Planning Applications

The MEOTRA Catchment Area
The MEOTRA area - current planning applications are shown in blue (July 2013)
MEOTRA comments on planning applications that have general interest to the area, or when asked by members to advise on specific cases.

We comment on both Tower Hamlets policy proposals and planning, and listed building applications with the aim of maintaining the visual quality of the two Conservation Areas. The Tredegar Square CA covers all of MEOTRA to the east of Grove Road, and the Clinton Road CA covers MEOTRA to the west. There are many Statutorily Listed Buildings - Grade II  - in the area, and some Locally Listed. All trees are protected by reason of being inside the Conservation Area.

For specific cases and to comment, here is a link to the planning pages on the Tower Hamlets website.

Planning applications lists are scanned and sometimes there are direct requests from Tower Hamlets to comment. There are perhaps 40-50 applications per year, and MEOTRA comments on maybe 5.

Whether comments produce results is hard to say, but it is important that there is a voice representing residents. For many years that voice was Nigel Glendinning, who died in February 2013.

Some Tips on Objecting to Planning Applications

 The following is undoubtedly true:
  1. The more people that object to an application the greater the chance of planners (and councillors) listening.
  2. 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.
  3. Lots of planning applications go through on the recommendations of planning officers. If any application reaches a threshold of 25 objections then it will go before the planning committee with objectors being given the opportunity to state their objections.
Below are some documents which I have found helpful in writing my own letters of objection. Hopefully you will find them of use too.

Title Notes
1 Ruth Allen's "How to Object to a planning application" 30 page PDF
2 Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE): "How to comment on a planning application" Website
3 Planning Democracy's "Responding to a Planning Application" 7 Page PDF (Scotland)
4 Community Places: "Objecting to Planning Applications" 7 Page PDF (Northern Ireland)

Below are examples of recent planning applications MEOTRA objected to:

PA/15/03079 : Redevelopment at 53 Grove Road, London E3 4PE
Demolition of existing Structures and Buildings associated with the petrol station (Sui Generis) plus redevelopment of the site by the erection of Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 storey buildings to form 17 new dwellings(C3) (4 x 3 bed town houses with roof top terraces and 13 flats (5 x 1 bed, 7 x 2 and 1 x 3 bed) together with Associated Amenity Space, Refuse Store, Cycle Store, Landscaping, and Related Works.

This application to replace the Grove Road Texaco Garage with 17 dwellings stretched to 33 documents (now 41) and was submitted at the busy Christmas period. Nonetheless, it has been referred to the LBTH planning committee following strong local opposition including this letter of objection from MEOTRA

PA/15/02552 : Land at the rear of 48-52 Grove Road, London E3 5AX
Proposed one x bedroom dwelling. | Land at rear of 48 to 52 Grove Road, London

This backlands development to build a 1 bedroom dwelling on land at the rear of 48-52 Grove Road has been refused following a letter of objection from MEOTRA and letters from close neighbours. This application was also submitted in the busy Christmas period. The delegated report is available here.