that has existed for 30-odd years on the site (why hadn't the developer incorporated the club into the design was mentioned more than once); TfL had concerns that the tube lines running beneath would be endangered; the density of accommodation being over double that usual for a neighbourhood centre; worries that the retail space would not be let; the inappropriateness of having housing near an area with such high pollution levels; the average quality of the design.

Three members of the public spoke in opposition to the application (a Backstreet regular, an Antill Road resident and an Aberavon Road resident) as well as Cllrs David Edgar (Mile End) and Peter Golds (Island Gardens).

Many thanks to everyone for writing letters of objection. They really did make a difference.

The MEOTRA campaign has made page two of this week's East End Advertiser too.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Area Gains Designation


It's official: The application to designate the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Planning Area was approved on the 6th February 2017 by the Mayor in a Mayoral Executive Decision.

Roman Road Bow now joins the five existing areas in the borough designated as Neighbourhood Areas.

(For a short 2 minute video reminder on what this neighbourhood plan thingey is all about see this You Tube video)

A 44-page document details the application, consultation feedback received and the council's response. If you have time to read it then go ahead, but below I have selected some of the paragraphs that relate particularly to MEOTRA. In summary:

Paragraph 1.5: It is now going to be called Roman Road Bow following feedback from MEOTRA residents.
Paragraph 6.18: The council's core strategy calls the area Bow!
Paragraph 6.38: I will contact the council about this - they've got the border wrong (it should include Guardian Angels etc).
Paragraph 6.43: Good the railway line is mentioned. We can now try to include certain issues with the railway in the Plan.
Paragraphs 6.51-6.52: The Council Officers have noted the poor engagement with residents and indicate this must be put straight before proceeding to the next stages (having the Forum designated and then developing the Plan).


Paragraph
1.5
During the consultation a number of residents responded with concerns regarding the proposed Area's name (the Roman Road Neighbourhood Area). The concern expressed was that the name was too restrictive and did not represent the full Area proposed. They considered a more appropriate name to be the Bow Neighbourhood Area (a more detailed summary of the consultation responses is provided in Appendix 2). Following the end of the consultation period the Council informed the prospective forum of the consultation responses. The prospective forum considered it appropriate to address these representations and formally
requested that the Council rename the area, the "Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Area", through the designation process. Officers consider this to be a suitable response to the consultation and considers it appropriate for the Council to rename the Area, as requested, through the designation process.
Paragraph
6.18
The specified Area aligns with the place of "Bow" in the Core Strategy, 2010
Paragraph
6.38
The Area as applied for only includes part of the Mile End Neighbourhood Centre and excludes the element of the Neighbourhood Centre stretching west beyond the
"green bridge" and on the southern side of Mile End Road. Whilst this does create some incoherence for businesses, the benefits of retaining the hard boundary of Mile End Road and Regent's Canal to provide distinct and clear boundaries, are considered to outweigh concerns about only including some of the Neighbourhood Centre.
Paragraph
6.43
An alternative southern natural boundary could have been the railway line which traverses the Area. The application identifies that whilst this was considered as an alternative boundary, there was strong local support for a more southerly boundary, to enable any future Neighbourhood Plan to help overcome any existing barrier to movement created by the railway. It is considered that this is an appropriate rational for not using the railway line as the southern boundary.
Paragraph 6.51 It is considered these objections and concerns, in particular those regarding consultation and engagement, including with local groups raise important concerns and provide useful feedback for the prospective Forum.
Paragraph 6.52 It is the officers' view that the Prospective Forum should engage with residents and these groups further to address these concerns before proceeding with their application to be designated as a Neighbourhood Forum and proceeding with developing a Neighbourhood Plan. This will be critical to ensure successful neighbourhood planning in the Area.


The number and classification of responses to the consultation make for quite pitiful reading. Only 18 responses were received (from a population of around 25,000): there were no letters of support; six neutral responses from statutory bodies such as the National Grid; seven responses defined as "concerned" and five objections.


Support Objection Neutral Concerned No comment Petition Total
0 5 6 7 0 0 18

It is clear that, moving forward, The Forum needs to massively improve communication with all those living and working in the Bow area. 

