Block demolished to make way for new homes

AN AGING block has been pulled down to pave the way for massive changes to housing and transport links in a deprived part of the borough.

Bulldozers set in on the Inner London Hotel in East India today (February 11) to lay the grounds for the new housing blocks and private apartments that are to be built on the surrounding Aberfieldy estate.

In a five to ten year project, developers will build more than 1,100 new homes – mostly on land that is not currently in use.

Transport links will also be significantly improved.

A new pedestrian crossing across the A13 will connect the Aberfeildy area with East India DLR station and should be completed by the summer.

Another is planned on the A12 and a pedestrian bridge across the River Lea will provide a link to Canning Town.

Malcolm Ward, project director, said: “There will be new community and health facilities and more green space.

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“Improving the transport links is very important. At the moment it is a 25 minute walk to the DLR over a very tricky crossing.”

Aberfieldy resident Jenny Sylvainm said: “It is an exciting time for us and the future of Aberfeldy.”

The hostel that was pulled down was being used by Westminster Council to house homeless people.

In a joint deal between housing association Poplar HARCA, which manages the estate, London Thames Gateway Development Corporation and Tower Hamlets Council, the blocks will provide around 700 homes for sale and the rest social housing.

The difficult financial climate could make finding the extra cash needed from private developers harder, housing chiefs admitted.

But they insisted that the area’s prime location – in between the Olympics site and Canary Wharf – makes it more attractive.

Poplar HARCA said it will be applying for planning permissions and consulting with residents over the next few years.