Canal Zone’ set up around Limehouse Cut to protect area

TOWN HALL bosses have declared a Canal Zone’ around East London’s historic Limehouse Cut with a new conservation area along the length of the 18th century waterway

By Mike Brooke

TOWN HALL bosses have declared a 'Canal Zone' around East London's historic Limehouse Cut.

A new conservation area has been marked out by Tower Hamlets council along the length of the two-mile 18th century waterway linking the Regent's Canal Basin at Limehouse with the River Lea at Bromley-by-Bow.

Residents asked the council to protect the canal and its historic buildings after an old 1930s Art Deco-style labour exchange was saved last month from demolition.

The newly-protected buildings along the canal were among the few to survive extensive bombing in Limehouse and Poplar during the 1940-41 Blitz, which has now given them significant historical significance.

Tower Hamlets council cabinet member Marc Francis said: "We were at risk of losing an important historical landmark because of a planning application, so we've stepped in to declare Limehouse Cut a conservation area.

"It is inner London's oldest canal once lined with factories and warehouses on both sides and is being protected for future generations."

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The one-and-a-quarter mile conservation area stretches from Burdett Road to the River Lea and includes other historic buildings such as the medieval Bromley Hall.

The 1766 River Lea Act authorised the Limehouse Cut, constructed to save sailing barges coming down the River Lea to London having to wait for the tide at Bow Creek before navigating the long Thames loop around the Isle of Dogs.