The next MEOTRA post will outline how, when and where you can get more involved, and yes the emphasis will be on what MEOTRA residents can get out of The Forum.


Monday, 13 February 2017

Neighbourhood Forum Steering Committee Open Meeting - Tuesday 14th Feb - 7.30PM


Tomorrow night there is a meeting of the Roman Road Neighbourhood Forum Steering Committee at the Art Pavilion behind the Grove Road Texaco Garage. It is an OPEN meeting. Here's the info:
"Come and meet the Neighbourhood Forum’s Steering Committee members and see one of the committee’s monthly meetings in action on Tuesday 14th February. On the agenda will be planned communication activity for 2017, as well as updates on the organisation of next Forum General Meeting being organised on Saturday 25th March. Feel free to pitch in at any time. At the end of the meeting the Steering Committee will open up to a general Q&A about the Neighbourhood Plan process."
At the last MEOTRA committee meeting, a few weeks ago, a couple of the Roman Road steering committee members came along. We had detailed discussions about the pros and cons of the neighbourhood plan from a MEOTRA point of view. Tomorrow is an opportunity for MEOTRA residents to meet all the steering committee and hear firsthand about the neighbourhood plan.

"Benjy's Towers": LBTH Strategic Planning Meeting Thursday 16th Feb., 7PM Town Hall

The above mock-up of the proposed "Benjy's Towers" development gives, to my mind, the best representation of how the development will, if it goes ahead, dominate the area.

This Thursday 16th Feb, at 7PM, a meeting of the council's strategic planning authority will consider the application. Council officers have recommended the scheme BE APPROVED.

The meeting will take place in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, E14 2BG. The meeting will be open to the public, and has space for 50 people.

I hope to see some of you there.

MEOTRA has grave concerns about the height of the building - it is twice as high as anything nearby. In particular we are concerned it will set a precedent for the area and we will end up with a series of tower blocks around Mile End station.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Traditions Exhibition @ Art Pavilion (Final Week - ends Sunday 18th February)



This exhibition by Art Catcher, a London curator of exhibitions about cultural and emotional identity, in collaboration with Incloodu Festivals and supported by Tower Hamlets Council, looks on the effects our cultural rituals have on how we feel about ourselves and the world, how it can help us to think big and walk towards each other while at other times it stops us from spreading our wings. 

40 artists have responded to the theme in painting, print, interactive installation and video work in sometimes humorous, sometimes questioning ways and it is a particular strong point of this show that it speaks to all ages and makes for an interesting visit for the whole family. 

The exhibition runs at the Mile End Park Art Pavilion until Sunday the 19th February and is open 12-6PM daily with further events as detailed on the Art Catcher website

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Planning Permission Refused for Grove Road back garden office building


Thanks, in no small part, to the efforts of MEOTRA residents the application to build an office building in the back garden of 48-52 Grove Road has been REFUSED. Thanks to everyone who took the time to write to the planners.

Readers may remember a previous application to build a bungalow on the same site was refused by LBTH and then this decision was upheld by a Mr. Humpries from the Planning Inspectorate.

It is very easy to get disheartened and think "What's the point in writing? It won't make a difference", but this shows the power of the pen (or should that be keyboard). Fingers crossed that our concerns about the proposed Tower Block on the Benjys site will be listened to as well.





Monday, 16 January 2017

Redevelopment of Beny's Site: 15-storey block proposed


The application to build a 15-storey block of flats on the site of Benjys has returned. Many apologies for the late notice, but the deadline for objections is this Wednesday.

MEOTRA will be objecting, but I can't stress enough how important it is for as many objections to be registered as possible before the deadline.

Our main concern is that the building is too tall for the area and will literally raise the bar for future developments nearby (e.g if the BT exchange, Gateway Housing or TA buildings be redeveloped will they be as tall?).

Mile End is defined in the LBTH Local Plan as a "Neighbourhood Centre" and as such new buildings should be in context with their surroundings.  The proposed scheme is completely out of context with its neighbours.


The developers also admit there are issues with the building possibly creating a wind tunnel

You can find a sample objection letter template here, but please do customise it to match your own thoughts and feelings on the scheme.

Please email objections to:

development.control@towerhamlets.gov.uk