On Thursday 13th March 5 Labour Councillors on the Tower Hamlets planning committee voted as one to approve this property developers' application to built 12 to 25 storey towerblocks at Sclater Street/Bethnal Green Road. The committee members from the Conservative, Respect and LibDem parties voted against it, but were outnumbered by 5 votes to 4
The proposed development will tower over the local conservation areas and the local community. A 70 metre long wall of 12 to 20 storey towers coming right up to the edge of the pavement will permanently cast deep shadows over the narrow Bethnal Green Road and beyond. Hundreds of local residents and businesses, the long-established local artistic community and English Heritage strongly objected to the proposal. Developers will claim the approval as a precedent paving the way for further soulless development. It jeopardises meaningful input from the community into plans for the future of this historic area.
The week had seen extensive press coverage which you can read about here and here.
The only justification the community has been given is the London Mayor’s support for tall buildings and the "City Fringe" draft planning document which sees the Bishopsgate Goodsyard as an ideal location for tall buildings. This document has neither been consulted upon nor approved. Mayor Livingstone now has 14 days to consider the application and decide whether to overule the committee's decision.
But we are losing confidence in the Mayor to do the right thing when we read stories like this and this
If you want to understand what's at stake for our community then watch the videos made by OPENshoreditch members here or click on the link "Stop the block. Save the light" above.