East London families fears they will get rained on and face months of building work if their roof is taken off for a developer to build more flats directly on top of them.

Eastbrook Group has sought planning permission from Tower Hamlets Council to build five new homes above an existing three-storey block of 30 flats, in Tomlins Grove, Bow.

The five new homes would consist of two-bed flats, suitable for up to four people. There will be no extra car parking spaces created but future residents who move in will be allocated cycling spaces at a cycle store that would be built at the back of the site.


However, some residents are unhappy with the proposed plans, which received 46 letters of objection after 251 consultation letters were initially sent out to families living in and nearby the current flats.

One resident feared their roof would be exposed to extreme weather conditions. They said: “My roof will be removed, exposing my ceiling to rainwater, frost, snow.”

Another added: “The roof contains [a] water tank, heating, plumbing systems and electrical wiring. Replacing this will cause major disruption.”

How the site currently looks Credit: Tower Hamlets Council

How the site currently looks Credit: Tower Hamlets Council

Other residents said it was unclear how people would be able to access their flats, or whether they would be relocated elsewhere during the building work.

While some were not so keen about the general construction on the site, with one resident claiming it would “unsettle children” and wouldn’t allow them to play safely in the garden.

Eastbrook Group says the new flats are of a “high quality” and would bring a “positive contribution” to the local area.

A spokesperson wrote in council documents: “As set out in our sustainability and heritage sections the proposals are a rooftop extension built within the parameters of the existing building and extending the existing cores to maintain a sustainable and low-impact build.”

They added: “The scale and form of the proposed additional storey ensures that the subject building will remain subservient to the adjoining listed terrace and the existing pitched roof will be replaced with a mansard style roof-scape that is more appropriate to its setting and reflects the profile of the listed terrace opposite.”

In response to some of the concerns raised about the existing roof being removed, the developer said details about the construction phase will only be released if planning permission is granted from the council.

The response continued: “It should be noted that the construction phase is a short-term impact and is therefore not a material planning consideration.”

It has been recommended to grant the project planning permission however, Tower Hamlets Council will hear the developer’s proposal at a development committee meeting on Wednesday evening [November 7].