Poplar hotel bid gets thumbs up from Town Hall

The vacant plot is at the junction of the A13 and A13. Picture: Google

The vacant plot is at the junction of the A13 and A13. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

Plans to build a hotel rising up to 18 storeys have been given the thumbs up by the council.

A computer generated image of the hotel. Picture: Agenda 21 Architects Studio

A computer generated image of the hotel. Picture: Agenda 21 Architects Studio - Credit: Archant

The new build is set to go up on a corner plot in East India Dock Road, Poplar, not far from Chrisp Street Market and at the end of Follett Street.

Cllr Kevin Brady, speaking at a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, March 17, said: “The site is quite difficult. It’s clear it can’t be used for residential. Hotel use is the most appropriate.”

The site for the 163 room hotel had been declared unsuitable for homes because of its closeness to the A13 and A12.

City Hall’s view was that traffic there was unlikely to reduce in the future, making the currently vacant plot unsuitable for housing.

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But its town centre location, nearby transport links, potential to boost neighbourhood businesses and the creation of 170 jobs led Tower Hamlets planning department to recommend the hotel scheme.

Its backers estimate 57,000 visitors could stay annually.

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However, a woman who lives next to the site said her family was concerned about noise, loss of sunlight, increased traffic and guests peering into her home.

“The hotel is going to be a really big issue,” she said.

Narinder Assi, director of Agenda 21 Architects Studio, told councillors the site was currently an eyesore and magnet for antisocial behaviour.

“The [hotel] presents a perfect opportunity to provide regeneration benefits, improving the street scape and public realm,” he said.

The council’s planning officer said the scheme “can only be described as positive” for businesses and building work noise would be temporary, after he was pressed for details by Cllr Rabina Khan. Opaque windows would also stop prying eyes.

Cllr Tarik Khan raised concerns about the hotel’s height, saying it would set a precedent which other developers might want to follow.

He said firms could “easily” amend their own planning applications to request higher builds, like the hotel.

But councillors heard that the only reason the hotel could rise so high is because it is earmarked for a corner plot and would act as a landmark.

Cllr Brady accepted it was a much taller building, adding there were already others nearby, including Balfron Tower.

The scheme was approved subject to conditions and a borehole survery being done.

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