Thursday 27 January 2022

Increasing the Number of Tall Buildings in our Area: Council webinar tonight 5-6.30PM (Thursday 27-01-2022)


Map of Tower Hamlets showing existing permitted building height

Today, Thursday 27th January between 5-6.30PM there is a webinar to discuss allowing more tall buildings in our area of Bow. Please attend if you can as this could significantly affect our area

Please click on this link to access the meeting:

Thursday 5pm 27 January 2022 (5.00-6.30pm): Central Area – Victoria Park, Globe Town, Bow, Stepney, Mile End, Lime House, Bow Common and part of Wapping, Shadwell and Poplar.

The consultation documents can be found at Tall Buildings SPD | Let’s Talk Tower Hamlets.

The consultation doesn’t specifically mention the Benjy’s site which you will recall at one point was potentially going to be 43 storeys high! It will be worth asking about that at the meeting as that would significantly impact the Bow/Mile End Area in numerous ways.

The key area of concern is the proposal that a large part of the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) campus site be designated as a Tall Buildings Area. This would involve demolishing the reasonably short line of buildings on the canal front (currently used as mature student accommodation) and replacing them with ones over twice the height (30m+, 10+ storeys). There are concerns this would significantly negatively impact Mile End Park’s Art Zone, particularly regarding the loss of afternoon sunlight.

Additionally, it has been suggested a pedestrian/cycle bridge would link the park and the QMUL site. Many locals object to this for several reasons including that:

  • Any bridge would have to be very long (it needs to be tall enough for boats/bikes/pedestrians to go under and yet the slope has to be gentle enough for wheelchair access). Hence it would take up a significant amount of the park’s limited green space.
  • Areas under canal bridges often have ASB activity associated with them (including muggings etc).
  • This portion of the park would in effect become an annex of the university and it would suffer from overuse. It is already at saturation in the summertime.
  • There are already TWO bridges within 300m of each other and further bridges are unnecessary.

We propose QMUL seriously consider the Guardian Angel's school site (which is a significant size and has been closed for around two years). This would save the area being blighted by tall buildings and importantly stop creating a precedent for tall buildings in the area.

(We will be writing another post shortly after the above meeting to detail how you can input to the consultation process)

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