Fire brigade raises concerns over 51-storey Canary Wharf tower plans

File photo dated 14/2/2021 of the skyline of Canary Wharf in London. Issue date: Wednesday October 2

Ballymore has submitted plans for another tower block to add to Canary Wharf's skyline - Credit: PA

A decision on plans for a 51-storey residential tower block in Canary Wharf has been delayed after concerns were raised by the London Fire Brigade.

Councillors had been due to discuss whether planning permission should be granted for developer Ballymore's plans for the building, in Cuba Street at the junction of Manilla Street and Tobago Street.

The 170-metre building is proposed to be one of the tallest residential skyscrapers in the UK.

But developers planned for the tower to have just one staircase for escaping a fire.

An LFB spokesperson said it had concerns with the design relating to escape and the evacuation strategy.

"While we are not a statutory consultee on such planning applications, we would always look to provide a response around the fire strategy in high-rise buildings, as we have in this case.”

There were 25 letters of objection to the plans and a petition containing 37 signatures.

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Fire safety relating to the single stairwell was amongst their concerns, a council report said.

But council officers wrote that they found the fire safety considerations "acceptable".

A spokesperson for Ballymore said: “As part of the planning application for our Cuba Street development, Ballymore received comments from the London Fire Brigade requesting clarification around aspects of the application.

"We are more than happy to provide that clarification and will continue to work closely with the LFB and local authority towards presenting the scheme for planning approval in due course.

"Like all Ballymore developments, the Cuba Street scheme will be built in full accordance with approved and emerging guidance and British standards.”

Tower Hamlets Justice for Leaseholders, which said it flagged concerns in the Cuba Street scheme, said this is a "sign of the start of a new era in fire safety and leaseholder rights in the UK".

"Leaseholders have united to say enough is enough and we are delighted that this message has been reiterated by the secretary of state, Michael Gove."

If approved, the building would contain 421 homes, of which 100 would be 'affordable'.

A public park is also part of the plans, which were recommended for approval by Tower Hamlets Council planning officers.

The January 13 strategic development committee meeting when the decision had been due was cancelled.

A council spokesperson said: “Comments from the London Fire Brigade were received, which raise a number of issues that will need to be addressed.

"The applicant has asked for more time to respond. The item will only be brought to committee once these issues are resolved.”