Protesters to lobby Tower Hamlets council over planned Benjy’s tower at Mile End
17:09 16 February 2017
Campaigners lobby a Tower Hamlets planning meeting tonight over a skyscraper proposed at Mile End which is being recommended for approval.
Members of Mile End Old Town Residents’ Association are opposing the 16-storey ‘Benjy’s Towers’ scheme overlooking Mile End Park, on the site of Benjy’s nightclub in Burdett Road.
They fear it will “dominate the neighbourhood” and encourage other high-rise developments moving in.
“It will set a precedent and we’ll end up with tower blocks around Mile End station,”the association says.
A new neighbourhood forum, meanwhile, has been recognised in the area as a legal consultation body on planning issues.
It joins fiver other neighbourhood forums at Shoreditch, Spitalfields, Wapping, Limehouse and the Isle of Dogs already recognised by the council.
But the new Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum’s approved boundary cuts along the A11 Mile End Road and excludes Benjy’s on the south side.
The line drawn doesn’t include anything on the south side and also excludes all of Mile End west of the Regent’s Canal.
Leaving out one side of Mile End Road creates “some incoherence” for businesses, the residents association maintains.
The number of responses to the public consultation setting up the forum also “makes pitiful reading,” it says. Only 18 responses were received from a population of 25,000, with no letters of support, six neutral responses, five “concerned” and five objections.
The Forum needs to “improve communication” with those living and working in the area, the residents’ organisation suggests.
Meanwhile, its members are turning up to lobby tonight’s Town Hall planning meeting stating at 7pm over the controversial Benjy’s tower scheme, hoping to stop the green light.