ASDA development on Isle of Dogs blocked by Tower Hamlets council

Plans for a huge new development on the Isle of Dogs have been thrown out by Tower Hamlets council amid concerns over whether the area’s infrastructure could cope.

The proposals centred around the redevelopment of the ASDA supermarket in East Ferry Road, and would have included up to 766 new homes on the site.

The decision, taken on Thursday evening at a meeting of the council’s strategic development committee, was taken despite Tower Hamlets’ own planning officers recommending that permission be granted.

The committee reached its decision against a backdrop of strong local opposition to the plans, headed by leader of the Conservative group, and councillor for Blackwall and Cubitt Town Peter Golds.

Speaking after the decision had been reached, he said: “It was an example of an amazing effort by the local community, at short notice, to get organised.”

The plans for hundreds of new homes on the Isle proved a particular cause of concern for the committee, with fears over whether the area’s schools and transport network would be able to cope with the increased population.

Cllr Golds added: “You can provide housing, but you also need to povide everything else with it. We already have a situation where children are being taken to schools as far away as Whitechapel. The transport is creaking under the weight of demand.

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“The plans were for nearly 800 new homes on a relatively small site, with nothing on education provision, and nothing for transport.”

The developer behind the project, Ashborne Beech, confirmed it would continue to explore its options in an attempt to bring the plans to fruition. A spokeswoman said: “We are naturally disappointed about the result. However, we remain committed to delivering a new district centre with shops, homes, open spaces and community uses for the Isle of Dogs.

“We continue to have support within the community and will continue to work with the council and community groups to bring the development about.”