Wednesday 14 August 2019

URGENT SUPPORT NEEDED: Object to Plans to redevelop the Greedy Cow

Architectural plans for the proposed works to the Greedy Cow
Front Elevation showing proposed extension
The owner of 2 Grove Road (where the Greedy Cow is located) has applied to Tower Hamlets Council for the "Erection of additional two storeys to accommodate two new residential units." The planning application number is: PA/19/01089/A1 This application would bring the building up to the level of the Pizza Room and four storeys higher than the Subway building which is locally listed and a former Toll House.

*** Just to emphasise the development is being proposed by the landowner NOT the owner of the Greedy Cow***

The application was submitted some time ago, but as of 13/08/2019 is still open to comments (ie objections). Please do urgently submit any objections if you are able. If we can reach the threshold of 20 objections it will go to a planning meeting and our Councillor, and MEOTRA, will be able to speak to object. 

To find out more about the application go to the Tower Hamlets Planning Page and search for application PA/19/01089/A1 or "2 Grove Road"

Personally, I think the proposed development will greatly affect the look and feel of this row of shops which have existed unchanged for at least a century. It is thus a historic townscape. The scheme will make the restaurant less viable too.

The Greedy Cow restaurant was previously The Prince of Wales Public House and many locals have historic connections to it, with one Lichfield Road resident telling me recently he used to be the resident DJ back in those days of vinyl. Even further back the pub was (from the 1880s?) The Prince of Prussia, but unsurprisingly that name was changed at the start of the Great War. 

The developer's own heritage statement suspects the building was built sometime in the early 19th century.

A 277 tram stops outside the Prince Prussia in 1915
1915: Prince of Prussia obscured by a 277 tram

Reg Kudhail, the Managing Director of the Greedy Cow, has single-handily brought 2 Grove Road back to life, with a little help from The Ginger Pig his first-rate  suppliers up in "the village". In doing so he has acted as a catalyst to rejuvenate this row of shops which now is fortunate to have Pamela Tironi's Coffee and Pizza Rooms too. Take a look at the before and after photos below. What a transformation!

2018: The GRove Road shop fronts in a state of disrepair

Why should you object?

The application has 17 documents associated with it and it is best if you read these and make your own mind up, but if you are short on time then the heritage statement is a good start. I disagree with most of the assertions in it: How on earth this two-story extension can "offer an enhancement to the setting of the locally listed building" I just don't follow. Other aspects you may wish to consider are:

  • The row of buildings along this part of Grove Road form a historic skyline and lie within the Tredegar Square Conservation Area. The undulating nature of this roof skyline from the single-storey locally-listed former Toll House on the corner along to 12 Grove Road has been unchanged since their construction in the 19th Century. The Greedy Cow site, in particular, forms a key element of this streetscape and has many historic and cultural local connections being formerly the Prince of Wales Public House and the Prince of Prussia before that. This proposed development will effectively double the height of this historic building and lead to it being “lost” in the streetscape and destroy this historic local skyline.
  • The redevelopment will significantly affect the viability of the Greedy Cow business by reducing the seating area on the ground floor considerably (around 10 seats). The applicant’s assertion that office space on the first floor can be converted to extra dining space does not take into account that this will require extra staffing (transforming the business to one operating primarily on one floor to one over two floors. In an already financially challenging sector, this will affect the viability of the business considerably. The current business is a great success and has played a vital role in regenerating this small row of shops. Before this, the building was unoccupied for several years and was an eyesore. If this business were to close it would likely return to its previous dilapidated state (as the rental is so high to make it a difficult let), the vicinity would cease to be a restaurant destination and the area would deteriorate. 
  • The construction management plan is inadequate. This area has a very high footfall and forms the way many pedestrians travel from the north of the borough to Mile End Station (including the hundreds alighting daily at the nearby bus stop). Additionally, the new Hackney-Isle of Dogs Cycle Route passes the site and no mention of this is made. The Mile End Junction redesign, in particular, removes a car lane which the developer has stated is essential for their construction plans. 
  • The residential bin store location, as detailed in the DAS, outside within inches of where diners sit is obviously unworkable. Customers will not want to sit next to a bin store. This bin store will also partly remove a distinct element of the frontage, namely the glazed brick tiles. 
  • The lack of detail in the application concerning connection to the main’s sewer, that the applicant states that two residential units will be created, but fails to state the number of bedrooms one of these will contain gives me concerns about how well the development has been thought through.

How to object

  1. Send an email to
  2. State your name and address
  3. State clearly that you OBJECT to application PA/19/01089/A1 | Erection of additional two storeys to accommodate two new residential units. (amended description) | 2 Grove Road, London, E3 5AX
  4. Give details of why you object. A number of uniquely written letters of objection carry more weight than the same number of standard (cloned) letters; which in turn carries more weight than a petition with the same number of names on it.

Further guidance on objecting is on our planning page

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