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Housing scheme bid to double tower block heights at Westferry Printworks scheme

PUBLISHED: 16:38 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:41 02 May 2018

Entrance to Westferry printworks site on Isle of Dogs after being flattened for redevelopment. Picture source: Google

Entrance to Westferry printworks site on Isle of Dogs after being flattened for redevelopment. Picture source: Google

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Plans to double the size of the controversial Westferry Printworks housing scheme from 700 homes to 1,500 have been revealed which will add to the Isle of Dogs’ rocketing population.

Satellite view of Westferry printworks before it was bulldozed. Picture source: GoogleSatellite view of Westferry printworks before it was bulldozed. Picture source: Google

The developers confirmed today that they are resubmitting their planning application for the 15-acre site to Tower Hamlets Council—despite getting the green light in 2016 for the smaller scheme.

They want to increase the five tower blocks to reach 19 and 46 storeys instead of the original eight and 30 storeys and add a sixth tower—all in response to the Mayor of London’s plans for more housing.

“The increase in housing will be achieved through increasing the height of the buildings,” the company has told the East London Advertiser.

The scheme came under fire at last night’s Tower Hamlets election hustings for mayor staged by the Isle of Dogs Neighbourhood Planning Forum at Millwall’s Seven Mills School, just half-a-mile from the proposed development.

Isle of Dogs hustings for Tower Hamlets mayor election held at Millwall's Seven Mills School. Picture: Mike BrookeIsle of Dogs hustings for Tower Hamlets mayor election held at Millwall's Seven Mills School. Picture: Mike Brooke

Candidates from across the political spectrum were angry at development going ahead without the infrastructure such as sewers and mains supplies being secured before being given the green light in 2016.

There are 10 major developments going ahead on the Isle of Dogs alone which Thames Water warns will be too much for the network to cope—first revealed in the Advertiser on April 5.

Thames Water’s findings are being submitted to a public examination of the forum’s Neighbourhood Plan on May 10 at Jack Dash House.

The developers, who are holding a meeting on Tuesday with neighbours living close to the site, are currently having talks with the utility mains company before submitting their redrawn proposals to the local authority in July. They also plan a public exhibition at the end of May.

Entrance to Westferry printworks site on Isle of Dogs after being flattened for redevelopment. Picture source: GoogleEntrance to Westferry printworks site on Isle of Dogs after being flattened for redevelopment. Picture source: Google

The new scheme responds to the London Plan which earmarks Tower Hamlets to have 3,500 new homes every year, part of the 65,000 targeted annually across Greater London.

“We are resubmitting a bigger scheme because of the London Plan for more homes,” a spokesman for Mace Developments said. “We felt we had the capability to deliver that target.”

They will fall back on their original scheme for 700 homes if the revised application for double that number is rejected, the Advertiser has been told.

The proposals also include a new secondary school for 1,200 pupils, community and health centres, two new parks and a south facing dockside waterfront promenade with restaurants, bars and shops.

Population on the Isle of Dogs is set to rise by another 40,000 in the next 10 years, adding fears that the mains gas and water supplies, drainage, transport and other public services may not cope.

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