Don’t exclude Canary Wharf from planning forum, urge Isle of Dogs families

Richard Horwood, Isle of Dogs Planning Forum's chairman

Richard Horwood, Isle of Dogs Planning Forum's chairman - Credit: Archant

Campaigners who are setting up a planning forum in east London under the Government’s Localism Act claim Tower Hamlets Council is “excluding parts of Canary Wharf” from its brief.

They have been told “no-one lives there” in parts of Canary Wharf outside the business estate, so there is no need for involvement in planning decisions for the business enclave.

These include once-derelict dockland areas adjoining the estate which they believe are ripe for development.

So the campaigners invited the council on a walkabout today (Thurs) to see how many people actually do live in areas who would be affected by unlimited development. Their own chairman lives on the 42nd floor of a residential tower block, for example.

But the council pulled out at the last minute, telling them that it had taken legal advice not to be seen to engage in a political campaign in the run-up to the May 7 general election.

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“I am disappointed at the last-minute cancellation,” the forum’s chairman Richard Harwood told the East London Advertiser.

“Several of us had re-arranged our diaries to be home in time to show council officials around our community. We were looking forward to the opportunity of engaging with them over these very important issues.”

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But a public meeting protesting at the “exclusion zone” is still going ahead this-eveing.

“This area is apparently ‘too important’ to allow us to get involved and the council claims there aren’t many people living here anyway,” Richard added.

“I live slap bang in the middle of the area along with thousands of others, so we beg to differ!

“The council is just nodding through yet more skyscrapers with 1,000 expensive small flats in each that won’t ease London’s family housing crisis.

“Local services can’t cope with such huge, tightly-packed and dense developments with no plan to address it.”

The Town Hall insists, however, that it has not excluded Canary Wharf from the Neighbourhood Planning area.

The Forum has submitted an application to designate an area of the Isle of Dogs that excludes the business zone, but not the rest of the area around Canary Wharf, however, which has residents living there.

The public meeting is being held with local Parliamentary candidates for Poplar & Limehouse expected to turn up, at 6pm at Millwall’s Alpha Grove community centre on the Isle of Dogs—in the very shadows of Canary Wharf.

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